My Takeaways from "Gutenberg for Plugin Owners" Crowdcast

2 minute read

Today I watched “Gutenberg for Plugin Owners“, an online discussion between Brian Hogg, Kyle Maurer, and Daniel Bachhuber, where they discussed and answered questions about how WordPress plugin owners can better prepare for the new editor, Gutenberg.
You can watch the replay, but here’s my notes. I was admittedly doing some somewhat noisy house-chores while listening to it (scrubbing a deck) so this is only my highlights, not an overview.

  • Inline shortcodes (that is shortcodes that, when rendered, only take up a word or two of text, not the full width of the page) may still have a place in Gutenberg. Most shortcodes are meant to take up most of the page’s width (eg a gallery shortcode, a buy-product shortcode, or Event Espresso’s [ESPRESSO_CHECKOUT] shortcode), and those should ideally be changed into Gutenberg blocks (because blocks will be easier for users than remembering shortcodes).
  • In order to make simple Gutenberg blocks, you might not need to learn any React. In fact, Daniel gave some code samples showing how to create simple Gutenberg blocks that require almost no javascript code.
  • On that note, Daniel pointed out it’s preferable to declare blocks in PHP code rather than Javascript, because “PHP can be a source of truth for Javascript, but Javascript can’t be a source of truth for PHP”. Eg, the REST API can be aware of Gutenberg blocks declared in PHP, but not blocks declared in Javascript
  • In online collaboration, if you jump into a conversation just saying “this sux”, you’ll basically be treated as a troll. You need to explain why you think it sucks, and how you would improve it (oh, and make sure you’ve read up on all the previous discussion on the topic, otherwise you’ll likely bring up something that’s already been considered, or overlook some problem already identified)
  • On that topic, Daniel recommended a book (can’t find where he mentioned it! if someone knows plz tweet me or comment below) about collaboration. He mentioned it should be established what roles everyone has in an online discussion: who’s a “teacher”, “peer” or “student”. Otherwise you’re stuck with a democracy or a meritocracy, the former is mob rule and the latter is very slow and requires so many compromises it often ends on a decision no one really likes.
  • Just trying out Gutenberg can actually be risky for a site owner, because Gutenberg changes post content to fit its data structure. That process isn’t perfect yet, errors can happen which can cause data loss (or, most likely, page layout issues). These error can normally be fixed easily if the site has post revisions working normally. But if they’ve specifically disabled post revisions, the changes could be painful to undo. So, it’s best to try Gutenberg only if you have post revisions activated.

Again, I missed quite a bit, so there was a lot more covered, but those were my take-aways.
Here’s the link to it again: Gutenberg for Plugin Owners

3 thoughts on “My Takeaways from "Gutenberg for Plugin Owners" Crowdcast

  1. The book is “Principles by Ray Dalio”.
    Your notes reflect well my take aways. Thank you.
    To clarify the part about revisions – the context was converting existing content, especially with tables and other elaborate HTML code in existing content.

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