I used Gutenberg for the first time, and it brought me great joy

If you haven’t already, don’t read the WordPress 5.0 target date comments  – particularly if you’re a self-critical person. If you read them, you’ll probably not want to contribute to open source ever ever ever again. But this too shall pass! Keep your chin up! I am not trying to diminish any of the concerns of folks complaining or get myself involved in any drama whatsoever I’m just a negative person by nature and get crushed when people blast my work so I’m trying to be positive and encouraging OK? OK!

Today, I installed Gutenberg and wrote the first piece of content I’ve written in over 2 years. It was a sales page with a couple of columns, a few images, and some headings. I expected pain, and bugs, and suffering. I was wrong.

The writing experience with Gutenberg was unbelievably smooth. There was no learning curve. It was lightning fast, even on my $5/month shared host. When I finished the page (took me about 2 hours because I was editing content as I went), I had to pause for reflection. Did I really just do that – just build that page – without a plugin? Could it really be that easy?

It’s been a seriously long time since I seriously wrote with WordPress. But I am a master of massaging TinyMCE into submission, and I’ve directed many clients to clever fixes to make their content look right. Sure, columns required plugins or custom HTML. Block quotes, getting images to sit in the right spot, or anything slightly complicated was a battle – but I could win those battles!

Now Gutenberg has removed so many of the hurdles of building a good, slightly-complicated page or post that I truly couldn’t contain my excitement. I JUST BUILT THAT PAGE IN VANILLA WORDPRESS, BABY.

Sure, I’m a technically-inclined person. Yes, I think I hit one bug that I quickly solved/worked around (it seemed like Gutenberg had trouble adding a block when I had an empty block open elsewhere). But overall, the editing experience is a tremendous step forward.

4 years ago, when my former employer The Theme Foundry released Make (technically, when they released it’s predecessor called Basis), I emailed Drew Strojny and told him that he’d built the future of WordPress editing. Make was/is very similar to how Gutenberg is structured, in terms of generating HTML instead of storing content in proprietary formats. Gutenberg has made the writing & building process even better than Make.

The future is here. WordPress can’t be stopped! Congratulations to the team developing, designing, testing, and documenting Gutenberg. You’ve made me excited to work with WordPress again. You inspired me to write my first post in years. Bravo, bravo.

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