[wp-hackers] Better approach for post formats

Andrés Sanhueza peroyomaslists at gmail.com
Sun Oct 23 16:20:42 UTC 2011

Hello. I have talked about this elsewhere, yet I believe I can get
more feedback here :)

There have been much buzz about the post format feature added in
WordPress 3.1, which I like conceptually, yet it disappoints me
because seems like its like a step backwards regarding the existing
API. Basically is something that perfectly could have been done with
an standardized taxonomy term and the way the format is delivered
seems somewhat primitive since the admin post UI remains intact and
the theme have to do calculations of how to interpret the content,
much like the Posterous approach and making the selection of a
"format" somewhat trivial. This don't feel much different from the
current "links" feature that look outdated as it uses specific PHP
tags, but by now could be converted into an ordinary custom post type
(subject for another thread). Could have been enough if using radio
buttons for taxonomies was in the API by default, and even useful for
a lot of other taxonomy usages.

However, this could have been not too problematic if at least there
were a convention of how to use the standard fields for the different
content types, yet there's no clear way to do it and each theme is
taking different approaches to do it, which is very ironic since the
very reason of having a fixed and not extensible list of post formats
is to create more interoperability between themes, yet is much likely
the way many current blogs with post formats can became broken when
switching themes. Some use custom fields, and some don't, for example.
Although I don't believe that there's a need for infinite kinds of
"formats", I still believe that there other valid formats that could
be added to the convention (again, subject for another thread).

The whole idea was clearly inspired by Tumblr. Hence, I think that by
justifying the adding of new PHP tags for post formats should be
something like actually changing the post UI by hiding or showing the
relevant fields required for each kind of format, such as showing
different metaboxes for quote (one for the actual quote, other for the
credit), for status (hiding the title one), for video (one metabox for
the raw code or oEmbed link and the other for custom text) and the
like. It may probably look better as a tab at the top of the post
panel. The Tumblr template "API" can give you some ideas

I proposed this in WordPress ideas based on some post of Matt in the
Dev blog and, despite the support, it was marked as a theme issue :(

Andrés Sanhueza

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