[wp-hackers] Re: New Posting Screen

Scott Merrill skippy at skippy.net
Thu Jun 23 18:10:21 GMT 2005

Matthew Mullenweg wrote:
> Scott Merrill wrote:
>> I haven't used 1.6 ALPHA yet, so my feedback is all second hand.  My
>> understanding is that 1.6's post interface provides collapsable and
>> movable panels on the post screen.  I was told that the initial load
>> time for the post screen is unpleasantly long.
> Please use it before commenting? 

Why?  The old admin interface, while maybe not perfect, was servicable.
 Changes from that foundation can address usability, and workflow,
without adding gimmickery.

> In my mind there is a strong separation
> between concept and implementation. The concept is something to be
> debated. The current implementation ("unpleasantly long" load times) is
> something that can be improved with time and iteration. (Much like the
> original code for Kubrick was nearly unusable, but got much much better
> with iteration even though the general concept stayed the same.) If
> something *can't* be improved or iterated on, then it is worth
> discussing the validity of the concept itself.

Installed.  The movable widgets are interesting, but again, what value
does this present to the overwhelming majority of bloggers?

The same variable layout could be accomplished in any of several ways.
Preferably in a way that respected individual author preferences.

Per-user data could include those items that the blog admin allows
authors to access, and also whether or not that author has chosen to
display or hide them.

>> What _value_ is provided by collapsable / movable panels in the post
>> screen?  In what way does this make WordPress a better blogging
>> product?  Does it speed up the posting process for the majority of
>> users, without a negative result for the minority of users?
> It gives a unified posting interface, instead of an interface that
> switches around semi-randomly based on your options and whether you are
> editing are not. It hides complexity from new users while allowing
> advanced users 95% customizability to get their most common tasks done.

As was discussed earlier on the list, a single "SAVE" button, instead of
the three seperate ones ("Save & Continue", "Save" and "Publish") would
easily remedy some of the confusion.

A redesign of the page, taking into some of the consideration of Gabriel
White's review, could easily make good use of the screen real estate
above the fold.  Sliding widgets doesn't really offer much.

>> I asked if there was any way to "turn off" the fancy new post screen,
>> and was told "nope".  Please consider this my contribution to the
>> discussion: make any fancy post screen an optional, non-default,
>> thing.  People who want it can turn it on.  People who don't want it
>> need never deal with it.
> You've advocated things like this before, and to reiterate, *adding
> options is not a good resolution to an argument*. 

Yes, I buy into the "options are bad" argument, insofar as it makes
sense.  But I don't think this is an issue on which it makes sense.

> I would rather have
> the developers like you who dislike aspects about the proposed interface
> be annoyed into making it better rather than relegating it into an
> another useless option to confuse new users.

How about a completely plugin-driven post interface?  Plugins present
whatever form(s) they want, and hand the POSTed data off to WP handler
functions for that data, which in turn performs error checking, saving
to the database, etc.  Then we can have as spartan or as fancy an
interface as we want.

> A good test for a new option is: Would you make this a required question
> in the installation? Now picture someone brand new to WordPress --
> "Would you like the simple or advanced posting screen?"

My mom uses WordPress, but will never install it; so an install-time
prompt is functionally no different from an Options page prompt for her
(and for anyone else using a hosting-provider-installed WordPress).

I think it makes perfect sense as a checkbox on the user profile page
(provided the user is of sufficient level to write posts).  In this way,
I could configure my mom's blog to have a user account for her, using
the simple controls, and leave the admin account set for advanced
controls for me.

>> Folks in the support forum aren't having problems with their posting
>> screens (or if they are, I haven't seen it).  Sure, the post screen
>> could use some adjusting, to minimize the amount of clutter, but
>> development effort toward features that people struggle with seems
>> better than adding new gloss.
> There is a constant drive for usability and interface enhancements to
> WP, and that will never change. Anything that makes things simpler for
> new users and more powerful for power users is a win in my book.

Are you seriously asserting that sliding widgets improves usability?

I agree wholeheartedly with your second sentence above.  I just don't
think that this approach really makes thing simpler.

I think of my mom with regard to "regular" bloggers.  My mom's going to
freak out when she accidentally slides one of the widgets without
realizing she's done so.  She doesn't expect web-based interfaces to be
Sure, a certain amount of education will overcome some of this; but I
see nothing in the current design that will make her a happier blogger.

Now, if -- on the post screen -- my mom could dynamically resize the
textbox for post entry, she might be impressed.

>> I first started becoming concerned about development openness when the
>> security vulnerability was announced, and went up.  I asked if
>> there was a security team.  You said "Yes".
>> _WHO?_
> The people you see linked when you install WP, currently Dougal, Mike,
> Alex, Michel, Carthik, Ryan, and myself. It's not meant to be
> exclusionary, it's just people who have been around for a really long
> time, have great chops, and who I trust to address things appropriately.
>> How can we officially direct others to this team, when claims of a new
>> vulnerability arise?  If you're travelling, with 30 minutes of net
>> access per day, who is responsible for responding to security issues?
> http://wordpress.org/about/contact/
> security at wordpress.org

Perfect -- thank you.

skippy at skippy.net | http://skippy.net/

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 9CFA4B35
506C F8BB 17AE 8A05 0B49  3544 476A 7DEC 9CFA 4B35

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list