I’m not at all sure about this new “Gutenberg” editor they’re adding to WordPress. I’ve installed the plugin version to try it out. Gutenberg is a change to the web-based editor in the WordPress dashboard, not a separate app. I typed up my previous post in MarsEdit, as is my wont, and uploaded it. The Gutenberg plugin imported it nicely and displayed everything as you’d expect. But it turned all my Markdown into HTML.

That’s not what I want, and it’s not how most Markdown-processing plugins — notably WordPress’s own Jetpack — handle Markdown. Instead they keep the source document as Markdown and only convert it to HTML when the page is requested. That’s what using a dynamic CMS means, after all.

It appears that you can get Gutenberg to keep the Markdown as it is, if you type it into what they call a Code Block. So I’ll have to hope that @danielpunkass updates MarsEdit to send posts to that kind of block once Gutenberg is the default. Assuming the WordPress API lets you do that, of course.

On the ethics of modifying blog posts

What, I’m wondering, is the etiquette for this?  I looked over my last post, on literary deja vu, and I realised that the second-last paragraph was so scrambled together as to be practically unreadable.  So I’ve just edited it, from the frankly execrable:

I did have an experience a bit like this before, though: a few years back I read one of Paul McAuley’s; Eternal Light, I think it was, but it is perhaps telling that I can’t remember for sure, even having looked over some reviews.  It seems I still can’t remember it.  It became familar to me in a much more gradual way, and I realised I had read it before.  In that case I had the book out of the library, and I figured out that I had had it out before.  In this case, with the Cadigan, I have no idea where I got the copy that I originally read.  Library?  Maybe.  Borrowed a friend’s?  Always possible.  Or did I buy it, and forget? is there a copy filed away in the attic somewhere?  I just have no idea.

to the slightly more readable:

But it’s not the first time. A few years back I read one of Paul McAuley’s novels. It is perhaps telling that I can’t remember for sure which one, despite having looked over some reviews. I think it was Eternal Light, but it seems I still can’t remember it.

In any case, it very gradually became familar to me, and I realised I had read it before. The copy I was reading at the time came from the library, and I figured out that I had taken it out before.

In this case, with the Cadigan, I have no idea where I got the copy that I originally read. Library? Maybe. Borrowed a friend’s? Always possible. Or did I buy it, and forget? is there a copy filed away in the attic somewhere? I just have no idea.

But the question is, should we update a blog post (or a LiveJournal post, if you see a difference) after it has been out there for a while?  Obviously in the first few minutes after posting, when you notice the typoes, it’s fine (and I often wonder about people who don’t correct their typoes; don’t they read their posts?)  Similarly, if it has been up for months, then you should not edit it in any significant way: it’s part of the fabric of the internet (at the risk of sounding pompous).  My concern is when it’s been out for a day or two.

I’m not really concerned in this case: it’s not as if I’ve changed the meaning, and nobody has commented on it, so there’s no concern about comments becoming confusing or misleading.  But in general, I’d be interested to know what people think about changing posts after the fact.

On the ethics of modifying blog posts