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The One

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Whither UNRWA

The US State Department has issued a notice confirming the ending of US funding for UNRWA as what it describes as an irredeemably flawed organisation. Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority chairman described the notice as a grave assault on his people.

The US Administration has proposed transferring US contributions to UNRWA to the host countries (Lebanon, Jordan) for absorbing the refugees as citizens, instead of leaving the refugee issue on the negotiating table as what it describes as a constant obstacle to peace.

The notice is interesting not least because of President Trump's recent statement that after moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, he intended to give something good to the Palestinians.

UNRWA has rejected the accusation made by the US Administration that much of the funds goes to HAMAS for terrorist purposes. At the same time, the number of refugees has increased over the years  leading to an increase in demands on the funds.

Time will tell what the out…

Yoast Complains About Useless Bot Traffic

Joost de Valk of Yoast posted some data in May about bots crawling his site endlessly. He mentioned bots crawling the error pages (404s) on his site repeatedly, costing server time and electricity and for no benefit because his site is already well indexed.

He had particularly harsh words for Bing (the worst) and Google which he said were major offenders.

Gutenberg Resources #4 - Block Makers

I wasn't expecting people to come along and make new blocks for the benefit of all, but that is what is happening. Danny Cooper has bundled some blocks into a plugin named Editor Blocks, and it is available in the WordPress Repository
This is the list of blocks in the plugin, currently. I have used the pricing table, and I will work my way through the rest of the blocks in time.
Wrapper BlockPricing Table BlockTeam Members BlockHero BlockTestimonial BlockCallout BlockBrands BlockFeatures BlockHorizontal Feature BlockVertical Feature Block

Gutenberg Resources #3 - Container blocks

The theme I am using is on my test WordPress site is the Atomic Blocks theme from Array Themes. There is a version of the theme in the WordPress repository, but the version I am using is direct from Array Themes because I have a subscription. I am not sure what if any differences there are between the two versions. I am also using the Atomic Blocks Gutenberg plugin, which is also built by the people at Array Themes. It supplements the standard Gutenberg blocks to help you build pages.  It is freely available from the Atomic Blocks site. I am taking things slowly, using Gutenberg to get familiar with it. Note: One of the advantages of using container blocks is that although one might write paragraphs of text as separate blocks, one can contain them within one larger block and so, for example, I am able to put a background colour around all of the blocks rather than have them as separate blocks with white space showing between the paragraphs.

Gutenberg Resources #2 - Reusable Blocks

I am aware that it is almost the height of irony to use a blog that is not built on WordPress to talk about the features of the Gutenberg editor for WordPress.
let's says the block is a paragraph of text with a fancy coloured background, and it is something you will want to use repeatedly.

Save it as a 'reusable block' and with one click you can import that structure into another post.

Here's a video from the Yoast people showing how it's done.

Gutenberg Resources #1

I've been using the Gutenberg plugin on a WordPress test site since January of this year (2018). You might think that makes me an experienced user, but the fact is that I constantly feel that I am not exploring all the features.
Just yesterday I learned that it is possible to see the layout structure or 'document outline' at it is called, of a page or post. I simply never noticed it before.
The document outline is a way to see how you have organized your content using headers. And you can jump to different parts of the content by clicking on any of the headers, rather than having to scroll to the section of the post you want to work on.
I can see this being useful when you are working on a piece of long-form writing and you have got a page or post with lots of text.
Here is a snapshot of the layout structure of a post I wrote yesterday after finding out about this view. I have pointed out the little 'i' in a circle - and when you click that it shows the rectangle …