Gutenberg is Garbage


I absolutely hate the new WordPress Gutenberg editor.

It is not intuitive. Unlike video games or any other medium that teaches you as you go, and ports a set of skills and conventions from one platform to another (it would be exhausting to teach a totally new set of conventions to each new player for each new game), the new Gutenberg hides tools and options that are customarily grouped together into a host of different places. Some of them have disappeared altogether. I can no longer sort out how to indent a block of text, for instance.

Options that were once possible with simple icons, such as the “read more” tag, have now disappeared.

Options that were simply one tab away —as though accessing a separate spreadsheet on XL or Google Sheets— have now disappeared into a sub-sub menu, and it is not at all intuitive as to why things have been grouped this way. HTML editing, for instance.

The new block editor will sometimes seem to be highlighting text (or, rather, it gives a visual indication that, in every other typing program means that text has been selected) when, in fact, the Gutenberg editor is simply trying to isolate blocks of text for one to manipulate as a group. See for yourself:

If that looks, to you, as though text is highlighted, you’d be mistaken. It is visually very confusing.

This is hardly an exhaustive list of my complaints.

You have not seen new posts here. Some of that is because of my job, which takes up 12+ hours a day. Some of that is because I am living apart from my wife and my daughter, and am trying to make that separation work. A great deal of that besides, however, is because it is no longer intuitive or easy to make posts in the new Gutenberg editor. I reached out to WordPress, and they basically told me to go fuck myself, that what they’d done was great.

Cults are loved by people in them. I don’t have much interest in joining any of them if they aren’t doing anything for me, though.

10 thoughts on “Gutenberg is Garbage

      • I did read Small Teaching Online earlier this year. It was okay. There was a lot less learning science and a lot more tips and tricks that the author liked. I think that she is far too sunny about online education.

        When I rebuilt my classes this summer and fall, the main thing that I did was to give small assignments tied to each lesson that offered the students a chance for immediate feedback. I recorded a short- to medium-length video that would ideally give them the big-picture categories to understand the reading and then give them 1 or 2 questions based on the lesson and readings. This allow me to quickly see if they were getting the lesson at the basic level without creating enormous amounts of grading.

        I have never been able to get online discussion forums to be valuable. Sometimes they are worse than useless because students post things that are just wrong. My best experience with them was over the summer when I just asked the students to post something that they had trouble with or that they found interesting. I would then record a video answering the questions that were raised. I should have done that again this fall but instead I tried to do traditional discussion forums.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The classic block more or less solves the troubles you listed. I don’t like it either, but it is managable. Still baffled why WP did this.

      I hope you’ll be able rejoin your family on a more permanente basis soon.

      Liked by 1 person

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