Open letter to WordPress

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  • #3573360

    disperser
    Member

    I get it; you have a plan and it doesn’t include the Classic Editor.

    The problem is that you’ve not refined the Block Editor. Sure, you can do a lot with it . . . with difficulty and inconsistently and within the limitations of the tool.

    I mean, you can say it works and works well, just like I (and many, many users) can say “no, it doesn’t”.

    The reality is the user experience is anything but smooth and intuitive. Worse, even for someone fairly adept in working with computers (I generously include myself) working with Block is fraught with annoyance, frustration, and a general sense that WP doesn’t really care about its users.

    That last statement usually provokes a reaction of “What?! Not us! We’re very helpful!” . . . and yet, every small change in the past year or so has added to the frustration of the user experience.

    Now, you might think most users are just dumb and can’t work their way out of a paper bag without someone pointing the way. Not so. There are real problems with the Block Editor.

    I won’t go into my qualifications that allow me to say this, but let me tell you something . . . if your coders worked for me, I would be mighty irate with them for forgetting that more keystrokes is never a better experience, forgetting that different users have different requirements, and most of all, not testing a product before releasing it.

    Sure, you can cajole the Block Editor into doing something . . . but I’m still unable to produce blog posts in the format and way that I want. And especially not as fast.

    I mean, I can come close . . . spending nearly twice the time and damaging my calm.

    Without asking, you’re forcing me to spend more time doing what I was doing before, and not as well.

    I know you’ve already written me off, but let me make a few suggestions:

    1) allow the users the option to default to the Classic Editor without having to jump through hoops. (addressing a recent change that added 3-4 keystrokes to the process) Yes, I know there are scripts I could install in my browser, but why put that on the users?

    2) keep the Classic Editor for those who have no need, the inclination, nor the patience to construct multilevel, multimedia, and multi-whatever posts. I’ve yet to read a reason for “why not” other than the vague “technology moves forward”. Yes, it does, but the basic concept of the wheel hasn’t changed even as we’ve moved into the nuclear age . . . because the tool is sound and works well. A basic and straighforward editor is sufficient for many, many users. The Block Editor is no such beast.

    2a) how about explaining in detail why the Classic Editor had to go? Or why it can’t coexist with the much-vaulted Block Editor? “Because” is an answer you give to a three-year old. Tell me the benefit down the line of putting up with something I don’t need or want.

    3) listen to your users when they tell you something isn’t working. No one takes their car to a garage with non-existent issues, just as no one willingly engages in the frustration of trying to get support and get something to work after spending hours pouring over Help Guides that are already out of date when published (them software engineers sure like to tweak stuff, don’t they?).

    I’m not making threats here, nor saying the Block Editor has no value. I’m saying you (like so many software companies) released a product that has problems and forgot the KISS rule.

    Sure, some users can use the Block Editor, perhaps even most. But listen to the ones who say it’s not working for them; they don’t need it, they don’t want it, and forcing them to use it will diminish their enjoyment of the blogging experience.

    . . . heck, at the very least, explain your long-term plan and why it necessitates a move to the Block Editor. I bet once you make it public you’ll realize that perhaps you’re offering something users don’t want.

    . . . unless you think you know what I want better than I do. Trust me; you don’t, but I’m willing to listen . . . but not if the answer is “because technology”.

    Thank you, ejd

    The blog I need help with is dispersertracks.com.

    #3573541

    macmanx
    Staff

    Thanks for the feedback! We’ll take it into consideration.

    You can still switch to the classic editor when writing/editing posts/pages in your site’s Dashboard: https://wordpress.com/support/dashboard/

    With that said, we do recommend the new editor though, and we have tips for transitioning from the classic editor to blocks https://wordpress.com/support/switching-from-the-classic-to-the-block-editor/ and FAQs: https://wordpress.com/support/replacing-the-older-wordpress-com-editor-with-the-wordpress-block-editor/#frequently-asked-questions

    And, if you really want to use something like the classic editor, we recommend sticking with the classic block: https://wordpress.com/support/wordpress-editor/blocks/classic-block/

    We also have some extensive documentation available at https://wordpress.com/support/wordpress-editor/

    #3573705

    disperser
    Member

    Don’t misunderstand; I have no problem in figuring out the Block Editor or using its features.

    Or using the Classic Block Editor.

    It’s not a matter of instructions; it’s that I don’t like it.

    It adds extra steps to doing stuff and rather than having everything in hand, one has to hunt for it. And then, it still sometimes messes up.

    Imagine you like riding a bike, but then one day someone says “we’re gonna put your bike inside this multifunctional bike. BUT . . . you can still ride your bike as you used to . . . except you do it through the multifunctional bike.”

    Admit it; your first question is “WHY!? For the love of FSM, WHY!??”

    That said, I’m about to do a “how to” post for people who have trouble with using the Classic Block Editor. Because that’s the other thing . . . the online help doesn’t much.

    Thanks for the reply.

    #3573707

    disperser
    Member

    . . . and I still don’t know/understand the “why” of the change or the “why eliminate the classic editor”.

    I can guess it benefits the company more than the users and hence the vague “because technology” answer.

    #3575687

    kenwood31
    Member

    Hey,

    I mean, I can come close . . . spending nearly twice the time and damaging my calm.

    Without asking, you’re forcing me to spend more time doing what I was doing before, and not as well.

    This is also my feeling about this.

    Currently by using it, I spends more time to write an article even if I can add the “classic block”, there is no way to add it automatically for instance and so I have to add it for all new articles / pages…

    Moreover, the extension to have the classic editor is still maintained by WordPress.Org team and contributors at least until 2022, see : https://fr.wordpress.org/plugins/classic-editor/
    So, I think WP.com could kept it until this date at least in order to implement some improvements for users using the classic one, like add classic block by default.

    I can understand that the new editor brings some new feature and it’s hard to maintain a lot of features but listening users/customers and their needs are also important.

    I hope we will see improvements on that in a near future.

    #3582220

    I fully agree with disperser. I have now spent hours trying to learn how to use the new Block Editor, and cannot get it to work. Every time I try to test it with a dummy post, it has prevented me from even saving the post as a draft. I get the message “Updating failed. Sorry, you are not allowed to edit this post.”

    I want to focus on my blog content, not on learning software programming. While it appears that I am still able to call up the Classic editor (which also still works for me – I can save my draft posts), I am concerned that WordPress will soon force everyone to use their complex new editor. I have absolutely no interest in the new options the Block Editor allows.

    #3582240

    Hi @aneconomicsense

    I get the message “Updating failed. Sorry, you are not allowed to edit this post.”

    Do you happen to use Chrome as your browser? If so please be aware this is an issue that seems to have popped up with the latest version of Chrome, and is not an issue with the new editor specifically.

    Can you try

    1. logging out of WordPress.com
    2. deleting your browser cookies as Google directs here
    3. log back in to your WordPress.com account.

    This has worked for other site owners who have reported this issue. Does it work for you as well?

    #3582264

    jerrysarcastic: Thank you. I do use Chrome as my browser, and tried what you suggested. And I could now save a dummy draft of a post to test the new Block editor. But I will now need to re-log into many of the sites I routinely visit. And I hope I will not need to do this each time I prepare or edit a post in order to save it in draft.

    The fundamental problem remains: WordPress is pushing its users to move to a new editor which is difficult to use, does not always work with the most commonly used browser available (Chrome), and requires users to spend hours to learn how to put up a post that simply duplicates what can easily and quickly be done with the Classical editor.

    And I very much hope that WordPress does not at some point make it totally impossible to use the Classical editor. It would also help us enormously to be able to set the Classical editor as the editor that will be called up automatically, rather than force us to go through a menu to choose this each time we wish to write a blog post.

    #3582269

    disperser
    Member

    be aware that the message is not “just” a Chrome bug. I use FireFox and I get the same message.

    I was told it is a known problem and they are working on it (“they” being the people who I assume created the issue).

    That said, I wrote two posts specifically for people who have difficulty navigating the block editor, both posts aimed at using the Classic block in the Block Editor.

    I stand by my comments, but also say that I’m forcing myself to use the block editor’s Classic Block, and once a few quirks are understood, it’s (nearly) transparent to use. My workflow has improved to be nearly equal in effort to when I use the Classic Editor proper.

    Again, it’s just a matter of understanding where to click. I wish I didn’t have to, but it’s no problem using the Block Editor.

    So, I don’t know if these links will go, so I’ll split them up. In case they don’t show up, go to my blog and search for “Classic Editor”.

    OK, here we go (read next two comments):

    #3582272

    disperser
    Member

    Using the Classic Editor Block:

    a painfully simple and annotated visual guide to calling up and using the Classic Block in the Block Editor

    https://dispersertracks.com/2020/10/07/using-the-classic-editor-block/

    #3582273

    disperser
    Member

    This next post is explaining how I create a Classic Block editor template I can copy whenever I want to create a new post.

    It’s useful both for short-cutting the process, and understanding how blocks work (I hope).

    https://dispersertracks.com/2020/10/09/classic-editor-block-template-generic/

    #3582276

    disperser
    Member

    I believe a lot of the issues with using the block editor is that new users don’t know/realize when they accidentally create new block or switch from one block to another.

    This is on the people who coded the new editor because just a few simple tweaks could make the process more intuitive and simpler (like, for instance, putting a border around the active block and not having the menu change both content and location without letting the user know “why” it changed).

    As for the glitch, I found that often, I can just make a small change, go outside the block, come back in, and then the save/publish keys work as they should.

    Of course, that’s on my computer and using FireFox. others have described different behaviors, but I think the main thing is the same; make some change and if you have to exit the post and then go back in.

    I assume they will have it fixed soon, but one of the things that triggers it for me is making quick changes and alternating between preview and save.

    Although, sometimes it happens for no discernable reason.

    Good luck one and all.

    #3582283

    disperser
    Member

    By the way, I also wrote this for people who still want to use the Classic Editor (while it’s still available):

    https://dispersertracks.com/2020/09/06/classic-editor-where-is-it/

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