A Note to WordPress

To: WordPress

re: Double-encoding

Stop double-encoding … now … please.

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A friend advises that the annoying website behavior I have been furiously attributing to Flash software might actually be the rise of HTML5. And, yes, he makes a pretty good case for it.

I should be embarrassed, but in truth the complaint doesn’t really change that much: Just who is this massive free demonstration intended to pitch to?

We all recognize that is the point of a freehosted blogging service, but just who, in the end, are you hoping will put down cash―excuse me, broadcast currency to you over the network―in exchange for the product?

In the end, it must be network administrators, the IT departments that buy the software a company will use. Because, frankly, if you’re pitching to the actual content creators―you know, the writers?―the truth of the matter is that all you’re telling us is that you intend to screw with the writing process.

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This is an interesting issue because it keeps evolving. Once upon a time I simply wrote it off as symptomatic of using Gedit in a Linux flavor; it’s not MS Notepad, and it sure as hell isn’t Apple Text Editor.

But the symptoms are getting worse, and this time I omitted Gedit from the checklist.

The reason for that is simple. It used to be that the difference in whether a given URL containing certain characters double-encoded was whether it was copied from the address line of a browser or simply picked up elsewhere in the text editor. This is no longer the case; URLs are double-encoding as we see in the example below regardless of how one copies and pastes them.

These links presently function, but they will start to break. This is ridiculous; asking writers to constantly go back and test the links so that you can add some nifty bells and whistles that mean nothing to content creators is just a reminder that you view them as nothing more than tools, and the content itself as existing so that you can pitch to network administrators. And if there’s one thing writers don’t like, it’s other people telling them how to write.

We get it. This is how it goes when it’s free. But you’re not securing people’s faith for future purchases on the business side.

An example of double-encoding URLs in WordPress software.

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