Depending on how far and deep you look, there is not a lot of positive sentiment surrounding Gutenberg. For Scott Bowler, the notion of merging Gutenberg into WordPress 5.0 represents a shift so detrimental to the project, he has forked WordPress into a new project called ClassicPress.
“The team at WordPress have decided to force Gutenberg into v5 of WordPress despite massive push back by the WordPress community,” Bowler said.
“I’m in the ‘push back’ camp. After my feedback on Gutenberg fell on deaf ears I realized that WordPress is no longer a community led project — major decisions are being made by an elite few.
“Sadly, I decided it was time to move to a fork that doesn’t have Gutenberg as part of the core code. A quick search revealed nobody had taken the initiative so I decided to stop complaining and take action.”
In addition to ClassicPress, Bowler has filed a petition on Change.org requesting that Gutenberg not be merged into WordPress 5.0. As of publishing, the petition has 10 out of 100 signatures.
“This petition is to ask the WordPress team to keep Gutenberg out of the core of WordPress and instead keep it as a plugin for users to install,” Bowler said. “In addition, this petition asks that Gutenberg does not get integrated into the core until the community agrees that the time is right.”
Bowler is not the only one who feels this way. Matt Cromwell, Head of Support and Community Outreach at WordImpress, suggests that Gutenberg be bundled with WordPress as a plugin similar to Aksimet.
If Gutenberg ships with WordPress 5.0, Bowler says he is committed to maintaining compatibility with the WordPress ecosystem, keeping the project up to date with security fixes, and letting the community dictate its development.
ClassicPress is based on WordPress 4.9.8 and is not available to the public yet. It’s in a consultation phase that interested users can participate in through the ClassicPress subreddit.
Forks Are a Good Thing, But This One Doesn’t Make Sense
Forking is a good thing as it allows people to take a project in their own direction. It opens the door for experimentation. If there are any lessons learned or improvements made, those can usually be pushed upstream to the main project.
There are solutions available that allow users and site managers to keep the classic editor in place until a transition can be made. There’s also a Classic Editor block within Gutenberg that provides a similar user experience to the Classic Editor.
With options available to not use or at least delay Gutenberg from becoming the new editor, and that’s if it’s merged into WordPress 5.0, ClassicPress isn’t so much of a necessary fork but rather, a last ditch effort to raise awareness to not merge Gutenberg into core. And that’s an unfortunate reason to fork WordPress.
*Updated 8/21/2018* First paragraph was edited to “For Scott Bowler, the notion of merging Gutenberg into WordPress 5.0 represents a shift so detrimental to the project, he has forked WordPress into a new project called ClassicPress.”