Some time ago I used WordPress to set up a website for our local U3A group. The site doesn’t do anything very complex, basically advertises the group’s existence and activities, and stores a few PDF documents such as Membership Forms, etc. The main “blogging” feature of WordPress, I used for a Notice Board to keep folks aware of any recent developments.
Everything went very well, the committee seemed very pleased and I handed control over to a willing webmaster, after a suitable few hours of training in the WordPress administration panels, of course. Naturally, as part of the learning process, a few errors crept in which I was able to sort out but, all things considered, everything progressed very smoothly.
This spring I left on a relaxingly long trip to France. Well, relaxing except for the fact that our caravan’s water pump decided to fail resulting in a wet sleeping bag and requiring a fix.
Another issue arose: my now reasonably experienced webmaster emailed me (courtesy of McDonald’s McWiFi) to say that he couldn’t successfully enter new Notice Board (blog) entries. He’d enter a title, enter the body text, hit <Publish> and … all the body text disappeared, just the title remained. “Oh, and I can’t get bold to work or back up and overtype text that I’ve already entered”, he said, just for good measure.
Weird, I thought, and, once again suffering the hubbub that is McDonald’s, I signed on myself and proceeded to invent a new Notice Board entry apparently with no problems. Hmmm!
Mr. Webmaster continued to try, it continued to fail. I even set him up a new administrator id which also failed. (Probably not an error with his id, then.) Two other committee members tried to make minor edits to our website content and, frustratingly, they reported similar errors – text went missing. (Probably not an error caused by Mr. Webmaster’s laptop, then.) I continued to edit without error. Was I dreaming? I could find nothing to fix since nothing would break for me. I had to leave it until our return home.
We are both now back so this morning we got together to investigate. Nothing had changed – his laptop still failed to edit a new entry successfully, mine was fine – but now, I could see his failing so I had to shelve any disbelief. This is a web application for Darwin’s sake, there shouldn’t be any logic differences. What’s different?
Momento! I habitually use either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to browse the ‘net. I never use that Internet Explorer rubbish. Mr. Webmaster’s machine is, like many other peoples’ machines I suspect, equipped only with Internet Explorer, in this case IE9.
I installed Firefox (v.5.0.1 – I like it a lot) on Mr. Webmaster’s machine and tried again. Lo and behold, the incomprehensible editing problem vanished! Mr Webmaster was suitably gobsmacked. Wow!!
I found a report of similar reports of WordPress and IE9 clashing badly on the ‘net. There was a thought that slightly older versions of TinyMCE (the editor) failing with IE9.
Our WordPress installation was at version 3.0.4., the latest being 3.2.1. WordPress releases come out fairly swiftly but I don’t see the point in constantly changing unless there’s a good reason. Now I seemed to have a good reason so I upgraded the installation to WordPress 3.2.1. and tried again on Mr. Webmaster’s nasty IE9 system. All was now well, Mr. Webmaster could once again edit the content of our website.
IE9 is pretty new. During my French trip, Mr. Webmaster doubtless upgraded his IE installation from IE8 to IE9 which is when things began to fail.
Ain’t technology wonderful?