Graceful Gravatar Gravitas

Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s remarks about After Effects getting an emergency patch update for the umpteenth time, here’s another one. Lately WordPress has been annoying me more and more. On several occasions I’ve reported glitches or non-working stuff like domain mapping. Yesterday it occurred to me that the Gravatar widget finally had whacked out completely after  I had added my Facebook account to my “verified services”. Mind you, it never looked great to begin with, but it did the job. So what has happened here?

Gravatar was once meant to be a universal authentication service throughout the web and when WordPress got a hold of it, they implemented these features into their CMS. Now, we all know what happened – Facebook came along and nobody ever even cared anymore about alternate services for universal log-ins. Therefore a good idea became a failed business plan and everything related to it has been lingering in limbo ever since. That wouldn’t be half so bad, but guess what? Yes, those features they added back then still ive on everywhere and then it becomes a problem.

Unlike Adobe, where it’s mostly sheer incompetence, this is what I call ignorant neglect on part of Automattic, the company behind all this. This issue has been known for years, obviously, when I went looking around. They just don’t seem to know what to do with it nor can they find it in their hearts to let go of it. The bad part in the whole affair is, naturally, that they are cutting into their own flesh. How do they expect people to sign up for commercial plans, when they can’t guarantee that things look pretty? I can live with formatting errors on my dashboard, but I want the facade to look posh.

So I sat down this morning and implemented my own workaround with some better icons and using the custom text widget, which sadly seems to quickly become the only reliable solution to get your customizations look and work as you want. It could be so easy, could it not? I really wish they would place more emphasis on those details rather than adding buttons to buy their services on every dashboard page…

Gravatar Workaround

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