At what cost?
The potential to alienate current users doesn’t come solely from limiting flexibility.
Gutenberg breaks a cardinal rule of website development and security – always test in a staging environment when introducing something new (or updating something old). As Jocelyn over at Mozak Design states, ‘1 tiny update could have BIG consequences‘. And Gutenberg is a BIG update!
During closing remarks Q&A at WordCamp Portland (3 Nov 2018), Matt Mullenweg stated other projects have been sidelined due to available resources. He added that 5.0 was ‘just the start’. Matt stated (I’m paraphrasing) ‘We’ll likely see updates every couple of weeks’. The gentleman sitting two seats away made a reference to Microsoft’s constant updates. That left me thinking ‘It’s bad enough I can’t go two weeks without having to restart my computer. Now you want me to update WordPress every time I log in too?’ How long before that gets old?
This is in addition to concerns over accessibility, broken backward compatibility, and a new editor which, quite frankly, is quite clunky and cumbersome. (Yes, I know it’s early in its development).
Further, consider that there are bigger issues facing WordPress – namely security – not being addressed. Then there is the myriad of content editors currently available, that Gutenberg could remain an editor as a plugin rather than part of core), and that this is something which has been in the works for some time. I cannot accept the idea that Gutenberg is merely:
(A) the result of competition or innovation to head off competition or
(B) that it is merely a new design tool or an editor (as Matt himself referred to it during that #wcpdx Q&A).
The cost, in either case, is too high.
So why Gutenberg, and if not an editor, then what is it?