Almost had to get ugly there

Last night I was planning on doing a few housekeeping chores on the blog structure, so I performed the standard database backup (to ensure that I could always restore back to an older version as needed,) then set to work. As is my habit now, I check the functionality after each change, confirming that nothing bad happened.

Or, so I thought. Among the changes was catching up with updates, both with the current version of WordPress and with the installed plugins. Everything seemed fine until I went to create a new post this morning, and found some utter horseshit sitting where my normal post editor was. WordPress had been toying with a new editor function, something called Gutenberg, and finally decided to roll it out with version 5.0. I always wait for a couple of revisions following a whole new version, because bugs are virtually guaranteed, so I was updating to version 5.0.3 when I got greeted by this monstrosity.

Plenty of software developers get involved in the, “let’s revamp the whole structure to make it cooler,” nonsense, which is one of the reasons that I never started doing web development on my own; I’m very much of the, “If it ain’t broke,” school, and usually couldn’t care less about the stupid-user-interface changes. That’s not referring to a stupid interface (though that’s usually the result anyway,) but instead an interface for stupid users, often icon-based, and with most of the useful editing tools buried someplace so all the options don’t scare the timid touch-screen crowd. And that’s exactly where Gutenberg is aimed. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to insert a goddamn image! Trying to activate either the old editor or simply some more complete toolbars failed. After a few obscenity-laden Google searches (noticing how many negative comments Gutenberg was getting in the process,) I found that there is a plugin to permit/reinstall the classic editor. I loaded that, and thankfully it worked perfectly, allowing both the previous post and this one to be done back the way that I always had.

Meanwhile, the Impetuous Mr Bugg had changed his blog over to a new address, without warning or forwarding pages, making all of my links to him obsolete. This is no small number, and I was brainstorming how to go about updating these without a major headache, when I came across another plugin, Better Search Replace by Delicious Brains (I’m fairly certain that is not their birth name.) This allowed me to find all instances of his original URL and change them to the new one, including those to specific pages without needing to know each of them. Within a couple of minutes, all 41 links had been updated. Very smooth – I highly recommend this plugin if you find yourself in need. I should probably use it to correct all of my older references to Chinese mantises (there are several dozen) to reflect the new scientific name.

I have found no plugin to get Mr Bugg to put his name and info on his site yet, though…