If you take a look at my blogs posts from Saturday and Friday, you might have noticed some bizarreness depending on when you looked at them.
They’re very much not written in my style (as they ended up). I have a theory. It’s a combination of me trying out the new Gutenburg editor for WordPress and my editing / review habits. Normally, I write in short sentences with lots of white space in between. I read somewhere that that was the easiest way for people to read blog posts instead of something that looks like it was ripped from the pages of a book.
If you’ve been following WordPress for a while, there was a “new and improved” editor released a while ago. It has a nice crisp look to it and I’ve been using it ever since.
Recently, there has been a bunch of news about a new editor “Gutenberg”. It appears at the bottom of the traditional Admin panel of WordPress.
So, ever the curious, I used it to write a couple of posts recently. WordPress advertises it as “publishing in blocks”. What’s a block? I was curious too. These are my “Most Used” blocks.
Now, when I first fired up the Gutenberg editor, I thought something was broken. The entire edit menus that I’m accustomed to seeing were missing! But, there was this little circle with a + sign in it so I clicked. It wanted me to add a block. Since most of my blogging is text, I added a paragraph and I was off!
The right status bar on the dashboard has changed as well. It now makes a distinction between the document which is what I’ve been used to seeing and blocks which had additional settings.
Once you start adding blocks, it becomes apparent what happened to the edit menu. It’s now tied directly to the block that you just added. Only the options that are applicable to the current block are available. I had been complaining about the jumping to the top of the document in the other editor when you add a link or an image. Now, everything exists within the current block. It makes sense once I figured it out.
I’ll be honest; it took a bit of getting used to. But, now that I’ve gotten used to it, I understand. The best comparison I can think of goes back to when the Ministry of Education licensed Microsoft Publisher. Those of us who had created documents with word processors for years had a particular mindset about what a document should look like. When you move to a desktop publishing application, so much more control over your document is available.
You get to do new things.
I know that I’ve been just scraping the surface with the new editor. A more formal presentation is available here.
What impresses me are the myriad of things, old and new, that appear as blocks. Some of the features I’d incorporated via raw HTML in the past. I feel unworthy when I see what all is available. Look for seemingly random things in the future as I explore! Like Drop Caps used for no apparent reason.
Oh, and the changes to my post? Since my posts are scheduled to show up at 5am every morning, I have an entire day to write, review, and occasionally proofread. My mistake was taking the originally document written in the new Gutenberg editor and making the change using the older editor. Apparently, the older editor doesn’t know about and understand block and so did its best to clean things up according to the rules that it knows.
I just have to have the discipline to stay in the new editor should I decide that I need to go back and edit. Time will make me better but I sure was scratching my head trying to figure out what was happening.
In the meantime, I’m just happily learning. Who knows what I’ll try next.