Word Cannot ExPress…

… how much I, just like Beetleypete, loathe the new WordPress format. Actually the ‘blocks’ idea has been around for a year or two but I still hate it. OK fair dos – with wordpress you get a free platform with lots of features and even though they keep on at me to ‘upgrade’ it’s a very useful app. But that said, like so many platforms – Facebook etc – they seem to keep coming up with new ideas just for the sake of it. This wouldn’t be so bad if the new ideas were optional, whereas you are basically compelled to take them on board. They keep the ‘classic’ formats for a while but these get slower and less co-operative and in the end you have to jump through so many hoops just to access them that you give in and use the new one.

What is the ‘blocks’ format and why do I hate it? Well, first of all it’s a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. When typing, all the widgets (if that is the word I want, which it probably isn’t – I mean the bold and italic things etc) were up the top; now they’re in a box which hovers over the paragraph you’re writing and obscures a large part of what you’ve just written. And then for some reason if you’re typing in bold and take your cursor somewhere else for a moment, you come back to find it’s not in bold any more. So you have to keep pressing the B button. I do posts in bold because another feature of this format seems to be a faintness of print which some people can’t read – and perhaps the most annoying thing is when I copy and paste a story here I have to select each individual paragraph (‘block’) and make it bold. Any attempts to select the whole post and embolden it will not work.

It’s annoying. And then yesterday for some reason it refused to publish my post with an error message saying I wasn’t allowed to ‘select the parameters’ or something – those weren’t the actual words but I can’t remember what they were. And this brings me to another bugbear: why can’t computers speak English? Why do they have to use terms which most of us ordinary mortals haven’t a hope of understanding? For example, my computer often tells me that I’ve committed something called an ‘access violation’ followed by a string of letters and figures. How the hell am I supposed to know what that means? If they’re going to sell computers to the general public they should be able to communicate with the general public. We shouldn’t need a degree in computing just to figure out what it’s telling us: I refuse to accept that I have to learn a specialist vocabulary just to use my desktop. Imagine if you bought a car and the manual said things like: ‘before initiating sequence 104f, engage toggle button J2o4,’ instead of ‘before engaging gear make sure automatic handbrake is released.’ No-one would buy it – but because we’re all so in thrall to computer gurus we put up with this.

I am not a happy bunny.

Kirk out

4 thoughts on “Word Cannot ExPress…

  1. Sarada – I do have a degree in Computing (well, a Masters) and sometimes I cannot figure out what it’s telling us. Blogger has peed people off too, although not as much. My bank has peed me off because now you can only see about 5 transactions per screen and debits and credits are all in one column. I even got a warning for my blog saying something like “items too close together”. It’s partly to do with making things usable by people on phones. I don’t want to use a phone. And as someone who specialised in user psychology or human-computer interaction user experience (= UX – a current buzz term) or whatever you want to call it, and wrote academic papers about it, I could not agree with your post more.

    1. Thanks. Not sure if that’s reassuring or even more annoying but good to know that it’s not just me. It does seem more and more that technology benefits those who like fiddling about with it rather than the end user – and all in the name of ‘improvement’. Grr

  2. As David said, most of the annoying changes are to make the platform ‘phone-friendly’, as apparently nobody under 60 uses computers anymore! I have tried using the Block on my other blog, hoping to learn. But I just end up choosing ‘Classic Block’, as the other sytem means I simply cannot enjoy the blogging process any longer.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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