Posts tagged with “WordPress”

My favorite Markdown plugin is deprecated? WTF?

I just got a message on my WordPress dashboard that Markdown On Save Improved, a plugin I use quite a lot due to its ease of use and flexibility, will no longer be updated. The following message has been added to the description of the plugin on its wordpress.org page as well: "This plugin is deprecated. Use the much-better-supported and more-frequently-updated Markdown module in Jetpack, by the same author. This plugin will not receive any updates or support from here on out."

Here's the problem. I've looked at this Jetpack plugin, and it appears it does way more than I would ever need or even want, and it appears to rely quite heavily on third-party products and services to do many of the things it does, including some of the things I’m already using other plugins to do, such as e-mail subscriptions and social features, many of which I handle internally rather than using a third-party API, with the obvious exception of the social networking stuff, which communicates directly with the sites involved. If I wanted all kinds of third-party products and services, external API’s and bloat, I would still be using Tumblr as my primary blogging platform, rather than hosting my blog on my own. My entire reason for the move was to be able to host my blog myself and customize it exactly the way I want it, with only the features I need, and none I don’t. However, I feel that I’m being pushed more and more toward wordpress.com and Akismet, which although they are run by the same people who wrote WordPress, are still external products and services that perform functions I should be able to handle internally, either with the base WordPress code or with a stand-alone plugin that performs the functionality I need without an external API.

At this point, I have dismissed the notice on my dashboard, and will not be converting my posts to work with the Jetpack Markdown module. However, as WordPress gets future updates, there may eventually come a time where Markdown On Save Improved no longer works. I can only hope that by that time, someone will fork the code from this quite useful plugin, or just maintain what is already available, so that it can continue to be used without the need for a much bigger and less manageable plugin. Otherwise, I would hope that a better stand-alone ([Markdown]https://daringfireball.net/markdown) plugin becomes available, if it isn’t already. I will be looking out for it.


Markdown in comments

As some of my readers may be aware, I am a huge fan of Markdown, because it makes writing much easier, and because it is human-readable. After all, people have been writing email using something very similar to ([Markdown syntax]https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax) since before Markdown was created, so the transition is quite natural.

I never would have moved my blog to WordPress if not for the Markdown On Save Improved plugin, because I was quite accustomed to writing my posts using Markdown. A big thankyou goes out to Matt Wiebe for putting all the pieces and parts together that make this version of the plugin truly rock!

Now for the good stuff for everyone else. For the first time in it’s 4-year history, The Kyle File now supports Markdown in comments, thanks to Evan Solomon's GitHub-Flavored Markdown Comments plugin, so everyone who reads my posts can easily write comments using Markdown syntax. If you have been writing your comments in plain text or HTML, don’t panic, nothing has changed for you. This is just a third option that can make adding links, lists, headers and other nice formatting to comments much easier. Go ahead and try it out by adding a comment on this post. Have fun!


I did it! No more Feedburner!

As part of the switch to a self-hosted blog, I decided to minimize the number of third-party services I depend on to make everything work. So after a good deal of fiddling, I have been able to cut the cord that was tying me to Feedburner. WordPress has built-in RSS feeds, both for posts and for comments, and I don’t have any problems with either of them. Even better, I was able to install a plugin that allows readers to subscribe to e-mail updates from a very easy-to-use form that I put right in the sidebar. No more clicking on a link that takes you to an entirely different website to subscribe to e-mail updates. It’s also better to have that subscribe/unsubscribe form in a visible location on every page instead of just having a little link that says "Get the email sitting up near the top of the page next to the archive. Maybe now I'll get some e-mail subscribers 😀 . Either way, I really like this whole layout better than anything I had with third-party services. I only hope my readers enjoy it as much as I do.


Tumblr autoposting should now be seamless

This is mainly just a test, but if I did it right, my posts on my old TumbleLog should look nearly identical to the posts on The Kyle File. I notice that even the subscription links for the feed and e-mail subscriptions on Tumblr still work as expected, because I haven’t yet decided to replace Feedburner with my self-hosted feed. I may test that shortly to see whether or not e-mail subscriptions will still work using the form on the main page if I switch to the standard follow button plugin. The only problem I may have with that is that my e-mails may not go out at the same time, or may be formatted differently, but that isn’t really a big issue at this point.


Basic desktop posting client

Just testing this gnome-blog desktop posting app. It looks quite useful, although I may need to categorize my posts from the website or the phone, as I see no category listing here. There may possibly be a later version than this one though, as the AUR package is orphaned. I may adopt this one if I find it useful.