Several weeks ago, I posted a series of articles about the ongoing struggles with the WordPress ‘Like’ button and the difficulty with organizing a tiled-mosaic gallery in Guttenberg that includes captions. I thought I’d give you an update today, because…OK, you want the truth? Because yesterday was Mother’s Day and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time writing. Anyway, I don’t have many answers. I am making a few assumptions and a giant leap of faith, based on my having worked as a systems developer for over 40 years and my being an optimist – two traits are at odds with each other on this.
“Who are you to be Liking this post?”
When my problem started, I simply couldn’t like a post unless I loaded the page a second time. The Like button wasn’t even there. The Happiness Engineers were able to reproduce that error, and I think they’ve been working on it becasue, it has A) gotten a little better and B) gotten much, much worse.
Better – The Like button is now visible when I first encounter a blog page.
Worse – I have to login to the page. Sometimes, I have to login to push that button and almost always, I have to login to leave a comment.
I have to login to EVERY SINGLE PAGE I VISIT! That’s if I’m using a web browser on my laptop. If I’m using my iPhone, I have to log into the page in order to Like and comment. If I don’t, when I push the Like button, the page appears to drift backwards into the Twilight Zone and returns unliked. I have to scroll around until the “Following” widget at the bottom right appears. And then I have to get my fat fingers to push the three dots next to the word “Following” to open a menu that allows me to login. I have to do that to like the page or any comments on the page. This was a huge pain as I was trying to like your comments on Teagan’s story. This is going into an update to the still-open-item with the Happiness Engineers. My big question…
How do you (WordPress) know that I am following Teagan’s (and all of your) blog if you don’t know who I am?
“I came, I saw, I went back to work.”
Guttenberg – the gallery issues I opened on Github have been read, responded to and closed. If you recall, I opened two issues. 1) The captions for my photos don’t appear if I hover over them in the mosaic gallery, and 2) If I give an image a custom title (something other than the file name) the Description appears below the visible portion of the screen. In the many good responses I received on this issue, I learned that a photo gallery has at least two complex parts.
The gallery itself is a JetPack project that is actively being worked on. The “Lightbox” (the thing I refer to as the slideshow) is another JetPack project that may or may not be being worked on. Both are being affected by ongoing design and development decisions. I can’t summarize them all, but here’s a couple that make sense (to the 40+ year programmer in me).
Captions are hard in Guttenberg. The idea was to give the galleries a fresh new look. I get that. Instead of the kinda-sorta-pop-up-partial-text-light-gray captions, they wanted to show the entire caption on the image. But the font is so big that it covers the image. Or the font has to be so small as to be unreadable. We were fine with saying, “If you want to read the full captions, click on any image to begin a slide show” – but no, that’s not good.
Captions aren’t displayed in the slide show/lightbox because it displays “Descriptions” – hang on, this is important. Lots of people who administer web pages for multiple clients are big time PO’d at this because to fix that, you have to copy ALL the captions and paste them into the Description field.
Therein lies the root of the problem. Captions and Descriptions are metadata associated (by you) with each photo. The Classic editor gallery reads the metadata to display both the hover caption and the caption/description under the image in the slide show.
Guttenberg galleries don’t read the metadata.
The idea is that the caption/description should be separate from the metadata so you could reuse an image and give it a new caption – I would like that feature! But it isn’t working (yet) so they turned the feature off. The best suggestion I saw was that the gallery should read the metadata by default but allow it to be overwritten for each post.
Good luck to the developers on this. The take-away is this (opinion) – This is a complex problem. They are working on it. They are aware of the issues. They are trying to make the product better. Wish them luck.
Note: If you’re experiencing these problems, and if you don’t mind possibly getting test comments from a WordPress engineer, you can mention your experience in a comment. I am going to suggest they read this post and your comments. This has helped in the past. If you have time, please mention how your viewing (laptop, phone, etc.) – Thanks!