User Interface Changes: 2018-02-11

HeaddeskI have made a number of changes to the Ratburger user interface today.  As always, complete technical details may be found on the Updates group.  This post is intended to be more user-oriented and accessible to a general audience.  There have been no dramatic changes, but several adjustments which are intended to improve the user experience.

Editing Posts

Previously, the only way to edit a published post was as described in the Knowledge Base article “Editing Published Posts”: you had to revert the post to a draft, edit it, and then re-publish it.  Now, if you’re the author of a post, you’ll see an “Edit” button below the author information for the post.  Pressing it will take you to the Post Editor where you can edit the post in Visual or Text (HTML) modes and, pressing Update, directly update it on the site.

The previous method of revert to draft continues to work as before, but may be removed in the future in the interest of reducing the amount of local modifications we must maintain from release to release.

Composing Comments

The comment composition editor has been reconfigured from its previous bare-bones settings to allow you to use the “Add Media” button to include images within your comments without the two-step described in the Knowledge Base article “Including Images in Comments on Posts”, which is now obsolete.

This is not yet entirely functional: image alignment settings are ignored for images included in comments, but you can specify links on images and resize them, which you couldn’t do previously.

Editing Comments

You can now edit your own comments on any post using the standard WordPress comment editing facility, which is much more general than the plug-in we previously used (which, for the moment, you can still use, but which I may remove in the interest of maintainability).  Click “Edit” in the header of a comment you’ve made, and you’ll be able to edit it in HTML (but not a visual editor; that’s not something WordPress implements).  You can also, from the comment editor page, delete your own comments.

Fix: Quote Post for Guests

If a guest (not logged-in) visited the site, they’d see a “Quote” link for posts.  Pressing this would cause a harmless pratfall, since guests cannot comment on posts.  This link will no longer be displayed.

These changes retire a substantial part of the wish list for user interface changes.  As always, making any change to Babylonian tower of kludges and hacks which is PHP and WordPress runs the risk of detabilising things.  I have tested these features both from member and administrator accounts on the Firefox, Chrome, Brave, and Chromium browsers and they appear to be working correctly.  If you encounter any problems, first try clearing your browser cache (you shouldn’t ever have to do this, but incompetent implementation of browsers makes it occasionally necessary) and reloading the page, and if the problem persists please report it in the comments below or in the Bug Reports group.

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Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

24 thoughts on “User Interface Changes: 2018-02-11”

  1. Thanks very much, John Walker.   Ratburger.org is a really good site, simple, functional and easy.   I have some great internet pals here.   I am glad you are willing to spend your time tending to the tech needs of this virtual community.

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  2. OK, it appears that with the update to use the full TinyMCE editor activated when composing comments, if you access the site with Microsoft Internet Exploder 11 from Windows 7, when you go to post the comment you get an error which says:

    ERROR: please type a comment.

    which I presume means old potato-head isn’t seeing anything in the text box when it tries to post the comment.  But why changing two minor user interface arguments to the editor, which don’t affect its operation with any other browser, should make a difference is beyond me.  But then why anybody should be using Internet Exploder in 2018 defies me as well.

    I validated the HTML generated by the edit comments page, and there is nothing which could plausibly explain Exploder not seeing the comment text.

    I’m going to think on this overnight.  I don’t see any reason to revoke a feature which works on every other competently-implemented standards-compliant browser due to problems with this piece of—code.

    On further research, the problem appears to be that Internet Exploder does not implement a JavaScript function, serialize(), which is used by the TinyMCE editor.  This causes a crash trying to post the comment which is, of course, entirely opaque to the user unless they know how to turn on the Developer console and navigate to the error log.

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  3. hmm, I just tried to put an image in this comment but I’m getting “Sorry, you are not allowed to attach files to this post”  on the Add Media screen.

     

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  4. Pencilvania:
    hmm, I just tried to put an image in this comment but I’m getting “Sorry, you are not allowed to attach files to this post”  on the Add Media screen.

     

    I wonder what you did differently. I did mine from my iPhone.

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  5. When reporting problems, please specify your:

    • Browser (Chrome, Firefox, Brave, etc.) and version number
    • Platform (Linux, Macintosh, Windows, Android, iOS, etc.) and version number
    • Any details such as curious hardware, virtual machines, etc.

    This helps greatly in tracking down problems.

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  6. It seems I can put images that are already in my media library here –

     but it’s not letting me add any new images to my media library. I still get the “Sorry, you are not allowed to attach files to this post”  after itry uploading a new image.

    Chrome, Windows 10, just sitting at my desktop.

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  7. The problem is not generic.  I uploaded the following image and included it directly from the media library.

    This is on Brave 0.20.30 on Xubuntu Linux desktop.

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  8. Trying again.

    ***

    No – i took a screenshot of the Media upload page with the error message, but i can’t add it to my library – I’m doing drag & drop, let me try locating & opening the file instead.

     

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  9. ***

    huh, now when I forego drag& drop, the search function doesn’t work, when the pane opens for me to search the files on my computer, I type in the file name in the search bar, hit enter, and  nothing happens.  If I scroll down my file names to find the file, the right hand bar lets e scroll down to the C’s but then the bar grays out, i can’t get past C in the alphabet.

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  10. ok, maybe it was just slow in the search a minute ago – I got it to search my files now & found the one I wanted, clicked ‘open’ and it looked like it the file downloaded but I got the “sorry message again on the Media screen, won’t let it put it in my library.

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  11. Pencilvania:
    ok, maybe it was just slow in the search a minute ago – I got it to search my files now & found the one I wanted, clicked ‘open’ and it looked like it the file downloaded but I got the “sorry message again on the Media screen, won’t let it put it in my library.

    Sometimes it is as simple as a file name. The program doesn’t see it as an image. When I made sure it had the right file extension .bmp or .jpg it worked.

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  12. Nothing has been changed about adding images to the Media Library.  The only change have been in adding images, already in the media library, to comments being composed.  Nothing has been changed in adding images to new posts.

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  13. Ah – ok. Yes, that worked.  I misunderstood, thought I could just drag & drop new images onto the media upload page instead of going through the plus sign. But the plus sign works to add new stuff. Sorry bout that!

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  14. I have changed the configuration of the comment composition editor to use the old “teeny” button arrangement.  This seems to have fixed the problems posting comments from Internet Explorer 11.  (I have not tested with Edge because I do not have a machine which runs it.)

    Adding media to comments:

    Gnome carrying pile of books

    and editing comments seems to work OK.

    This comment was posted from IE11.

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