Interview with Matías Ventura on Building the Vision for Gutenberg

At WordCamp Europe I had the opportunity to sit down with Matías Ventura, the technical lead for Gutenberg. Ventura, who has been responsible for building the vision for Gutenberg (in addition to building the actual product), shared a few things the team might have done differently in the earlier days to improve its reception in the community.

“I think we should have put a little bit more effort into clarifying what we meant by the ‘editor,'” Ventura said. “When Matt announced that we’re going to be focusing on the editor, the WordPress community generally took it that we were going to focus on TinyMCE. But the idea from the start was to focus on the editing experience as a whole, how a user perceives that, which is the whole page. I think it took some time to rectify that that was always what was meant – to look at the whole editing interface at once.

“With some of these projects people are going to be in different places at different times and things will coalesce and make sense at different paces. I think we’ve gotten to a point now where we have built enough of the Gutenberg vision that we can see where it can lead us.”

Several representatives from the Gutenberg team were available at WordCamp Europe for informal chats with the community. They also conducted workshops and gave presentations to prepare designers and developers for what’s coming in the next few months. Momentum for the new editor is building and Ventura shared what he hopes the world will see when version 1 is included in core.

“The thing that has been the most fulfilling, at least to me, has been seeing the regular users when they can use Gutenberg and build things that would have been very hard for them to do before,” Ventura said. “When they share those impressions – that they can build something that they are proud of and express themselves – to me that is the most fulfilling because that’s really one of the major points behind this. At the same time, I’m really looking forward to seeing what the design and developer community can build with it and where their imaginations can take us from there. Core is going to supply the infrastructure and the main building blocks but it’s everything that can be built around it that’s going to be exciting, as always with WordPress.”

Ventura also described some of the interesting possibilities of templates, nested blocks, and child blocks, and how they can be combined to create more sophisticated solutions. He recommends the page for resources on getting started with the new editor. Check out the video below for the full interview.

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  1. Good but major plugins still don’t work with Gutenberg. WordPress still lacks many REST API endpoints (there’s no way to make a search across all post types, yet, for example). The columns block (a main selling point) is still unusable. As of writing, most current widgets don’t have a block equivalent.


    1. I would love to find out more about the issues you are experiencing with the columns block Mike. I absolutely agree it’s an important one that needs feedback just like yours, thank you for offering that. There are a number of iterations planned, but could you perhaps make an issue here: to explain what you are experiencing that makes it unusable.

      Regarding widgets it’s worth noting that this will come over phase one and two. You are absolutely correct that as of today a lot of widgets don’t have a block, but many are coming. Latest comments is the latest one being worked on there for example.


      1. Maybe I’m missing something here, but why would anyone need a Latest Comments block for a post or page? They should go in the sidebar or in a widgetized content section, not in a post.


    2. I have a plugin that searches across all post types. It’s still in development, let me know if you would be interested.


    3. Column block is crucial. It helps building flexible layouts. Hope to see it work soon.


  2. To quote Helmut Schmidt, former German Chancellor: “Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen” – “Whoever has visions should go to the doctor. ”

    cu, w0lf.


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