This is a personal post, not about some government department this time, so if you clicked in to see the latter, sorry to disappoint.
Some time ago, I put up a post using material sent me by one of the correspondents who do this – there are about eight people feeding material through. Usually it’s clear which part of the email can go up and which can’t. Sometimes it needs careful editing. By and large, they trust me to get this right.
Occasionally they specify exactly what is to be left in and what removed and I just go and do it. Now, as Wiggia knows, sometimes I credit him in categories but forget to change author name and that’s partly the rate at which I blog, partly the damn system not working and I’ll get to Autosave in a moment.
OK, so my site went down, as you know and here I am in free WordPress until February 23rd. With the old site, there was a plug-in, Disable Autosave and it was created for a reason. In their wisdom, Word Press, each time a revision is made, copies the whole post and all its bits and pieces again, i.e. it does not keep the base post on file plus the revisions. So one post can actually be seven or eight posts in size.
It’s one of those intensely annoying Word Press habits but Disable Autosave solves it. They say, of course, that all editing should be done before posting. Well, one does but often an error only comes out after the post has been up for a short while and when re-reading in situ. Have you tried editing from html with all the other code about and with WordPress having disabled Compose mode?
Not even going to start to get into all of that and why it won’t do blockquote in Compose etc.
Free WordPress does not allow this plug-in and thus Autosave not only saves … er … automatically when you’re not looking but also holds that copy as the base copy. OK. The way I usually do it is to copy and paste the text from the email – yes, you see what’s coming, don’t you? In it goes and do not physically save.
I then go in and take out the text needing removal and put in what does. Now it’s not good to do this last thing at night when going to bed after all hell broke loose in real life earlier in the day and one has just had a wine or eight. WP flashes up that there is an earlier version of the post and do I want to use it?
Now even I know through that blur that it might be the original which it is scheduling, so I click No. Quick read through the post, set the date and author and schedule it. Now comes the error. Realizing it is at the wrong time, I go back and change the time for next day posting and re-click.
Except it is not saving my most recent version now but the original version.
Silly me, usually I would click Preview and read through one last time but in this case, I crashed into bed, with the original paste still up as the post.
Still not an issue as I usually get up around 5 a.m., well before the first post goes up and sometimes catch minor errors this way – you see the reason for Disable Autosave. Only this time, I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. I do eventually, around 5 a.m. and promptly oversleep till 10 a.m.
Wake up and look through, going to each post in turn and do the shortening business. Get to this particular post and horror, nightmare – there is precisely the text on display the correspondent wanted left out!
Now, in the context of the earlier post today about Nencini and how things look, this error, which obviously I must accept responsibility for, is going to shake the confidence of those sending things to me. That one referred to above was repaired, I hope before anyone saw it but the thing is, the sender himself saw it, din he and was mightily unimpressed? Sheesh, I would be more than unimpressed, I can tell you. Thought his email was quite restrained at the time.
So when I ask him next time would he let me use a piece of text, what’s he going to say?
And that after spending some years now building confidence. It can be gone in a flash. Horror. And of course, blaming Word Press instead of myself does not look too good, does it?