Real Editors to Use with Gutenberg: Gutenberg is a solid composition tool
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Gutenberg Doesn’t Suck as an Editor – Because It’s Not An Editor!

It’s Not a What?

Gutenberg doesn’t suck as an editor because it’s not an editor. Or maybe I should say that it does in fact suck as an editor, but that’s to be expected because it’s not an editor? But that’s such a mouthful…

Does saying Gutenberg’s not an editor sound strange to you? It did to me! Realizations often come to me in intertwined pairs, and it’s going to take me a moment before I can explain myself. The reason has to do with edlin, which was a text editor for the old DOS, and PageMaker, the spiritual predecessor of Abobe InDesign.

What’s edlin? What’s DOS? Page what? What do they have to do with Gutenberg? I promise it’ll all make sense. Then I’ll give you some ideas on how to get the most out of Gutenberg — by writing out of Gutenberg!

Old Habits Die Hard… Or Don’t Die at All!

I first used IBM PC DOS 2.01 in 1986 or thereabouts. Yes, I know many of you weren’t born then. But back before you carried a powerful microcomputer in your back pocket, computers came in large beige boxes. There are two critical things you need to know about IBM PC DOS:

  1. There was no graphical interface
  2. A typical IBM PC at the time maxed out at 640K of RAM — that’s kilobytes of RAM

Your profile on Twitter probably has more data than that.

There was no way see what a document would look like when you printed it, in part because there really wasn’t a way to print anything other than ugly text! Even if you could print it, you couldn’t create a very big document. Computers just weren’t that powerful.

Gutenberg Doesn't Suck as an Editor: PFS:Write _was_ an editor!

I didn’t use edlin to write a novel, of course. But I did use PFS:Write to write a novel! Too bad it wasn’t very good. The novel, I mean. Okay, it was terrible…

I loved learning about PCs, so I learned edlin. You can see the commands in the Wikipedia article, but here’s the core idea: Edlin is a line editor. You have to think carefully about each line you write. That “think” detracts from the attention I could give to what I was writing. I had to develop a process by which I’d devote some of my thought to the mechanics of writing and some to the content. I had to focus more on how I wrote compared to what I wrote.

That gave me a key insight into understanding the true nature of Gutenberg. In other words, I serious when I say that Gutenberg Doesn’t Suck as an Editor.

No, Gutenberg Isn’t Edlin!

Gutenberg isn’t edlin. It’s much more sophisticated than that! But it’s actually less an editor than edlin. Why? Because edlin was designed to edit files.

I don’t think Gutenberg was designed to edit posts. At least, I see little evidence for it.

I contend that Gutenberg isn’t an editor. As evidence I present all of the posts from a diverse community of bloggers who hated Gutenberg — some to the point of opting to stop blogging rather than be forced to use Gutenberg.

Sound like the reaction an editor would provoke to you?

I started using Gutenberg, and I didn’t think much about the process of switching. When I dropped Thrive Architect, I picked up Gutenberg. In my mind, I was just swapping one editor for another. But people’s violent reaction made me stop and think. Am I using Gutenberg because I have to? Or because I want to? Do I love it? Is it an editor I embrace?

Gutenberg Doesn't Suck as an Editor: This hurts too much to be an editor

I’ve been using Gutenberg as an editor, because it was the default. Do I love it? Is it helping me get work done? Well…

Then I remembered edlin. The same mindset I used to manage writing batch files is edlin is the same mindset I’m using to write in Gutenberg. I spend more time thinking about how to write something as what I want to write.

That’s no way to write creatively! At least not for people were weren’t stupid enough to cut teeth on edlin!

An editor should get out of your way and let you pour stuff on the page. An editor should offer precisely zero friction between your thoughts, the keyboard, and the document.

It should not force you to relearn the interface between most every release. It should not impose a non-intuitive object model (blocks) on writers who think in documents.

Gutenberg is just not an editor.

Okay. So what the heck is it?

Gutenberg is a Post Construction Tool

Experience with another program helped me understand exactly what Gutenberg is. That software was PageMaker. I ran it on an IBM PC AT with exactly 640K of RAM. I still miss the battle-tank keyboard on those computers!

PageMaker was, at the time, a revelation. I’d been used to using PFS:Write at home or IBM DisplayWrite 4 at work. Those were document-oriented tools that helped me write, well, documents. Since I’d used typewriters to write before, they were amazing to me. I could easily edit text without retying pages. That’s pretty much an assumed today, but it wasn’t always so. You young ‘uns don’t realize how great you have it!

Gutenberg Doesn't Suck as an Editor: DisplayWrite 4 was an editor

Yes, I have a VMware virtual machine running MS DOS. Yes, this screen shot, and the one before of PFS:Write, are from that virtual machine. I don’t use these programs anymore, but I like to remember where I’ve been.

PageMaker would let me take individual documents and lay them out into print form. DisplayWrite 4 (DW4) and its brethren could print, sure. But try laying out a magazine or a newspaper with them, and you would learn a new definition of frustration! PageMaker let me take documents and lay them out for presentation. Easily. Quickly. Because that’s what it was designed to do.

Just like Gutenberg.

So, I honestly think that Gutenberg doesn’t suck as an editor. I also don’t think it’s an editor!

So Now What?

Gutenberg Doesn't Suck as an Editor: I actually miss WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS.

Oh, WordPerfect, how I miss you. Gaze on the spartan elegance of the document editor! Though, come to think of it, pressing SHIFT-F7 to save might not be the most intuitive way ever to save a document…

Gutenberg doesn’t suck as an editor. I hope I’ve made the case why: It’s because I don’t think Gutenberg is an editor. If you’re like me and learned to dedicate part of your mind to managing the stupid intricacies of arbitrary applications while the other parts of your mind remain free to create, then this distinction might not help.

If, however, you’re a more normal human being, then I think I might have good news. There is a way that Gutenberg can be a productive part of your blog posting workflow. It’s just not using it as the editor!

In my next Blog Shop Talk post, I’ll talk about three popular editors and how they might help make blogging fun again. Honestly, it troubles me that so many of you have expressed so much frustration at Gutenberg. I want you to enjoy blogging! And before you think “Awww, that’s nice,” I feel compelled to be honest: If you hate writing, you’ll write less, and I’ll have fewer posts to enjoy!

Have you used another word processor with Gutenberg? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments!

31 thoughts on “Gutenberg Doesn’t Suck as an Editor – Because It’s Not An Editor!

  1. Ah, DOS. My earliest experience with computers made me really glad I could type about 200 wpm on your basic IBM Selectric. Of course, then you edited with the red pencil – and typed it over if you were doing a paper or a story. I was dragged kicking and screaming onto a computer in 1998 or so because hubby wouldn’t pay to fix my typewriter when it would cost more than a new printer for the computer (which he, 8 years younger, is quite adept with). I adjusted and my worst problems have been computers that croaked and took novels with them. Bye bye. And then Word stopped working – for all it’s flaws I could write in it. Now you don’t buy software, you “subscribe” to it. Well, some of us have limited income and don’t use the office programs all that much. So, Google docs it is. And I find Google docs pretty easy, so yes, I write there and drag it into WordPress when I am ready to edit, make pretty, add pictures, make it a post. If I had my old blogs, I’d liken it to the process from Word to html markup for the blog. I think html might have been easier to learn than Gutenburg – but maybe I just have unreal expectations. I learned html because I couldn’t get a webpage builder to do what I wanted it to do 😛 I dabbled in CSS, my last websites were heavy on it, and it had it’s moments, but yes it is prone to break unexpectedly when something outside changes. And if you do a whole website with it – it breaks the whole damn website. (eyeroll) Nowadays, I’m just a hobbyist. I just wanna have fun and not be screaming in frustration, which led me to temporarily consider quitting over the damn Gutenburg. I talked myself out of it. I write and edit longer posts on Google docs anyway so… I look forward to your editors review and yeah, I think you make a very valid point about Gutenburg. It’s more markup than editor.

    1. “My earliest experience with computers made me really glad I could type about 200 wpm on your basic IBM Selectric.”

      That silence you hear was me being astonished.

      200 WPM? That’s astounding!

      I peaked around 120 and cruised around 90. You must have been a Selectric Ninja. TBH, the Selectric was an amazing piece of hardware.

      “I adjusted and my worst problems have been computers that croaked and took novels with them.”

      I hate when that happens. 5.25″ diskettes were really bad about that.

      “Now you don’t buy software, you “subscribe” to it. ”

      If you get tired of Google Docs, give Libre Office a try. It’s really not bad, at least last time I checked. It’s also completely free. I have my Documents folder setup to replicate to Google Drive automatically, so it’s backed up without me worrying about it.

      Except I check it from time to time. Tech will double-cross me if I don’t keep both eyes on it.

      “so yes, I write there and drag it into WordPress when I am ready to edit, make pretty, add pictures, make it a post.”

      Seriously glad Google Docs is working for you! Your experience with Gutenberg helped convince me to write this post. There are enough obstacles to creativity; I figured it was time to see if I could help.

      “And if you do a whole website with it – it breaks the whole damn website.”

      I never did get good enough at CSS to find out how badly it could bite me! I’m really impressed with what my wife’s been able to do with it. I guess being an old dog and all, those new tricks are just a bit out of reach.

      “I just wanna have fun and not be screaming in frustration, which led me to temporarily consider quitting over the damn Gutenburg.”

      Very glad you reconsidered!

      1. It is still driving me crazy, Gutenburg that is. Yeah, the deal is my parents owned their own business and for a long time the office was a bedroom in our house. She taught me to type when I was…preschool. Well, she taught me to read then, too. So yeah, I can pretty much type as fast as I can think. Really made teachers angry. Something about being home taught I was sure to have bad habits. I helped my accounting teacher find the mistake in her checking account reconciliation and fix it and she never really forgave me for that either. When I got to high school and they finally “allowed” me to take typing classes they couldn’t figure out WTF to do with me. I spent about one day in Typing 1, another day in Typing 1A, and ended up in Typing 2 being completely ignored by the teacher – who couldn’t type as fast or accurately as I could. It was actually sort of a bad thing because they basically hated me. I could have taught all the business courses I took. I’m still largely self taught, which means these days I can’t prove what I know with degrees so I end up pushing carts in the parking lot at Walmart. (My last job, truth) Plus I was bored to death long before I graduated high school. I tested out with a GED and then life happened. It’s been a hella ride!

        CSS can do some really crazy cool stuff. But.

        Hubby likes the Libra Office, so he set me up with it. It’s not bad. Google docs is just handy especially the last few years I worked when I was sharing docs back and forth, editing for people and having a few edit for me, etc.

        That said – have you watched these kids type with their thumbs on their phones? HOLY CRAP. The phone stymies me down to hunt and peck and lots of NO THAT ISN’T THE WORD I WANTED. HHHH. You should see me try to write a post on the phone – and yet I know some of our bloggers here DO. I bow my head to them.

        1. “She taught me to type when I was…preschool. ”

          Wow, that sounds familiar! I was in junior high, but my mom handed me her typing manual from high school and turned me loose.

          “So yeah, I can pretty much type as fast as I can think. ”

          Do you find it hard to actually write anything — like, with pen and paper? I can’t do it. My thought processes are wrapped around a keyboard now.

          “I’m still largely self taught, which means these days I can’t prove what I know with degrees so I end up pushing carts in the parking lot at Walmart.”

          I’m really sorry to hear that. Not only is it unjust — and it is _very_ unjust — it’s stupid on the part of businesses. How many innovators have college degrees? Bill Gates started Microsoft with way less.

          Heaven help us (as a society), we’re just not that bright…

          “Google docs is just handy especially the last few years I worked when I was sharing docs back and forth, editing for people and having a few edit for me, etc.”

          I haven’t found anything that does document collaboration better than Google Docs. Word is trying, but it’s way behind.

          “That said – have you watched these kids type with their thumbs on their phones? HOLY CRAP. ”

          Yeah — like my daughter. If I can get past my thumb envy, I could admit it’s impressive!

          “You should see me try to write a post on the phone – and yet I know some of our bloggers here DO. I bow my head to them.”

          I couldn’t do it. Remember how I mentioned that my thought processes are wrapped around the keyboard? I did try using a bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone, and it actually worked pretty well. Still, the tiny screen drove me nuts. It’s like I have to remember too much that’s off screen!

          1. Totally. Us dinosaurs gotta stick together. I have a nifty new tablet I love that hubby says he can get a bluetooth keyboard to work with, he thinks. (He’s my computer maven bless him) and now that my laptop is making ominous grinding noises I’m threatening to move totally to the tablet. But yeah, keyboard it is for me, too. I can still write (with both hands at that) but if it’s longer than a quick note, a grocery list, or bookkeeping it can get unreadable real quick. I have been known to put grocery lists in Word and print them out.
            Do you find you can’t spell unless you type it?

            The whole no degrees thing used to irk me. Actually, for years I just listed them on my job applications anyway – and since I knew the material no one ever questioned it – LOL. I don’t think you can get away with that these days. And I’m retired so who cares. It’s a different world now. I’m quite happy to sit on the sidelines and watch. I content myself these days with knowing more about dialysis and kidney disease than the dialysis tech and often the doctors and nurses caring for my DH. I just tell them, I have one patient, you have hundreds. I can sit and read research on the latest things where you probably don’t have that time and luxury, and do the research to tailor this one persons treatment. We all get a good laugh that my medical background comes from being a vet tech. Only partially self taught there – but it was back when the vets taught their own assistants – again, no degree. It’s really cool that there are degrees for that though – because with the vets teaching you it was catch as catch can. I was lucky to work for several really good vets (and one not so good) so I learned a lot.

            And then there’s the whole alternative health thing which I was into long before I had the DH to worry about.

            1. “and now that my laptop is making ominous grinding noises I’m threatening to move totally to the tablet. ”

              I know quiet a few people who have moved to iPads. They seem to last longer than traditional laptops because they have fewer moving parts; or maybe they’re just better engineered. The screen’s a bit small for my tastes, but they’re a lot better than a phone!

              “Do you find you can’t spell unless you type it?”

              LOL! Yes. Sometimes I have to stop and air type to remember how to spell something. It’s strange that the muscles in my forearms and hands know spelling better than my brain does!

              “I just tell them, I have one patient, you have hundreds. I can sit and read research on the latest things where you probably don’t have that time and luxury, and do the research to tailor this one persons treatment.”

              That’s gracious. I think it’s probably a relief to them that you don’t yell at them. That’s common enough, after all.

              “And then there’s the whole alternative health thing which I was into long before I had the DH to worry about.”

              I’ve never gotten into alternative medicine, because my early experiences were completely negative. What I’d like to see is a systematic study of traditional/alternative medicines. I’m guessing there’s a lot of insight there, just waiting to be applied

              Maybe some day!

              1. We can only hope on that last. Sadly greed is such a part of medical care these days. There are greedy people who take advantage of alternative methods of treatment, and as long as greed rules there won’t be a study of alternative, because the insurance companies and the AMA have created a standard treatment for each illness that any monkey can follow – and doctors MUST follow or they are penalized. No one seems to understand that human beings are individuals, not machines, and are not all the same in their response to any given treatment. The standard treatment nearly killed my husband in 2016 – and indeed, the standard treatment in the U.S.A. is not designed to cure (not people on Medicaid or good insurance anyway) but to keep you just sick enough to keep coming back. To put you on medications you must be on for life, and if they have side effects, medication for the side effects, and then medications for those medications side effects and in the end you die of the medication – not that they’ll ever admit that. Well, don’t get me started 😛 I try to be as gracious as I can. If I am not we are marked as “non-conpliant” and then anything that happens is our fault. Good doctors were quite shocked to find us marked that way, when they considered us their most informed and compliant patients. Bad doctors don’t like to be questioned 😉

                Hubby has diagnosed the ominous grinding as the fan, and ordered a new one. Hopefully that will resolve that and I can relax a bit. I’m still threatening to switch to the tablet…

                Air-typing! LOL! Yep, me, too. Which is, I guess, why I’m so bad at thumb typing – there’s a degree of muscle memory involved that is just not going to switch over. Ever. 😛 Can’t teach an old dog…

                Not to bite the keyboard?

                1. “Good doctors were quite shocked to find us marked that way, when they considered us their most informed and compliant patients. Bad doctors don’t like to be questioned”

                  Really sorry to hear that. I’ve been fortunate so far, in that I’ve had good doctors that enjoyed answering questions. But my family has encountered the other kind.

                  “Hopefully that will resolve that and I can relax a bit. I’m still threatening to switch to the tablet…”

                  Nothing saying you can’t use both! It’s always a good idea to have primary and backup plan, especially when it comes to your creativity!

                  “Not to bite the keyboard?”

                  LOL

                  1. I actually asked the hubby for our sort of auxillary laptop yesterday and he turned and looked at me and said, NO – you have a laptop, a tablet and two phones on your desk and they’re all working…ROFL. It was true, too. But the game I REALLY wanted to play won’t play on my laptop (not enough RAM) and so… oddly the “auxillary” laptop is the smartest machine in the house, but now and then it flips out and says it doesn’t have an operating system and then the hubby spends a week getting it to work again and it loses everything. Thus it’s pretty much restricted to games. Games with cloud save. LOL. Or you know, games you can replay. But yes, back ups are good. I’ve lost so much work one way and another I’m threatening to buy a typewriter and I’m already back to a sketchbook and pencil. I really do prefer to write with the spekkyness of software though.

                    I’m really glad you’ve had good doctors. They’re out there, and it gives me hope. We are in Vegas because there is a great doctor here, who owns his own dialysis clinic and thus is not put in a position by the clinic saying you’ll do it our way or we won’t take your patients – which is what I strongly suspect happened to our last really good doctor who suddenly became impossible to contact. Corporate medicine… really I think medicine for profit is just a bad idea. Anyway, everyone’s got to be tired of hearing me rant about that.

                    Hubby got the keyboard working with the tablet. Astounding.

                    1. “really I think medicine for profit is just a bad idea.”

                      It’s a problem, isn’t it? So it applying the profit motive to prisons through privatization. Suddenly there’s a push for more “law and order,” which is just saying “more laws so more people end up in jail.”

                      Sigh.

                      “Hubby got the keyboard working with the tablet. Astounding.”

                      Awesome! I’ve been tempted to write more on an iPad, but the operating system’s assumptions trip me up. I guess that’s the downside of WordPerfect being my favorite word processor!

                    2. There have actually been cases where judges were found accepting kickbacks for sending people to jail for minor shit. Capitalism isn’t all that…

                      iPads do tempt me, but I hesitate at learning a new operating system..

  2. That makes sense. Now im tempted to try alternative editors, maybe it would make me quicker?

    I didnt really feel annoyed with gutenberg as many people seemed to be, but thinking about it this way, i guess i understand the issue more now.

    You mentioned typewriters – i’ll have you know the 10 year old me found my mother’s typewriter and had fun with it for a while so i can understand the pain of making mistakes on a typewriter

    1. “That makes sense. Now im tempted to try alternative editors, maybe it would make me quicker?”

      It might. Might be a good idea to test it.

      Probably this coming Friday, I’m going to publish the results of testing 3 editors. It might be you an idea of which best fits your work flow/habits!

  3. I feel like I walked into a landmine of emotion. I guess I am basic since I just use google docs and call it a day. When I am done with my posts I just plug them into WordPress. Sure I find the web interface with editing posts slightly annoying, but to be honest I have no real idea what I am doing besides putting my words on the page. I mostly stumble around until I figure out something that looks decent and call it a day.

    I have attempted to learn some CSS to make the webpage look better, but my skills are non-existent when it comes to web-building. But I haven’t made much headway. I feel helpless truly when it comes to web-building, but I have made it this far so I guess I am doing okay? Sometimes I wish I had professional help.

    At the end of the day my feelings towards it are neutral, as I feel that I will never truly master it to begin with. I JUST WRITE. The end.

    1. “I guess I am basic since I just use google docs and call it a day.”

      That’s a great approach. I plan to publish a post next Friday that evaluates three editors, and Google Docs is one of them. Hint: It’s a good one!

      “I have attempted to learn some CSS to make the webpage look better,”

      Since I learned to build web sites before CSS was popular (yes, there was such a time!), I never did get good at it. My wife’s really good at it, but don’t tell her I said that. I’m supposed to be the technical one!

      Have you tried different themes? There might be one that gives you the look and feel you’re looking for without messing around with CSS. Once you edit it, you run the risk of incompatibility with WordPress upgrades. I’ve also found CSS to be really finicky, as in “Wow, that looks terrible but it looked good just a minute ago!”

      Glad Google Docs is working for you!

  4. While I don’t use DOS back during my childhood as I used a Macintosh back in the Mac OS System 7 days. Also, I didn’t do much word processing back (and the only option is ClarisWorks since I didn’t have Office for Mac) then until the 3rd grade when I started to use Microsoft Office with 97. Yes, I spent most if not all my childhood at the computer.

    Gutenberg in my opinion is still a pretty crappy editor for blogging and I have used WordPress since 2009. It’s obvious that Automattic is trying to chase after drag and drop page builders like SquareSpace and Webbly, but it makes the whole blogging experience crappy. I know they want to push people to build websites with WordPress, but WordPress was originally geared towards blogging, but I feel that Gutenberg just makes everything too complicated and it’s cumbersome to use for blogging. It’s alright for building a website as I am in the process of converting the old Classic Editor pages for my open source project website to use Gutenberg and create a more appealing webpage. For blogging, it’s just a bad experience.

    Granted, I am used to the Classic Editor and I have used Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage (*shutters*) when I built websites during my teenage years. The Classic Editor for me is easier to use, especially since I type all my posts in Microsoft Word since it has Grammar and Spell check (and Jetpack apparently took that feature away). Automattic has to take the Classic Editor from my cold bare hands. Gutenberg will always be a garbage editor for blogging.

    1. “It’s obvious that Automattic is trying to chase after drag and drop page builders like SquareSpace and Webbly,”

      That’s what it looks like to me, too.

      “but I feel that Gutenberg just makes everything too complicated and it’s cumbersome to use for blogging.”

      A better approach would be to continue to evolve the basic editor for simple blogging and offer Gutenberg for the more complex posts.

      “I have used Adobe Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage (*shutters*) when I built websites during my teenage years. ”

      Wow — I haven’t thought about Dreamweaver for years! I never got very good with it, but I liked what it tried to do.

      I evaluated FrontPage when Vermeer owned it — right before Microsoft bought it. It used to support multiple web servers, but after Microsoft bought it… well, you can probably guess what happened.

      “The Classic Editor for me is easier to use,”

      For me, that’s probably the bottom line. Anything that adds friction to the writing process is bad.

  5. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about? I’ve been using Gutenberg since it was first released and have never found myself getting flustered or struggling on how to use it. It’s fairly intuitive and does exactly what I expect it to. I also write and edit my posts directly in Gutenberg.

    Sure, every now and then they change something, but it’s never that hard to find again. Sometimes it might take an extra click, but that’s not enough for me to throw my toys on the floor.

    I also don’t think I’m understanding what you mean by not an editor. Is word an editor? To me the only difference I see between Gutenberg and Word/Google Docs/etc is the block structure. And honestly, I prefer the block structure to the old one long html block structure.

    1. Actually the things with editors is that there are a lot of option for editing things, look at how vast ms word is. It is not just a tools for typing but you can create so much out of it. Its highly professional
      I agree what tcrow said that Gutenberg is not an editor. Indeed, if it were an editor, u could be able to do things the way u do it in word. But since that much is not required for a blogger, they have opted for block based mode of writing. And its fine, I love it the way it is. I just type my post directly there.
      But many of them out there do have problems, especially sincenit is wysiwyg, certain themes make it look weird to type there

      1. Notepad is an editor and has pretty much zero functionality beyond typing and editing words. I don’t see the distinction in calling Word an editor and not Gutenberg. Gutenberg is just a more specialised version that deals with blog posts.

        1. I’ll grant that the distinction I’m making is around primary function. In that you can edit text, it’s an editor. But I maintain that’s not its primary goal, which is post composition and assembly.

          TBH, I’d almost prefer to write a post in Notepad++ (an open source, added functionality version of Notepad) than use Gutenberg for any kind of post where I need to rearrange my thoughts.

    2. You’re lucky, and I’m glad you are! If I were to guess: You’re more an F. Scott Fitzgerald type, right? Typically write a post in one pass, make a few minor adjustments, and you’re good?

      I could see Gutenberg not being very annoying in that case.

      I’m making a distinction between an editor and a mark up tool. When I worked in publishing, we’d use typewriters to lay out the text, then text layout devices to format it into columns. That kind of distinction carried into word processors versus page layout tools like InDesign.

      Word is a hybrid. It can layout basic newsletters and newspapers. But it’s not at all suitable for larger-scale professional publications.

      The difference is in the focus of the UI and the predominance of the tools. At least, that’s how I see it.

      I never really liked the old editor’s “one long HTML block structure” either. The unit of work is the word, sentence, or paragraph. Block editors make it more difficult to work with anything except a paragraph. Not impossible. Just more difficult. Enough that some writers would rather walk away, at least for a little while.

      Back when I was a software developer, I learned something that might be relevant here: If I’m going to impose a huge change on the user, I better deliver a correspondingly huge return. Gutenberg, at best, offers some better layout control. Even there, there’s disagreement. But at least for my money, it didn’t give me enough to justify the cost of conversion.

      If I had not have tried Thrive Architect first, I think my reaction would have been even more negative.

      But seriously: I’m glad you’re not having trouble with it! That’s a relief.

  6. Nailed it I think… The key problem with Gutenberg is the friction it induces. I’m constantly having to think about how I’m doing stuff rather than what I’m doing. I’m thinking about the software rather than my work.

    And the basic cause of that is Gutenberg has broken the “put your cursor in an arbitrary location and perform an arbitrary action” paradigm that’s dominated WYSIWYG editors for decades.

    1. The cursor behavior had me cussing at the screen just yesterday. A good word processor should get out of my way and let me put text on the page, then move it around arbitrarily. Gutenberg just doesn’t do that.

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