Replied to Flow in WordPress for writers by Dave WinerDave Winer (Scripting News)
Flow is the writer's problem for blogging. I have been working on this since I started in 1994. I solved the problem for myself in 1997, and ever since I've been working on solving it for everyone else.
Dave has some solid points about the UI and process of writing here. Speed is key! WordPress is pretty deplorable in this way. Some of the more advanced user may simply write the word “new” in their browser and tab down once to the correct URL to begin creating. Others may have some browser bookmarklets set up to jump right to creation. Still, for the unwashed masses–and I include myself in this, things should be far easier and more direct. I’ve recently been experimenting with the Narwhal plugin that puts a writing interface right up top on my website (and only appears when I’m logged in) and provides a pretty solid experience the way Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites do.

I have played around with many of Dave’s tools over the years and appreciated his UI and particularly some of his outliner tools. Given that he’s built and tested some very strong tools and interfaces, I’d be really curious to see him implement a Micropub client back end on some of them so that they not only allow one to post to his sites, but so that one could use them to create, edit, and publish to almost any website out there. Some of his tools are already set up to post content to Twitter, why not set them up to post to WordPress and many others too?

Given that CMSs and static site services like WordPress, Drupal, Craft, WithKnown, Jekyll, Kirby, Hugo, and Blot all support Micropub either natively or with simple plugins, Dave could easily take his various publishing interfaces and make them broadly available to almost any website on the planet. How many times have I desperately wished I could use Radio3, Little Outliner, Little Card Editor, pngWriter and others to be able to post to other websites instead of just Twitter?!

He might even implement them as Micropub clients just so that he could use his own interfaces to publish directly to his WordPress sites instead of worrying about their interface. I suspect that in day or two’s worth of work he could not only have half a dozen or more micropub clients, but he might also figure out how to dovetail them all together to make something more interesting and useful than Gutenberg, which has taken hundreds of developers and a magnitude larger amount of time to create.

Perhaps some additional competition against Gutenberg would help speed WordPress (and everyone else for that matter) toward making a simpler and more direct publishing interface? Micropub seems like a designer’s dream for making better posting interfaces, especially since it’s got such broad endpoint support.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Thanks for the kind words Chris, I’m not working so much these days. Learning how to enjoy life more, not banging my head on the wall which is what software development is like these days, for me at least.

    I do support RSS in all my tools, maybe that would be of help.



    Also you guys might want to package up your protocol the way I’ve released server-side support for RSS.

    https://www.npmjs.com/package/daverss

    Maybe that would be of some help.

    RSS support for me is pretty automatic these days.


    Also I’ve got a simplified API for reading feeds.

    https://www.npmjs.com/package/davefeedread

    It supports all the popular formats. It’s something I built on top of
    @danmactough‘s feed parser package.

    Really simple to use, give it a feed URL and it calls you back with a JSON object.

    Syndicated copies:

  2. How WordPress Gutenberg upsets writer’s flow
    WordPress started out as a simple way of building web sites, especially blogs. Gutenberg makes fancy designs easier, but makes blogging much harder.

    …he might also figure out how to dovetail them all together to make something more interesting and useful than Gutenberg, which has taken hundreds of developers and a magnitude larger amount of time to create. Perhaps some additional competition against Gutenberg would help speed WordPress (and everyone else for that matter) toward making a simpler and more direct publishing interface?

    Source: Chris Aldrich“…
    ”The WordPress Gutenberg editor serves some users well. For many it is an unnecessary complication. It disrupts workflows and makes life harder. In some cases a lot harder. It was optional at first. Now it is built into both WordPress.com and WordPress.org.Ironically Gutenberg is all about blocks. Ironic because when I teach people how to write, one of things I tell them is to remove all the roadblocks in front of readers. Roadblocks Gutenberg puts roadblocks in front of writers. One roadblock is that it is now harder to export a post from a Markdown editor like iA Writer to WordPress. It works, but it’s not as smooth and seamless. The barrier may be small, but tiny barriers can disrupt flow. It is even harder to export HTML from a Gutenberg page. Gutenberg makes it hard for users to syndicate material to publisher sites with their own CMSs. In the past you could write a post in WordPress, then pick it up as simple HTML and post that into the other CMS. While Gutenberg allows you to copy HTML, the mechanism is badly broken and needs extensive editing. It means much more work. Perhaps the most telling feature of Gutenberg is that more than 5 million WordPress users have download and use a plug-in that makes their site work in a pre-Gutenberg way. WordPress says it will soon stop supporting that plug-in. If that happens, you can expect a rush of people moving to other blog or website building alternatives.

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