Another Update to The NTOWPcom Gallery FAQ


Our WordPress.com blogs are constantly being upgraded in the background to test new features for the next upgrade or partial upgrade to the stand-alone WordPress.org blogging software. Since WordPress.com has now announced the integration of features from v3 here, it was time to make another update to my Not The Official WordPress.com Gallery FAQ.

So what’s new in the Gallery feature? Not a lot, really. The biggest change is the ability to exclude an image from the Gallery without having to delete it entirely from the Media Library. This functionality was actually integrated back at the beginning of March 2010 and may have been included already in one of the WP. org 2.9.X versions.

Improvements in media handling have been discussed with every update since December 2008 when WordPress.com rolled out the latest Dashboard, which is officially here to stay for another 4 years. It’s a Sisyphean task making any fundamental change in a legacy system such as this and the Gallery feature specifically has been on a rollercoaster ride since it’s introduction two years ago. Just the number of searches and hits on my Gallery FAQ seems to indicate that WP bloggers are still grappling with how to use this feature.

At the same time, WordPress.com’s “Theme Team” has been quickly rolling out fresh themes for use on WordPress.com based on the functionality of v3. The theme I am presently using, Inuit Types, is one of those new themes, along with “Structure” and “Twenty Ten“, the new default theme replacing Kubrick on self-hosted WP.org installs and in use on my primary WordPress.com blog. The Gallery feature in “Twenty Ten” behaves as in older themes has been updated, at least as of May 8th, to behave like “Structure” and “Inuit Types”. (For details on Inuit Types see the “aside” in my FAQ update of April 15.)

At some point, I hope there will be consistent application of Gallery features across the board to give a homogeneous experience for all WordPress.com users, regardless of what theme they choose to use. Unlike WordPress.org users, who are able to use external plugins and javascript on their self-hosted blogs, for the present we WordPress.com bloggers have only this Gallery feature available, so it should be the best there is.

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5 thoughts on “Another Update to The NTOWPcom Gallery FAQ

  1. I believe that we are currently witnessing Staff attempting to upgrade to 3.0 feature by feature and integrate wp.org and wpMU software. I don’t have a clue what this will mean for already existing wpMU sites either. Id I hear anything more about “the merge” I’ll share it there.

  2. Thanks so much for this Jennifer. I have pretty much had it with the complexities and confusion. Thank goodness for you and for Panos too.

    I wonder if you are aware of this:
    The Merge! WordPress and WordPress Multisite Together At Last
    Back at WordCamp San Francisco last year Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress and WordPress MU would be merging into one singular software package. The reasoning was that all of the WordPress core was already in sync with WordPress MU and MU simply had a bit more functionality added to it. Most of the code is the same. WordPress 3.0 is where this merge takes place.

    1. It was those very complexities that kicked me in the seat to write my FAQ back in 2008 (!).

      Yes, I did read that it would be possible to create a multi-user set-up when installing the upcoming WP v3, though I’m not sure what that means for already existing MU sites, such as WordPress.com with its 11 million users. Would certainly be curious to know.

  3. Agree, functions such as the gallery feature or the attachment pages should be consistent. I don’t see why a couple of themes should behave differently – unless the difference is an improvement, in which case again it should be applied to all other themes too.

    Another minor difference in the gallery attachment pages of Inuit Types, Structure and 2010 is that the previous/next tabs are the image names instead of thumbs (which means you must be careful how you name your files).

    And (sorry, I can’t help that, and I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of many) the complications of the gallery feature are the one reason behind “the number of searches and hits” on your FAQ; the other is that your article is a lot better than the Support docs.

    1. At first I wasn’t happy with the navigation behavior of attachment pages in Inuit Types, but now I rather like it. This also depends on what choice you make in the Gallery settings. Choosing “Random” and attachment pages creates navigation chaos.

      About Structure, besides the missing description, which I mentioned to you, it’s also missing the link from the Attachment page back to the main post, or at least it was yesterday.

      The FAQ is certainly more in depth, but I worry that it’s gotten bloated. Trying to work out some restructuring.

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