Itâ€™s certainly no secret that I have been having a hard time posting images using WordPress, version 2.5, which difficulty has spawned a thought or two about the issue.
First, let me say that everything I donâ€™t know about information technology would overflow the Grand Canyon. Let me also say that I am amazed at the peeps who are deep into geekery, to the point of producing things like WordPress or similar computer stuff. To me, it borders on magic.
Having said that, I often wonder about the width of intellectual/technical divide between the Å°bergeeks of the World and the rest of us. This massive divide (at least from my perspective) has existed for many years, but it has become obvious only in the last two decades or so. Consider that during the sixties it was the Å°bergeeks who figured out much of the stuff that sent us into outer space and ultimately to the moon. We non-geeks just shook our heads in amazement. It was stupendous stuff, but it was beyond our everyday experience.
Then, along came the personal computer. Once the Å°bergeeks made using a computer something that the average schmo might be able to do, the Å°bergeeksâ€™ numbers increased dramatically, but not nearly as much as the number of peeps buying computers and hoping to actually be able to use them.
Given that this is not intended to be a history of home computing, suffice it to say that there are a gazillion Å°bergeeks out there, but ten times as many non-geeks flailing away at keyboards, doing everything from playing solitaire to, yes, blogging, which brings me full circle to my problems with WordPress 2.5.
As I understand it (and I could be cosmically wrong), the collective that creates things like WordPress is a loosely associated (if formally associated at all) group of Å°bergeeks who produce truly amazing computer stuff, perhaps just for the hell of it.
I have been told that before these cyber- mavins unleash a new version of software on the non-geeks, they put it â€œout thereâ€ for Beta testing, Beta testing, being the vehicle used to uncover where the softwareâ€™s problems may lie â€“ sort of like a shipâ€™s shakedown cruise.
I cannot help but wonder if, perhaps because of the great divide between Å°bergeeks and the rest of us, the Å°bergeeks choose as Beta testers other Å°bergeeks, and after the Beta testing is done, they sit around, drink Mountain Dew and speak Geekish to one another about the complex stuff â€œunder the hood,â€ as it were. You know what I mean: the kinds of esoteric things that one reads on computer forums, which are utterly unintelligible to anyone but the Å°bergeeks. This is no doubt an important part of the software development process, but, it must be remembered that in the case of the WordPress (and similar software), the Å°bergeeks are developing software for Joe Blowâ€™s use.
Now, specifically with respect to blogging software, it is more than fair to assume that Joe Blow is a lesson or three beyond the â€œIntro to Your New Computerâ€ or â€œLearning to Click and Dragâ€ courses offered at places like adult schools.
My question, rhetorical though it may be, is, â€œAre the Joe Blows of the World included among the Beta testers of blogging software in general and WordPress 2.5 in particular?â€ Sadly, I suspect not, because if they were, there is no way that WordPress 2.5 would have been released.
I know, I know. Youâ€™re thinking, Yo, Jimbo. Youâ€™re a techno-doofus; youâ€™ve said so yourself many times. Maybe you just havenâ€™t figured out how to use the farookinâ€™ software. Jeez!â€ Maybe so, but Iâ€™m probably technically more representative of the average blogger than not, and including the techno-doofuses (i.e. Joe Blows of the World) as Beta testers might have suggested to the developers either that WordPress version 2.5 wasnâ€™t working right, or that it was working fine, but that some instructions (gasp!) might be a good idea. Instructions? Who knew?
I appreciate that using the Joe Blows of the world as Beta testers will be tedious for the Å°bergeeks, as they would have to endure listening to non-geeks using English to try to explain to Å°bergeeks problems that would best be described in Geekish. Still, Joe Blow Beta testers might well prevent a truckload of computers from being assaulted by users who just canâ€™t seem to figure shit out.
In closing, I am hereby volunteering to step to the plate and serve as a Joe Blow Beta tester for the next WordPress version, assuming, of course, that the WordPress Å°bergeeks give two fiddlers’ shits about what we Joe Blows think.