WPWeekly Episode 337 – Gutenberg User Experiences, Release Timelines, and the Classic Editor

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I break down what’s happening with Gutenberg. We discuss our trials and tribulations with the editor, the release timeline, and calls from members of the community to delay WordPress 5.0 until January. We also share details on how long the Classic Editor plugin will be supported. Last but not least, we talk about the possible release strategy of shipping point releases every two weeks after WordPress 5.0 is released.

Stories Discussed:

How to Add an Image to A Paragraph Block in Gutenberg

Adding Aligned Images to Paragraphs in Gutenberg Is Not as Tough as I Thought

WordPress 5.0 Beta 3 Released, RC 1 Expected November 12

WordPress 5.0 needs a different timeline   

WordPress 5.0 is Not Ready

Classic Editor Plugin May Be Included with 5.0 Updates, Support Window Set to End in 2021

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8 Comments


  1. There will be Gutenberg (block editor) user documentation in the new HelpHub that’s currently being migrated to .org by the docs team right now.

    The docs folks are working in tandem with Chris Van Patten and the Gutenberg docs team to make sure block editor docs are part of the HelpHub migration and launch. Lots of moving pieces but the teams are pushing hard to get all of that up and launched in time for the 5.0 release.

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  2. I felt like applauding all the way through this podcast. I didn’t because my hands wood by bloody by the end.

    Everything you say here, the weirdly terrible project management, the creeping and drifting design by whimsical iteration, etc. Etc.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m taking crazy pills looking at this thing and simultaneously reading people acting like its all fine, like the emperor has a nice suit on.

    The emperor is heading for a very rude cold shock. This thing is terrible in so many ways. Sure it kinda works, but it has the taste of bad specifying, bad goals testing, and bad risk management. Its absurd that such a large company is so unproffesional with such a big product.

    Sometimes I have imposter syndrome when specifiying and managing client projects. Gutenberg has made me feel incredibly competent. Its insane to see. I cant beleive it’s happened this way.

    Thanks for this podcast. A small candle light of sense in some lunatic darkness.

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    1. By the way – I apologise for the brutal typos in the previous post, I know they are painful to get through. I’d blame technology but it’s just a Friday issue.

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  3. I agree that there are things in Gutenberg that’s a bit rough and needs more polish. But i like it anyways and i think something must be done to improve the editing capabilities in wp.

    I work as an wp instructor (the last 4 years) and have seen so many first time wp users. And i would say agood majority are disappointed in how limited you are with the editor. It’s not until they use a pagebuilder / divi they feel they can do what they need in it. More and more of them even ends up in wix…

    I’m super excited and a bit scared. It will be a bumpy next year. I’m sure. And i have some courses where pupils will start in classic the first day to be thrown into Gutenberg the next. Those will probably have the hardest time…

    I’ll see in a year or so if people struggle more or less :)

    Have you tried the Gutenberg-blocks with woocommerce? If not – do. It’s so good and shows what I think is the best thing with the flexibility with Gutenberg.

    I have a past (~1999-2014) as a web dev / dev focused on useability and are really interested in that. I have been using WordPress since 2006. Unfortunately i developed quite bad RSI that’s why i teach mostly now. But i really like to help people so that’s ok as well :)

    Thanks for a good show! Really like it!

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  4. The data storage model used for Gutenberg is stupid and should not have been introduced in the first place. No amount of polish can ever fix that stupid decision.

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    1. Exactly. Just look at constructions plugin authors now are using to “work around” that broken concept e.g. here for scheduled blocks, server load anyone?

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  5. I guess my main hesitation (long-term) with Gutenberg, is if it will ever get refined, or just end up as the default page-builder-wannabe thing so WordPress can be more Wix’y.

    I’ve been waiting for how long now, for the comment section – arguably a core part of blogging – to get even reasonably good, but sloppy, barely useable seems good-enough and it’s on to other things.

    Are the other ‘page builder’ solutions (ie: Divi, Cornerstone, etc.) just going to stop and let Gutenberg catch up, and then jump on board? (Not if I’m reading their plans correctly.)

    And, do we all have to relearn the basics of writing and editing? For example, Gutenberg turns everything (ie: paragraphs, headings) into blocks. Is WordPress becoming a a tool to create lead pages, or is it still a writing platform? Or, are the blocks the new method of writing and ‘word processing’ we’ll soon see Word and all there rest of the word processors switching to?

    Aside from this feeling horribly rushed, I’m wondering if this is the future or will end up a half-baked feature-point so WordPress can say it’s a ‘page builder’ kind of thing, too (so don’t head to Wix yet).

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    1. If the word processors were to switch to this, based on what I’ve seen in Gutenberg, they’d be a nightmare.

      I’ve checked out Wix and don’t want it. I like my simple editor. I set up a test site with Gutenberg and played around a bit, and already I’m finding things I don’t like at all, things which affect how I use my site every day.

      Such as, I can’t change the color of two words in a block for emphasis; the entire block changes color unless I use Classic Editor block. I don’t see my list of revisions from the Simple Revisions plugin, something I use every day to clean up my database. I have the TinyMCE plugin to add in features that WP has taken out over the last few years; I can’t use that, either, without the Classic Editor block. So might as well stick with the Classic Editor (except that it’ll only be supported for 3 years).

      I have seen blog posts which probably used something like Wix or Gutenberg, and it worked well for them. But these are, say, how-to posts, or image-heavy posts, or posts with pull-quotes. I don’t do posts like that. (I didn’t even know what a pull-quote was until yesterday.) My focus on my website is simple and minimal, light on images and animated gifs and sidebars, which I find very distracting and annoying on other sites.

      The problem is we don’t get a choice of one editor or the other based on our individual needs–and over time our menus and widgets will also change to these dratted blocks whether we like it or not. I’m considering going to ClassicPress, except that I wonder if my plugins will work in the long run when the authors adjust them to Gutenberg.

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