Updated to WordPress 5.0

OK, so who’s idea was it to release the new version of WordPress this close to Christmas? WordPress 5.0 is the first major change in the blogging tool for what seems decades. They’ve introduced a new post editing tool called Gutenberg that completely changes how you compile your site content, removing the need for many plugins. It’s been a painful, much delayed birth; but is it worth it?

I’ve been testing the Gutenberg editing method as a plugin for a while. Gutenberg uses ‘blocks’ to containerise your content. Theoretically this will make it easier for site users to create more interesting, varied posts without using some fancy-dan plugins. It’s taken some getting used to and it is still quite buggy, but I really rather like it. Using blocks just seems to make a lot of sense.

I am not happy with some elements yet. Let’s have a quick look at the Flickr embed. I’m going to be inserting some below so that you can see what they look like. Here’s a nice image from my Flickr:

Ginious alleyway

I’ve inserted that as a Flickr embed and aligned it centrally. As you can tell from the displayed image it is most certainly not aligned correctly. I’ve tried this with a few themes and it never gets it right. It also neglects to show the best size possible when showing wide image. Here’s an example that is shown as a ‘wide width’ image of a panoramic photo I took in the Lakes:

Lake District

Well, that doesn’t look right does it? This is supposed to extend beyond the text on either side and it just does not work – on any theme I’ve tried. At least the caption has attempted to align correctly. I’ve had more success with images hosted within my WordPress installation but this should work a lot better than it does.

I would love a Flickr embed that not only grabs the best quality image available but also the meta data available with the image. I’d like it to automatically show the image title along with the creative commons data. I don’t think this is especially difficult, but I am not a developer and have no idea how to do this myself. I’ve tried googling for folks with a similar need but come up with nothing. Does anyone else care about this issue? Maybe it’s just me. I’m still mad that Flickr removed the capability to post to your WordPress installation from Flickr itself.

Maybe Smugmug will bring that back? I’m not holding my breath.

Anyway, I am going to be posting a few more things this month to try out some of these new features. The Flickr deficiencies are frustrating but only a minor irritant. Changing the whole post editing experience is a big gamble for WordPress. There are a lot of pissed off people that do not like the new way, and I guess they can continue as things were with the new Classic editor plugin if they wish. I like new things and I am encouraged to blog more frequently as a result of these changes.

Let’s see if this works!

Conor Pass

The wonderful views of County Kerry

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