WP: Classic Editor vs Reader

The post’s title has more the sense of Ali vs Foreman than of Coke vs Pepsi. True, both are contests, but the the latter is a selection — the former is a fight. This post is about a major problem some posts created using the Classic Editor have when displayed in the WordPress Reader.

Specifically, breaks between paragraphs are lost. In some cases an entire post becomes one long paragraph. The only breaks come from the various HTML block elements that force paragraph breaks. (Things like horizontal rules, large images, or tables.)

Here I’ll explain what’s going on and how to get your paragraphs back.

Let me start with the elephant in the room, the WordPress Classic Editor. I know I’m not the only one who clings to it.

Let me be very clear it’s not that the new Block Editor is so awful. For me it’s simply that it’s too much. Way too much. I write long-ish blog posts with the occasional image. What I need is a good text editor — one that gives me the writing tools I’ve become accustomed to. Treating paragraphs as individual blocks interferes with this because writing often involves merging, breaking, and moving parts of paragraphs.

I’m aware the BE has a Classic Mode, but it just proves my point. An editor so different and so packed with features that it contains an emulation of a simpler editor is more editor than I want to deal with.

But I don’t intend this as a rant against the BE (I’ll save that until I’m forced to know it better and can really complain). My only point is I don’t use it because, for my needs, the CE is cleaner, easier, and better.

§

WordPress, however, would like to retire it — they’ve repeatedly threatened to. They want everyone using the BE. I can appreciate that from a certain point of view, but I’ve long thought software should offer multiple faces to different kinds of users. (For instance: Casual, Frequent, and Power.)

So I think there’s a benefit to keeping the CE. (Again: I’m not at all opposed to the BE; I just think it should co-exist with the CE.)

If the logic is that posts need the new BE formatting (lots of HTML comments), then what about all the legacy posts stored in the database that were created with the CE? If WP intends to require codes inserted by the BE to display posts, what happens to what must be millions of legacy posts?

The way the Reader grays out older posts suggests they don’t understand that some blogs create more timeless posts than others. Some blogs create posts that others may reference for many years. Many of my posts fall into that category, and I’m offended WP grays those out.

I’ll get to the Reader later. First let’s talk about paragraphs.

§ §

You’ll need to know a little about HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language), which is the language of the web. Pretty much everything our browser shows us comes to it written in HTML. (One exception is images.)

The thing about HTML is that you could write it with paper and pen; it’s just text. When learning a new programming language, it’s traditional that your first program be one that simply says “Hello, World!” HTML is not a programming language, but here is a “Hello, World!” HTML page in its entirety:

<html>
<head>
    <title>Hello!</title>
</head>
<body>
    <p>Hello, World!</p>
</body>
</html>

HTML requires all pages have a <title> element, but the <body> could be entirely blank. In this case it just displays a paragraph saying Hello, World!

Here is exactly the same webpage:

<html><head><title>Hello!</title></head><body><p>Hello, World!</p></body></html>

HTML ignores lines and spaces. Or rather, it compresses contiguous ones into a single space, which it ignores unless it’s part of displayable content. In the examples above, only the space displayed is the one between the words “Hello,” and “World!” The only difference between the two examples is that the first is easier for humans to read.

The take-away from this part is twofold: Firstly, HTML elements are enclosed in tags; we’ll only care about one of them, the <P> element. Secondly, line ends and spaces are compressed into a single space, and that space only matters if it’s part of displayable content (otherwise it’s just ignored).

It’s the latter one that’s causing problems. Applying the former is the fix.

§ §

In the Classic Editor, as well as in comment boxes, we create a paragraph by typing sentences without pressing the [Enter] key. There is a wrinkle involving the ancient typewriter custom of putting two spaces between a period and the next sentence. If you do that, knowing HTML would compress the two spaces into one, WordPress replaces the second one with a NO-BREAK SPACE, a special Unicode character. This preserves the double-space.

Press [Enter] to end the paragraph and again to create a blank line before typing more sentences for the next paragraph. Most of us do this every time we type a comment (assuming it’s a multiple paragraph comment).

Note that in HTML those two [Enter] codes are compressed to a single space. It takes special handling on the editor’s part (or the comment box’s part) to recognize the [Enter] codes and create a paragraph from the text. This is apparently failing in the Classic Editor. (There are some indications it fails sometimes in comments, too.)

So the Reader will (at least sometimes) merge paragraphs into one block of text. The only breaks occur when the system is forced to end a paragraph.

[Which is a diversion on its own. In HTML everything is either a block element or an inline element. Roughly speaking, the former always cause a line break before and after, whereas the latter just flow one after the other as the page width allows. Encountering a block element among your merged paragraphs does cause a paragraph break.]

Note that on your actual WordPress web site, the page looks fine. The paragraphs are all intact. The problem is in the Reader. (Which does mangle your HTML somewhat. It strips out all style information, for instance.)

§

Insuring the Reader respects your paragraphs requires using the HTML editor (the text tab). The short version is that you have to surround your paragraphs with HTML <p> and </p> tags. That makes your paragraphs explicit.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple. When you switch back to visual, the editor strips out plain <p> tags. It restores the text to the original blank-line separated paragraphs. It wants plain blocks of text and blank lines for paragraphs. Of course it does; that’s its design. (Which suggests the Reader ought to fully understand blocks of text separated by blank lines. It’s required in comments, too, remember.)

One solution is to add a style attribute: <p style="color:black;"> Now you’re adding something, so WP doesn’t strip out the tag. The problem is that it requires something to put in the style attribute. You can’t trick WP with an empty string.

One possibility is setting the text color. I’ve been doing this since 2011 because this theme (and far too many others) use a very low contrast text that I find hard to read. I don’t even understand why a designer would use such a low contrast text for reading. Another triumph of style over sense, I think.

As a final step before publishing, I highlight all my text and set the color to black. That wraps all my paragraphs in <span style="color:#000000;"> and </span> tags (which, like text itself, is an inline element that doesn’t affect paragraphing).

Years after I started blogging I upgraded to Premium, which allows setting the text color globally with CSS. I never got around to it, though. With the advent of the Reader bug, my old text-coloring process has been part of this workaround. Unfortunately, it requires having a text editor capable of running a macro. Or at least of search-and-replace.

Because what I do is switch to text mode, select all the HTML, copy it, paste it into my text editor (gvim), and run a macro that replaces <span> and </span> with <p> and </p>.

§

I realize this is a lot for the average user. I’ve been mucking with HTML since the mid 1990s, so it’s old hat to me. If you’re comfortable with HTML (which may be part of why you’re still using the Classic Editor), then this might be a work around you can use.

The problem does seem only to apply to posts created using the Classic Editor and viewed in the WP Reader. Switch to the Block Editor, or decide you don’t care how your posts look in the WP Reader; either should remove the issue.

Failing that, if you see it, you could complain to WordPress. I have, but I’m not sure they care. They don’t want to support the CE anyway. Yet maybe if enough people complain they’ll realize a lot of people care.

Alternately, try the following fix. This will work even after you publish a post and see it turned into a single paragraph in the Reader. Just go back and re-edit the post.

  1. Go into the HTML (text) editor tab.
  2. Start each paragraph with <p style="color:black;">
  3. End each paragraph with </p>
  4. Go back to the visual tab; check your post.
  5. Publish (or Update).
  6. Check post in the Reader.

Note that your paragraph text should start immediately after the start tag, and the end tag should come immediately after the last period. No spaces in either case. If you don’t want your text to be black, you could try another color or find some harmless other style setting.

An approach that’s possibly easier is what I described above: in visual mode, highlight all your text and set the text color to black using the color-picker on the toolbar. That surrounds your paragraphs with <span> and </span> tags, so now all you have to do in text mode is change all the occurrences of span to p. Any decent text editor can do this.

§ §

This has gotten long enough that I’ll end here. I intended to get more into other the foibles of the WP Reader. I’m especially unhappy, and offended, about that graying out of old posts. It makes me angry.

But more on that another time. I will mention one thing related to this vanishing of paragraphs problem. If you read a post in the Followed Sites part of the Reader and use the comment box at the bottom to comment, WP does two weird things: Firstly, there will be two comment boxes for a moment. Secondly, the comment will be one paragraph no matter how many you created. But if you back out of the page, refresh, and return, your paragraphs appear in the comment.

So obviously, some part of the Reader’s function screws that up each and every time, but some secondary process fixes it. That secondary process apparently gets missed on Classic Editor posts in the Reader.

§ §

I deliberately left the above section unfixed to see how the Reader handles it. Compare how it looks in the Reader versus my website. I did the same thing accidentally in the previous post, and that part got collapsed.

I am, as always, happy to discuss this with those interested in knowing more in the comments. If you need more info about fixing your posts, I’ll try to help.

Stay classic, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.

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

33 responses to “WP: Classic Editor vs Reader

  • Wyrd Smythe

    That unfixed section seems to render okay in the Reader (this time). As I mentioned, it didn’t in the previous post.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      And it might be that they’ve fixed the bug where entering a comment at the bottom of the post in the Followed Sites section of the Reader causes that transitory double appearance and the loss of all paragraph breaks.

      I entered some comments that way on websites I’ve never visited, and the Reader just processed the comment like it does in the Conversations section. Kinda munched on it a moment and then displayed it as expected.

      The one difference is, because I was a new visitor, those comments all were flagged as waiting moderation, and that may have affected the Reader’s handling. I’m about to find out how this comment does…

      • Wyrd Smythe

        It was the waiting for moderation flag. When I clicked [Send], there were two for a moment, and then it showed me this:

        But now it looks fine. The WordPress Reader is buggy AF!

  • Wyrd Smythe

    The Conversations side of the Reader seems broken as of today, too. It’s hiding recent comments behind Load previous comment from … links, but showing much older comments. And those links act weird, too.

    Say it after me: The WordPress Reader is buggy AF!

  • beetleypete

    Like you, I have been clinging to the Classic option for dear life. My blog is littered with bitter complaint posts abut being forced to use the BE, and why a ‘Classic Block’ is not an acceptable alternative.

    During an exchange of messages with the (not) aptly named Happiness Engineers, I was told the change was to make WP more friendly to mobile device users. But I am old, and unlike you, not remotely technically minded when it comes to anything to do with computers.

    I concluded that they no longer wanted me, after 4.500 posts and being a paid customer of a Premium Plan. I was seconds away from deleting my blog, but my followers asked me not to, so I carried on.

    I can post using the Block Editor (Mr Blocky), but I don’t want to!
    I will be 70 years old in 2022, and I am sure that is no longer the ‘target market’ for WP. If so, I wil bow out, but not at all gracefully.

    Sorry for the long comment.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      You call that a long comment? Ha! Around here our wind is long, longer, longest! 😀

      Yeah, I’ve realized many of the WP changes are to accommodate the touch screen mobile device crowd, which is fine, but as I said in the post, software can present different faces to different kinds of users. It just takes the will and skill to do it. I think everyone should get a good interface that fits them.

      I’m a ways from 4,500 posts (a mere 1,188), but I’m much closer to 70, so I can relate about target markets. (But I long ago got used to being a weirdly randomly shaped peg in a square hole. I’ve never been a target market.)

      I still use the CE and won’t touch the BE until forced (cold dead hands, etc). I have a barebones post in my Drafts folder — called “(new post)” — and I use the Copy link to start a fresh post. Clicking Copy puts me into the BE where all I do is change the title, save it, and get the hell out of the BE. Back in my Drafts folder I click the Classic Editor link and do my writing in the CE.

      “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” And the damned Block Editor. 😉

  • Brian

    I use Classic Editor for creating (and generally editing posts). I mostly avoid the Reader for reading a post as I prefer to read from a page in the style of the author’s choosing (unless it’s a post I really want to read from a page style I find distracting or awkward).

    True, sometimes the Comments box does weird things with paragraphs, and sadly when leaving comment there is no option to preview it first. If I wanted to start a new line without the paragraph space I’d hold Shift when I press Return, I’m used to doing that elsewhere.

    The point about “the ancient typewriter custom of putting two spaces between a period and the next sentence” is one I can relate to since I was once creating a website for someone who insisted on double spaces at certain points in their text. I’d never come across this type of formatting before (I think he had once been in the business of printing newspapers or something) and while they insisted on it (while I thought it looked daft) I tried to point out that virtually nowhere else are other people presenting their text online in that way (I’ve rarely come across this style of formatting since).

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I tend to avoid reading posts in the reader for the exact reason you mention, so much of the author’s style is absent in the Reader. I cannot fathom, for one example, why when I use the WP Classic Editor’s own “center text” feature to make my section marks (§) centered, the Reader disrespects that and left aligns. That one thing, to me, is enough to condemn the Reader for posts, but there are, oh, so many other problems it has. (I’m thinking I need another post to vent spleen just about the damned Reader.)

      I have liked it for following Conversations, but as of today it’s acting weird and hiding the most recent comments behind “Load previous comment …” links. If that’s intention, not a bug, then it’s one of the weirder design decisions I’ve seen.

      I do wish WP let us edit our comments on other blogs. So many times I see the error only after I’ve pressed Send.

      That’s a cute story, insisting on the two spaces. My understanding is it came from the typewriter era; some sort of clarity thing. The general consensus is that the sophisticated fonts of the web don’t need it anymore. It took years for me to break the habit. (I’ve never mucked around with it to see if WP generally preserves spaces that way or only between sentences.)

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    I don’t like the sound of what that guy describes in his post, but I haven’t seen anything like them in the BE. The closest might be the screen jumping a bit sometimes, but I see that kind of behavior in all kinds of software (notably MS Office). I notice he’s using a non-standard theme. I wonder if he might be seeing issues related to that. I hope it’s not something I’m going to hit in the future.

    On comments in the Reader, another thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes the paragraphs are kept, but the space between them disappears, although it can reappear if the comment is long enough to have a “Read More” link and you click it.

    I’ve also noticed that embedded tweets often don’t appear in comments in the Reader. Makes me wonder what happens with the other embedded stuff. Most of that embedding is automatic, with the only way to avoid it being putting the link on the same line as other text. Kind of annoying for WP to have automatic behavior that we can’t turn off but breaks in their own Reader.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I found his descriptions of some of it intriguing enough that I’m more interested in playing around with the BE to see what’s going on. I also thought it interesting he thinks WP might replace the BE with something new. Not sure how much credence to give that, but it makes me wonder if the issues and pushback on the BE has been greater than I suspect. (There are an awful lot of people posting about it I discovered.)

      I’ve seen that happen, a missing blank line. When I see that in guest comments I usually fix it. I’ve noticed that almost always the first paragraph has a trailing space. I assume that was originally the other line break character.

      There is a Reader… choice, I guess,… where a comment with just two paragraphs that are short enough get compressed in the initial display. The Reader seems to skip the blank line in order to show both paragraphs in the space it allots each post initially. As you say, clicking “Read more” increases that area to whatever the comment needs, so the missing blank line appears.

      Sometimes, if the Reader can fit the whole thing in the initial display by stripping the one blank line, it seems to figure that’s good enough, and it doesn’t provide a “Read more” link. That I find a bit annoying.

      As you say it’s funny about embedded stuff sometimes, too. Does fine with videos, but it can be funny with old-fashioned BLOCKQUOTE sections. (It’s looking like I’ll need a second post just to rant about the Reader.)

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Yeah, I suspect predictions of WordPress abandoning Gutenberg(BE) are wishful thinking. It seems like the broader WordPress dev community has too many big plans for it, including full site editing. Although I could see them compromising and keeping the TinyMCE (CE) around indefinitely. There are some interesting articles out there about Gutenberg, like this one: https://kinsta.com/blog/gutenberg-wordpress-editor/
        It does note that the editor can get bogged down on large posts.

        I’d forgotten the block quote issue. It does seem like it’s one thing after another with the Reader. It seems like it could be a major social media platform if they could just iron out these issues.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yeah, I think you’re right about that. I did some moving around of my widgets on my other blog and noticed the widget editor is now some version of the Block Editor (and it looks uglier than the old way — at first I couldn’t tell what was going on and somehow duplicated the entire set of widgets in the sidebar).

        There was a battle that began in the early 1990s and was pretty much lost by end of the decade. The defeat is ancient history at this point. I’m talking about the original intent of the web — which was content with meta-data that allowed the client to render the content as they wished — and web content authors who wanted their content to look exactly as they specified it. The latter group won (kinda hands down), and ever since people have worked very hard to make web interfaces as much like local apps as possible. HTML has been stretched so far beyond its original intent that it’s no longer recognizable. What’s going on with the BE is just the culmination of that.

        But the fundamental problem, try as you will, without downloading binary app extensions, the web can never be what a local interface can be. That’s why you have to download a binary — to get a local app. (I worked for a long time with a group that supported a 3rd party Enterprise App that worked with IE + the binary it required locally. It really did turn the browser into a local interface, but that’s not possible with just http.)

        But I digress.

        The Reader,… [sigh] Yeah, I just don’t know what to make of it. I’ll have to spend some time making notes about its foibles for another rant post. This one was really easy to write. 😀

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Just looked at my widgets. Yeah, that’s the block editor. That will take some getting used to, although it might allow for more flexibility in what we can put there. At least I hope so.

        The Menu and Customize areas look unchanged for now, at least on superficial inspection. Eventually though, I think the plan is for the whole site to be editable via the block editor. (The Blank Canvas theme seems like an early attempt at realizing this, although from what I’ve read, it’s still a bit early.)

        I remember that battle. It seemed like the XHTML standard with its separate stylesheets was a late push by the content / separation folks. CSS, at least in theory, allows for some separation, but never as much as the original HTML people wanted. Kind of ironic that a lot of development of those binary apps involve model / view architectures. Mentioning downloading of binaries reminds me of the WebAssembly standard, which I haven’t kept too close an eye on.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I did notice you have a lot more options for what you can put in a sidebar block.

        One of the selling points of the BE, and I think I saw it mentioned in the post you linked to, is how easy it is to move a paragraph. Based on editing my widgets, I’m wondering if the BE moves text (or whatever) blocks the same way: one up or down move at a time. (Or can you drag a block?)

        I was just working on a post and decided to move a whole paragraph (which isn’t something I do all that often, actually). The gestures were highlighting the paragraph, Ctrl-X, moving to the new location, Ctrl-V. Done. Pretty much the way all text editors work. Treating paragraphs as distinct blocks… I get the motivation, but I don’t think it’s a good design choice when a post is mainly text.

        Ah, well, whatever. I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

        XHTML. Heh. I went all in, making sure all the non-content elements on my website had the XML slash riding in the tail. Then XHTML became sort of an anti-pattern, and I had to go through all the pages again to remove them. I’ve noticed that WP still uses the <HR/> form there and, I believe, for <BR/>. I haven’t looked at their HTML enough to know if they still do XHTML entirely, but they seem to in those tags.

        WebAssembly, yeah, exactly what I’m talking about. It blows me away to see how far the web has come since the early 1990s. Talk about a mighty oak from an acorn.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Yeah, the ease of moving a block is kind of pointless when it comes to text. And as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I need to move or delete text spanning portions of multiple paragraphs, where the blocks actually are in the way. On the other hand, in the few posts where I’ve done images, moving those around and placing them right was much easier than in the old editor, particularly when the image is at the beginning or end of the post.

        Where the BE might shine is if you want to do fancy stuff with your post, like tables. I played around with table blocks in one post, although they didn’t make it to the published version. You can also add in any of those widgets directly into the post, such as listing all the posts with a particular tag. That said, when I’ve tried them in various drafts, they felt distracting and a bit gimmicky. (Not to mention a bit heavy in processing.) But maybe I’m just too minimalist.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Totally with you on the minimalism. In part because I was brought up to be frugal and not waste things. But also from a time when computing resources were nothing at all compared to now. I remember when 16K was a lot of memory and a 5-meg hard drive seemed unfillable. I still have some of that mindset. (I was secretly appalled by follow programmers who’d import a large library just to use some trivial function.)

        Even the image handling of the BE isn’t much of a selling point for me. I just switch to the HTML editor and copy-paste the IMG element where I want it. My needs are pretty modest with images; left, right, center justification; sizing; I’m good to go. On that topic, the Classic Editor allows placing an image by just dropping it in either visual or HTML. It’ll go where you have the cursor. On one of my rare forays into the BE I couldn’t drop an image. I had to create an image block, which seemed like more work.

  • Wyrd Smythe

    I really hope this weird Reader Conversations business is a bug and not a design choice. Hiding the most recent comments is really annoying! (It’s why I bother using the Reader at all.)

  • Anonymole

    The geniuses at WP must realize that the BE is suboptimal. Why else would so many clutch so dearly to the C E?

    “Well that didn’t go as expected. Maybe we need to fix the BE…”

    • Wyrd Smythe

      By all accounts they’re all in on the BE (although it sounds like they’ll support the CE for a couple or few more years). The plan is for the BE to be the editor behind customizing your blog, doing widgets, all sorts of things. They’re already using it for editing sidebar widgets.

      It’s a modern software bullshit I’ve seen over and over. It’s only worthwhile developing and selling monster apps that, in addition to whatever their main job is, also make coffee, vacuum the rugs, and scratch your back. So things bloat and come filled with features most users will never use. And bigger and more complicated the software, the more bugs find a home there, and oftentimes the more cumbersome and slow the software becomes.

      Back when I was working, I was often up to my elbows in XML and XML variants, so I paid a lot of money for Altova’s XMLSpy product. I’ll admit, when I need what it does, it does it very well, but that need is a tiny fraction of what the tool can do — features I’ve never used, don’t foresee ever using, and barely even understand. MS Word, same way. Adobe Photoshop, likewise. Even their PDF Reader became a bloated “ball of mud” nightmare.

      We’ve hung so much of our culture and future on software, yet it’s by far the most defective badly done thing humans make. Back in the day the joke was that if Ford made cars like MS and Apple made software, no one would buy a single one. But our eyes light up and our sense goes out the window when it comes to Apps!!! 🤪😵

      • Anonymole

        I’d say the core issue with software is that it doesn’t “wear out”. Yet, software companies still have to make a dime. Car companies can continue to improve their product and release their new, faster, safer, more efficient, more convenient autos. And we’re happy they do. Our old ones are broke-down and busted.

        If it weren’t for the massive threat of evil-agents, which, for all we know, are promulgated by the likes of Apple & Microsoft, I’d still be using Windows 2000, or NT even. But then, those companies would have died by now.

        Why did it take 40 years for a C replacement, Rust, to come along and finally solve unsafe software? “Buy our new hotness and be protected from Russian Hackers!”

      • Wyrd Smythe

        That’s a very good point, especially in these days of disposable products. Companies who made things also learned they needed to stay in business and making things that wear out is one way to accomplish that. (Did you know that the old fashioned “inky” lightbulbs could be made to last much longer than they did but manufacturers colluded in limiting their lifetimes?)

        I have to admit I do like Windows 10. (Based on everything I’m reading, I’m going to hold off on Windows 11 as long as possible, though.) I didn’t hate Vista, but I would have stayed with one of the older versions, too, if I could have.

        Did you ever read Neal Stephenson’s In the Beginning Was the Command Line? It was a short non-fiction book (almost a long pamphlet) about where operating systems were going. The text is widely available now; I think a copy is on his website. I still think chapter two is one of the funniest bits of computer humor I’ve ever read. It used to reduce me to tears and gasps of laughter. He compares O/S systems to car dealers. IIRC, Apple is selling sports cars, MS is selling station wagons, and these bearded hippies (Linux guys) are building these amazing free tanks they’re just giving away but no one wants (and BeOS is making Batmobiles)…

        Anyway, one of his assertions, and I’ve seen others say the same, is that the MS business plan of making and selling operating systems is a losing proposition (for exactly the reasons you state). That’s why Apple sells entire (closed!) systems. And why MS sells Office and SQL Server and all the rest of the products. They really should just give away the OS.

        I don’t know why languages like C and C++ persisted for so long. I wrote a lot of lines back in the day, but wild horses now. (I’m not sure I’d even want to work in Java again. I’m kinda all in on Python these days, but I’m just a hobby programmer anymore.) I seem to recall you complaining about Rust. Just change pains, or is Rust less fun to use? Often in that old lock-maker vs lock-picker arms race, more safe also means more pain (which might answer the question of why C and C++ for so long).

      • Anonymole

        Rust and I made up. And now that I’m back on TypeScript, I yearn for the obviousness and rigidity of Rust. You compile it and you know it will work as written without issues. Of course, what you wrote might not be business correct… But that’s not the languages fault.

        There must be fifty JavaScript frameworks written over the years. Every college grad, worth his salt, wants to write a new one.

        Blech!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I retired less than a year after TypeScript appeared, so I never was exposed to it. Sometimes Microsoft is almost as bad as IBM when it comes to “standard? what standard? we’re the standard!”. Java? No,… C#! JavaScript? No,… TypeScript! (Eclipse? No,… Visual Studio!)

        I did like JavaScript. In fact, until I fell in love with Python, I used to recommend JavaScript as a good beginner’s language. Just need your browser and Notepad, and off you go; immediate web-based gratification. But good Lard willin’ (an’ the creek don’ rise), I’ll never type another curly-brace in any of those languages again!

      • Anonymole

        I wrote a ton of Python, myself. Quantopian – was all numpy and pandas and their own financial packages. It was fun, but it died in 2020, failed to beat the market.

        Also took Tucker Balch’s GA Tech Comp-Fi course in python, which was challenging.

        Fun daze, all behind me now.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I don’t know that you’ll learn anything, but you might enjoy watching this YouTube playlist of Python tutorials. I did. 😎

        I actually did learn something. I’ve used:

        matrix_of_pairs = [[(a,b) for a in range(8)] for b in range(8)]

        But it had never occurred to me Python supported:

        list_of_pairs = [(a,b) for a in range(8) for b in range(8)]

        Which I can’t think of a good use for, but it’s interesting.

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Apparently this is the way Reader Conversations works now. From my perspective it kinda ruins following conversations in the Reader, which makes the Reader a whole lot less useful to me.

    Time I got around to that follow-up post about the damned Reader.

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Still no change in what seems to me very broken behavior in the Conversations section of the WP Reader. Apparently it’s supposed to work like this, but if so it’s a Bad Design Decision. I don’t see any justification for it.

    In other news, the mystery numbers from the Followed Sites list have mysteriously disappeared — they mysteriously appeared a couple of months ago but didn’t seem to relate to anything. I guess it’s… a mystery.

    Is WordPress like one of those restaurants that opens and is really good, but then the original owners sell it and move on and the new owners don’t quite get it, so the place kinda goes to hell? Feels like it sometimes.

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