The Classic Plug-in

Been struggling to catch up with my “real” WordPress feed today, because I have been playing with the standalone version of WordPress I installed this morning.

The good news is that I got it all going. I created a new account on this standalone version, then created a post. I then logged in again using the wordpress.com account I usually use for this site, and was able to comment as Mister Bump.

Success. What that means is that other wordpress.com users can seamlessly comment on the posts.

On a roll, I then installed the classic editor plug-in onto my standalone version. This was the result. Click on the image for more detail.

Is this the “classic editor” people used to use?

If so, I can tell you exactly what I did, but anybody wanting to go down this route must do the following:

  • buy hosting somewhere on a site which allows WordPress, and also allows plug-ins.
  • install the JetPack plug-in. JetPack offers a free plan. You will also need to instalhe Akismet plug-in. Akismet expect a donation, but it looks as it that donation can also be zero
  • Then, you need to export/import your existing site, to pull all the posts across. You will need to export / import the design, too. I’m not even sure that can be done automatically.

They don’t make it easy, do they?

Who Won the Week (4 October 2020)

I always liked Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. All from our unique vantage points, the idea is to pick something (a person, organisation, anything) which “won” the week.


Without a shadow of a doubt, my winner this week is Billy the Parrot. Well, actually, there is some doubt. It could equally have been Eric the Parrot, Tyson the Parrot, Jade the Parrot or Elsie the Parrot. Do you maybe spot the theme yet?

These five African Grey parrots were introduced into a 200-strong colony at Lincolnshire Wildlife Centre only in August, but have had to be split from the main group already because each of the five swears like a trooper! With five birds together, all they did was egg each other on!

“We are quite used to parrots swearing but we’ve never had five at the same time”, said Steve Nichols, the CEO of the centre. “Most parrots clam up outside, but for some reason these five relish it.” While there weren’t actually any complaints against the parrots – people generally thought it was hilarious when parrots told then to fuck off – the keepers decided to split the birds, to try to stop them “setting each other off” and to avoid upsetting younger visitors.

Maybe just what we need this year?

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2020/sep/29/fowl-epithets-swearing-parrots-separated-after-telling-folk-where-to-go

Life through the Lens (4 October 2020)

As my previous series came to an end, I had the idea to post some of my own photographs.

When my eyes were better, I used to enjoy photography. I had some decent kit and was around just as digital photography was taking off. Although it was strictly a hobby for me, two of my photos were published. One rural shot of hay bales ended up in a brochure made by the UK’s NFU (farming), another ended up in a coffee-table book about lighthouses. I wasn’t David Bailey but a couple of times, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

I thought I’d share some. All these photographs were taken by me, I own the copyright so if you’d like to use any, go for it. Just so long as you don’t use them to make any money.

My aim is to publish weekly again but this time, on Sunday afternoons. I’m just going to repeat this spiel each week, too, for the benefit of new readers, so you can safely skip to the camera graphic to save reading the blurb each time.

If you look at the category above (high on left, by the date), I’ll put every photo in that same category so you can find previously-published photos. If I feel a photo needs some explanation, I’ll maybe write a line or two to go with it. Like the last time, I’ll keep going until I run out of steam. Oh, and feel free to join in, if the fancy takes you.

I’ve linked to a higher-res umage under each photo.

Last week, a shot from a holiday. This week, a little closer to home. This is the Spinnaker Tower in the ferry port of Portsmouth, UK. I think it was a millenium project, but in common with all the others, it was late. No matter, this tower now stands on the seafront, about 45 minutes away from home, and greets passengers as they come and go. As well as being a ferry port, Portsmouth is home to a shrinking naval base, and was the birthplace of English novellist Charles Dickens.

When we went up the tower, the views from the gallery were spectacular – even straight down – part of the floor is transparent!

Exploits

I also wrote this post to satisfy Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), of 4 October, 2020, laugh.

Would you like to hear what I’ve been up to?

Before I was ill, I rented some space on the web. It hosted my business’s site, a personal site and all my emails. After I closed the company, I kept the rental up – I still use my email and keep a small personal site there. But I don’t use the rental space to anywhere near the extent that I used to.

So, just for a laugh, this morning I installed WordPress in my rental space.

The core WordPress app is built by wordpress.org. It is free to all. You can install any number of themes and plug-ins.

wordpress.com is a hosting service. They take the core package and add various bells and whistles onto it, then sell it to us. They restrict what themes we can use, whether we can use plug-ins etc.

I wanted to install the core package for myself, just to see the difference between the two offerings. So now I can look at them at my leisure.

I saw some things immediately.

All site administration of the core site (.org) is via /wp-admin. I used to think this was an “old” interface, but it is the only way of interacting with the core app. All the screens we use to view media, posts, settings are some of the bells and whistles added by .com.

The .org site doesn’t come with some of the plug-ins we take for granted. Akismet and Jetpack are the two I noticed so far. (Jetpack is actually written by the .com guys). I mean, you can install them both yourself – not difficult, but not done for you.

As for Themes, I just used the same theme on my new install (Twenty Sixteen). When I customized it, I noticed that .com had more widgets available. More bells and whistles.

One thing which did strike me when I was looking at the plug-ins:

I’m not part of this classic vs block argument. I’ve been happily using blocks since I started so I’m not affected. But the first thing I noticed on .org was that there is a plug-in called “classic editor”. Because I never used the classic, I don’t know exactly what this plug-in is, but the name registered.


Another reasons for installing my own WordPress was that I might one day go that route myself. To do that, I wanted to be sure that .com users could still like and comment without having to log in again. The jury’s still out, although there is a JetPack setting which makes it sound possible somehow.

But for all you people hating .com for removing the classic editor, maybe self-hosting might offer some path to still remain a part of the community, but to use the editor you like?