Gutenberg 10.0 was released today as the 100th iteration of the block editor since the project began four years ago. Although 10.0 may seem like a big number, it’s just another incremental step forward in terms of new features, improvements, and bug fixes.
Version 10.0 introduces a new dynamic pages block for building navigation menus. It can be added inside a Navigation block or used on its own.
Sometimes when you’re clicking around inside block editor content, it’s hard to select the parent block with nested blocks. This release makes the parent block selector visible and offset in the block toolbar. An easier way to select the parent block will become even more important as the quote block is on track to get nesting support with paragraph, heading, list, and code blocks allowed as children.
Version 10.0 adds a darker social links state for dark themes, brings block patterns to the inserter for template parts and other non-root level positions, and improves keyboard navigation in the block patterns inserter. The plugin also introduced dozens of improvements and new features to the experiments in progress for the site editor, full-site editing architecture and blocks, as well as the navigation and block-based widgets screens.
Riad Benguella marked the 100th release milestone with a few reflections from his unique vantage point as a technical lead on the project. He commented on the friction and pushback that contributors had to navigate in Gutenberg’s earlier days:
With all the attention that the project received, it became difficult to discern constructive debate from mere opposition. We each come with our own context, and some people had a fixed idea about what they wanted for the project. Some wanted to just reuse an existing page builder, others wanted to revive the Fields API project, some wanted it to be front-end-first, others wanted it to just replace the content area of the classic editor, some wanted it to be in Vue.JS, others wanted no change at all. With a product used by 40% of the web, we need to find consensus, and when we make compromises it can be so difficult for those involved to avoid the feeling that their voice is being ignored.
He admits that the project made a few mistakes along the way with sub-par stability on some releases, and performance and accessibility issues. In spite of all the difficulties contributors encountered, they have been able to win over many users who were initially not excited about the block editor.
“It’s a delight to see some people who had very strongly disagreed with the initial vision or approach to Gutenberg gradually come to enjoy using the editor and join the project to carry on its vision,” Benguella said. “Others might still not like it, some won’t ever use it. One thing is certain though, we’ll continue doing our best to push forward, improve what’s already shipped and ship new exciting features; we’ll continue making mistakes and hopefully continue learning from them.”
The block editor has opened up a whole new category of tools for people building WordPress sites, even before full-site editing makes its debut. In the comments of the release post, Gutenberg users mentioned the themes and plugins that have helped them ramp up into delivering sites built 100% with the block editor.
“When I first looked at Gutenberg I hated it,” web developer John Brown said. “Now, two years on, do a mix of Gutenberg and Kadence Theme and blocks and you can build virtually anything.
“The sites we have converted from other page builders to Gutenberg work just fine and we get great statistics on GTMetrix, Pingdom and Google Page Speeds.
“I will say, you need to learn how to use it, but when you get your head around it, you can make anything that a client needs.”
Another user who adopted the editor in the early stages said he has reached the point where he can build sites without having to use a lot of extra tools.
“I started using Gutenberg at 2.0 and never looked back since then,” software engineer Orlando Alonzo said. “Now I’m starting to produce full sites with nothing more than GeneratePress Premium and Gutenberg.”
Version 10.0 marches forward with the same pioneering experimentation in the full-site editing (FSE) project that has brought the editor to the stable state it’s in today. Contributors are aiming for an MVP for FSE in April, with version 1 in core in WordPress 5.8, expected June 2021. Check out the 10.0 release post for the full details on FSE progress and other improvements to the editor.