Casual browsing at Airbag Industries directed me to a Coding Horror screed protesting the lack of built-in caching in WordPress. For those of you in a hurry, the highlights from the diplomatic Jeff Atwood:

… incredibly scary… completely unacceptable… appalling… absolutely irresponsible … naive… brainlessly stupid…

Stately, measured prose! Reminds me of the last office meeting I attended. Good times.

Having already experimented with WP-Super Cache last week and found that no matter which URL visitors clicked, they were always delivered to the front page of the blog, I opted today for the older WP-Cache instead. Things seem to be running smoothly. We’ll see what happens the next time I get actual traffic. In the past, this blog has been Deadspun, Wonketted, MichaelMoored, TalkingPointsMemoed, and DailyKosed, but never tested by an extinction-level event (Digg or Slashdot). It’ll happen, though.

So Atwood’s ravings did me good – got me off my duff and addressing the caching lack. Thank you, sir. Now about that temper of yours…

It should be noted that WP is indeed ( and at last) bringing its official attention to the caching thing this year. The challenges of providing a solution that works for the many different kinds of WP users may be daunting, but until this is solved, WordPress will always have a glaring perceived weakness compared to some other platforms. Conversely: once this is solved, the competitors will be robbed of a major talking point.

What else? Oh, yes, WP 2.5.1 was released today. Unlike a lot of coddled whiners who complain how haaaarrrd it is to follow the five-minute install instructions, I remember what it was like to walk ten miles in the snow, going uphill both ways upgrade Movable Type. Upgrading with WordPress is, on the whole, a more straight-forward matter even without going the push-button Fantastico route.

I upgraded three blogs; the one your reading now breezed through the procedure, but I ran into a problem upgrading the two subdirectory blogs. Files were all correctly installed, but trying to run the upgrade script or to access the admin or even the blog itself produced error messages with such unappealing phrases as “Fatal error: Call to undefined function.” I misdiagnosed the problem, thinking that an incomplete or otherwise faulty FTP upload was to blame, and so spent time repeating the upload a time or two. The true roadblock became apparent when I compared the wp-config.php files of the blog that worked with those of the blogs that didn’t: somehow the text of the later config files had all moved to one line, which mucked up how the code would be read. I restored the original arrangement of the file, then followed these instructions to solve a subsequent “headers already sent” error.

And then…things were just fine. In the words of your favorite pirate and his: complications arose, ensued, were overcome.

As for the program itself, WordPress 2.5.1: All I’ve had time to notice thus far is that when you create a link using the visual editor on the Write page, the “http://” is pre-selected just like it oughta be. That may sound like a tiny change, but when you’re linking all damned day, you really appreciate it. More to come, I’m sure.

Cold hard cache, and WordPress 2.5.1