Yesterday, I really hated WordPress.
Last week the newest version of the blogging software I use — WordPress 2.8 — released. I didn’t download it immediately, as I was busy with work and work and more work, but I promised myself that, when I had the free time this week, I would download and install the upgrade.
“Bad move, Ripley.”
No, this is more a case of multiple bad moves.
First, I was appalled at the size of the download. WordPress has, over the past two years, seen some massive code bloat. I told myself that the code bloat was for the best.
Second, I uploaded the files. Somehow, only half the files in the wp-includes directory uploaded successfully. So this took a couple of tries to get right.
Third, the WordPress Dashboard was frelled all to hell. The reason? WordPress 2.8 is a memory hog, and attempts to increase the PHP memory size to 64 megabytes, just so the Dashboard could load, proved unsuccessful. (My provider, it turns out, limits me to 16M.) Other admin pages were accessible, but the Dashboard itself didn’t work.
Fourth, a plugin to add smilies borked text throughout the blog.
Fifth, I tried to edit a post. Try is the operative word here.
Sixth, a survey of the WordPress support fora indicated that the various problems — memory allocation, plugin incompatibilities, general bloat — are design features, not bugs. Anyone complaining is an idiot. Anyone wanting to revert to a previous version is hosed. (Seriously. The word “hosed” was used.)
Fuck this, I said. I’ve downgraded before.
It was simple. And painless. I downloaded the 2.7.1 archive, unzipped the files, and FTPed the new files to the server. I had to “upgrade” my database, and everything worked again.
I’m baffled at why persons on the support fora would say that a downgrade is impossible. It’s not.
In a way, I’ve become disenchanted with WordPress.
The big reason is the code bloat. WordPress used to be less than a megabyte in size. Now, it’s seven.
But it’s also the attitude on the part of some in the community. The “hosed” comment on reverting to a previous version of WordPress because 2.8 wasn’t functional is not a helpful comment. The problems with disabling post revisions — and the attitude on the support fora that mocked anyone who wished to do so — was disappointing.
WordPress used to be a basic platform. It was easily extensible, and with a little ingenuity you could do almost anything with it. But it’s not basic anymore. WordPress tries to do everything.
I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t even know if anyone recognizes a problem. WordPress-Lite? I’d be open to that.
For the nonce, everything works. And I imagine I will stay with WordPress 2.7.1 for the time being.