Gutenberg from a dev point of view

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Gutenberg, the new editor for WordPress, hit my radar as late as somewhere in October-November 2018. Upon closer inspection I realized two things: first, I could try it out immediately (live) on my blog. Second, the source is all open and hosted at GitHub. So it’s easy to keep track of what happens in the “works”.

As I am a software developer, it’s interesting to take a look inside, too. There’s 2 simple ways to do this:

  • clone the repository to your disk with ‘git clone’
  • browse the Github with a web browser (to view code)

Using git to get a copy of Gutenberg

With git, the benefit is that you can really do all the experimentation you want within Gutenberg code. It’s yours. View, edit, test run. If you’re unfamiliar with git, read a tutorial. You’ll find many through Google. Git is a tool especially aimed for developers, to help spread a software project, track the files, and merge changes back to the project.

If you have good ideas and code of your own within Gutenberg, submit a patch (as a Pull Request) back to the project. Check the Gutenberg project under Github. There’s specific information about all things you need to know to engage with the editor development.

With the git method, you afford the familiar environment: your favorite text editor, and all the tools you use for software projects. (P.S. ‘git’ has an extensive documentation in itself, but if you’re looking for a book to refer to, I can recommend O’Reilly Git Pocket Guide. Really cozy and a small form factor)

Github repository – for the curious viewer

The Gutenberg at GitHub page allows you to view into the project files. You can’t directly make changes, though. GitHub is a large repository of projects, of which Gutenberg is one. Through the GitHub you can specifically be social, and report findings through the “Issues” functionality within.

Gutenberg changes the paradigm of editing somewhat radically. Notably WordPress has kept the same editor (Classic Editor) for years. In fact, the Classic Editor was showcased most likely in around 2009, as the Gutenberg project page talks about ‘…[Gutenberg] looks at the editor as more than a content field, revisiting a layout that has been largely unchanged for almost a decade.’

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