Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » They intentionally crippled the text editor

  • Some of us prefer the text editor, which is called code editor in Gutenberg. There is an option in WordPress to disable the visual editor (in your profile settings), so I assume the WordPress developers understand there is a demand for using only the text editor. In Gutenberg, the code editor unfortunately lacks most of the functionality that made the old text editor great to use:

    • In the old text editor there are quicktags, which allow you to quickly select text and make it bold, turn it into a block-quote or even link to another page. In the Gutenberg code editor quicktags are removed. Now we all know how to type a href and how to copy and paste a link, but this is a lot more unnecessary work.
    • In the old text editor there is an add media button. This makes adding an image extremely simple. In the Gutenberg code editor the add media button is removed. I have no idea how users who have the visual editor disabled in their profile are supposed to add images with the Gutenberg code editor.
    • In the old text editor, there is a screen options menu where you can select which boxes you want to show next to or underneath your text editing area. This way you can quickly access options you use a lot and hide options you never use. In the Gutenberg code editor some options are simply missing, while others can only be reached by clicking through a menu hidden underneath a cogwheel.

    Altogether, the Gutenberg code editor is less pleasant to use than the old code editor. For those who want to add images, it is even unusable. What I find alarming is that this is intentional. I know I cannot link to other websites here, but on the official Gutenberg page on GitHub, the developers talk about how they want to lower the apparently 35% (!) of users who prefer the code editor. According to the same developer:

    …one of the goals of Gutenberg is to make the Code editor less important in favor of block manipulation.

    Why would you remove functionality with the sole purpose of forcing users to use an editor they don’t want? You’re only turning happy WordPress users into unhappy WordPress users this way. Is this also what is going to happen with the Classic Editor at some point? Remove functionality to force users to switch to Gutenberg?

    Regards from a disappoined WordPress user (since 2005).

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Yep, it is very disappointing, considering the potential of Gutenberg and how much better it could be if it addressed some of the basics you listed above.

    WordPress has been screaming for years for improvements in the area of the text editor, and the block editor is a missed opportunity. With all the comment tags mixed in for delineation of blocks it is more urgent that we have text editor that can highlight the structure of the code. The mind boggles when you consider that code mirror was only introduced recently in WordPress but only make an appearance in the HTML block. How bonkers is that? It needs to be developed further and pushed into other corners of WordPress. I like the fact that I can zoom in on one block and get to see the HTML. What I don’t like is looking at a jumble of unformatted black code on a white background.

    As for blocks, on their own they are no bad thing but the project focused in at too granular a level with paragraphs while ignoring higher layout structures such as sections, rows and columns. The column block is a poor implementation. Also bonkers in that the block editor was supposed to be a unifying concept to rectify the issue of themes and builder using no compatible ways of bringing page layout to the CMS.

    What I see now is several vendors with their own blocks and, in fairness to them, these do a decent job on the right theme (when they are not suffering from the breaking changes of the rapid development). But, I can foresee the same issues cropping up again regarding developers taking over sites and changing to a different theme and block plugins; the same amount work will be spent on re-doing content, leading on to the perpetuation of opinionated views on which piece of software is better than which.

    On the notion that the block builder will make it easier to use than the current editor. You can bet your bottom dollar that a lack of WordPress experience will always lead to sites being messed up.

    The strange thing is, the quicktags and add media button in the code editor were there in early versions of Gutenberg. Then they got removed in February, because according to the developers only very few people use them.

    They back this up by linking to a survey in which 52% of those who use the text editor say they use the buttons. So that’s 52% of the 35% who always use the text editor, which then makes 18% of all people in the survey. I suppose the developers do not belong to this 18%. Link and discussion can be found in issue #569 on the Gutenberg Github page.

    I find this mind boggling. They intentionally remove functionality from the code editor, just to force people to use the visual editor of Gutenberg and all the clunkiness that comes with it. According to one of the developers in another (#9593) of about a dozen issues discussing this:

    My understanding is we won’t be providing that functionality in the code/text editor of Gutenberg. There are blocks for those controls though.

    For my part they add blocks with purple flying dinosaurs, but why not just leave some basic functionality for people who enjoy using the code editor? That way both sides will be happy.

    My apologies if this sounds more like a rant or discussion than a review of Gutenberg. I know this might not be the place for that. Tickets on Github addressing this get closed though, so it’s a frustrating experience.

    I totally agree with all you guys are saying, you can restore the basic editor with a simple plugin, as I have found, that contains just one line:

    add_filter( 'use_block_editor_for_post', '__return_false' );

    I call it Gutenberg Killer!

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • The topic ‘They intentionally crippled the text editor’ is closed to new replies.