WordPress 4.9.8 Released

WordPress 4.9.8 is available for download and is a maintenance release. Headlining this version is the “Try Gutenberg” callout. Note that not everyone will see the callout. Its visibility is determined based on certain criteria.

Gutenberg Callout in WordPress 4.9.8

WordPress 4.9.8 continues to improve the foundation set forth by the privacy improvements that went into core earlier this year. For example, the type of request that is being confirmed is now included in the subject line for privacy confirmation emails.

In total, this release has 46 bug fixes from more than 50 contributors. It was lead by Paul Biron and Joshua Wold. Since 4.9.8 is a maintenance release, sites that are able will update automatically. To see a full list of changes, check out the detailed changelog.

24 Comments


  1. And the “try gutenberg” is already a huge success with 14 one start reviews in the last 6 hours. At least GB team will not be able to pretend anymore that people one star it without actually trying it.

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  2. Are you sure that now it is safe to make the 4.9.8 update live or still there are a few (bugs) to be resolved? Last time I update the version without checking and got hell lots of problems so now I want to be sure and by sure I mean 100% sure :)

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    1. It went smoothly for all 4 of my websites. But you should probably make a backup anyway. Always, always make backups.

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  3. Why should one install classic editor if that is included in the core already and it’s working? Is it just a fantasy from some genius?

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    1. Because the Classic Editor will be disabled by default in WordPress 5.0 and removed from core at some point afterwards.

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      1. No, not removed. The Classic Editor plugin is designed to disable the Gutenberg code. The TinyMCE editor itself is the underlying basis of Gutenberg, and it will not be removed from core.

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    1. It won’t affect them at all.

      Even when you open them in Gutenberg for the first time, the content will be in a Classic block: a block that is (technically speaking) the absence of a block, since it is used in the editor for any content that is not between block delimiters. The block is basically an embedded version of the TinyMCE editor box in the Classic Editor, and it acts pretty much the same. You can choose to convert the Classic block into standard Gutenberg blocks, or you can just leave it as-is.

      Side note: the Convert to Blocks option currently strips out some formatting (inline color styles, for example) that it should not. There are some open issues and PRs on the GitHub project regarding this:

      https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/6102
      https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/6878
      https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/7604
      https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/pull/7995
      https://github.com/WordPress/gutenberg/issues/8450

      Luckily, you can just leave the content in the Classic block and not convert it to standard blocks until these issues are fixed. Or you could just never convert the content. If you are not going to be editing those older posts, then there is not really a reason to mess with them unless you just want to do it for fun like I did with my old posts back when I first installed Gutenberg on my website several months ago. :P

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      1. Thanks. That makes it easy for me knowing nothing already posted will be affected.

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      2. I tried it, and the whole screen is blank. no access to posts/pages..
        on WPMU

        not a good sign.. is it!?

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    2. Once you open existing posts with Gutenberg and convert them to blocks, their internal code and structure will be changed.

      There is no rollback possibility besides the general “Revisions” feature of WordPress, so make sure you a) have Revisions enabled for the post type and b) be aware that changes to posts after Gutenberg will be lost if you roll back.

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  4. When Gutenberg was first available to be tested I hated it. Thought it clumsy and felt it created a non-fluid authorship process. And it was bad. I knew Gutenberg would mature and it has. My reservations now center around compatibility with custom fields and existing plugins. I quite like Gutenberg now though it is not be an appropriate editor for all types of content.

    I still believe a full TinyMCE editor block must always be available in Gutenberg. Many authors prefer to use a single word processor style canvas compared to using multiple blocks to build a page. I hope Automatic keeps the Classic Editor block when WP 5 arrives.

    Already a few of my clients have complained about the ‘Squarespace’ editor. They do not look forward to it becoming the default editor. I think they will be fine with it once they learn the shortcut keystrokes such as changing a paragraph block to an image block by typing \image as the first word.

    The help documentation for Gutenberg needs a lot of work and the showcase website needs to concentrate on ‘how to use’ more than ‘why we [WP] did this to you’.

    A few of my thoughts on Gutenberg can be read here https://journalxtra.com/wordpress/wordpress-4-9-8-gutenberg/

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    1. I still believe a full TinyMCE editor block must always be available in Gutenberg. Many authors prefer to use a single word processor style canvas compared to using multiple blocks to build a page. I hope Automatic keeps the Classic Editor block when WP 5 arrives.

      This. Creating a new block for every frigging paragraph written is one of the most puzzling choices.

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      1. Why? Paragraphs are blocks that actually make sense to separate. Especially considering how the image block interacts with them and the flow of the text.

        As long as typing and editing normally disconnects and reconnects them as needed, then it’s kind of irrelevant as to how separate they are internally.

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      2. Paragraphs are blocks that actually make sense to separate.

        No, Otto, they don’t. You’ve just made that up. A paragraph is a paragraph. That is quite different from a block. Take a look at some professional writing software and you will see just how wrong you are.

        As long as typing and editing normally disconnects and reconnects them as needed, then it’s kind of irrelevant as to how separate they are internally.

        That’s complete BS. Which you’d know if you’d published hundreds of thousands of words using professional writing software. But you haven’t.

        No professional writing software pre-determines the size of a block. It would just keep interrupting the flow for a writer to have to think about creating a new block all the time. Instead, the size of each block always gets determined by the writer as s/he goes along.

        The hubris of those involved in Gutenberg is really quite astounding. You would think they might have taken a look at how professional writing software works. But they haven’t, and so they make bad design decisions and utterly absurd assertions.

        Oh, and just in case anyone would like to see what I mean, check out the following for a few examples. There are many others:
        Scrivener
        LyX
        Sigil
        Zim
        yWriter

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      3. Yes, that’s annoying both during writing and later, when you want to e.g. join some paragraphs together or change font for the whole article.

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      4. Tim Kaye:

        No professional writing software pre-determines the size of a block. It would just keep interrupting the flow for a writer to have to think about creating a new block all the time. Instead, the size of each block always gets determined by the writer as s/he goes along.

        Correct. And that’s the same thing that I said. You don’t have to “create a new block all the time”. You just keep typing.

        Try it yourself. Load up the editor, start typing. Hit return at the end of paragraphs and keep typing. Type a long missive if you like.

        Now, afterwards, take a look. All your paragraphs are blocks. No need to create anything, it does it for you.

        The other concern is what happens when you don’t want them to be separate blocks anymore. So, go to the beginning of one of your paragraphs, and hit backspace. What happens? I’ll save you the trouble: It merges the blocks back together, like they were never apart.

        That’s sort of my original point. As long as the editing flow is unchanged from a more normal editing flow, then the demarcation of paragraphs into separate blocks is kind of irrelevant.

        Where it becomes relevant is when you start doing other things to the content, like inserting images between paragraphs, or floating an image to the right and having a paragraph flow around it, or other such things that are more part of layout than writing. Then the block thing makes sense. It doesn’t make any sense for writing the content, true, but if it doesn’t actually change how the content is written, then it doesn’t much matter there.

        Don’t confuse considered opinions and disagreements with your own point of view with “hubris”. I’m saying these things because I’ve thought about these things and these are my opinions. Nothing more than that.

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      5. Johnny:

        Yes, that’s annoying both during writing and later, when you want to e.g. join some paragraphs together or change font for the whole article.

        Paragraphs can be joined together by going to the beginning of a paragraph and pressing backspace. In just the same way you would do it in a text editor.

        Changing “fonts” is not something that WordPress itself has support for. Presumably a plugin or something would add that, offering a selection of fonts from Google Fonts or the like. Nevertheless, adding font choice would be something that would be added to these blocks by said plugin.

        The “whole article” thing I grant you is unfinished. There is the ability to select multiple blocks, but the interface to adjust the specific details of those multiple blocks is still in the “Coming Soon” phase. I also have issues with the lack of good block-nesting in the interface. The code supports it, but there’s no blocks to implement it yet, and this makes styling somewhat difficult. Hopefully that gets finalized fairly soon.

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      6. @Otto,

        I’m saying these things because I’ve thought about these things

        Then you haven’t thought hard enough, because you don’t realize the implications of Gutenberg’s approach.

        The flow is important because I want certain paragraphs tied together in one chunk/block. That means that, if I later want to move one paragraph, the other paragraphs in the same block are automatically moved together with it.

        Try that in Gutenberg. It’s an epic fail. I have to move each paragraph individually because it’s its own block. (And, to compound matters, the toolbar then superimposes itself over the top while I’m trying to do this.) The only workaround is, at the time of originally writing that block, I have to consciously decide not to use paragraphs!

        No professional writing software forces me to make such choices. I can just write. But those involved with Gutenberg think they know better.

        So, yes, my use of the word “hubris” was entirely appropriate.

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  5. Just upgraded my WordPress to 4.9.8. The New Gutenberg editor is very intuitive but I think its need little bit improvement. Users need time to adopt this new editor.

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  6. While the TinyMCE editor remains in the WordPress package (5.0-?), all you need to do is add this to your active theme’s functions.php file:

    add_filter(‘gutenberg_can_edit_post_type’, ‘__return_false’);

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  7. I’ve been trying to work with Gutenberg all day and it’s a bust. I use Word to write my posts then copy and paste onto my wordpress blog Gutenberg won’t allow me to do any of that because If I do get it to paste into a paragraph block it never shows up when I preview it. Also Pexels does not work in Gutenberg so it is useless to me I’m staying with the classic editor until someone can figure out what is going wrong.

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    1. Try this.

      Copy your Word content.

      In Gutenberg, create a Classic Block (from the Formatting list).

      Paste your Word content into the Classic Block.

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  8. I just gave a presentation at WordCamp Denver last weekend about integrating Gutenberg into themes. The Gutenberg experience is absolutely far better if your theme has integrated support for Gutenberg, including the new Wide and Full alignment.

    Gutenberg itself provides basic support for most themes, but there are almost no existing production themes that support Gutenberg on both the front end and the back end, or Wide and Full alignment.

    I’ve released a plugin that makes most existing themes compatible with Gutenberg called Theme Support for Gutenberg. I’d really recommend trying this plugin to see how Gutenberg works with Wide and Full alignment. In addition, for themes that currently support theme styling with TinyMCE, Theme Support for Gutenberg also provides near WYSIWYG to match the theme in the Editor.

    Seeing theme integration with Gutenberg really changes the experience, and this plugin will let you see the potential for many existing themes. (It won’t break how your theme works now – just likely improve the Gutenberg workflow.)

    My free theme, Weaver Xtreme, also has complete support for Gutenberg if you want to see what real theme integration looks like.

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