New WordPress Dashboard

5 04 2008

 

WordPress has blessed its users with an updated dashboard: that’s the NASA-like control panel that we use to manage our blogs, make posts, insert images and hyperlinks, etc…So far the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative.  That’s to be expected when something so integral to the day-to-day administration of a blog is significantly changed.  Think Coke/New Coke, WindowsXP/Vista, Word 2003/2007.  Right now my big problem is that when I copy over my text from Word – which I do so that I can manipulate my text font – I can no longer manipulate my text font.  Last night I could do it, but today the process for copying from Word has changed with the net result being that the font returns to this theme’s default font.  So there will be a little different look to my posts – no more clean Arial font – until WordPress addresses the issue, assuming they do.  They’ve also lost the spellcheck function, but since I usually compose in Word I should be OK.

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9 responses

6 04 2008
caswain01

The new interface was foisted upon me also. I’m hitting the streets with Trotsky and Che to protest this. It’s like working with Windows Millennium all over again!

6 04 2008
Harry Smeltzer

You have nothing to lose but your chains, my brother. I feel your pain, I really do. I’m holding off posting any ORs for a few days in hopes they get this ironed out, though it was too late for my revision of McDowell’s report.

6 04 2008
Robert Moore

Oh, this is depressing. I haven’t made a post since the change, so I’m afraid to see what happens when I am back at it tomorrow. From time to time, when cutting from Word and pasting to the blog (in WYSIWYG format), I found that I needed to adjust the font and could do so through tweaking the content in CSS. Am I to understand that this is no longer an option? I have also found, from time to time, problems with left, right and center justification, prior to the change.

7 04 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Robert,

I don’t know from CSS…I only have the basic WordPress with no upgrades. All I can say right now is some of the changes are good: in WYSIWYG, you can cut and paste during the posting process (not just one paste at the beginning), underline, block the paragraphs (carefully), expand the posting box to full page, change the text color, undo (that’s a great thing for me), and change font sizes (for headings only – it also bolds at the same time). You can also now add audio.

On the bad side, when copying from Word it seems you can keep your font size, but not your font type. The post will return to your theme’s default font type. I like Arial, because on this dark (not quite black) background, it shows up better. Also, the process for posting pictures has changed. Whereas you used to be able to place your cursor in the text before inserting the photo, it now looks like you can only insert the photo at the beginning of the text you have posted, and then must move the photo where you want it to be. I have found in the past that moving photos around in the text does not work so well. Some of my posts are picture heavy, with lots of inserts in and between paragraphs. We’ll have to see how that works.

There is also a “paste from word” key that, as far as I can tell, keeps your paragraph breaks from Word, but otherwise makes the post the same as plain text, defaulting to the theme’s font type AND size, which in the case of my theme is a tiny, nearly unreadable font when the page view in IE is set to MEDIUM.

I’m hoping I don’t need to change my theme. I’ve had it since day one, and most of my readers (with a very few exceptions) like it.

7 04 2008
Kevin

Wow…and I was actually considering making the transition from Typepad to WordPress. Goog luck sorting all of this out.

7 04 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Kevin,

All in all, I like WordPress. I think it still has significant advantages over other packages. In fact, someone who is not already “in a groove” with the old version of the dashboard probably won’t have a problem. It’s the old-timers who need to adapt to the changes. Think of it like the Electric Map vs. whatever it is they’re going to use now at the Gettysburg VC.

7 04 2008
aphillcsa

Supposedly some great usability guru firm came up with the new interface. I hope WordPress didn’t pay too much for the consult, because it seems like no one likes the changes. The Write Post screen irritates me the most. It makes common tasks that used to be so simple (putting the post in it’s category for example or editing the time stamp) now much harder because it requires either scrolling down the page or clicking open several links. I run the software on my own host, and I really wish I hadn’t “upgraded” from 2.3 to 2.5. It feels like a downgrade.

7 04 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Jenny,

From what I hear, the response has been overwhelmingly negative. But the powers-that-be seem to have indicated that there is no turning back. I sent a question to support on Saturday but have received no response…I’m sure they are flooded with questions/complaints.

12 04 2008
Rene Tyree

Harry,

I’ve figured out how to tweak the CSS. Let me know if you’re interested… glad to share.

I believe the dashboard change upgrade was the root cause of my post (worked two hours on it) disappearing as I hit publish. I believe they were rolling out the new code at the time. I was not amused.

Having managed a SW dev team at one point in my career, I’m a big believer in letting people know you’re going to make a change and then telling them when you’re rolling the new code. If they did that, I totally missed it. Given the number of complaints, I’m assuming that said nothing.

Rene

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