Last week, we reported that WordPress 4.9.5 would ship with a call-out prompt that asks users if they want to try the new editor experience.
Within the comments of the post, Gary Pendergast, who works for Automattic, is a WordPress core contributor, and a lead developer on the Gutenberg project, informed us that the prompt would not be in WordPress 4.9.5. Instead, it will ship in a later version once it has gone through a few more refinements.
Change of plans, this won’t be happening in the 4.9.5 release: there are still a few issues we’d like to fix up the callout happens, they won’t be done in time for the 4.9.5 release. I expect there will be a smaller 4.9.6 release that contains this callout, and any bugfixes that happen to be ready.
Reverting the call-out has extended the conversation surrounding its implementation. Jadon N who works for InMotion hosting and is a contributor to the #hosting-community slack channel, says the hosting-community group is working on ideas to help test popular plugins for Gutenberg compatibility.
We have been working to expand our collection of data about how well plugins function with Gutenberg. To help with that effort, we would like to explore using feedback collected from WordPress users through the Try Gutenberg effort to add to the existing database on WordPress plugin compatibility if that could be worked out.
The goal of this project is to make sure everyone can use Gutenberg without having to worry about plugin incompatibilities.
The Gutenberg Plugin Compatibility Database project launched by Daniel Bachhuber last month attempts to determine which popular plugins are already compatible with Gutenberg by having volunteers test them in a sandboxed environment.
Out of the 4,213 plugins in the database, 84% have an unknown compatibility status. Out of 610 plugins that have been tested, 82% don’t include editor functionality.
Pendergast supports the idea of hosts collecting a wide range of testing data and turning it into actionable items for the team to work on. There’s also been some discussion on creating snapshots of plugin compatibility and filtering those results into Bachhuber’s project.
Chris Lema, Vice President of Products at LiquidWeb, responded in the trac ticket with a suggestion that the team place as much emphasis on the Learn More and Report Issues sections as the Try Gutenberg message. He also added a prototype screenshot of what the call-out could look like.
Gutenberg Call Out Prototype by Chris Lema
“The reality is that people don’t read a lot, so people may not fully grasp the ‘testing’ part given the proposed design,” Lema said. “When there are equal weight to the design, the message also carries with it the same equality.”
One of the best suggestions I’ve read comes from Bachhuber. He suggests displaying the prompt to a small percentage of WordPress sites to prevent thousands of users from re-reporting known issues with Gutenberg. It would also help lessen the load on the support forums.
One of my main concerns with the call-out is the lack of upfront information to the user that it is beta software and it could cause adverse affects on their site. Lema’s prototype does a great job of informing the user of this possibility and a link to known issues is a great enhancement. What do you think?