Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » Gutenberg editor? It’s the pits.

  • I originally posted this in agreement with another users 1-star rating. I decided to re-post it as an independent review, so I could add myself to the one-star cotillion.
    Since then, it has been expanding.

    Summary: I have rarely seen anything so unusable. It is just impossible to work with lists or indentation. It’s like a box of chocolates: For any action where you indent or try to continue a previous list, there is just “no telling what you’re going to get”.

    Moved again!: Editing here is a bit unwieldy, as well. So I moved the review to a Google Doc. That doc is expanding as I explore alternatives to WordPress: “Gutenberg” Editor: It’s the pits!

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    March 2021 additions:

    1. Never mind indented lists. You can’t even indent a normal paragraph! In the Classic editor, I indent paragraphs for a Note, or a Tip, and like that. “Quotation” is no good for that purpose. But that’s the only way to indent ANYTHING, in the block editor.
    2. Worse, the editor never seems to know where I am! Click somewhere to edit. Scroll somewhere else. Click there to make a change. WHAM! You’re back where you WERE. The ONLY way to change locations in Gutenberg is to use the arrow keys, or page-up/page-down. Scratch that. Arrow keys and page keys don’t work to maintain your position, and scrolling is useless! So clicking in the damn editor is pretty much like a box of chocolates–you never know where you’re going to get to.
    3. Taking everything into account, I have just about concluded that GOOGLE DOCs is a much better tool for blogging! This blog would then become a way to announce new Google Docs.

    Why Google Docs, you ask?

    1. Editing is a hell of a lot easier to edit and make changes.
    2. If a post turns out to be long (as mine frequently do), you can download it as an ePub. Voila! Instant book.
    3. A table of contents is AUTOMATIC, and it’s ALWAYS AVAILABLE, right there in the sidebar. (In my hosted site, I need a plug in for that, and it’s only at the top of the page. In the WordPress website, you can’t get one at all, since it requires a plugin.)
    4. The built-in grammar suggestions are weird, at times. But overall they are much better than the ones you get in Word. And in addition to ignoring a suggestion, you send feedback that it’s wrong! So my expectation is that it will keep improving over time.
    5. Interesting feature. I can apply a Heading format to a list item, and it remains a list item. That puts into the sidebar contents listing, while also preserving it’s in-line list-format. Cool way to use it in a ToDo list: Change priority items to H3. Use normal text for Non-priority items. It’s then easy to find and get to priority items, for items in a sequential list!
    6. You can add an em-dash easily. In Gutenberg, you either have to switch to a classic block, or edit as HTML.
    7. You can COPY things, for crying out loud. In Gutenberg, mixed-blocks mess you up. Highlighting LOOKS like you selected stuff, but then cut and copy operations silently fail.

    ——————————–

    I’m guessing that Gutenberg’s blocks work great for media-heavy posts. Somebody must like it. For text-heavy posts and articles, Gutenberg is the pits. So “Classic Editor” it is. (I mean, there is NO WAY AT ALL to indent a paragraph in the block editor. Why?? What was the reason for creating a “replacement” editor that doesn’t include basic, everyday functionality provided by the old one??)

    So, to indent text under a list item (or nested item), you have to add a “classic” block. But then you find out there is NO WAY TO CONTINUE NUMBERING from the previous item. I mean, I could even live with a manual, “set list number”. But that option doesn’t exist, either.

    The sad, sad workaround is this:
    1. For the next list item after indented text, add a “Classic Block”.
    2. In the block, convert the paragraph to a list.
    3. Hit the 3-dots icon and scroll down to “Edit as HTML”.
    4. Add the value=”n” attribute to the li tag for the list item.
    5. Add a SECOND li item-tag to the list. (explanation below)
    6. Hit the 3-dots icon and scroll down to “Edit Visually” to add text.

    NOTES:
    A. The Enter key at the end of a SINGLE list item does not work to extend
    the list. (If there is option that does, I have not found it.) However,
    if there are MULTIPLE items in the list, then in the MIDDLE of the list,
    the Enter key DOES THE RIGHT THING. (It may or may not do the right thing
    at the end of the list. I haven’t had the heart to try it.)
    To edit the list visually, then, start with at least two entries in the
    HTML version of the list.
    B. Once you have done that, the indent and outdent options for the
    list items work rather well.

    Next, SPACING OF LIST ITEMS is INDETERMINATE.
    1. At the start, it was working pretty well. Double-newlines (shift+Enter) gave me consistent double spacing.
    2. As long as your are EDITING your post, you keep the double spacing. But when you COME BACK to (after restarting your system or browser), double spacing between list items has DISAPPEARED.
    3. Double-spacing between PARAGRPAHS in a multi-paragraph list item is still there, though. With single-spaced list items, the result is weird and hard to read. But since you CAN’T indent a paragraph under a list-item, you’re FORCED to put 2 newlines between “paragraphs” for readability. As a result, there is NO SOLUTION for the awkward spacing.
    4. As with the standard block editor, there is no way to create an indented paragraph in a list item. (If you indent the list, and then make it a regular paragraph to remove the bullet or number, the “regular paragraph” immediately outdents itself entirely out of the list!
    5. I could live with consistent double-spacing, or consistent single-spacing. But with Gutenberg, it is impossible to get any kind of consistency at all in a nested list!
    6. The one possible workaround in the classic-block list is to add a non-breaking space (first item in the “special character” list) after the newline. That option doesn’t exist in the “normal” block editor, though, so if that workaround is effective, it means you can’t mix the two list styles. ALL LIST ITEMS MUST BE IN A SINGLE “CLASSIC” BLOCK.

    CONCLUSION
    It’s a pretty “baroque-n” picture, all told. Even the “workaround”, such as it is, requires a comfortable familiarity with HTML. Somewhere, I think there is a way to make the Classic Editor the default. Need to find that setting…

    Oh no! It gets worse! You can make Classic Editor the default, ONLY IF YOU INSTALL THE PLUGIN. I maintain one self-hosted WordPress site. It’s a bear. So for this blog, I went with the online WordPress option. But the WORDPRESS WEBSITE DOES NOT ALLOW PLUGINS.

    The Classic Editor plugin page says it is an “official” plugin. Why, then, is it not installed on the website, and available for use???

    The bottom line in all this is that the WordPress Website HAS BECOME MUCH LESS USABLE for any kind of serious writing. (It’s a damn shame.)

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Thread Starter Eric Armstrong

    (@aeric325)

    I wanted to edit the review above, but time has expired.
    Too bad, because I wanted to report that the work around
    is even a little better than expected:
    Once you have a multi-item list with two or more items in it,
    the indent and outdent features work nicely.

    Thread Starter Eric Armstrong

    (@aeric325)

    The edit button moved from the bottom of the review to the top after some time duration expired. Weird, but okay. At least editing is still an option. So I’ve added to it.

    The comments I added here were integrated into the original review. (I can edit this follow up comment, but have not as yet found a way to delete it.)

    Unfortunately, the other comment beside this one still remains. I can neither edit that one nor delete it. But ignore it. I folded those comments into the original post, as well.

Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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