Hopefully this isn’t as ominous as it sounds…

WordPress tells us that “new and exciting changes” are coming to the user’s dashboard on June 1.

There’s no indication what this means.

Worst case scenario: Comicgeddon 2.0.

Best case scenario: a dashboard that already imposes more limits than it did two years ago will become even more difficult to use.

And yes, it is possible they’re rolling out improvements that will enhance everybody’s lives — but how often is that what “new and exciting changes” really means?

And let’s be honest, this is 2020.


  1. It’s very important to me that you know how deeply that last line resonated.

    I technically laughed, but there was, indeed, pain.

  2. Bill, as you said, this is 2020. I might have this timeline slightly wrong but…

    January & February: fires all over Australia
    March: Covid-19 gets big
    April: multiple swarms of locusts through Africa
    May: murder hornets; loonies burning down 5G towers; early, powerful, devastating cyclones
    June, “new and exciting changes” to WordPress

    In that context, I think you’ll see that you need to be much more pessimistic when thinking about worst case scenarios.

  3. Hey, there was a guy who tried to crash a train into a ship. Don’t forget that.

  4. Maybe the changes will be even more random and incomprehensible moderation decisions.

  5. @ Olivier – Comment numbering is a feature controlled by the format template, so it’s unlikely to be affected by the dashboard changes. However, there was someone else here who found a way to disable CSS style sheets, which lets the comment numbers appear (it also makes the page look ugly, so you have to choose between form and function).

  6. Well, maybe the new dashboard will feature a format template control button.😉
    And comment number is useful only if everybody has easy access to it, otherwise, it’s too much trouble. Besides, I wasn’t complaining, just reminiscing about the early days of the new site.

  7. I’ve always thought that “new and improved” is one of the classic oxymorons (like “military intelligence” etc.), but you may be right that “new and exciting” sounds even more problematic and scary.

  8. “New and exciting” reminds me of a computer ad, along with my (unsent) reply:

    “The cool interface of Windows Aero – designed to make your computer experience dynamic and fun”

    I don’t want my computer experience to be dynamic and fun. I want it to be stable and predictable. An operating system is not supposed to be too similar to an adventure game. (“Gee, I wonder what happens if I press the green button? Maybe I’d better do a save, first.”)

  9. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but the three most important things to do before a new and exciting update are (1) backup (2) backup and (3) backup.

  10. However, there was someone else here who found a way to disable CSS style sheets

    For Firefox desktop, it’s View–>Page Style->No Style.

    Sometimes that helps with a page, but not particularly for this one. Some sites are suitable for Reader Mode. That can be very useful as well. This site doesn’t support that.

  11. Dan, there really isn’t anything to back up: everything’s in WordPress’s system and even if I re-downloaded all the comics, the responses would be gone.

    I do have a month’s worth of comics in the queue, on my hard drive; so even if Comicgeddon 2.0 happens, I could restart.

    This is essentially “An asteroid is heading in our direction. It could miss us, graze us, or wipe us out. We won’t know until we know.”

  12. Thanks, Arthur. When the old site was imploding, I did find instructions on how to salvage information — and then get it back into a new site — but I realized it would be a better use of my time to create cold fusion.

    And that’s when I KNEW the site was imploding.

    This site generates 1000 new posts a year (and that’s bizarrely exact). Even if the worst happens, it’ll be fine in no time. And at least this time, I have some warning.

  13. It is worth noting a difference between a WordPress site hosted by a WordPress.com, and one on your own server or a server rented from a hosting service, where you or the hosting service have downloaded and installed the public release of the software from WordPress.ORG. In the latter kind of case you may be doing updates manually at your discretion, and you may then want to manually do backups prior to updates.

  14. CIDU Bill says: but I realized it would be a better use of my time to create cold fusion.

    In case you didn’t know, there is a software system called Cold Fusion.

    (I think larK’s CIDU Recent Comments Archive may use Cold Fusion?)

  15. I have a saying – “Change is never good” (Robert has gotten me to use two less drastic versions – “unwanted change is never good and change is rarely good), but mostly it is the first version.

  16. I should mention that I am on my !!????$$$### Win 10 laptop – which I hate due to the changes to it from my old laptops and the fact that it does strange things when it feels like it.

    Though I am glad that this year’s 1040 looks more like the old ones than the horrible one of the past couple of years.

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