I’m writing this post in the new Gutenberg editor for WordPress. Currently it’s just a plugin, but come WordPress version 5 (and we’re currently incredibly close to that at 4.9.8) it will be the standard system for editing.
While I’ve been looking into how it might work with backwards compatibility, how new fangled ‘blocks’ will be programmed (rather than relying on plugins for things that impact content), at this very early stage I’m considering what Gutenberg is.
It’s not just a page builder replacement or anything like that, rather it’s intended to change the way we create content.
With Gutenberg, WordPress is wanting to become the place you create content. Not just copying and pasting from other documents, but creating your content (and eventually, with future releases, your layouts too) directly within WordPress.
You may have been doing that already, but the majority of my clients and I work collaboratively on cloud-based document software that I then stick into their posts & pages.
When you first look at the blocks built in to the current plugin version there’s a few surprises in this regard – each paragraph is it’s own block, each headline – even bullet points are a block type of their own.
But the blocks flow freely from one to another – right now I’m typing paragraphs and just hitting ‘enter’ after each automatically starts a new paragraph block so I can continue typing without clicking to create a new paragraph each time.
There are a few default formatting blocks too which should be useful, one of which is the old style Tiny MCE editor, which I assume is mostly there for backwards compatibility but should also help a fair few developers breath a sigh of relief – this whole Gutenberg experience can be much more of a transition rather than a ‘line in the sand’.
Personally, with my very limited experience thus far, I think it will ultimately be a good thing. But we’re all going to be changing a lot of our internal processes, plugin/block libraries etc. to accommodate.