Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » (It Used To Be) Riddled with problems

  • Update:

    Gutenberg has come a really long way. For a full update, see my reply below, but suffice to say, the majority of my initial concerns have definitely been addressed. This is a much, much better piece of software now.

    Original Review:

    Here are just some of the problems:

    • Simple Youtube videos failing to embed 98% of the time, thus I have to teach clients to use html blocks
    • Random paragraph tags getting inserted everywhere
    • Copy and paste inserting random spaces into everything
    • Copy and pasting of blocks not always working (nothing gets put on the clipboard)
    • Absolutely no way to move multiple blocks at the same time. You have to move every single block, individually and manually.
    • The “tags” section bugging out and erasing all your tags for no apparent reason
    • A complete lack of any way to group/contain multiple blocks together without additional plugins or code or hacks
    • A super buggy interface right down to the basic drag and drop function (will often not drop where you dragged, frequently shows the line in the wrong place while dragging)
    • No way to do any meaningful layout design whatsoever
    • Incompatibility with FireFox+Grammarly (but it doesn’t prevent it from loading, so you will think it’s working until you spend 20 minutes correcting things only to have none of them save)
    • Certain blocks refusing to render when placed underneath a “more” block
    • Lots more open known bugs that are being worked on by exactly zero people
    • If you open a bug it will just get ignored. Not closed or marked as won’t fix. Left open and ignored.
    • No support available whatsoever, not even if you can pay

    The reality is that if a private plugin developer put out something that works this poorly, they would be laughed out of the room. Instead, since it was done by WordPress itself, it has generated a debate that rarely has anything to do with the actual product (if it did, the conclusion would be obvious, this is a piece of crap). Instead people are highly political about it, instead of debating the product itself they try to claim anyone who doesn’t like it hates change.

    That argument doesn’t fly with me, because I’m not coming from the classic editor, I’m coming from Drupal. I was 100% excited for and ready to embrace Gutenberg, the only problem is it’s pre-alpha quality software.

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  • Plugin Author Tammie Lister

    (@karmatosed)

    @frogdesk I just wanted to come back to this review and ask if you have tested the block editor as a little bit of time has passed and there have been improvements around the areas you are highlighting. If you are able to test again it would be really great to get your feedback as it’s really appreciated to dig into.

    @karmatosed Sorry for the delay in my response, been very busy with projects. I’ve now had a chance to come back to the block editor and you’re right, it’s come a long way. There’s a lot of really significant improvements, and you and the team who have worked on them deserve props.

    • I haven’t seen any of the random blank paragraphs in a while.
    • Copy and paste of basic text seems to be working a lot better, although it does usually still add an extra space at the beginning and end of the line when you copy a single line
    • You made it possible to highlight multiple blocks and move them up and down as a group, which is awesome and a huge improvement. It’s unfortunate that you still can’t drag them around as a group though, making it impossible to move things from one group to another without doing so one by one.
    • You added Groups, and they are infinitely nestable. In addition to just being much easier to organize content, this opens up pretty much all layout possibilities if you are willing to add classes and use a little custom CSS. It is a HUGE addition, and the main thing that lifts Gutenberg cleanly out of “toy” status in my mind.
    • You made the drag and drop interface MUCH more performant, and MUCH more readable. There are still some improvements that can be made (sometimes it’s hard to drag things into a group, they just want to go above or below) but this has been HUGELY improved.
    • You added (or made more reliable) the ability to undo and re-do, which is another huge part of an overall improvement to the UI. It feels much less buggy and more reliable than it did before.
    • I *think* the bug with the content underneath “more” not displaying is fixed. I haven’t tested extensively, since I already implemented workarounds in my themes, but it seems to be working on a fresh install.

    It still has some room for improvement, but overall things are drastically better, and almost all of my points were addressed.

    • Copying blocks is still hit or miss.
    • Cutting blocks seems to be a no-go.
    • Pasting from external sources still results in some really strange output sometimes, although it’s better.
    • And I still have problems embedding YouTube videos on two of my sites. Works consistently on others so far. Disabling all addons doesn’t help.

    Those are the only outstanding issues from my list, other than the “tags” intermittent issue and the issues about support and responsiveness on GitHub, which I have no quick way of re-assessing.

    All in all I would say that if Gutenberg released in the state it is today, its reception would be massively improved. I am actually really enjoying using it on my latest project. It’s a really, really great balance between giving editors enough control while still being able to lock the branding down, and it puts out much cleaner code than any other content editor I’ve tried to use.

    The degree to which it wasn’t ready in the first place is still utterly baffling, and I still feel things like cut and paste and being able to drag blocks predictably aren’t fixed and should’ve been release blockers before Gutenberg was even released to the public.

    But I would very much like to commend the strides Gutenberg has made! It’s massively improved. So I’m going to update my rating to 4 stars, and it can get the perfect 5 from me if it just fixes copy and paste and drag and drop soon.

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