Gutenberg 3.8 Released, Adds Full Screen Mode

Gutenberg 3.8 is available for download. This release features a full screen mode that hides both the admin bar and the menu. Unlike previous versions of Distraction-Free-Writing mode where things would fade in and out of view, these two items stay hidden until full-screen mode is disabled.

User Interface elements have been added to manage reusable blocks in bulk. Theme authors are now able to register editor styles for blocks by targeting the blocks themselves. This avoids combating CSS specificity and doesn’t require knowledge of the internal DOM structure for the editor. 

The block settings icon has been moved from the right side of blocks to the toolbar. This change sets the foundation for refactoring the toolbar and it reduces clutter by keeping the icons together.

Block Settings Moved to The Right Side of The Toolbar

Gutenberg 3.8 also contains a significant increase in performance thanks to a new hand-coded default block parser.

Having a formal specification of the Gutenberg block grammar has allowed us both to maintain a stable core during the almost 40 releases of the plugin and lately to allow competing parser implementation to evolve and be compared in terms of performance and correctness.

In concrete terms, we are shipping a new default implementation that is hundreds of times faster than the spec and has been stress tested with really long posts (including Moby Dick). These tests are also available for anyone to run against. Memory consumption has also gone down dramatically for server side operations. I’d like to specially thank Dennis Snell and Ivan Enderlin for their great work improving this area.

Matias Ventura

To see a complete list of changes along with links to their corresponding pull requests, check out the release post.

6 Comments


  1. I have over 300 clients on WP and none of them want to use Guttenberg. They do not have time to learn a new system and trend over 50. These are not blog sites, they are full on business websites.
    Those types of clients do not care about these so called “features” and interface. Old school editor for ease of use is the key here. This new editor is an entirely new way to work and people do not have time for this BS. I cannot believe WP is going to force this on millions of people. This is not going to go well. I have been teaching WP for 12 years. This is a mistake. My clients do not like divi theme for this very reason.

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  2. Keyboard navigation also seems much improved. I was editing a lengthy post this weekend and didn’t have to reach for my mouse for most if it.

    I’m very impressed on the improvements over the last couple months.

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  3. Thank you GB Development Team for fixing the issues with centering of images – most appreciated! Hopefully videos will center properly now as well. Lots of real nice touches were added to the editor as well, and we like the placement of the hamburger menu with the other icons.

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  4. As long as Gutenberg doesn’t offer the functionality of the best pagebuilders today, webdesigners WILL keep using Elementor, DIVI, … in combination with Gutenberg. (= per definition a hybrid system). So therefore Gutenberg will cause even more fragmentation, because the future of WordPress will be hybrid for a long time to come.

    And at the same time, more and more theme builders will begin creating their OWN Gutenberg blocks, mimicking pagebuilder functionality and hereby again … creating even more fragmentation.

    Gutenberg still has a long way to go and therefore it won’t be able to solve the fragmentation in this fragmented pagebuilder- and bloated “multipurpose” theme-world, which was actually created by … WordPress itself. Because WordPress is unable to close the gap between what WordPress core does and what users want.

    Like Android ONE can’t solve Android’s fragmentation, Gutenberg won’t solve WordPress’ fragmentation. There are just to many parties involved, each going their own way.

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