Upcoming WordPress for iPhone 1.4 Beta

John Bickerstaff, writing yesterday on the WordPress for iPhone blog, has indicated that the application will be going down the path of iPhone OS 3.0 compatability.  Whatever that means.

A majority of the changes delivered with iPhone OS 3.0 were global changes like cut-and-paste, landscape keyboard, and Safari improvements, all of which are accessible today using the current version of WordPress for iPhone.  So what could the application do that’s not already being done?

What would be more interesting is if the WordPress for iPhone application took advantage of the benefits of the hardware upgrade that comes with the iPhone 3GS.  Specifically, video capability — the ability to vlog from anywhere in a minimal number of steps would be quite killer.

I hope that the upcoming 1.4 beta release addresses many of the application’s pedestrian features, including:

  • User Interface: compared to other applications, the GUI is horrid. Ugly, sluggish, and non-intuitive. I would easily compare it to that of the Facebook for iPhone application — except that in its latest release, it corrected these shortcomings and delivered a powerful user interface.
  • Category and Tag Management: assigning these to your posts from the iPhone is a painful process, especially since these lists do not synchronize well between phone and server
  • Custom Taxonomies: unsupported in the current version and critical to running my current blog’s incarnation
  • Option to Force Server-Side Drafts: I have no desire to create post drafts on my iPhone, as a catastrophic hardware failure or theft would undo my work. If possible, I’d much prefer that they be created on my blog always and never provide me the option to do otherwise.

Update 2013/03/28: updated iOS 3.0 link to Wikipedia, as previous linked directly to Apple’s iOS update page that always reflects current version.

Couple of Launch Burps

Barney Gumble from the Simpsons

Anyone involved with rolling out changes to production systems knows that there’s always something that goes wrong, no matter how trivial.  I was bitten by two immediate issues with this week’s relaunch.  One was fixed easily, the other not quite so quickly. For those interested, a run-down:

  1. Nuking my site and starting from scratch broke use of the WordPress for iPhone application.  I received the “Precondition Failed” error discussed in this thread on the WordPress Support Forum.  It appears I had lines in my .htaccess file which fixed this months ago, and reapplying them restored functionality once again.
  2. Alex King‘s Twitter Tools plugin — which provides the means for posting to Twitter anytime you publish on your blog — is not working.  The title of my post will appear in Twitter, but sans URL (shortened or full).  This is not a must-have feature for my site, although it does slow down my workflow to either find a fix or manually do the work a working plugin would automate.  As an alternative, Tony Cecala recommended TwitPress, but from what I read it would barf on scheduled Posts. My first plan of attack is to downgrade to a previous version of the plugin, then switch to manual updates if it continues to not work.  A few others have already discussed this on the WordPress Support forum here and here.

Never a dull moment.

Photo Credit: Rankopedia

Update 2009/09/04: downgrading Twitter Tools to 1.6b2 is the current workaround to Issue #2 above. I’m awaiting a better solution when time permits.

WordPress for iPhone 1.2 Testing

My hobby goal for 2009 is to get more involved in the WordPress community. As part of that effort, I signed up to test their latest iPhone client (version 1.2). Ergo, expect to see a bunch of test posts and pages posted onto this blog. Most of them will be under the “WordPress” Category, but I also plan to see how well it handles maintaining existing content. If you have anything you want me to address, let me know. And if you can, leave comments, as remote comment moderation is one of the items I need to test.