WP 2.5 Write Panel Usability (55 posts)

  1. StrangeAttractor
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I haven't dared 2.5.1 yet. What's new with that? ie. what gets changed?

    I believe there are security fixes.

    See here:


    and here. (closed tickets for 2.5.1).

  2. jackuul
    Posted 8 years ago #

    jabecker, may I make a minor suggestion?

    The naming scheme of the file you have for download might be better if, lets say, the first hack you put up was 1.0 for 2.5, then for 2.5.1. you could give it the designation of 1.0.1 as it is a minor update. That way the version is known, and thus we know if it is updated :)

    etcetera as changes are made.
    Major changes to it could then be listed as 1_1_0 and such.

    Just a suggestion. An alternate way would be show-draft-title-wp2_5_1 and later on show-draft-title-wp2_5_2 and so on.

    I'll go back to my cave now >.>

  3. jabecker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    @ jackuul - I actually did think about that. But I knew that people were going to follow the old links, too. I wanted people to upgrade to 2.5.1 because of the security fix, and so I didn't want people downloading the old version of the hack. I'd have to take that down. And then the old links would be broken. So this seemed the easiest way to make sure that everyone got the right version.

    Besides, I'm lazy. :-)

  4. gebintit
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Hi jabecker,
    your ideas to improve the wp2.5.1 write-panel are great, so I tried to implement your modified files. Unfortunately the result was not so nice. Perhaps the reason is the german language-version of WP2.5.1 I use.
    Browser was Firefox, screen resolution is 1280x1024.

  5. Matt Hill
    Posted 8 years ago #

    @gebintit: There's an extra tweak you need to do:

    Near line 1261 in wp-admin/wp-admin.css, change

    margin-left: 120px;


    margin-left: 0;

  6. gebintit
    Posted 8 years ago #

    thanks a lot! I will try it as soon I find some time!

  7. whas27
    Posted 8 years ago #

    One thing that is seriously wrong with the new default editor in the write-panel is that it now no longer even displays all HTML tags when toggling to "HTML" view.

    Why? And then why would it still be called HTML view? It is good to see that it no longer strips out the div and tags and object embeds as in earlier versions, that is an improvement. (Solution before was to comment out wpautop function in wp-includes/formatting.php).

    But who there hates p and br tags so much that they dare not be shown?

    Also, the waste of vertical screen real estate in the new admin lay-out is even worse than before. And no-one knows why. Who are these huge empty blue and white spaces for? What are we... 5 years old, drawing with crayons... ?!?

    The write screen is presumably the most important thing for blog authors, it should cater to them writing as effortlessly as possible.

    I am working on a post that will discuss these issues in detail.

  8. rawalex
    Posted 8 years ago #

    My take on the new write panel is this:

    First and foremost, it made simple jobs harder. As an example, if you regularly make future posts (and I do) it was nice to have the date / time pulldown always open (the old versions remembers what was opened and what was closed). Now that has to be opened manually for each post.

    The category list is below, and unless you have a short list of categories (I don't) then you have to scroll through a list in a small window to find the right category.

    I could go on... things that didn't get fixed like tinymce writing out posts in a different manner from the html editor (it UTF-8 eoncodes everything, which gets UTF encoded AGAIN in the RSS feeds, which brings in all sorts of weird characters to some readers)

    What I find is that changes like this are made all to often to satisfy one friend / power user that is well connected with the coders, rather than based on things like usablity or usefulness. It looks super, real web 3.0, but the functionality dropped. In the end, all of the admin tools should be about usablity, not flashy neat programming tricks and glimmering buttons.

    My theory: Just make it all WORK, and stop screwing around with stuff that doesn't need to get fixed, because the fixing almost ends up breaking something else.

  9. jackuul
    Posted 8 years ago #

    @ jackuul - I actually did think about that. But I knew that people were going to follow the old links, too. I wanted people to upgrade to 2.5.1 because of the security fix, and so I didn't want people downloading the old version of the hack. I'd have to take that down. And then the old links would be broken. So this seemed the easiest way to make sure that everyone got the right version.

    Besides, I'm lazy. :-)

    Well - how 'bout a simple html page that says "Latest Version blah blah blah" instead of a direct file link - thus folk will say "Yay, latest version!"


    Vanquish the lazy! Oh... I haven't update my blog since April.

  10. modus
    Posted 8 years ago #

    thanks and praise to jabecker, i finally found a solution that let's me make my peace with wp again. i really hope the write interface will be fixed or at least made configurable again. same for the widgets - is there really smth easier than drag 'n' drop? zeldman? oh, yeah.

    imho, if you want to go for better usability, let users chosse if they are beginner or expert, let them decide, what features they want to use where. think of some configuration sets to choose from, that make sense for different workflows.

  11. gebintit
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I want to bring back the write panel usablity-topic back to the top.
    Since I changed to WP 2.5.x I noticed, that some people who used the blog a lot, stopped writing. I asked one of them for the reason and got the answer, that he was confused by the new write panel.
    Dear wp-developers, please make it possible to configure the write panel. To dream a little: it would be great having a write panel with movable modules. Perhaps you know Moodle, something like that.
    I don't want to loose any of my blog-authors, even if they are "computer-handicapped".

  12. gebintit
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I found a really nice plugin (Adminimize) to customize the write panel. It is written by Eric Meyer and extended by Frank Bueltge.
    Look at

    (His English is not much better than mine ;) but the plugin is nearly what I want.) Probably it will be extended with WP 2.6, read (in German):

    You can test it without any risks. Simply remove the thing from the plugin-directory if you don't like it.

  13. chewru
    Posted 8 years ago #

    jabecker - do you have a hack for 2.6 yet? i upgraded today and totally forgot that it would nix your terrific work on the 2.5/2.51 backend.

    thanks! we all appreciate your hard work!

  14. jabecker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    chewru - I haven't upgraded yet and probably won't until the dust settles a little bit. It will probably be this weekend at the earliest that I can get to a hack update.

    I was bummed to see that, although I think some of the new features are pretty groovy, a write panel revamp was not amongst the changes.

    I will update this thread when a 2.6 version of my hack is ready - and provide a direct link again, so y'all can skip the knitting content.

  15. Matt Hill
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I just got a notify about 2.6 being released and was looking at the screenshot on the blog posting which shows the categories and tags have been moved back to the sidebar.

    Can anyone clarify this?

    EDIT: Bugger, never mind, I see that the screenshot is for the Press This! bookmarklet, not Write. :-(

    (Also disappointed to see that "The 2.5 branch will no longer be maintained so everyone is encouraged to upgrade" -- WP upgrade policy is getting ridiculous!)

  16. whas27
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Agreed that the backward support issue is getting unbelievable, every time things may have stabilized from the last version, a new upgrade is pushed. At least this time it's not a major redesign like with 2.5.x.

    I wrote a first impressions mini-review in a comment on the CNET post announcing 2.6:

    (begin reprint)
    Looks like mostly fluff so far, while important issues that were raised about the 2.5.x release remain unaddressed.

    1) A theme previewer? How many times do they think a serious blogger changes their theme? They make it sound like it's a weekly occurence that needs to have previewing.

    2) Versioning of a post also seems like a relatively rare occasion, were talking about blog posts (that are by definition rather short, typically personally-tinged musings of a single author), not 10-100 page documents with multiple authors.

    3) The GoogleGears thing is interesting, but hardly something crucial for all but a small minority.

    4) Quick capture of other people's content for referencing looks more useful.

    5) Some of the media management improvements look useful as well, too bad they had to come as part of the radical redesign since 2.5.x, that actually took away many things that worked just fine or even better than they do now, such as the previous Widgets drag & drop screen, or the right-hand pane of post controls in the write screen (the new write screen wastes even more vertical screen real estate than the old one).

    6) None of the security improvements that are mentioned in the post needed to be tied to the radical 2.5.x upgrade, WordPress/Automattic could have done the right thing and released those separately for older versions as patches. It seems bad practice to use security fears to force users to upgrade, even Microsoft doesn't try to do this quite as often as WordPress does now.

    To get more background on the security fix issues, read my post on an experimental security fix back-porting to 2.3.3 here:


  17. whas27
    Posted 8 years ago #

    BTW, here is the post I promised a while back further up in this thread, detailed discussion of what is wrong with the 2.5.x write screen and what it could have looked like:


  18. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 8 years ago #

    @jabecker: Thank you once again for your hack. Went ballistic when I upgraded to 2.5.1 and saw that your previous hack didn't work. So glad when I bookmarked your hack page. I just had to add this to my wp-admin.css
    #categories-all { float: left; clear: both; width: 150px; margin-left: 0px; }
    Overkill, I know but I'm resting easy now with my Write and Edit pages.
    Great knitting projects by the way :-)

  19. jabecker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I've updated my hack to work with 2.6. You can download it here: http://www.persistentillusion.com/wp-write-usability-2-6.zip

    As always, you download and use at your own risk, your mileage may vary, no implied warranty, etc.

  20. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thank you for sharing your hack once again, very generous of you!

  21. jabecker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    You're certainly welcome! I'd be even happier if this would be fixed. :-)

  22. chewru
    Posted 7 years ago #

    If you look at the 2.7 beta screenshots floating around, it looks like they have finally taken a serious look at fixing the design flaws of the backend:


  23. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Which is a relief. Kudos to the developers for listening to our pleas and as always, keeping WordPress number one :-) I only hope that they also added the function of allowing users to move the main navigation placed on the left column in 2.7 to top of the page like horizontal placement in 2.3 and below :-)

  24. whas27
    Posted 7 years ago #

    OK, looks like somewhat of an improvement... but there is still some waste to be trimmed... look at this 2.5 screen shot with annotations:


  25. @mercime
    Volunteer Moderator
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Thanks developers, loving the 2.7beta3 features. The main navigation ajaxy expanding and contracting rocks! I say user experience issues which were anti-2.5 are being resolved in 2.7 specially with the category placements.

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