I can’t help noticing today that the dropdown list of trending Pied Type posts includes “Expert finds Chinese records showing gymnast is underage” with an obviously broken image. It’s an embarrassing reminder that too many older PT posts are broken in some way. The layouts are broken, page elements are missing or hanging out of the page, videos are out of whack if not entirely gone. I apologize for the mess. WordPress, YouTube, and I share the blame.

One of several commonly used icons for “broken image”

When a blog has been around as long as this one has — first posts appeared in 2002 — things happen. Things change. WordPress has made innumerable changes since then. YouTube recently made a change that broke most of my videos. And I’ve changed my theme a number of times. Each of these changes has the potential to break something in the posts that precede it. I’ve tried to fix broken posts and elements, find missing images, etc., as I find them, but I confess … I am not going to scroll back through more than 3,800 posts looking for problems. That would require far more time and patience than I’m willing to expend these days.

Take that post about Chinese records, for example. I posted it in 2008, a long time in internet years. It starts with a link to another website, a website that no longer exists. I’ve no idea how long it’s been gone or what the link was about. I’m guessing it was an article about underage Chinese gymnasts. That’s followed by three images taken from Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google. They were big — pictures of records about Chinese gymnasts as I recall — but they are gone now. Who knows why; I certainly didn’t delete them. (There are many, many missing images in my older posts, and WP hasn’t been able to explain their disappearance or find them anywhere.) Of course, since they were embarrassing to the Chinese government … who knows.

Then there’s the obvious problem of the contents spilling out of the right side of the page. I find that a lot; sometimes I can fix it, sometimes I can’t. I’ve yet to ask WP if there’s a global fix because frankly, I don’t have the patience to sit through long online chats consisting of “try this,” “did that help?”, “try this,” etc., no matter how courteous they may be. Sometimes I get a solution, sometimes I don’t.

Anyway, lots of things in Pied Type, hopefully only older things, are broken in some way. I try to fix problems when I come across them, but often I can’t. For that I apologize, and I beg your forbearance. Trust that it upsets me a lot more than it annoys you. And thank you for your (I hope) understanding.

13 thoughts on “Broken

  1. I might be wrong, but I think there is a wordpress plugin that can let you know if there’s a problem. It might be part of the wordpress core system and should email you when there’s a problem like missing image. Worth looking in to

    1. If so, I wish I’d known about it several years ago. I’ll look for it though. Would be worth having something like that. It would be excruciating to click through 3800 pages just looking for even the most obvious problems.

  2. No worries from me, Susan. Things seem to be changing so rapidly that I hardly have time to look back at opinions, including my own.

    “Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: ‘A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.’ His point was that only small-minded men refused to rethink their prior beliefs. Or, put another way, he thought that today’s intuition could trump yesterday’s conclusions.Dec 18, 2013

  3. In my blogging heyday (roughly a decade ago), when I had thousands of ‘followers’ and used to change my template roughly weekly, this used to upset me; and I spent many hours trying to keep everything up to date.
    And then I figured “Why bother ? – no-one visits old posts anyway !” Whether I was right or wrong, that thought kept me from trashing the blog (yes, I am an all-or-nothing kind of broad) for a good few years. Until I did, having realised that nothing more could be done to publicise my book – the blog’s porpoise.
    Now the renewal just sits there, enabling me to access blogs like this one, basically.
    And I admit it, Susan – I don’t visit old posts.

    1. A lot of people don’t intentionally read old posts, but random links can certainly take you to them. With the option I’ve provided to roll the die and see a random post, it figures old posts will be in the mix. And it makes me look bad if a post is broken.

      I’ve no intention of deleting this blog. Too many hours involved. And I’ve deluded myself into thinking somebody might want to read some of this nonsense someday. Besides, deleting this blog would break the two or three links other people might have to it. And then their posts would be broken!

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