Be Alert!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

11 responses to “Be Alert!

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Oof dah! I just tried the new Block Editor to create this simple post consisting of just an image. The experience was… horrific.

    I found myself utterly lost as to how to add the image. That took a bit of fumbling around — it’s not obvious. And I couldn’t really tell what I was doing or what I had.

    I got disgusted and closed the window. Opened the auto-saved draft in the Classic Editor (Long May It Live!) and the HTML that Block Editor creates is an ugly mess. It adds all sorts of hidden meta-information in HTML comments.

    Too fancy for me! They’ll pry the Classic Editor out of my cold dead hands!

  • Wyrd Smythe

    (What we don’t need is more Rons.)

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    I’ve been told you get used to it fast, but yeah, I’m not using it until I have a good reason to. (Or I’m forced to.)

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I suppose one does. I was able to add the photo, but it took more steps than I’m used to (and, of course, I didn’t know what the steps were in this case). I was a little shocked at how it adds all that meta-structure with HTML comments. I have a fair bit of experience implementing that sort of thing, and it can be awfully fragile.

      I guess my main observation at this point is that it’s like MS Word. It’s designed for people who want to do way more with creating documents or posts than I ever will. I’m pretty much all about the text and a few images. (And I’ve gotten comfortable not peppering my posts with illustrative, but ultimately unnecessary, counter-point images. Lots of posts now just have the top image. Needed diagrams aside, naturally.)

      I just have no interest in photo galleries or shopping carts or all the fancy things it can do. Just wanna write posts.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Yeah, the era of hand coding html has been closing for a while, at least aside from developers, and even they are often working with frameworks that handle the details. Although it’s still a handy skill, such as when I had to play with my theme’s CSS.

        I’m with you on the block editor being overkill for most posts. I can see it being useful for page design, for those using WordPress in that manner. But for simple blogging, it seems to just over complicate things.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        HTML certainly was a noticeable fraction of my career (my hobbies, too). I think I may have mentioned I wrote one of my company’s first online web applications. It was an internal app for engineers to access CAD archives. So long ago that cookies were a new thing — too new to count on users’ browsers handling, so it was all FORM based. The inherent request-response architecture makes a multi-step app an interesting proposition. Have to be careful about users using the back button and resubmitting pages.

        Yeah, “cold dead hands” when it comes to the Classic interface in general, but definitely the editor.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I didn’t get into web development until 1996, when cookies were already established, although far more limited than they are today. There was still a lot of state happening with hidden form fields and URL line tokens. I had just done several months of programming on IMS, a mainframe environment with very similar state issues, so that part of the transition was easy for me. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how easy everything was back then in comparison to Win32, OLE, and other environments.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah, windowing environments are usually a bit involved. I think I mentioned my example for “Oh, my god, really?!” is X-Windows, the Unix windowing system. Actually made Win32 programming look kinda easy. (OLE was another PITA, but I did a fair amount of COM programming — creating Excel and Word docs from inside an app was… interesting but very useful sometimes.)

        I never liked using the URL tokens. Too exposed, too fragile, and each link is distinct, so they all end up in the client history. I’d only use that for simple one-shot stuff.

        My HTML is pretty out of date at this point. I haven’t looked into HTML5 at all. As you mentioned, it’s not really a needed skill anymore, although I still use it a bit in various coding projects.

        (I’ve been doing some Python apps as web apps just to provide an interface into the app. For instance, I miss having a good GREP tool in Windows, but that’s easy to write in Python. Making it a web app gives it an interactive interface, which is convenient.)

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Looks like you’re about to experience hurricane Sally. Stay safe and dry!

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I’ve actually had some X programmers tell me it’s easier, but they were pretty serious Linux ideologues so I’m not sure how much they actually knew about Win16 / 32 programming.

        COM programming was a lot easier with MFC or higher level languages. The C interface wasn’t that bad once you understood how it worked, but the learning curve was pretty obnoxious.

        At least you’re keeping your skills up with the Python stuff. I pretty much never code anymore.

        On the hurricane, thanks! It’s actually looking like it will hit Mississippi, or at least well to the east of my area.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        There were window tool kits that did make it a lot easier. It’s raw X-Windows that was such a pain. (Very Unix-y; massive configuration possibilities, but a hell of a learning curve to climb.)

        The tag line for my programming blog is “I just can’t stop writing code!” It’s just one of those things (like SF and baseball and craft beers) that I’ve found I love and will likely never give up.

        The Atlantic is pretty wild right now. Four big storms at once!

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