Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » Promising,

  • I don’t get the hate. Gutenberg is great. Imperfect, yes, but pretty great.

    Yes, there are bugs. No, its not perfect. But lets not throw a baby out with the bathwater here: core WordPress is also littered with bugs–including some that trac has been following for 8+ years–and tons of equally “not perfect” features that nevertheless exist and are loved/hated/tolerated in 4.9 and below.

    The fact is that, starting with 5.0, everyone will have a page builder. We won’t rely on 6 or 7 different page builder plugins/themes with various levels of support and bugs. We will have one that we, the whole of the community, can comment on, contribute to, and improve. We wont be married to our favorite and soon we won’t need to accept or decline work based on our clients’ past developers’ choices.

    The fact is that, while things like poor a11y and certain old-browser bugs are rampant, this this is still an improvement.

    The fact is that, for years, WordPress has been ridiculed by publishers who write on medium and other easy-to-use editors because our stuff is like a Model T in a world of Honda Civics.

    That fact is that a number of the worst complaints aren’t on the core writing systems, but on the learning curve for developers that will be forced to adapt (but haven’t, event though Matt challenged us “know Javascript deeply” two years ago), or the difficulty in modifying Gutenberg to advanced things (that aren’t really that hard, just require new skills to learn). The fact is that, with time, documentation, people blogging about it, and people using it, the internet will be soon riddled with how-tos, StackOverflow articles, and YouTube videos of community members conquering Gutenberg and showing others how to as well. It won’t take long, but it won’t happen until it must. No amount of delay will avoid that pain, its a bandaid we’ll need to rip off.

    I got paid by a client in August to build a robust but stupid hard to use site powered by Advanced Custom Fields Pro’s repeating fields. Its slick, I gotta say. Each “block” could have a background color or video or image, could have parallax enabled for images, had alignment settings, and could have infinite types of child blocks added to it. It took me forever–like 60 hours of dev time. But I knew this was no longer the way. So once it was done and delivered, I recreated a page from that site in Gutenberg with 3 hours of development. I needed only one custom block (a container wrapper–hint hint devs) to take the background settings and receive inner blocks, and a few changes to my Javascript and Styles to target the Gutenblocks. 3 hours to recreate what took my 60 hours!

    Yes, there are bugs. On the most modern version of Chrome on Apple’s most updated Mac OS, an arrow-down from a link suggestion breaks the block. Must fix, if you ask me. Don’t edit HTML for any block with inner blocks, because even a space where one doesn’t belong breaks the block and forces you into HTML mode or else. Unwelcome spaces or bad code shouldn’t break my inner blocks. Also, columns have been in “beta” for a year, yet are a huge feature. They need a fix! Warning: Don’t backspace then type a number in the columns block unless you want to lose all your columns’ content either–just arrow up to add a column. Or better yet, why do we have to use the slider to add one? And when one of Gutenberg’s best features is its full-width and wide alignments, you’d think they would let the editor window grow a little, like… to the width of the screen when I hide the sidebars? 610px is really bad and its not trivial to add CSS to your editor to fix it (but possible, fyi). And 610/3 is 203px, do they wonder why at 3 columns that feature is unusable?

    But here is the truth: you didn’t have columns in MCE unless you used ugly shortcodes that married your site to them forever and left garbage in your database where there should only be data. Keyboard controls overall suck in MCE suck too–even today. MCE didn’t have inner blocks, and switching from HTML to visual mode caused issues all the time there too. I may be good at building for ACF, but it bloats your postmeta table and makes transporting those pages by API impossible–same with pagebuilders. So if I could conquer that learning curve for ACF while making the content accessible to the REST API, I can conquer that curve for Gutenberg too.

    Its just easy to complain about whats wrong with Gutenberg while forgetting whats wrong with tinyMCE and the plugin ecosystem that has propped up the “old” editor for so long.

    Yes, change sucks. But the bandaid has to come off sometimes. Would you rather pull it out slowly and suffer longer, or just get it over with? RIP IT OFF.

    Gutenberg isn’t perfect. But is like 15 steps forward with 1 step backward. Lets start by celebrating everything it does right. Then, instead of wasting our energy on complaining and insulting the developers who have spent years and given their heart and soul and sweat to this project, lets turn that energy into volunteering to write documentation, reporting and commenting on bugs, contributing to the codebase, or simply by learning how to write ESNext in React and filling our blogs and StackOverflow and YouTube with content to help a community make this change. Please?

    That said, 5.0 should be delayed Matt. Its not time for a victory lap yet. I want the bandaid off, but the Holiday season, when our clients are trying to celebrate and have fun isn’t the time to rock their world or ours. January is okay. Thanks.

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  • Excellent review! just one thing; since 4 or 4.1 (can’t remember which one), Columns block isn’t marked as beta.

    It is worth remarking that more than being perfect, we’ve just learn to get used to TinyMCE’s shortcomings. We have used it for so long that its defects have become pretty invisible, but they are there.

    And you point something that I have been saying from the beginning: like or dislike Gutenberg, your reviews help. Saying “its crap” or “suckz!” don’t.

    Again, very good review.

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