Disillusioned with WordPress

Change is a good thing, it symbolises progression and improvement (or at least the attempt of), which is why I was looking forward to WordPress 2.1 with eager anticipation.

WordPress 2.0 was released into the wild over a year ago. Taking a year for a minor point upgrade for a piece of software is a long time in anyone’s book, especially as it’s open source, being actively worked on and has a huge community backing it. But I hear you cry: “look at all the bug fixes and features they’ve managed to implement in that year”. Of all the new features, only four really interest me, and the two that I would use regularly are badly implemented.

  • Auto save. Long needed and long awaited. The number of times I’ve had whole complete posts lost because I’m in the middle of writing something, and accidentally click a link or press a key (usually backspace when not having the cursor focused on the text box, so the browser goes back) is beyond belief. But why do we have to write a title before it starts auto saving? If anything I title my posts after I write them, and that’s how it’s always worked. You can save posts manually without titles so why doesn’t the auto save feature do this?
  • Tabbed editor. TinyMCE isn’t great, so sometimes I have to edit the HTML it produces myself, and this tab is a big time saver. But, what were they smoking when they decided to use form buttons as the tabs? What is going on here?
  • Lossless XML import and export. Saves me doing a database dump every time I move hosts, which to be honest almost never happens, but it’s nice to know it’s now easier.
  • Privacy options. Useful for the one private blog I write for, although this can be done fairly easily manually in your theme anyway.

Of the supposed 550 bug fixes, I don’t see one that really interests me directly. But I can say that the new “improved” TinyMCE editor is giving me nothing but trouble. AdBlock Plus, now blocks the majority of buttons on the toolbar of the editor, when it never did this before. Easy to fix but annoying none-the-less.

Inserting a link is now broken, I like the new AJAXed popup, which loads a bit quicker than the new window before1 but seems completely broken. There seems to be no insert button on mine, and pressing return on the keyboard does nothing. Clicking the close button on the top right does nothing either, so when I get this dialog up, I can’t get rid of it, which means I loose any changes in the editor as the dialog is modal2


There is an enforced category called Blogroll. I consider this a bug as I have no use for it, and there is no way to disable it. The old Links system was pretty bad, but at least it was optional, I don’t like the way they assume that everyone needs to have a blogroll.

This release has made me completely disillusioned with WordPress. One whole year of progress has given me next to nothing in terms of useful features. Blogging should be a hobby I enjoy, and to a certain extent I do, but I can’t help think that a better blogging platform would allow me to enjoy it even more. Maybe what I need is my own custom blogging application that I’ve been thinking about writing for months, but never have the time to properly sketch out my ideas.

There is something exciting around the corner, something new and fresh, written with passion and flair. It’s called habari, and I’m going to be following it very closely.

  1. I still prefer the old custom dialog which loaded up instantly though
  2. It’s the only thing that can have your focus and everything else on the page is disabled
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