Gutenberg is far from done

This is going to hopefully be a quick rant (famous last words). If you haven’t been following along, Gutenberg is a project to replace the editor in WordPress with something more modern. There have been 7 beta releases thus far, but in many ways, pieces are still in experimentation mode. The process has been open: Code has been on GH since the start, updates have been on make/core, ~weekly plugin repo updates. Communication could be better for sure, but when is that not the case? The biggest misconception I see is people thinking Gutenberg is anywhere near complete. It’s still alpha in many ways. Many things need to be figured out before Gutenberg is going to be ready to go into WordPress. Please, get involved and help. Gutenberg needs you. WordPress needs you.

3 replies on “Gutenberg is far from done”

I think a lot of people see a version number like 0.7.0 and, I think rightly, assume that’s really close to 1.0.0. The changes between 0.x.0 release have been substantial and Gutenberg is rapidly making progress towards being in a usable beta state (I’m still unable to write a complete post in 0.7.0). With that I do feel the current state is really more like 0.0.7. That 0.1.0 would be the first usable (i.e. I can write, preview and publish a typical post). That’s just arguing over the semantics of semantic versioning though.

I really do find there to be serious usability issues with it (tabs, indents, clumsy and cluttered UI) as well as data model concerns (backward compatibility with custom fields and forward content reliability across themes). I do hope those things get refined. I do hope this avoids the path of post formats (the UI) and rather goes the way of custom menus. There are lessons in both those to be learned from here.

1.0 can be viewed as being “ready for release”, it can also be viewed as “The release that comes after 0.9”. In this case, it’s being viewed as “the baseline of features being locked in”. I think Joen put it well. 1.0 is a scary number for those of us that develop software since we often think of that as being “ready for the world to see”. But let’s not forgot that the REST API didn’t go into WordPress when it hit version 1.0. Nor did it go in when it hit 2.0. It went in when it was ready.

I’m not sure if there is anyone that would disagree with the sentiment that there are a lot of rough edges. It is far from the quality that I think makes it ready to be in WordPress Core. It’s going to need a lot of work if that is its final destination. That said, each week it does get better. Each week I write a post in it, it get’s easier to use. But I still haven’t been testing it with the editors and writers that I work with since it’s not at a quality that I feel we can learn from the experience they have spending hours a day in the WordPress editor. It will likely get to that point.

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