Sometimes being on the cutting edge can lead you to unexplored territory. Such is certainly the case with Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor (and more) that we are testing out here at {code} Roadies. 

The open nature of WordPress is what makes it great, really. It's all about sharing information and collaborating on development. This often leads to innovation that would simply not be possible in a company like Microsoft or even Google. But it also means – and my apologies to all the vegans out there – that you get to see how the sausage gets made.

 

At first glance, the new Gutenberg interface is a head-snapping departure from the editors that came before.

 

Paragraphs appear in little pods, and "simple" may have been confused with "obscured."  Menus seem to come from a different interface entirely. It's clear that this was a complete overhaul, unceremoniously grabbing the old system by the collar and throwing to it the curb with a good kick in the pants. The results are encouraging, but they will definitely take some getting used to.

 

So why bother? Why test the new system before it's finished and – more importantly – why change at all? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Not at {code} Roadies. You see, we were building websites when most code was still being written by sweaty men in their basement drinking Jolt and taking a break from D&D.  We were dangerously ahead of the curve – especially when it came to recognizing the need for easy content management – and at times, we paid the price. I distinctly remember helping a client who had inadvertently used his pre-WordPress content management system to delete his entire website (yes, you could actually do that back in the day).

 

New ideas can be dangerous, but nothing good comes without risk.

 

Our clients are often the first in their respective industries to utilize new web technologies, and we're proud of that. But it means that we need to go first here at {code} Roadies, working out the bugs even as the systems are being developed.

 

And so we come to Gutenberg. Will it end up being Johannes Gutenberg, the world-changer who reinvented communication with the printing press? Or will it be Steve Guttenberg, the pedestrian actor who somehow blended into the scenery on insomnia-curing "hits" like Cocoon and Short Circuit? (Incredibly, Guttenberg's crowning achievement ended up being Police Academy, and even then the guy who made sound effects with his mouth had a lot more star power.)

 

My money is on the former, mostly because we get to be part of the process! The entire WordPress community will collaborate as Gutenberg finds form, offering feedback and suggestions, trying new ideas and requesting improvements.

 

Gutenberg is going to make WordPress better.

 

Because if it doesn't, we'll never recommend it to our clients. By testing it ourselves, we'll be certain that it will make content management easier, or we'll find an alternative. We don't change for the sake of change, you see. We change for the sake of our clients. If technology helps them to succeed, then it is worth our resources to test and develop.

 

Keep an eye out for Gutenberg over the next few months. As it nears maturity (open source plug-ins are never really "done"), you will likely hear more and more about it. If you have questions, just ask us here at {code} Roadies. We're trying it out first so your experience can be the best it can be.