Ratburger First Anniversary, WordPress 5.0 Update

First birthday cakeRatburger.org opened to the public on December 10th, 2017, one year ago today, and the first member (non-administrator) account was registered on that day.  A year later, we have 143 members who have made 2,230 posts and 28,048 comments.  In the month of November 2017 (I cite the last full month, as partial month statistics can be misleading), the site welcomed a daily average of 1448 visits per day, with visitors viewing 9303 pages involving delivery of 24,745 files.

In the month of November, overall statistics were:

  • Visits: 43,450
  • Pages viewed: 279,101
  • Files transferred: 742,372
  • Total data transferred: 63.9 gigabytes

The site’s Access Statistics, updated daily, are available for anybody to view.

To celebrate, and mark how far we’ve come, I have just posted the never-before-published development logs for the site for December 9th and 10th, 2017 on the Updates Group, with this direct link.

WordPress 5.0

Unrelated to the anniversary (it’s just a coincidence), today Ratburger.org migrated to WordPress version 5.0, the first major update to WordPress released since the site was launched.  You may have heard some terrible things about this release, perhaps from me.  The WordPress powers that be have decided to introduce a new editor for composition of posts, which was originally called “Gutenberg”, but after user experience with it so poisoned that name, they decided to call it the “Block editor” in the version they finally released.  It is fully as bad as everything you’ve heard (shortly before the roll-out it had a user rating of 2.3 out of five stars, with 392 five star reviews and 923 one star reviews).  For details of just how awful, see Igor Ljubuncic’s post on why “WordPress Gutenberg will be the end of WordPress”.

The good news is that all of this is entirely hidden from Ratburger users, who may continue to use the “Classic Editor” in either Visual or Text (HTML/Quicktags) mode as they’ve always done.  WordPress have promised the user and developer community that the Classic Editor will continue to be available at least “through the end of 2021”, so there’s no immediate cause for concern.  If, by then, a viable alternative has not appeared, it is probable it will continue on into the foreseeable future.  If they, instead, decide to sink WordPress by forcing an unusable mess of an editor on their users, at least their competitors will have had adequate time to roll out alternatives in their products.

I have tested all of our local modifications against the WordPress 5.0 code base and found no problems.  (Other than the inclusion of the new editor, which we don’t use, the differences between 5.0 and the version 4.9.8 which we were running previously are actually not that great.)  If you encounter something that looks odd, that’s what the Bug Reports group is for.

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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.

28 thoughts on “Ratburger First Anniversary, WordPress 5.0 Update”

  1. Thanks for doing this, John.  Even though I think the original selection of WordPress for Ratburger is an indication of incipient insanity.  (Because it’ll drive you crazy…..)

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  2. Phil Turmel:
    Even though I think the original selection of WordPress for Ratburger is an indication of incipient insanity.  (Because it’ll drive you crazy…..)

    Even though WordPress turned out to be far, far worse than I imagined (and I have a pretty vivid imagination when it comes to bad software), if I had it do over, I’d still choose WordPress.

    Why?  We had a large fraction of potential early adopters coming from the legacy podcast site which was built on WordPress/BuddyPress.  Coming to another WordPress/BuddyPress site meant they were largely familiar with post and comment composition and editing, image inclusion, media embedding, making links, notifications, groups, private messages, etc.  There was a small learning curve, so it was possible to concentrate on content and the user experience, not trying to persuade people to adopt something very different and providing the support needed to get them up to speed.

    Also, when this started a year ago, we had no idea whether it would take off or quietly die out in a couple of weeks due to lack of interest.  Thus, it didn’t justify a large up-front speculative investment building a site on another content management system which would have the functionality to which people coming from the legacy site had become accustomed.

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  3. drlorentz:
    Happy birthday, Ratburger. And thanks to our Fearless Leader and Mr. Big for the hard work (and expense) to make this happen. I’m not sure which is which.

    It can’t be me since I don’t live in Pottsylvania. Hmm, whose avatar name does this remind me of? Who lives in a place with -sylvania on the end?

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  4. I don’t visit everyday, but when I do, I like it!

    I think using WordPress was probably a good decision. Monkeys can be hard to train, and it’s better to use a system that the monkeys are familiar with.

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  5. David Harris:
    I don’t visit everyday, but when I do, I like it!

    I think using WordPress was probably a good decision. Monkeys can be hard to train, and it’s better to use a system that the monkeys are familiar with.

    Are you suggesting we’ll accidentally reproduce the works of Shakespeare at some point? Maybe it’ll take too long…

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  6. drlorentz:

    David Harris:
    I don’t visit everyday, but when I do, I like it!

    I think using WordPress was probably a good decision. Monkeys can be hard to train, and it’s better to use a system that the monkeys are familiar with.

    Are you suggesting we’ll accidentally reproduce the works of Shakespeare at some point? Maybe it’ll take too long…

    We are able to reproduce rap music and CNN commentary. We are still having trouble with hair gel and hair spray though.

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  7. I stand with Phil on WordPress. Mostly because he is bigger than me and lives in my city. John is safely far way.

    However, John, I imagine you have some way to threaten me with cyber stuff, so I could be way off here.

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  8. Bryan G. Stephens:

    John Walker:

    Bryan G. Stephens:
    However, John, I imagine you have some way to threaten me with cyber stuff, so I could be way off here.

    Don’t forget the beam from the Large Neutrino Collider or the robot ants.

    I cam caught between a rock and a hard place!

    Bryan, why worry about Phil and John? The rest of us have formed a mob and are wearing yellow vests. We want to have a “few words” with you.

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  9. jzdro:
    This is so nostalgic.  For a certain period I had a couple of teenage sons. It was great.  This is, too.

    Mom, what should we do with Bryan? Counseling doesn’t help because he wants to run the session. He is from Georgia so you can’t tell him anything.

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  10. 10 Cents:

    jzdro:
    This is so nostalgic.  For a certain period I had a couple of teenage sons. It was great.  This is, too.

    Mom, what should we do with Bryan? Counseling doesn’t help because he wants to run the session. He is from Georgia so you can’t tell him anything.

    Do?  Do?

    He does not want to run the session; he just speaks his mind, as do you. So what you do is offer mutual virtual toasts, and wrangle verbally to your hearts’ content.

    I’m going upstairs now to read me some Yeats.

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  11. jzdro:

    10 Cents:

    jzdro:
    This is so nostalgic.  For a certain period I had a couple of teenage sons. It was great.  This is, too.

    Mom, what should we do with Bryan? Counseling doesn’t help because he wants to run the session. He is from Georgia so you can’t tell him anything.

    Do?  Do?

    He does not want to run the session; he just speaks his mind, as do you. So what you do is offer mutual virtual toasts, and wrangle verbally to your hearts’ content.

    I’m going upstairs now to read me some Yeats.

    Which Bryan are you talking about?

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