Gutenberg contributors continue marching forward this week on their relentless drive to improve the usability of the controversial new editor that will ship with WordPress 5.0. Meanwhile, discussions about Gutenberg’s timing, implications, UI, architecture, and other aspects of the project continue across the web, as the community grapples with what this new editor will mean for the future of WordPress.
Version 1.1.0 was released this week with a new autocomplete-shortcut for adding new blocks without leaving the keyboard.
Many testers have been frustrated with the amount of pointing and clicking required to create new blocks. Autocomplete for blocks is a new feature that partially answers this problem, but it relies on the user knowing that typing a slash
/ in a new default paragraph block will trigger autocomplete. It may also be added to other blocks in the future.
“We still need to get the point-click/tap interactions right since most people won’t discover, remember, nor use keyboard shortcuts,” Gutenberg engineer Matías Ventura said in response to user feedback on the plugin.
This release of the plugin adds the ability to remove images from the gallery block inline. It works smoothly and resizes the thumbnail previews to fit the available space after an image is removed.
Version 1.1.0 also includes small updates like the ability to set links to open in a new window, accessibility improvements to the add-new-category form, caption styling for video blocks, adjustments to column width calculation in the gallery block, and many other tweaks and improvements. The Gutenberg docs also received an updated design and improvements to the content.
A Preview of How Gutenberg Will Interact with Themes to Build Websites
Gutenberg engineers elaborated on how they expect the new editor will work with themes in a post on the make.wordpress./core blog. Matías Ventura published two video examples to demonstrate where they see Gutenberg headed on its journey towards becoming a full-fledged website building tool. Ventura said this is the long-term goal after the project completes the post and page editing milestone.
The first video shows how Gutenberg can be used for page building, starting with a blank slate and a theme that defines specific styles for blocks. The second one shows how a theme might include templates with blocks already in place that provide users with a guided page-building experience.
These examples clarify some of the benefits the team is aiming for with Gutenberg and how WordPress theme authors will be able to build more user-friendly experiences on top of the new editor.
“These are quickly put together, but I hope it shows how things can progress even with very straightforward theme integration,” Ventura said. “As soon as we expand the scope and include more blocks (site title, site header, menus, more widgets, etc), and describe a way to store page templates as a «list of blocks», Gutenberg would be fundamentally capable of building an entire website.”
The video in this post demonstrates how Gutenberg would deal with a custom post type “book”, as it was raised in a comment on a previous post, so this is very encouraging and I congratulate Matías for producing this video. However, it still doesn’t explain how the meta data (page count, publisher, release date, star rating) would be dealt with, I’d love to see that next.