WordCamp Europe was as just as incredible as everyone said it would be. The city of Berlin was welcoming and beautiful, the sessions were great, and there was a lot of tasty food. But best of all, the vibrant WordPress community we all know and love was there in full-force. It’s so neat how WordPress brings folks from all across the world together for a common good: democratizing publishing; that’s WordPress’s greatest strength.
One thing I noticed in particular at WordCamp Europe was that the vibe was quite different from WordCamp US last year, where the recent release of Gutenberg cast dissension in all directions. And while the new editor is no where near a state of “maturity”, it has made bounds towards a better overall experience – one the community has started to recognize. I can only assume that more folks have started using the block editor, realizing its potential and our need for a better editing experience. I am hopeful we’ll start having more folks innovating in this space. There is quite a lot of opportunity, and plenty of room to grow, within the WordPress editing experience as a whole.
I’ve said it a number of times in the past year or so, but it’s a fantastic time to be a WordPress developer.
WCEU Summer Update
Matt Mullenweg, Automattic CEO, gave his summer update on the vast advancements the new block editor has received since its initial release last December. Having spent just about every working day in the block editor, I welcome all the effort from thousands of hands to make Gutenberg better with every release.
Matt also mentioned how CoBlocks was one of his favorite block plugins around, showcasing the plugin’s Features and Shape Divider blocks during his keynote presentation. Super cool!
A look at the upcoming block directory
Most notably, Matt outlined a proposed block directory flow, where folks will be able to install blocks on the fly when searching for blocks in the inserter. There are a number of mocks of what this could look like here, and here. It’s an interesting approach which will most certainly empower folks with unlimited blocks, though I’m not 100% certain of what the experience will actually come to. I’m still gathering my thoughts on this matter, but I’ll report back once I’ve wrapped my head around it more.
Experimenting with motion
Motion is an interesting paradigm that could level-up the editing experience quite a bit, adding a fine layer of finesse to everything. When Matt showed this during his talk, the crowd lit up.
The motion gives a clear sense of direction and flow – as blocks are moved about. I’m all for bringing this sort of meaningful motion to the editor. To read more about this exploration, check out Matias Ventura’s post on Using Motion to Express Change.
The future of WordPress
In one sense, it seems like the future of WordPress is here. But in another, we have quite a way to go till we’re there. Although WordPress is evolving rapidly, there’s room for more innovative improvements across the board. We’re not just democratizing publishing, we’re democratizing the art of creating a space online. Gutenberg lays that framework, and soon enough it’ll start to bleed into the rest of the WordPress experience. I look forward to that day, when WordPress is just as flexible as we’ve come to love, yet much more delightful to use as a whole. Who knows, maybe it’s not so far away after all?