Blogger Christian Bolstad found a new feature in WordPress 2.8, undocumented and not among the release notes in the Codex. Basically, it changes the notification behavior of WordPress, from notifying ping services like Pingomatic and others you might use automatically when publishing a post or editing a previously published post, to doing a once an hour notification using the built-in pseudo cron.
So why is this a bad thing? [Note! Bullets updated below! See comments for more.]
- It delays updates to
the RSS feedto services relying on pinging.
- Delaying pings delaying all services depending on pinging.
- Delaying pinging to middle man services means that syndication of the links will be delayed.
My guess is that this feature was implemented to speed up the admin interface. After all, if you’ve got a bunch of services to ping, publishing or editing a published post would mean that you’d have to wait while the admin interface parsed through the pinging.
Christian Bolstad thinks this is putting the real time web to a halt. That might a bit over the top, but it does delay everything coming from a WordPress install.
Denis de Bernardy was the developer responsible for this change in behavior, and he find the post alarmist and intolerable. This are his words in a comment on the post:
If an end user with no coding skills can’t write a patch, he can always submit a comment in trac, and suggest things to be done otherwise. That’s fine.
The same from a coder is not fine. Add an alarmist post on top, and things become intolerable. If a coder isn’t not happy with a behavior, he can and should write a patch. If he doesn’t, he should put up with the behavior.
As to why this wasn’t added in the release notes, it’s a Wiki. It occurred to nobody who contributed to them (without getting paid either) that it was worth a mention. Go right ahead and add the note yourself if you think it’s so important.
Obviously he is just defending the decision to change the pinging behavior, albeit in a somewhat poor way. For some reason he thinks that coders are not allowed to criticize choices made, they should be quiet and submit patches instead. Let’s hope he didn’t really mean it that way. And the fact that an end user should update the release notes is something of an issue with open source overall, because as Bernardy says the developers do it on their free time. Ideally they would write complete release notes, but if the choice is to either finish a function/feature, or write the notes, the developer will finish his coding instead. As he should. Still, it is an issue as this discussion surely points out.
Anyway, one should be aware that WordPress per default does not ping on publish anymore, it does it on a per-hour basis instead. It is also a reminder of the fact that developers can change behavior at any time, and that it might in fact effect your site, or even break it.
There’s ticket in the trac on this, of course. Pitch in if you like. There is also a counter patch submitted.
Update! I’m glad to see this change has been approved, thanks for sharing the link, Aaron Brazell.
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.