I seem to be building a collection of things.

Yeah, big deal, right? Everyone has their own collections – video tapes, music, footy cards, baseball cards, and so on and so forth. However, the collection I’ve been building involves this site.

No, it’s not a collection of links, but rather a collection of unfinished drafts – all of which are in longhand on notebook paper – which have been written at various times at work. I first noticed the collection building when I didn’t have any of my current vice – crossword puzzles – to do. I had brought along a binder (which I had taken on Sunday for another purpose, but changed the contents for different notebooks), and I looked in some of the pages, and found a ton of drafts that I had started, but didn’t finish.

Including the ones in Windows Live Writer, all up I have something like 7 drafts to finish up. The ironic thing is that I had started preparations for one of the posts by putting the item I am talking about into the computer so that I can post it.

My goal for the next couple of weeks or so is to actually get these posts finished and posted, including one on a topic I was suggested to blog about over a year ago. πŸ˜‰

Where did WordPress go wrong?

About a year ago, I was introduced to WordPress as an alternative to Blogger, and it was an attractive alternative – simple to use, and if you needed help, it was straightforward to figure out.

Another thing that was beautiful about WordPress was that it was small – just about 1 meg to download and install on your server.

Something else that I thought they were good at, at least at one point in time, was backwards compatibility – i.e. a new version would come out and the immediately previous one would continue to be maintained (like what just about every other software company – even Microsoft – does).

However, that all changed when it came to version 2.5. Among the little notes they included was that 2.3 would no longer be supported. It’s something I hadn’t mentioned when I blogged about it in the past, but it’s something that is important when you have a large userbase.

What happened to supporting old versions?

Admittedly, 2.6 isn’t very different to 2.5 (well, unless you include the database bloat that is post revisions {Side note – I wonder how long it will be before people are getting warned by their hosts about databases filling up due to all the revisions?}, tons of bugs that didn’t happen until upgrading and the fact that the widgets page is still messed up), but there are people who are satisfied with 2.5 and don’t need to upgrade yet, especially when you have a build that has a ton of unnecessary features and just plain old junk included.

Well, except for the Theme Previews – I like that idea, but that’s really for someone who likes to change themes very frequently, which I don’t recommend doing, unless you’re running a test blog and checking if a certain theme works with a specific version of WP.

Oh, by the way, you can’t turn off any of these new “features” directly through the admin panel. If you want to turn them off, you have to edit the wp-config.php file, which is almost akin to editing the registry in Windows – if you mess something up, you could completely bork your blog. I guess that’s something they must have forgotten about – flexibility in the system.

Anyway, one thing I didn’t notice until now when re-reading the announcement post (which I notice doesn’t have any trackbacks on it…I wonder why that is…) was this line, and I guess you have to pardon the poor English of the writer 😐 –

The 2.5 branch will no longer be maintain so everyone is encouraged to upgrade.

Yep, much like when 2.5 was released, the immediately previous version will be dropped like a hot potato. In fact, in looking through the bug tracking site, I notice that as of right now, two milestones – 2.3.4 and 2.5.2 – have disappeared completely off of the roadmap.

wptraccache While looking at the current Google Cache of the site from July 14th at 1:18AM Central Time (US) (image at right, click for a larger version, because you know that it will change soon), you can see the 2.5.2 and 2.3.4 milestones still there, and still with bugs open. Also, the 2.6 release, which was claimed to have been released a month early, had a due date of the 14th. How does that equate to a month early? Anyone? Bueller? By the way, I find it very disconcerting that, within the space of a single day or so, i.e. 24 hours, 759 active tickets (80% of the total) were dealt with – most of them look like they were shuffled off to another version, as only 204 closed tickets show up on the 2.6 milestone page. Thankfully this major bug was fixed, however. I know that I’ll sleep that much more comfortably now…

That brings me to my question – where did WordPress go so wrong? The first step was paying for something that was unnecessary (the new interface in 2.5), then adding a 200+kb unzipping program, and now adding something that will undoubtedly get people in trouble with their hosts for filling their database up quicker than they ever thought. If you need help, however, you can count on the folks on the WordPress forums to assist you, that is when they’re not demanding information in a way they insist it be (which is really nice when you’re trying to finish an upgrade and the blog is telling you over and over and over and over again that you need to login again, on three separate browsers and after clearing the cookies).

Even when a workaround is suggested, it’s not allowed to be marked as a fix, but a workaround, because it might, on some distant planet, open a security hole.

I gotta say that after one experience of upgrading to 2.6 and finding this bug, I’m not ready to recommend that anyone move to it yet. If you have and it does work without any problems, that’s good news to hear, but if you’re on a blog that’s not on the root directory, you might want to wait, because it seems that these problems occur when in this situation.

Further Reading

If you want some more to read on the situation, check out these posts –

This was the Week that Was, Vol 43

I can’t exactly say that my Google Reader is down to 10 unread like it was last time I went through this, and to be honest, I’ve not had much time or that much of a pressing desire to read other blogs – it’s nothing personal, it’s just me. πŸ™‚

Another thing that you will have noticed is that I’m not posting every day – I’m ok with that, because I’d rather have posts every few days that are of some quality instead of just having the quantity of mediocre posts. So, with that said, let’s have a bit of a retro edition of the TW3, just looking at the Bumpzee aspect, with a new list of blogs that have joined the US Blogs community. As always, if you have a blog and are in the US, feel free to join the community.

In addition to that, I should also add that I have put together a post for the Aussie Bloggers Blog about one of the subjects which I kind of fancy my talents – reality TV (little that I thought I’d be a pseudo expert on the subject, but really, all you need to do to become one is watch the show. πŸ˜‰ ). I talked about how the first couple of weeks of the new series of Big Brother is going. My opinion – definitely for the better.

Coming up this week, I believe there’s an anniversary coming up pretty soon, and also, logo-free HD, is it possible?

Til next week y’all! πŸ˜‰

This Was the Week That Was, Vol. 42

I’ve cleaned my Google Reader down to 10 unread items, and I have quite a few things to link to, and I think I’ve only doubled up on one site! πŸ˜‰

Trust me, the mark all unread button was used with great gusto. πŸ™‚

Posts I liked

  • First off, some sad news from the beginning of the month, with Katie getting into her first accident. Luckily it looks like the damage was only superficial, and nothing bad happened to her or the internals of the car.
  • Of course, then she went on to show off some awesome-looking Chicken Fried Rice. I’ll have to adjust the amounts lower and try it out once. πŸ™‚
  • Meg has a debate about the bog roll – over or under? Personally, I’m an over πŸ˜‰
  • I have never seen this much text on a billboard. However, if you note, Mercedes’ billboard in NZ is at a stoplight, so if you get stuck, you have some free entertainment. πŸ˜‰
  • Ah, what would the world be without Peter Popoff? The Rev. Anaglyph is still getting mail from him. Now with baggies, oil, and chewing gum?
  • If you’re using the CommentLuv plugin, you should seriously consider the effects on your site. Not only could it be slowing down your server, but your database could be growing exponentially
  • With New York considering going to a congestion charge like London, Streetsblog shows how Paris is defeating congestion by encouraging bicycling and public transit. Could New York use this as a model?
  • Seeing that Northwest (Orient) Airlines might be going the way of Eastern, Ansett, Pan Am, and Laudair, Yesterday’s News looks back to when the first introduced stewardesses to their flights.
  • Would you want to smell this flower? Amorphophallus titanum smells like rotting flesh. Apparently it also has a nickname: Bob. I kid you not.
  • Some of the most interesting photos you see of a city are from its river (or at least off of the beaten path). Such is the case with Berlin, as seen from a river boat.
  • And, last but not least, Yahoo might be having issues, and a sign of that might be the restrictions on fun in their toilets. πŸ˜‰

New Blogs in the US Blogs Community

  • Well, shockingly, Bumpzee is down again…

The US Blogs community is open to bloggers in the US that are a part of the Bumpzee community. If you’re interested in more about the community, you can view the main page of the community. πŸ™‚

Keywords

  • home improvement tips – Uhh…make sure everything works? Seriously, how do you all get here from these searches? I know, but how did I get onto your list?
  • channel 36 pbs switch to digital analog – assuming you’re in Milwaukee (though considering your IP says that this is the US Senate Sergeant at Arms, I’d think not), I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the current setup of channels. I should be getting a set top box to get digital this week, so I’m looking forward to it. πŸ˜‰
  • gifting non-solicitation form – Still no response from the cash gifting people on YouTube. Why not, folks? It’s a great opportunity for free advertising, or if you wish, you can remain anonymous!
  • wordpress 2.5 old look – Sorry, mate. Ain’t happening πŸ˜₯ (Maybe someone will write up an admin script to get the look the same…still wondering what feedback led them to changing the whole damn thing)…
  • gas price speculators crude refineries congress – Here’s how the oil pricing scheme works – speculators bid up the prices of everything, Congress blames the companies who get profits out of this bidding up, and the speculators bid up the prices some more. Who loses? Everyone, except for the speculators. But are they given their comeuppance? Nope. They’re not a “fancy” enough target. πŸ™

Around the Blog

First off, I introduced a new service for anyone to take advantage of, one thing that the Horoscope said that should be done, in addition to my own experience. It’s WordPress Upgrades. With a new version available, now would be a great time to inquire about an upgrade.

Going along the line about the speculators, I really do hope that they’re happy. Really. Nice move not even showing your faces…

Also, Skype is a great program, but it’s lacking in some important areas – like accessibility.

Coming up, I’ve got an interesting question that I’d like to have y’all take the challenge and answer, but more on that later this week. πŸ˜‰

Til next week (or in two weeks), y’all! πŸ˜‰

The Horoscope didn’t make me do it…

…because I’ve been working on this for a few days now.

It all started a week ago tonight, when one of the folks on the Aussie Bloggers Forums posted a question about text widgets in WordPress. As it had happened, I knew that there was a way to go beyond the maximum number of 9 in the Widgets screen. As it turned out, along with some posting of code here and there, my solution worked perfectly, and a suggestion came about that I might be willing to upgrade to 2.3.3, and you can see where things went from there. πŸ™‚

Then, one thing led to another and I volunteered to help her out with the upgrade process. For someone like me, who knows their way around the structure of a WordPress blog fairly well, it was simple, but for someone who might not be as familiar with the back-end (especially working with the raw files on an FTP server), it can get quite daunting, and understandably so. You can check out the result, as it happened on the forums here.

A little story, which I’ve related in the past about how finicky WordPress can be when you’re upgrading it – when I first upgraded my test blog to a new version, I forgot to deactivate the plugins before deleting files and uploading new ones. The result? Nothing. White pages and a freak out.

Where are you going with this?

Well, I’m glad you asked. πŸ˜‰

Let’s return to the horoscope for my sign for today, as written by Eugenia Last. Mind you I don’t read these things at all, but I just did today for the fun of it (anyway, what else do you do when you’re just kinda lounging in the car, listening to the radio while waiting to go to your volunteering gig? I’d already read through the sports page. πŸ˜‰ ). This is how it read:

You will excel where work and money are concerned. You can develop your own position by offering a service that is in demand. There is money to be made if you use your ingenuity to fill a need in your community.

Immediately upon reading that, I knew that today was the day where I would introduce a service that I realized might have some demand, especially after my experience of helping out with the upgrade described above.

It’s something that, as I have mentioned, can be a bit daunting if you aren’t the most experienced. Even if you are experienced with WordPress, but time constraints limit you in your ability to upgrade your blog or blogs (especially if you do have a lot of blogs, this can take quite a long time), this might be for you.

What’s on offer here is the ability to have someone else upgrade your WordPress blog, along with any plugins that are installed, and provide you with backups of your blog (i.e. a full WordPress export, along with a compressed copy of your installation as it is prior to the upgrade).

If you would like more detailed information, including pricing and contact details, you can check it out on the WordPress Upgrade page.

And, yes, I will do upgrades to version 2.5, if you wish. πŸ™‚