New and Improved, or New and Unproved?

Because I had a positive experience playing around with WordPress 2.5 on Rileycat’s blog, I asked David to go ahead and upgrade me here.

Some of the new features replace various plugins I was using before (Image Manager, and ST Visualize Advanced Features ). I’ll be using a new plugin – my husband David wrote a simple one for converting WP tags to Technorati tags, so I’m going to give that one a whirl. Whee!

I will say that I like one feature; the edit window has a visual editor tab and an HTML editor tab, and previously, it would always revert to the visual editor as soon as you clicked SAVE on a post you were editing in raw HTML (or at least in WP’s version, where line breaks are built in with the return key). Now, it stays in whichever edit pane you were in, even when starting a new post.

I moved some widgets around in the sidebars – that looks very different from the method used before, and after I got used to it, I eventually liked it (especially when I was finally able to remove something that was a “feature” of the Talian theme).

However, there are some things I’m not crazy about at all – many of the most frequently done functions when editing used to be in the right hand column, like making a post a “mini-post” or adding categories. You could move them up or down or minimize them if you didn’t use them. Now, all the posting options are below the edit window, requiring a long, tedious scroll each and every time you post… and now the checkbox to make an “aside” (ie., a mini-post) is at the very bottom.

Many other users are unhappy about the look and the feel, so I’m not alone. Also, why doesn’t clicking control-K in WordPress invoke the link/make a URL dialogue box anymore? Boooooooo!

But I’m going to try a few of the new media button goodies and see how they work.

The advanced “upload image” button works fine, but it’s a little fussy – it tells you up front you can’t upload an image bigger than 2M. Okay, fine, I’m used to resizing photos to export to Flickr and such.

But wait, there’s a second image button, what does that do? Not that much for me, because it’s only used for adding images via URL (in other words, hotlinking). I prefer to upload images and host them. So I’ll be using the advanced version. In my previous WP 2.3 installation, I was using Image Manager to do this, but it was kind of annoying to deal with and wouldn’t resize itself automatically when invoked, and apparently the author was not updating it (or may have died), so I was stuck with some pretty annoying behavior.

Hmm, now what does this “Add Video” button do? Previously, I was using Anarchy Media Player to handle embedded video clips and things, which I’ve deactivated to test this out.

Stephen Hawking at TED: the nature of the universe

Hmm, that just inserted a standard URL. One moment, it may want the actual vid URL and not the page URL.

Stephen Hawking at TED: The Nature of the Universe and Aliens Too

Okay… I’ll try an actual embed of YouTube’s thoughtfully provided code:

That seems to work, but one of the problems I had before was that the embedded video player would not show up in my feed, so it remains to be seen. The video is awesome, a 10 minute talk by Stephen Hawking using his own kind of visual editor… in it he discusses the nature of the Universe, and theorizes that the aliens must be out there, but not close enough for us to tune in to their quiz shows. He does not credit UFO sightings, and wonders why it is that those particular aliens choose to appear only to cranks and weirdos. There’s a rather musical cadence to his artificial voice, and I’d really like to hear it set to a background of music.

Okay, “Add Audio” is the next new media link (they’re not buttons, they’re little image links above the rest of the visual/html editor buttons). This is the one I’m most interested in playing with.

Cordero: Vamos Nenas

Er, that just added a link, but I filled out a bunch of other fields, including a title and caption. One moment.

Cordero: Vamos Nenas

Still just a link, but at least it works, although it’s got a 2M limit on it, too. I’ve re-activated Anarchy, but the buttons are only visible in the HTML editor for now. I see now in preview mode that it adds a little “audio mp3” graphic.

I had previously played with the “custom fields” doohickey… in one theme, I even had a stylesheet for it. I’ve added a couple of fields but don’t know if they’ll work until I publish…

All told, I’m reasonably happy with the upgrade (and there was a security bug with my previous installation, so I had to either go to the bugfix or WP2.5) but I’ll be watching for some fixes and tweaks.

UPDATE: I’ve been messing with custom fields, but haven’t found the spot where I put the


tag yet. Hmmm.

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