On Gutenberg (Resources) – Matt Mullenweg’s Summer Update at WordCamp Europe

Matt Mullenweg gave attendees of WordCamp Europe a Tour around the Block editor in WordPress.

He starts out with a recap of the four phases of Gutenberg, then he showed-off the newest features available in the block editor. He also highlighted a few examples of Gutenberg in the wild, talked about what’s coming out next and shared information about the experiments the developer team is working on. Mullenweg closed the scripted version with an update on the Mobile version for the block editor, followed by a town hall style Q & A.

Today, I finally took the time to listen to Matt Mullenweg whole talk and give you a time-stamped summary of all the good things he mentioned in his talk. For your enhanced viewing pleasure you’ll find a table of contents and linked a few resources for your deep dive. The time stamps let you jump to the particular section in the video on WordPress.TV, published today. Last but not least, you’ll find links to the reporting and commentary of other WordPress publications.

Don’t miss these amazing speaker at the JavaScript for WordPress conference July 12, 2019

The four phases of Gutenberg

(3:03) As announced at WordCamp US in December 2018 there are four phases of Gutenberg.

  1. Blocks for writing and editing (Released Dec 2018 WordPress 5.0)
  2. Widgets, navigation and customization beyond the editing screen. (That where we are now)
  3. Collaboration, multi-user editing and workflows
  4. Multi-lingual support

New features in the block editor

(4:49) Mullenweg showed-off quite a few features that where added to the block editor in the last six month after the official release:

  • Block Manager
  • Cover Block with nested blocks
  • Grouping of Blocks for reuse and moving
  • Nesting blocks in columns
  • Latest post widget
  • “Snackbar” notices – little notices that announce successful operations or give feedback to users

Gutenberg in the Wild


  • “Artifactor” by Humanmade, Ltd – customblocks for editors creating an almost front-end like creation experience.
  • Ingenuity.Siemens.com behind the scenes look at an AI supported writing tool, also by HumanMade, Ltd.
  • Tech for Campaign – political season in US – 19 out of 21 democratic candidates use WordPress for their campaign websites. And WhiteHouse.gov switched also to WordPress this year.
  • Education leads Home – nonprofit site with native Gutenberg blocks and Co-Blocks. On a side note, it actually changes to dark-mode when your operating system is also set to dark-mode.
  • Laraberg – Laravel + Gutenberg integration

Cool Plugins

Plugin Banner: Grids Layout Builder
  • Grids: Layout Builder for WordPress
  • CoBlocks – with its work on Typography or the Divider Block

Drupal community adopted Gutenberg

(12:41) – Also, Matt Mullenweg is excited about the other favorite open-source CMS, Drupal has adopted Gutenberg and integrated it rather quickly.

So with Gutenberg you can imagine Drupal and WordPress developers working side-by-side creating and improving Blocks that are immediately accessible for both communities

Matt Mullenweg, Berlin June 21, 2019

150,000 posts published every day with Gutenberg

Coming up Next in Gutenberg [WIP]

(14:49) This are things that are either in the prototype stage in code, or just in design. They are not ready yet, but already quite exciting to see.

  • Block Directory / Library – a system to install new blocks from within the editor. Mark and I discussed the progress on the Gutenberg Changlog and provide a list of blog posts by Mel Choyce and Alex Shields
  • Block WP-Admin menu: The Block Library seems to fit in nicely with other WP-Admin menu items around the Block editor, like manage block, reusable blocks and a separate install blocks admin page. (demo’d by Matt in his talk)
  • Navigation Block – build your site’s menu through the Block editor admin space. [WIP]

Gutenberg Experiments

(18:37) Things the dev team is trying out.

  • With Motion – Motion will give user a better understanding of what just happened when they use some of the block editor’s features. As an example: moving an block. It happens so fast, that some user get confused. Adding motion to the block editor with a slight time delay can help users to understand and make her feel more in control. Matias Ventura wrote about it: Using Motions to express change. This has been merged into master and will be available in the next Gutenberg release.
  • Footnotes – Experimental plugin is available. It’s a small group how needs this feature and it hasn’t been available in WordPress core.
  • Snap to Grid – Helps users resize blocks and align them properly to a grid defined by the theme. This feature received quite some spontaneous applause at WordCamp Europe.

Gutenberg on Mobile

(22:00) Matt ended the scripted part of his talk with showing off the mobile experience. The mobile team actually has to replicate the Gutenberg experience, and are moving fast to catch up to the desktop version of the block editor.

Gutenberg in Q & A

  • (36:03) How are the issues from the Accessibility Audit addressed? GitHub Issues created by the Auditores
  • (39:27) What will happen with Themes once everything is in Gutenberg, will they be obsolete?
  • (42:16) Will there be new Theme initiatives, like Underscore etc.
  • (56:15) Has Matt’s opinion about the Rest API changed? (Gutenberg was partially delayed because the REST API needed to be augmented to make Gutenberg possible)
  • (58:59) How far are we along solving the problems Gutenberg is supposed to solve?

WordCamp Europe talk on Video on WordPress.TV

Matt’s Talk Covered by other sites

Live Tweet by Alex Denning – Follow the thread

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