Friday, December 7, 2018

WordPress 5.0, Gutenberg, and MarsEdit

Daniel Jalkut:

This change to the editor is part of a trend with WordPress of moving away from the dedicated purpose of blogging, towards satisfying the more general-purpose needs of a full-featured CMS.


When editing a post with block-based content in MarsEdit, you will see the raw HTML for your blocks when editing in Plain Text mode, and a rendered version of the HTML in Rich Text mode. Unlike the WordPress web-based editor, you will not see a visual representation of the blocks as separate entities in your posts. But when you edit and publish changes to your post, the block information should be preserved.


I don’t think Gutenberg threatens the MarsEdit workflow, even after it becomes the only editing framework for WordPress. The way blocks are implemented, users will have the option of simply writing “one block” per post if they feel that is sufficient. I don’t anticipate the status quo for MarsEdit users being disrupted unless they specifically choose to use themes that only work well if multiple blocks per post are used.

Update (2018-12-10): Matt Mullenweg:

The overall goal is to simplify the first-time user experience of WordPress — for those who are writing, editing, publishing, and designing web pages. The editing experience is intended to give users a better visual representation of what their post or page will look like when they hit publish. As I wrote in my post last year, “Users will finally be able to build the sites they see in their imaginations.”


Over the past several years, JavaScript-based applications have created opportunities to simplify the user experience in consumer apps and software. Users’ expectations have changed, and the bar has been raised for simplicity. It is my deep belief that WordPress must evolve to improve and simplify its own user experience for first-time users.

Mark Hughes:

All of this suggests that Gutenberg was pushed out because it was useful in business competition with SquareSpace, not because it helps any WordPress users. The classic rich text editor was fine for many newbies, and then they'd graduate to HTML or Markdown, neither of which are rocket surgery, when they needed more control.

Update (2018-12-11): Manton Reece:

Meanwhile, WordCamp US was a few days ago in Nashville. WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg gave his State of the Word talk to wrap up the conference. The talk + Q&A is long, over 1.5 hours, but provides a detailed overview of Gutenberg and where WordPress is going.

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