Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » No, not in core please

  • Ste_95


    Now please let me make a disclaimer. By all means, I don’t want to discard/de-value the incredible work that has been done on this project by so many people. It is huge. I don’t support this project, but that doesn’t mean I want to dismiss people’s work. Just keep that in mind, okay?

    I am both a WordPress plugin developer and a WP user (writer on several sites), and I must sadly join the side of those that don’t think this should make it into Core. Really not.

    Before being asked what didn’t work for me in particular, here is a small list of bugs I encountered in using the editor for writing one single post:

    1. Ctrl + Home does not bring me to the top of the post, as all other editors will do (and as was previous behavior), but only to beginning of current block.
    2. I have literally been unable to handle images properly. I insert one (with a button that’s totally elsewhere than it used to be) and then? How do I place it where I want? I want to resize it, but it’s not clear why there are only hooks on the right and bottom sides, while ANY application has hooks on all sides AND all edges. But okay, I resize it. Then, how do I move it? Drag and drop does not work! And if I require a tutorial to move an image, then maybe something should be revised here. And if it simply can’t be moved where I want after insertion, how well no I won’t use this. Don’t suggest Inline images as a solution, as they work even worse.
    3. Copying text across blocks from Gutenberg and pasting it into a text editor takes together a huge can of rubbish. Just try, in Gutenberg, to hit Ctrl + a > Ctrl + c, and then Ctrl + v in a text editor. I get things like
      <!-- /wp:paragraph -->
      <!-- wp:code -->
      <pre class="wp-block-code"><code>test

      This didn’t happen before and I really see no reason for it happening now.

    4. Things are more than a click away, differently than the classic editor. Say you have just finished a paragraph (now at end of line) and want now to create a list. This is the workflow one would adopt in classical: Enter > Click on List button at the top of editor. Now it’s Enter > Click on the hovering Plus sign on left > Look for List block > Click on List. It’s un-necessarily slower.
    5. The blocks list only shows up if there is content in the block. Difficult to understand and not easy to reach for things.
    6. Keyboard shortcuts for headings are broken. Ctrl + Alt + 2 does not make the text H2 anymore. Probably true for other shortcuts.
    7. Ctrl + y does not work – you can only go back in your edits, but not forward (tried Ctrl + Shift + z as well, no luck). Hit Ctrl + z twice, and you’re screwed! Really??

    And all these came up in just 10-minutes writing! Who knows how many more issues are lurking! I really don’t fell a piece of software that changes the user experience in so many ways AND is also so bugged should be included by default in a CMS that powers 30+% of the internet.

    I have provided a list of issues so that I can’t be asked “what didn’t work for you?” as I have seen done in many previous reviews. Now to the more philosophical reason, which I believe to be very important. What need is there for Gutenberg? There must really be a big one to justify all these changes. How can we justify breaking a GUI that dates back to Office Word 97? Is it just for the sake of progress? What does it add to the current experience? I have often read about ease-of-use, but really? My mother is used to the Word GUI, with all the buttons at the top and everything – how is Gutenberg going to make her life easier? I can already imagine her phoning me cause she can’t make a bulleted list.

    Also, is this aimed to real WordPress users, or to people who don’t want to pay a web-designer/developer and want to try to do things on their own? Do we need to compete with Wix? What about the Clean, Lean and Mean of Philosophy? I really, really wonder how this can improve the experience of 80%+ of users and what analysis led the team to believe this.

    Is this progress fine with breaking oh-so-many plugins and things? Is this an improvement worth of breaking those many things? But most importantly, why should this be compulsory? I realize that a lot of people have worked hard to get this project forward, and that they want their work to matter, but maybe it would just be best to have it as a plugin/option? Because, you know, to switch from the classic editor to Gutenberg because of a site update, is pretty much like going from Word 97 to Word 2016. I was a techie kid, and was lost when that happened – I can just imagine how my mother would feel. And you know what? I quit Office and started using Google Docs. Nothing is missing there, and it really is easy to use.

    You see, I can open the code editor and write direct HTML. When something doesn’t work as expected I say “who cares, let me fire up the HTML”, but it’s for my mother’s sake that we are advocating ease-of-use, right? Then think of totally changing her GUI – pleasing change? Mmmm, probably not. And when she asks you “What can I do that I couldn’t before?”, you better have some damn good reasons. And to be honest, Mullenweg’s enthusiastic remarks at WordCamp Europe 2018 about what you can with Gutenberg were so weak!

    Another think I really dislike is that Gutenberg brings me farther from the real code. On a clean post, looking at the HTML of the classical editor you’d only see p tags, a and imgs. Sometimes blockquotes, lists and so on, but that was very simple HTML. Now the content is littered with other stuff that is not my content, and makes it difficult to move it easily!

    And I get that we shouldn’t resist change and progress. But the oh-so-flawed assumption that is so often made is that ANY progress is fine. Wrong. Only careful, well-thought and planned progress is good. I see all the people with the latest Macbook going around with a Display Port adapter. They can’t plug in a USB device or an external monitor without it. So really, it looks like in its rush for progress, Apple has forced all its users to go around with an adapter (or to make an embarrassed face when a friend comes over with a usb key). Do we really need to force users to bear this change?

    The Core team decided that Gutenberg must go into core. Most importantly, they say they have developed it with their users in mind, knowing that it’s something that it’s going to improve their experience. I wonder where they got this from! Is there a public poll somewhere? Is there a public discussion where 30% of the internet participated? Or is it just that the team believes this is a great feature and they really want it to move forward?

    It’s true that negative feedback is left more often than positive one, and all that jazz, but maybe the Core team should re-consider this decision, even after it has been taken? Or I really don’t know what community you’d be listening to…

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  • markciotola


    This was really well-written and speaks for a lot of us in the WordPress community (and perhaps even most of us). This also characterizes the position in which most of our site users will feel themselves. Many of our authors don’t know HTML. They like the current WordPress because of the sensible, efficient usability of the current editor. Also, most of my users will feel really frustrated with Gutenberg’s balkanization of content alluded to in the above review.

    Moderator Marius L. J.



    Thank you for the thorough review there, I do appreciate it.

    You’ve identified a few bugs there, and a few behaviors we’ve not gotten around to yet, that’s super! I’ve already created tickets for the issues that we weren’t already working on based on this (point 1 and point 2).

    As for your 3rd point, this is somewhat expected, we created the blocks to be HTML comment markup, this means you can move it around between web editors without negative any negative impact. Of course copying from the Gutenberg editor into say, Microsoft Word, will include this markup and not hide it, but in cases where you want to copy live content you shouldn’t be copying from the editor but rather from the front end output even with the existing solutions that are out there.

    Your fourth item, this is one that’s going to be a matter of process. It’s actually easier to do all these things after you get used to the new editing experience, and there are certain built in text shortcuts already, such as for lists, starting writing with a dash or number should make un-ordered or ordered lists like in most word processors. You also have the ability to invoke blocks while typing (and helping discover them as well), just start by typing a forward-slash (/) followed by what you want to do, it’ll provide suggestions for blocks as you type as well, it’s rather handy and does speed up the process quite a bit.

    As for the undo/redo, we are currently working on this, it does work, but it’s not always having a visual representation of the changes made (it’s picking up DOM modifications which means it may be non-visible changes being undone/restored). We are tracking this in issue 5685.

    We do believe the new editing experience in Gutenberg will be liked by a majority of users, as you pointed out from our philosophy page. Users and developers alike have been asking for a new editor for years, and we’ve been thinking about it for just as long. We’re openly admitting it’s not done yet, this is why we invite you to test it in plugin form before it’s released, there are still many things that need to be addressed, but we’re confident that it’s a step in the right direction. And honestly, most plugins won’t even be affected by this, there are very few plugins that interact wit hthe editor where this may be a problem. My friend Mika has a fantastic writeup about why you’ll probably be fine with Gutenberg, that I highly recommend.

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