Matt Cromwell Hosts Matt Mullenweg in Q&A Gutenberg Interview

Matt Cromwell, Head of Support and Community Outreach for GiveWP and an administrator for the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, hosted a question and answer session about Gutenberg with Matt Mullenweg earlier today. The interview concludes the Advanced WordPress Gutenberg interview series that includes, Joost de Valk, Ahmad Awais, and Tammie Lister.

Mullenweg began the session by explaining why there is a concerted effort to improve the editor. “It’s really almost any user test that you watch,” he said. “Both watching people brand new to WordPress and those with years of experience on how they used the editor. It became obvious that we could make something more accessible to new users, but also, a lot more powerful for developers.”

With regards to a release date, Mullenweg confirmed that Gutenberg will ship when it’s ready. Later in the interview, Mullenweg was asked if he could provide a more concrete answer.

“For those who want a concrete date, we will have one or two orders of magnitude more users of Gutenberg in April,” he responded. “That doesn’t mean necessarily a 5.0 release, but it does mean that if you’re planning on aiming for something where a lot of users will be interacting with Gutenberg, aim for April.”

While the project’s name is Gutenberg, some developers have expressed concerns on how the name will be deprecated if at all once it’s merged into core. There are a number of educational resources, products, and tool kits referencing Gutenberg that could be a source of confusion once it’s merged into core and referred to as the editor.

Mullenweg was asked if the Gutenberg name will be deprecated. “We’ll see,” he replied. “I don’t think it’s the most important thing to figure out right now. We’re tackling some much bigger issues. If the plugin is useful, we’ll keep it around for beta testing, if not, we’ll have it turn itself off.”

Mullenweg concluded the interview thanking the Advanced WordPress Facebook group for the passion and discussions shared by members. The group has more than 30K members, is free to join, well maintained, and often filled with interesting topics. You can watch the interview in its entirety below.

18 Comments


  1. Thanks Jeff! Was a great honor to have Matt do the AMA for the group. He also announced that he’d be at WordCamp Miami since they are doing a Gutenberg track (which I’m one of the speakers for that track). There’s a lot of good info for devs in the interview, and we’re happy to have published it for general consumption as well. We hope to push out more great content from our “little” Facebook group this year. Thanks!

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    1. Awesome interview Matt and Matt. Always nice to see and hear both of you.

      P.S. Glad you got the audio fixed, the first couple minutes were painful…

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      1. Thanks Jon. Might be time to get the rest of the AWP admins some screentime! What topic are you going to cover this year ;-)

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  2. Matt Cromwell’s Facebook groups are rather shady. I was banned from his group for warning members that an increasingly well-known blogger (name withheld here) was being paid to recommend products without posting the required FTC disclaimers:

    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

    That blogger was doing the same thing in Cromwell’s group.

    What the WordPress community doesn’t need more of is backroom dealings between “influencers” that border consumer fraud…

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    1. Sorry you feel that way. I honestly don’t remember the incident you’re describing. Happy to consider you for membership again. The group has evolved a lot over a long period of time. We have about 28 admins from all over the world and we just simply volunteer our time with nothing shady about it at all. Feel free to DM me on FB and we can get that resolved for you no problem.

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      1. It’s interesting you say that Matt — we did chat already via DM, and you said (and I quote): “This will be my last reply… you gave no justification for your claims… we are admining the group, not entering your slander war” (end quote).

        Apparently screenshots of illegal online endorsements don’t count as enough “justification” in your point of view — or maybe you are just too cozy with certain characters, I don’t know. We see this movie happen again and again in the WordPress community.

        “Shady” is the nicest term I could come up with for a third party blog’s comments section…

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  3. Great interview, gentlemen! Matt, best of luck with your WC Miami presentation and look forward to connecting with you at another event soon.

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  4. From a user’s point of view, not as a developer —

    Why when I talk about Gutenberg do I always get the feeling I am talking about “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?

    I get that a better content editor is needed for different reasons. I also get that a totally new, semi free-form way of assembling a site is desirable. I also know I don’t get a lot of the stuff that’s going on below the surface.

    But why on earth does it have to be so damn ugly?

    Plain, non-intuitive, and opaque — these are first things that spring to mind when I think about Gutenberg interface right now.

    OK, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so isn’t it about time they got a bonafide UX developer involved, and at least made it look/feel like what everyone hopes its going to become?

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      1. Obviously you and I mean something different when we say “bonafide”. I would suspect Ms Lister (no harm to her personally), and her ‘design by committee’ ideas, are part of the problem, not the solution.

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      2. @terence, actually it is not lack of design or an issue of design by committee. Both leads of the projects are official designers, it is just that modern designers hate users with the depth of their souls, as users actually want a useful design for which they will not have to get a PHD to be able to use it, which get in a way of the designer’s wish to make “beautiful things” ( Something that its definition changes about every two years)

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  5. Gutenblock is just the beginning. What I think is happening with WordPress right now, is a “soft fork”. 

    The marketing steering committee has decided to leave the great unwashed to the Wixes and the Squarespaces of this world, and reposition the platform as a high-end CMS, for creatives and techies, to use as a social content marketing, design and communication tool. Not a business website. Not, that is, unless you are a theme designer, ad agency etc.

    This emerging market is html/css competent and design savvy, so doesn’t need to be spoon-fed, nor need their hands holding. And since VIP and Woo are bringing in the lolly, it means WordPress is quite well off, which is more than can be said for the great unwashed, who even now, don’t know the difference between a post and a page, and still can’t use TinyMCE to best effect, let alone edit html.  

    Gutenblocks were never for them. And never will be.

    But on the bright side, this might well be the first time in its illustrious history that WordPress has consciously moved forward without a huge chunk of technical debt hanging round its neck. But of course, they can’t come out and say so, or there would be a fearsome gnashing of teeth, feigned social conscience, and market/profit eroding infighting in the ecosystem.

    So what I think is, WordPress is quietly “forking off” into the future, and leaving the old WordPress Mk I, and all its competition issues, and technical debt behind.

    Far safer to do it that way round than come out and tell the truth, and try to sell the idea of a WordPress Mk II to everybody. I just wish they would hurry up and get on with it, because trying to work with this Gutenblock plugin is a pain in the petutie, right now, for a semi-techie like me.

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    1. This is just about the opposite of what is happening…

      (not talking about a soft fork – I actually agree with you there)

      From a dev point of view, WordPress is about to get more difficult, unless you have invested some proper time in learning modern web development practices.

      From a user perspective, this whole Gutenberg thing is designed for those that WordPress might lose to Wix of Squarespace. I see their aim, as providing a framework that theme builders can build atop to create themes that work in a much easier way, without the need for so many plugins etc.

      Having another admin screen for managing widgets was hardly intuitive. To take that example further, having a plugin to determine whether that widget should show on a page/post, as opposed to actually determining if the widget is used on the page or post edit screen is, was, and always will be backwards.

      From what I can gather from ACF and others, Gutenberg will work out of the box with their plugins, so not sure how it is going to stop people building custom CMS builds.

      Not that I like the way they have gone about this whole thing. They are patting themselves on the back now for listening, suggesting they did a great job. They didn’t… they did a terrible terrible job, and only started listening when the community roared.

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  6. Oh Mei, ohei. Someone needs a hug soo badly.

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  7. I really like Gutenberg especially the way it let me to just type “/” follow by the block’s name to search the block. It make my writing even faster than when I was using the classic editor. Even though I always use shortcut key with classic editor but still I have to look at keyboard to type those combination key. Now I don’t have to do that anymore with Gutenberg. I also like that it cut down many steps of “click”. I normally only use h2-h4, image but just try Gutenberg it already make my writing smoother experience. Didn’t mention about I can create button and save it to use later!

    I understand if developer will hate it as they will have big job to do but I think for the end user it will not be a big deal. I am also the one that was thinking why the hell they make it like a page builder as I prefer the minimal simple workflow but really it is easier, simpler and more nature. I stop scroll up and down or looking for the small buttons. Well done for the move. I can’t wait for the update. (Well I still wait for yoast and one more plugin that I have to use in the editor lol)

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    1. That’s great to hear Emily. I mentioned the slash commands in the first interview with Joost. They’re fun for sure and a power-user definitely can benefit from them greatly. Thanks for your constructive comments.

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    2. Can’t wait to see how much free repair work I will have to do for clients whose content will be affected because of this. Yes, they say it will work out of the box, but MSFT said the same thing about VB.NET and lots of us Classic VB gurus were left out to dry. Nonetheless, I will be sending Automattic the bill.

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