Members of the WordPress community raised concerns that clients may install Gutenberg and shared ways to hide the prompt from users. The negative reaction inspired some developers to create plugins that hide the prompt.
WordPress 4.9 beta 3 includes a Gutenberg notification. I think this is a bad idea. This might trigger clients to try it, with bad things that can happen. If this goes in 4.9, use this code in your functions.php: remove_action( 'try_gutenberg_panel', 'wp_try_gutenberg_panel' ); pic.twitter.com/VwCo2OUtvc
— Marcel Bootsman (@mbootsman) October 19, 2017
One of the primary concerns is that Gutenberg is in a high state of flux and encouraging users to create content inside of it on live sites may cause compatibility issues or adversely affect saved content in the future.
“Any change to the integrity of published content and its formatting that results from changes during continued development and evolution would be unacceptable from the point that we encourage users this directly to install it on live sites,” Nick Halsey said.
“On the other hand, this could require core to take on significant technical debt to maintain compatibility for earlier iterations of the editor as a plugin.
“There should be a make/core post addressing this issue, at a minimum, along with a compatibility plan for the next stage of development as a plugin. Before core encourages millions of sites to use the plugin and rely on it functioning a certain way.”
Other members of the community advocated for the call to action saying it would lead to a larger test sample.
Getting the public to test Gutenberg is essential. If bad things happen, that's important data that must be gathered before full release.
— MortenRandHendriksen (@mor10) October 19, 2017
The call to action was removed after the core team discussed it with Matt Mullenweg, “I like the idea of the Gutenberg promo, but want things to be a bit further along before we really open the doors to try to get as many users as possible,” Mullenweg said. “If we can flag off or remove the promo, we can always bring it back in 4.9.1 or another time when things are more ready.”
‘Try Gutenberg’ Dashboard Prompt Will Set A New Precedent
There have been many WordPress features in core that started off as plugins first, MP6 being one of the most memorable. However, to the best of my knowledge, there has never been a dashboard prompt encouraging users to install and activate a beta plugin on a live site.
Although the call to action is focused on raising awareness of Gutenberg, John James Jacoby suggests that the meta block be rewritten so that it can be recycled for other features or plugins to use in the future.
“My concern is that the current approach is not scalable to future feature developments beyond Gutenberg,” Jacoby said. “For example, when a new codenamed feature comes along for WordPress 5.2, cloning this same approach does not seem ideal.”
He suggests that the dashboard widget become a standard part of the dashboard. “This way, we can hype the new hotness on an as-needed basis, and plugins that want to hide it forever can reliably do so one time in a plugin,” Jacoby said.
When Is the Right Time to Hype Gutenberg to the Masses?
Gutenberg is actively installed on more than 3K sites with nearly half of installations running version 1.4. This is a far cry from the 100K active installs Mullenweg would like to see before merging it into core.
I don’t think advertising Gutenberg in the dashboard to millions of users as the new editing experience should be considered until a merge proposal has been published on the Make Core WordPress site. By this time, many of its quirks and how it handles meta data, meta blocks, and preventing data loss will likely be solved.
I am one of the people who raised their eyebrows at the idea of advertising Gutenberg at its current stage of development to the masses. My primary concern is that it’s not ready yet. At the same time, I wonder when or if there is a right or responsible time to advertise installing beta software onto a live site. What do you think?