24 Comments

  1. Eugene Kopich

    Reminds me this – “a lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”

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    • Nick

      In my case it reminds me “a lot of times, people are certain what they DON’T want until you show it to them, and they see what a load of rubbish the whole hype is”

      To keep everyone happy, we should at the very least have the choice of using either editor, and this thing it’s not just an editor, it’s a whole new way of configuring the editing screens. Some will love, some will hate it. We should have the freedom to choose which way to go.

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  2. Erick

    My sense is Gutenberg tries to solve at least 3-4 obvious issues:

    – beauty of UI
    – ease of use
    – the ability to create more complicated page layouts without knowing code (the same type of problem that page builders are currently solving)
    – making extensions to the editor by themes or plugins more consistent at both code and interface levels

    How well it does these things can be debated. Without any data to back it up, my sense it will do several of those things fairly well.


    I continue to believe, however, that the biggest looming potential calamity with Gutenberg will come from the fact that there appears to be very little concern for backwards compatibility or for the staggering variety of content that is created by WordPress users. They just haven’t anticipated anything other than the most basic kind of content.

    If Gutenberg is rolled in anything like its current form – which appears to be the intent, especially if there are considerations for a 2017 release – it will likely break millions of WordPress pages (those generated with page builders, tinymce-plugin content, custom post types, custom editing interfaces, etc, etc), and thousands of WordPress plugins and themes. The resulting chaos and uproar, as well as the damage done to perceived stability of the platform, could easily overwhelm any benefits.

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    • PPNSteve

      This.
      Breaking existing post content and various plug-in generated content is a def no-go show stopper.

      If forced on us, Gutenberg NEEDS to be able to work with, read, and convert (if needed) existing content as well as work with what ever plugins and theme mods the WP user has.

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  3. Clif Graves

    I have been using WordPress for a lot of years. I have just started looking at the Gutenberg plugin.

    I may just be set in my ways but… I have never liked the ‘distraction free editing’ screens but if I accidentally ended up there I could get back to the old standard editor.

    Gutenberg strikes me as part of the old Mac concept that if you leave things out and make it all look flat it will make it easy to use. It also seems like cosmetic change for change sake. As an option it somewhat makes sense given that the traditional editor was also available.
    As a total replacement, I have my doubts but will be waiting to see what is added and revised as the work on it continues.

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  4. Amir Helzer

    There are a number of very good page builders for WordPress. These builders have evolved over time, with a ton of user feedback.

    They are successful because they do a good job and allow developers to build sites quickly, the way they want.

    I don’t entirely understand why WordPress core is choosing a completely different approach, without even considering to use/build something like developers show they want.

    A few years ago, WordPress adopted the menu system from WooThemes, which is now our standard WordPress menu. Why not do the same for the editor?

    I’m pretty sure that all the developers of the popular page builders would go out of their way to support the WordPress core in including/rebuilding a new editor.

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    • David McCan

      @Amir, my understanding is that members of the Beaver Builder team are sharing some of the “lessons learned” with the Guttenberg team. So that is a positive thing.

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  5. Tevya

    Like Jeff implies, I’m wondering what happened to “just write”? For those who are blogging, we still need a simple post editor that’s not block-based. I use Divi with it’s page builder on over 40 client sites, but we still just use the regular old WP post editor for writing and publishing posts. If Gutenberg is really needed and presents a true improvement, great. But it needs a “just write” mode with simple formatting and media insertion tools like the current TinyMCE editor and Calypso have (preferably with markdown). Just make sure there’s something simple and easy like that, please.

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    • Mark Root-Wiley

      I’m wondering what happened to “just write”?

      This is one of my top concerns and feels like it is getting lost quickly.

      In the planning stages for the editor, one of the tests people often talked about was that the editor needed to support “type type type type type”. As the prototype editor gets more and more complex, I worry that is getting lost.

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  6. Jeffrey

    Do our opinions on Gutenberg really matter? I thought it is already a done deal.

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    • Alec

      WordPress.org remains a community project. Matt can pull the covers a long way his way, but at the end of the day, the Emperor’s Tailor will be judged by the public. If you don’t express your voice and you don’t participate, you lose your vote.

      As examples of code removed from WordPress, finally post formats was pulled in 2013 (there’s an intriguing tweet in Weston’s post by Matt which foreshadows Gutenberg):

      What if post formats weren’t a type of post, but formats you could include in a post with multiples + and drag/drop/rearrange? #wcsf #sotw

      Post formats were chasing Tumbler. Gutenberg is chasing (a dying) Medium. I hate writing in Medium (or even commenting there) despite the quality of the content. Some people love Medium though.

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  7. Graham Armfield

    In your list of links at the top of this post, the ‘shares his first impressions’ link just after the first mention of Adrian Roselli implies that the link goes to Adrian’s post. But actually it doesn’t, it points to Mark Root-Wiley’s post again. Adrian’s post is at: http://adrianroselli.com/2017/06/first-reactions-to-gutenberg.html

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  8. Garikai Dzoma

    As an Ubuntu user Gutenberg sounds a lot like Mark Shuttleworth’s Unity 8 project. An overly ambitious vaguely defined project. Most of the features touted in Gutenberg I have no need for. There is also the mistake of thinking of WordPress as a blogging software instead of a CMS. I would suggest Gutenberg be turned into a parallel editor before merging.

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    • Jeffrey

      Yeah, the Unity project made many Ubuntu users abandon Ubuntu and turned to other distros and now they finally decided to drop the project. Hopefully WordPress is not going the same path.

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  9. Patrick

    Seems like a bazooka to kill an ant, and one that is fairly counter-intuitive…especially if one has years on the ‘traditional’ WP editor.

    But, as others have noted, doesn’t seem like we’re being given a choice: it will be released and it will replace TinyMCE.

    So much for the highly democratic and open-source WordPress…

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  10. Tung

    If Gutenberg becomes the default visual editor and eventually offers even more features, would that kill off the theme development community? Because, WordPress would become an app with it’s own CSS rather than a framework for modification / theme-ming.

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    • Erick

      I’ve long wondered if the trend toward page builders would do this to themes as well. With most modern page builders, often the best theme is more like a vanilla theme with little styling to interfere with the page builder generated pages and templates.

      Basically each page has its own design, top to bottom, that overrides any theme styling anyways. Taken to its logical conclusion, themes would become obsolete.

      That said, I don’t have the impression that Gutenberg goes nearly as far in this direction.

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      • Tung

        A boring part of front-end theme development is the dreadful phase when I have to customize HTML components generated by WordPress. Even more default components via Gutenberg seems like a lot of work just to release one theme.

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  11. Cathy

    There are those of us who go against the tide trying to educate consumers to use headers as headings and not style choices; we try to tell them that they do NOT need to change fonts and colors ad nauseum. However, that is a restriction that few other content publishing apps contain.

    This purist desire for simple is understandable, but is not the future. The future will always be ‘easier’. We are only going there now (late in the game compared to weebly, wix, etc), because we’re at a place where speed, flexibility and quality of code (arguably) doesn’t have to be compromised.

    I believe it’s inevitable. We can kick and scream all we like. (And we like.)

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  12. John

    Yes the editor is a HUGE change, yes there will probably be some growing pains at first, but we can’t all look and wait to see what Mullenweg says at any moment looking for some deep wisdom and then get upset when he makes a decision for WordPress. Yes its open source and a “community” project, but every community needs a leader.

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  13. PPNSteve

    Oh I should also note that I think Gutenberg should be an additional selectable editor along with TinyMCE with the WP user making the final editor to use choice.

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  14. David Artiss

    When I first heard about Gutenberg, I asked some people at WordCamp London and later at WordCamp Europe who had requested it.

    There appears to be some short memories. Pretty much everytime the editor comes up here, there is a long discussion about how it needs improving. For example.

    There are long discussions on Trac tickets which have been going on for years about how the editor experience should be changed.

    So, in answer to the question “who requested this” – the community did.

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    • Adrian Roselli

      Please note that I asked that question, not the author of this article. I also am not involved in WordPress as a contributor nor even as a community member — until now?

      So as a WordPress “customer” who suddenly heard about this new thing and also had access to the community, I started asking.

      I think the takeaway there is that being a WordPress user does not mean one is also aware of anything going on in the community.

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