August 13, 2015


Wordpress, the system that manages this website content, is agony.
Do you see the list of recent posts on this page? That truly basic, unimpressive list? It took me all yesterday to implement. I thought it would surely be faster to find an automatic method to make the system check for new posts and order them by date than for me to manually manage that list myself.
I sought out the wordpress forums, and turned up old posts on the topic. At each stage I found an existing request for help with my problem:

How do i show a list of recent posts?

use this bit of code

Great, but it only works on the sidebar. How do I put it in the main post space?

use the recent posts widget.

My theme is outdated; how do I enable widgets?

put this piece of code in one file, and another piece of code in another file.

Widgets ALSO only work on the sidebar.

get this widget-manipulator plugin.

Drat, the widget is showing up on every page instead of just one page

get this widget manipulator-manipulator plugin

Wonderful, now it is on just one page. How do I change the appearance of the post list?

don’t use widgets. Just add a little bit of code to your sidebar. Also this is from 4 years ago so you can’t reply and tell me that the whole point is to NOT use the sidebar. CLOSED. SOLVED.

Everybody gives the scantest possible amount of information to get rid of you, and then the junk still does not work. At that point I would need to find a post that simultaneously requested a solution to the base problem, the sidebar problem and the appearance problem, as a prior request does not exist. In the case when I asked about a problem for myself, nobody answered and the topic was closed despite being unresolved, because they only have easy answers and would rather ignore something that confounds them than admit to not knowing. Or maybe I seemed like somebody who would call out an easy answer for being useless.


Oh yikes, this person actually explained a problem in detail, that means I can’t offer a dumb non-solution and be proud of myself. Without being criticized for it.

I should explain that wordpress uses “themes” to allow users to change their sites’ appearances easily from a guided-user-interface, without editing code. But that only allows certain basic changes. “Widgets” were a later addition to themes that allowed even more changes, but could not themselves be changed. And still only worked on sidebars. “Plug-ins” are different from widgets, because they are not integrated into the wordpress code, which ironically makes them easier to force to work WITH wordpress the way I want them to. So I need to dig into the code anyway, every time, for everything, and test it 800 times until it works or I find a disappointing but functional compromise to fall back on, which I hate doing, which is why I use the same graphics for months or years at a time instead of one month each like I formerly did before I installed wordpress. The whole thing barely works and needs constant encouragement.

Why is a basic reasonable thing: having a list of posts NOT be on the SIDE of the page, so improbable and impossible that the developers did not anticipate it being necessary and none of the dorks who understand this stuff in their spare time ever saw a need to figure it out? The exact same garbage happened for my automated comic strip site-section (although it was over the number of pages displayed at once and not the folder issue), and the coppermine art gallery mechanism. And for Zdoom, ten years ago, which is why I never finished the dingdang thing and still mentally fixate on it. Every time every time every time. the thing I want is always just outside of permissible, for no reason that is apparent. So I have to figure it out or leave it behind.
I have had various diagnoses throughout my life; tourette syndome here, asperger syndrome there, high functioning autism, disco fever, what-have-you-ever. These mean that I need help with some things. But if nobody can provide help, is it really me who is disabled? Outside the internet, I am surrounded by people who drink themselves sick, smash their expensive telephones, misplace their cars, will not read their own mail, will not let themselves become aware of their bills, stereotype and condemn anyone whose opinion differs, adopt pets they cannot look after (and dump those pets on me), buy junk they cannot afford, and then do not use or return the junk. Am I disabled just because I cannot instantly bond with any yahoo off the street over my own screwups? Hey I broke my wrist assaulting a piece of architecture too! That makes us normal! Let’s go spend $300 on two cups of beer!

Technology that is supposed to make life easier and be so “professional”-looking becomes itself such a massive burden that we give up on things that we might have finished had the technology not insisted on becoming so gosh darn convenient. And when I persevere it is only through hacky patchwork repairs that look uglier than if I had just stuck with the outdated thing I was replacing. The outdated thing that has all its data in one file, in one folder. Then a useless idiot happens along and tells me I should have been using this or that BETTER miracle system from the beginning.

Once again the only way to get what I want is to edit the actual wordpress files outside of the theme stuff. Which are in different folders, and inevitably lead to copies downloaded and new versions uploaded to the wrong folder amidst all the folder switching I will have to do trying to bring the css and php into accord. And when wordpress has a new version, it updates itself, quite without asking, and thinks nothing of overwriting my changes outside the theme folder, even if it has not itself changed the files that I edited. So I may end up needing to fix it every time the version changes. But I am capable of changing it! I am capable of fixing it! For the time being I have control. That is what life is about for losers: you find a way to co-exist with things that are set up to make you give up. You do not win, but you keep yourself from losing completely. And watch out for widgets that pretend to be your pal but just want to hold you back and expect rewards for it.

And I may in the end decide that the “page” view does not work for me anyway, and opt for something outside of wordpress, to which I can add some customized mechanism that reads wordpress excerpts without messing anything else up because it is not itself built on wordpress. But I will have dropped the wordpress option because I thought it looked bad, not because dorkhnical support refused to support me.

This is not a mopey entry. This is how I conquer mopiness.



6 Responses
  1. 1
    9:21 am, August 14, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    In response to your steps towards increased professionalism and apparently corporate responsibilities:

    You say you don’t want a business card receiver to view the usual nonsense that’s on the front page. However, where can I find your non-nonsense? Nonsense is my favorite part of your stuff and I don’t believe there is anything else, is there?

  2. 2
    11:10 am, August 14, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    I have not written it yet! The nonsense will hypothetically go on that page I linked to once it exists.

  3. 3
    11:40 am, August 14, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    this is a pretty big moment for you then. I wonder what kind of sense you will make? Hopefully not the common kind!

  4. 4
    2:54 pm, August 14, 2015

    Indighost sez:

    Also should we officially say R.I.P. for Planto/Bealix with the new corporate era ? If bix’s not coming back that’s OK just want to be sure.

  5. 5
    2:58 pm, August 14, 2015

    Frimpinheap sez:

    That was never here and therefore cannot return here. The only thing that is looking to change is this website’s layout, and I may yet find another solution than the one considered in the recent post.

  6. 6
    10:08 am, August 17, 2015

    PurpleSpace sez:

    Help forums love nothing more than to tell you that you did not include enough information in your question.

    What they really want is to tell you that you are an amateur and should not be meddling in things you don’t understand or wasting the time of the all knowing collective that is the forum. When they can’t say your problem is your own fault, it becomes much harder for them.

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