The challenge of Gutenberg

It’s been a long time since my last post here. In the meanwhile, I’ve sharpened my WordPress kung fu significantly. I consider myself a pro-bono developer for a not for profit website which uses WordPress as CMS.

I dove into the WordPress code and wrote a couple thousand lines of code that plug into WordPress making heavy use of post and comment metadata to do a number of automated tasks like email reminders, tweets/retweets, customized comment and post notification emails, blast emails, custom post types, front end ajax stuff, etc. I generally eschew plugins as I generally have the capability to construct the customized code I need except in the cases where it’s just dumb easy to use a plugin like backing up the database tables, controlling wp-crons, etc. So, just as I have everything just the way I want it, here comes Gutenberg and “progress.”

In full disclosure, I’m using Gutenberg to write this post. After all, it’s just text content. Back to my CMS, I decided to leaf through the excellent Gutenberg handbook. Took about 30 seconds to full expose my lack of JavaScript knowledge. While I consider myself a low level power user of the jQuery and jQuery UI libraries, that’s the extent of my JS capability. This isn’t going to cut it for moving my PHP based development into the Gutenberg environment. I put the handbook away for a while.

I go back to the Handbook periodically and hope this JS React stuff starts to stick with me somehow like PHP did. It will eventually but not yet.

What’s bothering me most is that a lot of the metadata input I had built into my posts and custom post types hooked into actions/filters that are now non-functional. I could live with deprecated actions but there’s a bunch of stuff that just doesn’t fire anymore with Gutenberg running.

I’m hoping all my development work isn’t completely lost when I move to Gutenberg. I’m not sure I’m ready to sink the time required to fully port my work to Gutenberg. I’m not a reactionary by any means, but it’s going to take me a long time, if ever, to move to Gutenberg. 

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