Paul Biron and Joshua Wold are leading the upcoming WordPress 4.9.8 release, which was originally announced as 4.9.7. WordPress core contributors met yesterday to decide the general focus and set the release schedule. In the meantime, the 4.9.7 security and maintenance release was rolled out to fix an authenticated arbitrary file deletion vulnerability, along with a few other minor updates.
WordPress 4.9.8 is targeted for July 31, 2018, with a beta as early as July 17. The release will focus on introducing the “Try Gutenberg” callout and adding privacy fixes and enhancements. The ticket proposing the callout was opened a year ago and was planned to be included in WordPress 4.9.5 but was eventually pulled before the release in favor of allowing Gutenberg contributors to iron out a few important issues.
WordPress Core Committer Mel Choyce added the most recent round of designs to the ticket four weeks ago and contributors are still iterating on the design and text for the callout. Another iteration is expected to be added to the ticket early next week.
WordPress 4.9.8 is another step in Matt Mullenweg’s roadmap for getting Gutenberg into 5.0. The goal is to make more users aware of Gutenberg and to gather more testing and feedback before the new editor lands in core. The prompt will include a prominent button that users can click to install the Gutenberg plugin, along with links for where to learn more and how to report issues.
This should be great news, but I decided to use Gutenberg on a friend’s very simple site a few days ago and hit nothing but errors. “This block has crashed” (or whatever the phrasing of the message is) it has failed/ is unrecoverable / something.
The content of the page and whatever was being edited (text, gallery, etc) was regularly replaced with a grey “crashed block” error box. In that case there is no remedial action activated, presented, or apparent in the error box and process. Fortunately I know about post revisions and where to find them – and so was able to (regularly) reclaim the uncorrupted post versions. This seems bad to me.
What was I doing? I was entering galleries and basic text and headers on a brand new empty site. The theme was a simple well known cutdown framework and the only othe plugin was Woocommerce. Gutenberg crashed a block and I had to revert to a revision somewhere around 3 times within ten minutes. It was very infuriating.
Now, whats my aptitude level? Reasonably adept, as I write plugins for WP and I’ve been working with WP CPTs, API and CLI for many years. I’m up to date with eveything Gutenberg and I’ve followed and contributed (words) on the repo since Gutenberg was first announced. Regarding the WP editing experience and of editing posts I’m “an expert” compared to a general or new user.
What’s my stance on Gutenberg? Am I a “hater”?
I desperately want Gutenberg to succeed because of my vested interests in supplying easy intuitive solutions to my clients.
So, if my experience was profoundly negative due to the crashing and instability I’m very interested to see how general users respond. My suspicion is that the outcome will be bafflement and disappointment.
I wish these issues had been resolved before laying it in front of the general public as a finished product to try. You only get one chance to make that vital first impression. I hope the plugin becomes more stable before eventual release.
I will of course try to document these issues on github when I get chance.