Software Geeks Who Change Things Just Because They Can

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 7.31.12 AMRemember when life was much easier at WP?
For instance, remember when all you had to do was click
on the little chain-linky-symbol to do it all, above?
You’d highlight the link phrase,
then hit that chain-linky-symbol,
choose your I-want-it-to-open-in-another-page,
and then it stayed that way
until you were done with your session.

(BTW, I may be blonde-now-grey,
but do not mistake my silliness for stupidity.
I’ve been using a computer for 40 years.)

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 7.27.20 AM

Then the other day I clicked on the chain-linky-symbol,
and this “shortcut” came up.  Okay, I’m game
IF THE CHANGE IS A GOOD ONE so I played along, however,
I did this skeptically, because I am finding on
my new Mac the software designers created shortcuts
and ended up also taking out the ways that actually work,
which is a problem for those of us who are not just
sending texts to friends but real honest-to-goddess work,
so I’ve been burned by the new software designers
who seem to not do any work outside cyberspace
or talk to real people who actually use their stupid changes.

Yup, there was no option for me to open-in-another-page.

I don’t know about you,
but I consider the readers of my post may not be techies
(many are artists who know only basic computer-eeze),
and so I always open-in-another-page,
so if they decide to check out my helpful link,
they can still find me.

The point is for them to read my posts.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 7.27.49 AMI looked at this new thang, and thought,
“Oh, how cool, there are link options.
That is where I’ll find this bad boy.”



Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 7.28.59 AM Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 7.29.10 AMAnd there I was able to open-in-another-page —
after several other steps.

I asked WP to change it back,
that I write several posts for several blogs
and this is annoying.

But here is the thing,
soft-ware designers who won’t listen to me at WP:
Your software should be assisting them with
connecting with their readers,
building readership,
having dialogues,
selling product
whatever they actually do
so open-in-another-page is essential for that.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve opened a link
in someone’s blog which stayed on the same page,
and led to something else which was really cool,
and I never got back to the original post again.
Sometimes that is okay —
the original post was read and I knew them or whatever
— but sometimes I wanted to and had to back out of it.


Software design is not just simply writing html
or whatever the hell you are using these days,
but understanding the real world too —
not just the world of techie-geeks.
Shortcuts are often longer these days,
and cut out useful tools along the way.
I have my conspiracy theories on that one,
especially after watching my beloved Apple lose the most basic
(“save all”) and wonderful aspects (and they CHANGED it to do this)
because either MS software programmers were hired
(why I left MS in the first place)
OR they are designing for teenagers on a phone.

I hate to tell you,
the world doesn’t revolve around teenagers on a phone. 

And only other teenagers think it does.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 7.25.11 AMAnd a final apology to my fellow bloggers
who haven’t heard from me at all.

Do you know how many times I’ve gone in and
set my deliveries at WP like this,
and then hit save
(trust me I doubted myself in the beginning thinking
I was having a senior moment)
only to come back when my favorite posts
were not showing up to find the “Block Emails” checked?

I’ve reported it and I get inane emails back.

Maybe they’ll read this post.

WP, this has been going on for a YEAR.

As has the publishing glitch for those of us who sometimes
write several posts in succession but wait until we feel like posting them.
OH, you didn’t think about that…

Here is the news on that too —
You should be designing for us,
not making us work around you.
If I wanted to do that I’d be at blogspot.  (Ouch.)

*Head hitting desk*

Please, feel free to reblog this rant.



About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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19 Responses to Software Geeks Who Change Things Just Because They Can

  1. Reblogged this on Zenkatwrites's Blog and commented:

    My rant about wordpress….


  2. Dan Antion says:

    This is why I do my best to stay in the old editor. They could also make life easier if they let us configure “default” setting for the links we add. The number of times, I open that dialog, just to check that box, is amazing.


    • I also use the old editor and curse them every time they suggest that I try the new editor!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        The worst part, is when you have to try to fix a link in that stupid new pop-up, on a tablet or smartphone. On a couple of a occasions, I have made a typo in the link, or pasted text in without deleting everything. That dialog doesn’t even fit on a phone, so you cant’ get to the text you need to fix. I have to copy it, go into an notepad-like-editor, change it, then go back and delete the link and enter the new one. I’ve always said that developers should have to use the systems they write.


        • It is a young job description, but I’ve heard there is a special kind of hell being designed for bothersome software designers. One thing is they can’t get the devil to talk to them, but they have problems and go into continual loops of “user-friendly” forums where nothing is accomplished….

          Liked by 1 person

          • Dan Antion says:

            The biggest problem is the rate at which technology is changing. By the time you get through a “traditional” design cycle, the capabilities have changed to the point of making some of your “new ideas” antiquated. On the other hand, users of technology, typically want change to be oh so gradual.


            • I’m pretty good about change (unless it is my favoitre 3/4-length sleeve tee.) I love most of Adobes changes… for instance. But I tell you, I want to take a hammer to my new Mac and the smug twits who work at mac in the business department cannot hear me. I am taking a day off and dragging my puter in soon and sitting there, discussing my problem with anyone and continually signing up for another geek session… It makes them crazy.

              Hey, aren’t you at work today?

              Liked by 1 person

  3. macjam47 says:

    Katie, it goes back to the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It’s not that I am adverse to change, but the change had better be an improvement. I hope they read your post and do something about it. Hugs, my dear.


  4. I have had a few problems myself. Especially when I added a PayPal button. I must say that the support at both WP and PayPal has been super and they explained why I was having trouble. They do listen to customers so do make your wishes known. It helps to know HTML.


    • PayPal is one of the best platforms….
      I find WP to be helpful when there is a problem they can fix, but not with changes.
      They simply don’t listen to their customers who are tried and true — and I run a half-dozen blogs on WP.
      I am pretty good with html, but can’t change their platform. I can’t just go in and make the change, so to speak — or I so would!


      • I know. The made it hard to make images open full size. They did listen to complaints about that and fixed that in the next update. I guess not enough folks complained about what you want changed.


        • I think a lot of bloggers don’t think about what happens when someone open the link within the same page and stops reading them to go off on a tangent (follow the shiny object) but I listen to my husband at the puter next to me not be able to find his way back to the page he wanted to read…..


  5. Bernhard Kau says:

    Hey Katie,

    I can understand that a change can frustrate some users who liked the old behaviour better. But if we only try to not annoy those users, nothing will ever change. There is hardly any change that doesn’t annoys someone.

    You are annoyed because your have to do “a single click” extra to open the old dialog. So it’s not really that much of an issue. Any other user will save several steps when inserting a link, expecially internal links.

    Your reason to use the old dialog is the option to open links in a new tab/window. This however, is usually a bad idea, as others have explained in detail:

    I know that some site owners still prefer it, but it really shouldn’t been used. Especially with the growth of mobile usage.

    I’ve just written a German post on how to get the old dialog back:

    You can find the resulting plugin here:

    But you should really think about forcing a link to be opened in a new window. It really is worse for the user experience. Just beacause some like it better should not be a reason to do it.


    • Several things. And yup, you pissed me off .

      Platitudes and trying to make it seem as if I am just someone who doesn’t like change is deflecting, a very corporate-speak trained response (right up there with “I’m so sorry you feel this way.”), and will not work. I am fine with changes that work well; in forty years I’ve been through changes in computers you cannot imagine. Bad changes annoy many people.

      Consider Seth Godin’s blog, Our Software Must Get Better:

      It isn’t “one click” but two to allow me the CHOICE of whether or not I open in another window. Before a person could have had the same outcome this poor software change using the old format — so, nothing new here EXCEPT TO ANNOY AND STOP CHOICE. I find mostly Microsoft programmers and those who want everyone to do it their way like to limit choices, and funnel those in an attempt to make them uniform.

      I read your suggested page on how opening a link in a new page is a bad idea and think that this is a limited viewpoint article. In fact, I know many people who like opening in other pages precisely so they can open to the other page, finish reading whatever page they are on, then go to that page and read away. If all we are looking for is mobile users, then perhaps we should only write for twitter or kindle. Mobile user-only mentality is ruining communications and making small minds, frankly.

      Finally, software programmers are often myopic, as they can only see their very small world. If you only exist in the world of programming then you have little understanding of how small changes cause huge problems — and most myopic people don’t care to hear it, thinking their way is simply best, and as you said in the beginning, the others are just unwilling to handle change. For instance, an Apple software programmer decided there was no reason to have the “save all” command in the photos section (nevermind “save all” has been around for 20 years as a useful command). S/he was probably thinking of the teenager (target demographic) who has a few fun photos and wants to make a change. S/he was not thinking about the professional worker who had 250 images, makes a lot of small changes all at once (no need for Photoshop), comparing them back and forth for consistency, then wants to hit “save all.” Now they have to hit the save button 250 times, leading to 1) carpel tunnel, or 2) moving to another software package. Myopic thinking, as is yours. My advice to you is to get out, know how people use their software and who their target audience is (mine is not twitter users nor teenagers, typically), and stop being a dictator.


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