Support » Plugin: Gutenberg » What’s the point?

  • Resolved madpipe


    After two decades of understanding best practice is to separate content from layout/design, what’s the point of this? It’s like saying I can’t create content without deciding at the time how it will look on the page. Seems motivated by a kiddie culture attuned to a particular KIND of content – comic books. What about those of us who want to write something substantive, not use a 2018 version of a desktop publisher?

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  • @madpipe, I’m trying to figure out on the one hand what’s the main reason the WordPress team is making this seemingly massive change to writing and editing, and on the other hand, what all the objections are based on.

    Like you, I feel that the use of blocks harks back to using QuarkExpress to layout print pages and I had an uncomfortable feeling that this was forcing me to write and design concurrently. And then I stopped and reflected that having the design tools at hand didn’t mean I had to design as I composed an article.

    I can still write the piece before deciding on pull quotes, photo and graphic placements and all those style and design matters that are usually part of the whole. If some writers submit articles that have to be added to WP by an editor, that can still be done by simple copy and paste as I just did with these three paragraphs.

    Most of the other objections I’ve seen in the Review section are by people angry at change or bugs–bugs as are currently encountered in applications that have been around and stable for ages and undergo maintenance, security and improvement updates.

    I also see Gutenberg showing up sloppy plugin and theme coding, the same as happens with all current plugins: you add a new spanking plugin for a sparkling feature and an old one goes bust or the new one malfunctions because of a slopply coded old one.

    I do agree that since there are slow adapters a period of familiarization should roll with Gutenberg as a plugin with the option to use TinyMCE followed by the full integration with the old editor available as a plugin that interfaces with the new system.

    Block design might not be new but it’s just one of those principles that transcends the technology. Old Gutenberg must have set type and images in wooden blocks; early to late 1900s compositors used lead; 1990s page layout and design used electronic blocks to send camera-ready work straight to presses and now in 2018, with the written word competing to keep abreast with the moving pictures on screens, attractiveness needs the same block principle to arrange things neatly.

    It has taken us a while to realize that we haven’t yet made an electric vehicle to match the old combustion engine or the block design that organizes words and images visually to guide our eyes and keep us engaged.

    I guess there are still some folks arguing whether with the advent of the Web and HTML we should abandon tables and use style sheets that make tabular design reflowable but in the end it’s still the grouped blocks that maintain an order.

    Personally, I quite enjoy using the blocks in MailPoet newsletter designer, but if some people think writing in a text editor and inserting HTML tags is the god-given way to prepare material for the Web, I think they should be free to keep that tradition alive because knowledge of underlying principles and naming conventions make generally better craftspeople–writers, editors, designers, technicians…

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by starapple.
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