Gutenberg or how to convert the experience of writing a post in a nightmare. The text processing point of view.

The WordPress lords had a dream they named Gutenberg however, for now, that is just a nightmare… And talking from the point of view of writing, a great and dark nightmare. But, how could something created as a step forward become a nightmare?


The answer is very easy. The idea that lies at the heart of this new invention is just the layout of the text, its visual structure of text thinking in paragraph and block of content but not in the text itself and thus, Gutenberg is a tool that allows you to format a finished text in blocks, but does not allow to treat the text as a word processor in no way, in other words, all features related to text processing have been lost.

And why does this change make the experience of using WordPress with Gutenberg a nightmare? Well, very simple, if the majority of WordPress users were people dedicated to the electronic edition of books, the desktop publising (the layout of text), Gutenberg could be an option because it is designed exclusively thinking in the page layout, however, the vast majority of WordPress users are dedicated to creating “text” from scratch and not just to format it as a book with what, the dream automatically becomes a nightmare… What will a creator of text be able to do, from now on, without a minimun good text processing support?

All the basic operations that are supposed to be done with a text editor can no longer be done with Gutenberg, simply because the concept of working with text has disappeared and has been replaced at a stroke by working just over “blocks” (single paragraph) so, for exeample,

  • you can not work over, transform, or mark just a word,
  • you can not join paragraphs using the delete keys at the end of one of them,
  • you can not easily move a piece of text from one position to another inside the text,
  • you can not easily insert text at the point you want,
  • you can not easily search and replace,
  • every time you press the key return automatically Gutenberg creates a new independent block that has nothing to do with the previous one,
  • etc., etc., etc.

Definitively, most of the basic word processing features has been killed by Gutenberg ‘cos it’s not a text processor as its precedessor… And as I said, the vast majority of the WordPress users are text creators not book publishers.

Am I saying nonsenses? Well, I do not reckon… Anyone who has a minimal idea of ​​how it works, for example, a newspaper can understand the difference between the work of a journalist (write the text) and the work of the person in charge of creating the pages ot the newspaper. These people have different jobs and therefore use different tools. The journalist uses a text processor, while the person who designs the pages uses a desktop publishing tool, ie, a layout oriented tool.

So well, the addition of Gutenberg to WordPress suposes suppressing completely the text editor of the journalist and forces him to work directly with the layout tool. And I wonder, what will matter the journalist what kind of column or how many columns its article will have got when it will be published in the next edition? The journalist is only concerned with writing, never with layout, the number of columns, the size of the headling, etc. He do only wants a good, fast and efficient text processor to convert its idees in text… And Gutenberg is not this kind of tool, at all.

Can Gutenberg do word processing operations? Well… … … yes. But very, very bad and throught very unconfortable ways so, even if I accepted that Gutenberg were also a word precessor, it keep being a very bad tool for text creators.

Then, if the vast majority of WordPress users are creators of text instead of book publishers, who has Gutenberg been created for? Good question and I think that if you check out the comments of the Gutenberg plugin support forum you also begin to make yourself the same question, once and once again… For who Gutenberg has been created if the vast majority of wordpress users are just text creators?

By the way, a little list of the titles of some of today’s comments in the support forum

“I’m quite disappointed with it, please remove it”
“Not effective”
“Wow, could it be worse?”
“I’d rather install malware as a plugin”
“Make it go away”
“the worst editor/builder”

On the other hand, perhaps when you check out the support forum you’ll see that Gutenberg since yesterday has 300.000 downloads (after years of developement) and you think that it can not be so terrrible but if afterwards, you think in that there are much more than 100.000.000 of wordpress active installations and that lately Gutenberg has even been publicited inside the lasts versions the wordpress to promote its installation, quickly you notice that Gutenberg numbers could not be worse…. But nobody among the lords of WordPress seems to understand this situation…

In short, WordPress with Gutenberg becomes a tool exclusively designed to work with texts that are already finished and ready to be edited, never to create text from scratch. As a result, WordPress stops being a fantastic tool to create and edit texts and becomes exclusively a layout tool… and, in my opinion, in a very clumsy layout tool… For example, who would have created a desktop publishing tool without a minimun support of drag and drop operations or truly wysiwyg visualization for working with its … blocks? I’m sorry, I’ve repeated “block” once again.

But this latter, and many other issues that make Gutenberg a real nightmare, perhaps it is better to address them in successive articles … Because yes, in addition to the issue of the loss of the word processor features, there are many more aspects of Gutenberg that do not fit, nor are they well resolved, or anything like that. But I will explain them in future articles. Today, I’ve simply talked about the nightmare for the end users, the creators of text from scratch … more than 100,000,000.

Concluding, my trick for today, if for any reason you can’t avoid the installation of Gutenberg in your site, for example installing the “Classic Editor plugin“, from now on, when you want to create a new article forget completely WordPress to do it and create it using your usual text editor, where you can work the text as you wish (cut, paste, reorder, unite, separate, drag, drop, mark…) and, once you have got it completely finished, then insert it in Gutenberg Editor and pray for that everything is in place and for that, at the last minute, you do not realize that you want to change a word in the whole text, or the order of some paragraph, or join concepts in a single sentence, etc. because if you try to make these simple changes using Gutenberg, you can end up dying in the attempt… Remember, from now on, to create text, WordPress thanks to Gutemberg, is no longer the adequate tool so, write it using your favorite text editor and, once you have finished, paste it into WordPress… and pray.

Have a nice WordPressing!

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