This is Just Another WordPress Page – and I’m sorry about that.

I’m learning about WordPress. That’s not news, of course, but I hope that the things I’m learning about WordPress are.

I’m from the old school, and I mean OLD. I go back so far that we had to write on the disks with a chisel!

In 1981, I built a Z-80 microcomputer, and modified the CP/M Operating System to handle an IBM EBCD printer.

I was writing IBM Script on a 3278 tube in 1990, preparing newspaper articles for printing on a “page” printer that would take input from the VM mainframe and create pages of pretty print.

I used to write PL/I in an application that billed over Six Billion per year. The old habits still show: up until very recently, when I wrote a web page, I used emacs, and wrote with “raw” html. I’ve never learned JavaScript, although I do know the basics of css; HTML5 is a mystery to me, and so is ActiveX. I don’t use or understand Flash, and I’m content, for the most part, to do things simply. You can look at my blog, at horne.biz, and you’ll see something written the old way, with “<p>” at the start of a paragraph and “</p>” at the end.

I’ve always done “bare metal” web pages, including a site for my son’s Boy Scout troop, which I wrote in PHP, with a photograph index, a scheduling calendar, and cookie-driven permission slips to simplify parents given their OK for outings.

Here are the things I’m learning about WordPress.

There is a fine line between something that makes it “easier” to write a web page and something that pretends to be “easier” and is actually harder.

WordPress might be in either category, but I get the feeling that it’s very easy to cross the line.

There is an industry dedicated to peddling WordPress software packages, each with an exotic name, each of which supposedly adds a magic bit ‘o blarney to every word I type, helping to “up my clickthrough penetration” or “incentivize customer involvement.” The only problem is that I’ve seen this kind of hype before: the faux-familiar buzzwords, the overcomplicated descriptions, and the exaggerated and overly friendly pitches and overtly brazen lies.

That’s one advantage of being 69: I know the difference between the carnival and the Carnival Barker. Still, despite the hype, I’m still learning WordPress: it’s the CMS for a website I’m peripherally (pun intended) involved with, and it’s open-source, and I’m hoping to pick up enough practical know-how to save time on my own sites.