12 Comments

  1. Otto

    I like the idea, and I look forward to a WordPress plugin that will enable the ability for these cloud blocks to be selected and downloaded (?) and used in a WordPress system.

    At the same time, I remain unconvinced that js-only blocks have a place which is meaningful other than the trivial layout based things that blocks can do. Yes, you can build great looking blocks with JavaScript only, and since it’s an editor, that is a really big deal. But without any actual support on the backend to “do stuff of substance”, it is just visual glitter.

    Don’t get me wrong, making a big library of visual fluff is a great idea. Layouts for some, tiny American flags for others. (I voted for Kodos!)

    But, I usually write server code. I like the Gutenberg editor, but JavaScript just isn’t enough to do the things that I tend to do. And it can’t be, because the client isn’t the place to be doing them.

    That said, I do understand that what I consider to be “trivial” is HTML and CSS, which is decidedly not trivial to most people. So yes, it’s a good idea. I’m just the wrong person to try to convince of that.

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    • Michael Wiginton

      Not sure if I know enough JavaScript to understand fully but could you clarify ‘actual support on the backend to “do stuff of substance” ‘?

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  2. Ted Magwell

    It still feels like the majority of CSS/JS should be controlled from theme part and not from a plugin. Backend should be more involved in block generation the majority of blocks should only control the data, not the actual CSS/HTML/JS code.

    Simplest example:

    – Plugin/theme “A” wants to display image gallery as elements
    – Plugin/theme “B” wants to display image gallery as elements

    Gutenberg block generated gallery with elements. What should plugin/theme “B” do? Parse HTML (ew)? Write the second image gallery block?

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  3. Nigel Masimba Rodgers

    Wow! Could Gutenberg eventually turn into a universal head for headless systems?

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  4. fwolf

    Well .. it certainly is going to clash a lot with data protection rights (and issues), eg. the GDPR :)

    cu, w0lf.

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  5. Álvaro

    Looks great. Since I’m not a dev, one of the the things that has been bothering me about Gutenberg integration is the difficulty to find already made specific blocks in existing plugins. Plugins of this kind tend to contain several or a lot of blocks, the majority of which you may never use at all. Furthermore, you can find your needed blocks in different plugins, making it difficult to accept that, to use 1, 2, 3 blocks, you have to load 2 or 3 different plugins and tens of blocks.

    So, the alternative is building your own blocks. But the majority of WordPress site owners won’t know how to do this.

    A blocks infrastructure like this – or single-blocks-plugins, for that matter – can alleviate the need to load different plugins and useless code, allowing us to use only what we need.

    One other question I have is how does a solution like this allow us to use WordPress dynamic content? If the blocks are CMS-agnostic, how do they communicate with WordPress content?

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    • Steffen M.

      That’s similar with plugins already now. Currently you find your needed functions in different plugins, the majority of each plugin functions are never used, and majority of WordPress site owners do not know how to write own plugins. That’s why wp.org provides a plugin repository.

      A blocks repository needs to be provided by wp.org itself, similar to plugin repository, but for single blocks. Third party repositories (this can be “plugins with many blocks” or “some external blocks cloud”) are no solution. Would be a loss of qualitycontrol as well as gdpr issues.

      CMS-agnostic blocks would require js-only blocks, which Gutenberg tries to achieve (at least in its theoretical concept), but as @Otto explains above, it does and will never work for more complex serverside provided dynamic data. The current REST API is not abtract enough, it is just a “hacked up” version of the old REST API and atm. causes more problems than it solves.

      To get CSM-agnostic serverside data, a whole new and well structured API would be necessary, name it “Fields API” or whatever you like, but as @photomatt explained in “State of the word 2017”, this proposal has been rejected for the time being.

      TLDR: Since you’re not a dev, you need to hire devs, with Gutenberg even more than before.

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      • Álvaro

        Thank you Steffen. I hear you on the dev hiring issue. But, you know, WordPress has expanded so far exactly because it empowered those who did not have the skills for complex stuff, that could find a lot of ready-made solutions and go from there.

        With Gutenberg, although it is painted as a solution to simplify the creation of content and pages, this flexibility and plasticity, which allows almost anyone to learn little by little and build more complex stuff, is somewhat gone.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’ve hired devs for some work that I can’t or would not dare to do. And I should do it more, definitely. if I only knew that I would come to this point of being involved in creating digital publishing solutions, I wouldn’t have wasted my time studying psychology.

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      • Devops

        Here comes another request for a “blocks repositry”, won’t be the last one…

        https://wordpress.org/support/topic/a-question-about-the-direction-of-gutenberg-when-it-is-in-core/

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  6. Wendy

    This is awesome. As a middle tier developer, I’ve come from the custom field and template realm of WordPress. I’ve been creating my own forms of blocks using custom fields. I like the idea of Gutenberg because it speeds up that process but I’m not adept at React so I’ve shied away from developing my own blocks.

    I REALLY like that I won’t have to download a plugin with a bunch of needless functions. It’s my biggest pet peeve of themes and plugins. I’d rather have 30 plugins that each do something specific and needed then 5 plugins with 50 different features I don’t use or need that add unnecessary files to my websites.

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  7. Jon Brown

    From the start I felt blocks should be something parallel to and independent of plugins. This isn’t quite that, but I like it a lot!

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