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WordPress 2.0.2 Revealed

Back at the end of December, I wrote an article for ProBlogger entitled 10 Things You Should Know about WordPress 2.0. Three(ish) months and 2 security/bugfix releases laters, I think WordPress 2.x deserves another look – a follow up, if you will.

Importers
In December, I raved about the rewriting and re-implementation of a number of import paths from other blog systems Personally, I have worked with four of the six standard importers now available for Moveable Type, Live Journal, Blogger, Textpattern, Dotclear and RSS. I personally wrote the Textpattern script and I hope to have a Nucleus importer available for the next major release of WordPress. Contact me if you need it.

Anyway you look at, it’s great to see more availability for bringing content in from other systems. It still seems kind of boneheaded that there are no import paths from other WordPress or WordPress.com blogs but I imagine it’s only a matter of time.

Image Uploading
Image handling was one of my biggest pet peeves about WordPress 2.0. It was horrible when it was released but Andy Skelton did due diligence brilliantly on getting this feature to not only work appropriately but work phenomenally. Back in December, image uploading did not handle thumbnails/original size images well at all. If one used the Rich Text Editor included in WordPress, even when attempting to use the Original Size feature, it would insert as a thumbnail and scaling would create pixelated images.

There were inconsistencies between how image files were handled in the Rich Text Editor and how they were handled in the standard editor. There were inconsistencies that would prevent older WordPress users from using the same kind of file structure as they were familiar with (the new image uploader would upload to wp-content/YYYY/MM by default thus having to make sure folder permissions were set, etc.

I am happy to say that this piece of functionality is incredibly useful to me now and that the bugs have been ironed out. Way to go, Andy!

Rich Text Editor
The Rich Text Editor, while useful to a great many users, still is of no use to me. I still dislike it and I still advise bloggers to avoid its use. One of the biggest problems we have had at b5 is with bloggers who copy/paste directly from the internet and paste into the RTE. The RTE captures all the formatting of the copied text, including bad markup. In one case, the RTE caputed an unclosed <div> which needless to say, broke the entire layout of the blog.

The code behind the RTE has improved tremendously. Used in its basic form, without copying and pasting or adding/deleting/re-adding images, etc, it creates relatively clean and unproblematic markup and can be considered for basic blogging. However, advanced bloggers and bloggers who use a lot of images, I recommend the standard editor.

Additional Standard Templates
One enhancement that has come since WordPress 2.0 is a functions.php file. This is not a required template file but can be included in a theme to provide additional theme-specific PHP functionality or tags. Developers should be cautious when using this file and it is still recommended to provide add-on functionality via a plugin if possible.

Bugfixes and Changesets
You can see the full and exhaustive list of commits since the WordPress 2.0 launch here.

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Comments

  1. A.H says:

    Oh well, i use the good ol’ editor anyway, i tried using the new one and it was pretty cool when you think you don’t have to insert all those tags in, but then you discover so many things are messed up in the post. No Thanks.

    A.H

  2. Aaron Brazell says:

    Yeah, I’m not a big fan of the Rich Text Editor. Never have been.

  3. matt says:

    I find it frustrating that the RTE always tries to fix your markup for you. If you go into the HTML box to fix something or tweak the code, you update it, and then go back to the html again and wordpress has either discarded or changed the markup you added. Anyone know if this is still the case with 2.0.2?

  4. rob says:

    I liked the RTE at first. I could always pop over to the HTML button and clean up anything I needed to. It was quirky, but fine. Until I noticed a couple of problems with it:

    1. I use the Google toolbar in Firefox that has a spell checker. Love it. But in the RTE, it would leave words in red or green. Argh!

    2. I copied and pasted code from YouTube to embed a video. I pasted in the HTML view then pressed “update”, but the RTE deleted the encoding tags so the video wouldn’t show up. I reset the blog to not use RTE, copied the code back in, no problem

    I’m off the RTE also until these are corrected.

  5. Jon Heizer says:

    Yes YouTube abd others get removed. It gets very annonying. Some of my blogs use th RTE other don’t. Depends if I need things like YouTube to work. It’s not that I can’t do it by hand, its just I can whip up a few posts a lot quicker if I use it on some of my blogs. Going to be updating all my blogs from 2.0.1 this weekend.

  6. Just got 2.0.1, but I’m still disabling everything cute in it. I don’t see the point of going from 1.5.2 to the 2s yet. My blogs on the former are so much easier to use.

  7. Aaron Brazell says:

    2.0.1 has several bugs that have been fixed in 2.0.2. Fucntionally they are the same. I’d recommend going one bugfix farther, John.

  8. I find the MarkDown plugin so much better than any kind of WYSIWYG editor in WordPress. Maybe I’m a geek, but MarkDown syntax feels very natural to me, and the ability to insert any arbitrary HTML and not have it munged means you have total control over the formatting of your posts.

    While we’re on the topic of WordPress – has anyone else had trouble uploading images when using Ecto? WordPress (2.0.0, 2.0.1 and 2.0.2) keeps sending me back my 404 page after I upload an image. I’ve checked all the directory permissions, path configurations, etc, but I’m having no luck. It’s very frustrating – I think something is broken in the XMLRPC implementation. I’ve also got a few text-only articles that can’t be submitted – they fail when posting from Ecto and also when posting from within the WordPress interface itself. Strangely, if I delete a paragraph or two they work fine, but if I then edit the article to add the text back in, they fail again!

  9. dom says:

    I’ve been putting off upgrading a few of my blogs, but had to bite the bullet because I wanted to install a plugin that wouldn’t work on 1.5. I was quite surprised how easy it was.

    I gotta agree with most here that I don’t like the RTE much because I don’t like the way it marks up – at least you can turn it off. Pretty happy with everything else though.

  10. It’s good to know that the image uploading is working better. I hate having to manually correct the code the RTF editor uses since it doesn’t insert the correct picture dimensions!

  11. orangeguru says:

    Hmmm. Still think that this AJAXculation of WP2.x went into the wrong direction. Basic editing and content management functions still are missing. I am very heavy involved with images and groupblog:

    http://www.orangeblog.net

    http://www.meckermotz.de

    In both cases WP1.5 still is the better choice with certain plugins.

  12. I really had very bad experiences with WP 2.0. I’ve tried two upgrades, both of them unsucessfull. The last one, thought, could not be undone, and I only was able to put my blog back to work after I found a hacked version of two core scripts.

    Right now, as you can suspect, I’m afraid of upgrading it to 2.0.2 version.

    Regarding the RTE, I hate it, and I think it’s the worst idea one had for a blog.

    Of course I appreciate writing in rich text, sometimes. But in such case, I use “Xinha Here” Firefox extension. It’s better then RTE in a lot of aspects, but mainly it does not take the control over HTML code away from me.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I was reading through my feeds this morning and ProBloggers post on the recent WordPress 2.0.2 release inspired this post. He discusses how the WordPress Rich Text Editor is next to useless for him. Other commentors seem to agree. The reason behind their dissent is YGMTYCS. [...]