As regular visitors to TPV will have noticed, there was a great disturbance in the TPV Force over the weekend.
As with a zillion other blogs, The Passive Voice uses WordPress, an online, open-source website creation and content management program. In Blog World, WordPress is what Microsoft Word is for a lot of writers.
Previously, when WordPress issued a major release (for example, 4.0, rather than a dot release, 4.4), that meant major changes for the program, including security upgrades.
Generally, PG waits for several days after a major release before upgrading TVP to allow time for release bugs to appear and be remedied by the software publisher.
In the case of WordPress 5.0, PG was unwisely impulsive and updated TPV right away. He freely admits, this action comprised a frolic of his own.
Under English common law, an employer is vicariously liable for the torts of its employees where these occur “in the course of employment”. This principle is enshrined in the common law doctrine known as “let the master answer”.WordPress 5.0 feature in action!!!
In court cases dating back more than 200 years, judges have used the expression a “frolic of his own” to describe acts which are considered to be outside the course of employment and, accordingly, not covered by the vicarious liability of the employer.
WordPress 5.0 is a big change from the 4.x versions. Big changes to popular and complex software don’t always coexist harmoniously with all the different things people do with that software and the almost infinite number of combinations of software settings the program enables.
Additionally, PG is using an ancient WordPress theme (a theme provides the appearance overlay for the WordPress software so not all WordPress blogs look like all other WordPress blogs even though the underlying program is identical).
Additionally (version 2.0), PG runs a lot of WordPress plugins, smaller add-in programs that simplify tasks PG often performs on the blog, provide additional security, etc. Depending upon the the author of the plugin (perhaps a real software company, perhaps someone with a day job as an astrophysicist or truck driver who plays around with WordPress at night), when WordPress changes, the plugin may or may not be changed to work in the new software environment.
To speed this wandering story up a bit, when PG attempted to install the WP 5.0 upgrade, the install process spat out a strange error message. (If you ever see a pop-up message that includes the term, “xmlrpc.php”, run for your life!)
Had PG been a person with his wits about him instead of partaking in a frolic of his own, he would have stopped there, realizing that the electrons of the web universe were sending a warning that he was about to commit an error. (Abandon hope all ye who enter here! Love&Kisses, Xmlrpc.php)
Of course, he didn’t do this. After several other upgrade attempts that generated the same error message, PG contacted the excellent tech support crew at Hosting Matters.
Of course, tech support is in the business of promptly solving the problems their customers ask them to solve, not engaging in extended counseling sessions asking their customers if they have really thought through what they wanted to do and, perhaps, treat the error message as a cosmic warning not to enter the Delta Quadrant.
Hosting Matters quickly responded that the problem PG thought he had was fixed and that PG was free to continue his journey.
PG noted his problems with 5.0 in a post yesterday and received several helpful/sympathetic responses, including from Nate Hoffelder, the proprietor of The Digital Reader and tech guru who had previously advised PG that the theme he has always used for TPV is obsolescent and rocketing along in the fast lane to obsolete.
So, it’s time for PG to engage in some theme hunting (again).
During his last theme hunt, PG received several communications from regular visitors to TPV who said they really liked the look of the current theme and were concerned about a change.
Therefore, PG’s quest is not so much for an updated and properly-operating theme as it is for an updated and properly-operating theme that looks a lot like the current TPV theme. Given his experiences over the past couple of days, this time, failure is not an option.
Quite some time ago, the creator of the current TPV theme announced that he would not be updating his theme. Since he had released it as a free theme and nobody had paid him for his work, to PG’s way of thinking, the creator had no obligation to spend additional time working on the theme to solve PG’s problems.
PG would like to crowd-source the search for a makeover theme for the TPV.
He’s looking for:
- A commercial-quality WordPress theme (which he expects to pay for without breaking the bank) that is likely to be supported through future WordPress updates on an ongoing basis; and
- Has at least a bit of an old-time, dusty library feel to it
If any of the brilliant people who visit TPV on a constant basis have theme suggestions, PG would appreciate it if they would either include information in a comment or send PG a private message via the Contact Page.