Make the Difficult Things Easy (the easy things difficult)

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WordPress has the most unintuitive user interface I’ve ever encountered. It’s horrible!

Ok, block editor, I guess I can see why you might want that. But the way it’s implemented, seems a lot more hard work than something like trad WYSIWYG.

I’m way out of touch with HTML+CSS, both seem to have become Turing Complete and probably sentient in the last couple of decades. But even with the old stuff, which might have been very frustrating at times, but popping something onto a page just there wasn’t rocket science. I really liked the way Amaya worked, seemed like Sir Tim‘s vision for the environment. You edited your space on the Web just as you’d edit something in a local word processor. HTTP and the relevant formats did the business. Loads of links, shared in the global, collective information space.

Yeah, need Content Management Systems. To handle lots of material in a sane fashion you need some kind of consistent back end. But it feels like systems like WordPress have gone far beyond that, offering a way of doing things that is kinda tangential to the purpose…

Themes, ok, fine idea. I like the way this particular theme renders the list of posts. But trying to change things, like I want to add a simple list of links to be shown all the time. How?

So it’s a big ecosystem. But it does seem a bit divergent from the Web in concept. You have to buy in to this ecosystem – quite literally, judging by the number of adverts I’m now seeing for ‘the best design tool’.

There used to be a very patronising way of talking about computer technologies, like how you’d explain it to your grandmother. Something like WordPress, I can’t even understand it myself, let alone explain to maternal antecedents.

I’m not trying to be a Luddite here, and I acknowledge that I’m very new to this. The code setup of WordPress does seem mostly good (I’ve been able to work on a plugin, despite not knowing PHP for toffee – once I got a few of the idioms, fine). But the learning curve for a person wishing to publish something seems disproportionate to the gains, compared to say nasty Perl scripts of the 1990s.

Make the Difficult Things Easy (the easy things difficult), take five

I really enjoy playing around with music. A fondness for the electronic, but most fun I’ve had in recent years has been thrashing on an electric guitar. But my music room got into a state where it became really depressing to use, every time I went in there, two hours sorting out some stupid soft/hardware problem. Amotivational. So a few months back now, started a refurb. Pull everything out, reboot. Upgraded the computer, new audio interface, wash all the devices of dog & rodent pee, even painted the walls. Still ongoing, but…

Lost that guitar thang.

Stumbled on something the other night that might get me back into it.

Major third tuning. Instead of regular (‘Spanish’) guitar tuning, each string is 4 frets up on the last. Some jazzer I’d never heard of, Ralph Patt, popularised it around the year I was born, 1964. Apparently makes things like weird quasi-atonal jazz improv much easier. Straight (Danny fave) I-IV-V stuff really hard.

Heh, sometimes just thinking about a thing is enough to affect your behaviour as much as doing it. Last time I look at a (online) guitar shop, my desire was one of these monsters.

But is awful, that was so motivated because it looks so good. Images in my head of a fat toilet burger Elvis bred with Link Wray. Sonically, that little hint of an acoustic softness from the body – a real USP?

After reading about thirds tuning – still not tried – started looking for a new instrument. Oooh, this does sound interesting, really ugly to look at –

But wow, 7 strings, fan fretted, much cheaper than the fat toilet burger Elvis thing. Google, evil snooping shite that it is, recommended this – review of that guitar. Yeah, want. Motivation to earn dollars?

I could conclude with something about how some things like WordPress seem to make life difficult for no good reason, whereas we can freely choose difficult things as interesting challenges. So I did.


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