Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » Nice try… but fails big time.

  • I will try not to add to what has already been said 1,000 times, but I might be echoing stuff that was already said. It would be easy to complain and just say that Gutenberg sucks. While it does suck, I’m going to try to explain some of my complaints.

    First, it is clear that this wasn’t really planned well. It wasn’t well thought out. Most lead developers in a project that failed to this degree would have been fired. Instead, the team seems to double down on it.

    Fine, I want to believe. I want to love it. But I can’t.

    Why?

    Because I love WP and I want it to be as good as it ever has been, but this plugin is a reflection of the culture change in the wp community.

    Where a few decide that they will dictate what is better for others even though almost the majority disagree. The reviews and the downloads clearly show that most people don’t like it. Most people don’t want it.

    Why not make it a plugin and let it be a plugin for a while until it was truly amazing.

    For example, here are some basic things that are just broken.

    Selecting text with the keyboard does not work well. I could/can highlight text with the keyboard in the classic editor and cut and paste as I wish. Can’t do it with this, especially if the text spans 2 blocks or more.

    Pressing enter creates a new block, automatically. WTF? who decided this was a good idea? Are you forcing us to use line breaks to keep certain pieces of text together in a single block? Ugh.

    You could in the classic editor, select several paragraphs and apply settings to them all at once. That is not possible now.

    There are many inconsistencies as well. For example:

    The paragraph block has text and background properties for color. You can change that. GREAT! But you can’t change the same settings for a list block. What!?

    The floating toolbar covers text that you may (and likely) need to read as you are typing the next line or paragraph, so you have to do some funny acrobatics to select and deselect different blocks just to re-read the “paragraph” above.

    The link button was never great, but it worked fine. Now it’s wonky. There was an opportunity to add classes and other properties in the “add link” button, but that was totally overlooked, so not only do we have to deal with a funky link add button, but we *still* have to go into the code to assign properties like nofollow or other rel properties to that link.

    At the end, this is forcing us to do exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to make it easier to do things without touching code, but more than ever I find myself having to Go to the code view just to edit basic stuff.

    For a long time, we got used to TinyMCE because it works. That’s why it’s the most widely used editor ever, and why if it’s not used, it’s emulated. Almost every significant open source project uses it or a variation of it. It’s easy to use, it’s understandable, and people get it.

    With WordPress being the dominant player in the space, was it really necessary to flip this upside down? Why not improve it one step at a time. As it stands now, even as I write this, it seems that Gutenberg development didn’t really have the necessary planning, resources, and testing as it should have.

    For average users (the majority of users), this isn’t a tiny component of WordPress. The editing window *is* the core of WordPress. It’s how we press those words. It’s how we build most of any site. A site without content is just a deployed theme, so *content* makes everything and this broke the content flow for most people. To look at shitty services like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly as models of what is “modern” and what WP should have done is ludicrous.

    I am still using Gutenberg because I believe this is how WP is moving and there’s no turning back. And for new users that I introduce to WordPress, I don’t even tell them about the classic editor at first. I bite my lip and my tongue and try not to lash out and complain when they can’t do something that they expect to work certain way. I remain hopeful that this will be fixed soon.

    They don’t know any different, but after some time, I’ve been forced (every single time) to introduce them to the classic editor and to tell them the story of how it used to be. Then they get it and they say… oh this works so much better. This is what I was expecting. But then they want a few “cool” things that Gutenberg has. Emphasis on the “” around cool, because that’s what they are, “cool” not necessary. Like drop cases on a paragraph. Or bumping paragraphs up or down.

    It’s because of this total mix of great ideas and poor implementation that I can’t rate this at 1 star, but I also can’t rate it at 4 or 5, I wish I could do 2.5 and split that into 2 for effort, and .5 for execution. And it’s for this reason that I have and probably will continue to have a love/hate relationship with the Gutenberg editor for years to come.

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