8 Comments

  1. tpiwowar

    Am I reading this right? ACF Blocks is presented as “free” but ACF Blocks is built on-top of and requires Advanced Custom Fields Pro to function. Advanced Custom Fields Pro is not free.

    Is one of Gutenberg’s new features a re-definition of the word “free”?

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    • Justin Tadlock

      Releasing a free plugin that is an extension of a paid product is not all that uncommon. A quick example off the top of my head would be the Genesis theme plugins — the theme is paid but the plugins are in the WordPress.org plugin directory for free.

      Pricing is unrelated to Gutenberg.

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      • T Piwowar

        Part of the appeal of WordPress is the community supporting it and a general sense of fair play. I think allowing products to be called “free” when they require an accompanying purchase lessens that appeal by turning the plug-in library into a frustrating mine field of deceptively labeled “free,” but surprise not really free.

        Most WordPress plug-ins work without requiring a tied purchase. Many also provide additional functions in clearly described “pro” versions that are sold separately and not via the WordPress plug-in library. That is fair. ACF Blocks won’t work without payment. How can that be called “free”?

        I don’t see that ACF Blocks is in any logical sense “free.” The use of ACF Blocks is “tied” to the purchase of another product, ACF Pro. Tying arrangements are illegal under both the Sherman Antitrust and Clayton Acts. While one might quibble whether or not ACF Blocks crosses a legal line, I don’t think it is good for WordPress to approach such a line. It certainly offends my sense of fair play. Will we let greed kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?

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        • Justin Tadlock

          The plugin, the source code itself, is both free in terms of monetary costs and free in terms of licensing. The ACF Blocks plugin that you download from WordPress.org is $free. You can download, use, modify, and share the code at no cost.

          The plugin author specifically built it for users of the third-party ACF Pro plugin. That is the plugin’s audience. He has no control over the pricing of that plugin.

          Even if you are not using the ACF Pro plugin, you still get free access to the plugin’s source code to do what you like with. You are granted the freedom to modify it and even make it work without ACF Pro.

          This is also inline with the WordPress plugin directory rules. It’s nothing new. I don’t have any particular feelings about it one way or another except to say that the plugin author is missing out on a larger audience. Outside of that, the only people who can change the rules are the folks on the plugin review team.

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    • Stephen

      Every. single. article. someone has to complain about something around here. Does my head in.

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  2. Sallie Goetsch

    I’ve built a number of custom blocks with ACF. You have a choice of modes for showing your block in the editor: edit and preview. This works a lot like the core HTML block, except that the “edit” mode shows you the custom fields. If you switch to the preview, the fields appear in the sidebar. I imagine trying to work in the sidebar for something like a gallery would be awkward.

    I’ll have to download the plugin and see how it’s set up and how easy it would be to separate a few of the more interesting blocks, as I already have too many block libraries installed and wish more people would develop not only individual blocks, but blocks that are not in the popular collections.

    The dependency on ACF Pro wouldn’t be an issue for me, since I use it on almost every site I build anyway, and there are sites that I’m switching over from ACF-based templates to Gutenberg where it seems like a very natural fit.

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    • Munir Kamal

      Hey,

      Yeah, that is true about the editing options with ACF Blocks. I have set it to preview by default as that works similarly to Gutenberg blocks.

      Looking forward to your feedback & suggestions for Features & Blocks.

      Regards,
      Munir

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  3. Amin

    This is indeed one of those ideas that WordPress community needs to make life easier. Saved a lot of coding time for me. A quick solution to adding some dynamic and on-demand modules. Nice to have: Global settings or options page for the blocks to be able to pull data/block from other posts. Good job!

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