Lest you think this image wishing a Happy Birthday to The WordPress Helpers Editor and Publisher Jeff Yablon gratuitous, take a look at the way it’s displayed. Google still believes in pop-up messages when you hover over things.
And now it’s official: WordPress feels otherwise.
The WordPress 4.2 Problem Continues
Even had we not had a direct hand in getting the WordPress 4.2 Problem with automatic plug-in activation squashed, we’d be seriously concerned about the WordPress 4.2 Problem that’s been made part of WordPress, seemingly forevermore.
You no longer have control over the TITLE tags on links in your WordPress content, nor can you make pop-ups appear when people hover over them.
OK, so that’s dramatic; you can embed title tags manually, but there’s way more effort involved than there used to be. And WordPress, oddly, still thinks title tags are OK on images (go ahead and hover your mouse over the one at the top of this article), so it’s a little unfair to compare their position to Google’s; both Google and WordPress are still OK with hovered tips on images.
The contradiction between how WordPress feels about images links/popups and text links/popups isn’t worth harping on; the real issue is that WordPress is now more difficult to use if this matters to you. Oh yeah, and there’s this:[clickToTweet tweet=”The WordPress 4.2 TITLE and POPUP Problem Isn’t Going to Get Fixed” quote=”The WordPress 4.2 Problem Isn’t Going to Get Fixed”]
How do we know that? Over the weekend we engaged on the topic with Andrew Nacin, a lead developer on WordPress versions 3.5, 3.7, and 3.9. You can read the entire back-and-forth here, or download our screen-grab of it here.
Andrew Nacin is an impressive guy, and while we disagree with him on the WordPress 4.2 Problem – causing decision, Andrew made one very good point:
Choosing to see inserting quoted text as more useful than TITLE and POPUP left WordPress needing to pick one over the other because adding a third field to the dialog box would have been a bad idea.
This is difficult to argue with; feature bloat is bad, and user interface bloat may be even worse. I’d like to point out that I genuinely appreciate Andrew Nacin’s patience and perspective explaining the one defensible part of a very bad WordPress Business Decision.
But if you look at the very end of our exchange you’ll see a problem.
Andrew Nacin’s best rationale for the WordPress 4.2 Problem with input-field repurposing was that changing the user interface from a two-field input scenario to a three-field one was a bad decision. But if that’s so, it’s an even worse idea for a dialog box to sometimes have two fields to fill in and other times have only one.
We’re glad at least to hear conclusively from as trustworthy a source as Andrew Nacin that the WordPress 4.2 Problem with Title Link is permanent. And as he says, the options if you care about topics like good SEO or disagree with WordPress’ inconsistent interpretation of whether pop-ups make for good user experience or bad are that you can work harder than you previously needed to or go find a plug-in to address the issue.
Thanks, Andrew. We’re going to stick with “there’s a big WordPress 4.2 Problem”.
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