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Create deprecation plan for the "Gutenberg" name #4681

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mor10 opened this Issue Jan 25, 2018 · 53 comments

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mor10 commented Jan 25, 2018

Issue Overview

tl;dr: "Gutenberg" is a fine name for this project, but unless we stop using it now, it'll become a point of great confusion once the feature is merged with core.

As blocks and block editing move closer to maturity and core merge, a plan is needed for how to get the community to think of these as core features, not add-on features included theough a plugin named for an old German goldsmith. This is a matter of some urgency as the names "Gutenberg" and "Gutenblocks" is being used for and applied to articles, tutorials, documentation, and solutions including plugins and themes that will live on long after the core merge.

Once blocks are a core feature, the name "Gutenberg" will be a source of confusion in the community, further complicated by the many other "Gutenberg" projects available online.

I propose a deprecation plan be put in place immediately to start offloading the "Gutenberg" name in favor of something more descriptive that will make sense once the feature is in core. "Block editor" or "WordPress blocks" or something similar. An outreach campaign is also needed to get influencers in the community to use the new name over "Gutenberg" in their articles, tutorials, presentations, and products. A stop-gap measure could be something like encouraging the use of "WordPress blocks, formerly Gutenberg" or an equivalent.

Clear language matters. This is the time to take steps to ensure language around block editing in WordPress is clear. No offense to Johannes.

@mor10 mor10 changed the title from Create depreciation plan for the "Gutenberg" name to Create deprecation plan for the "Gutenberg" name Jan 25, 2018

@jdevalk

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jdevalk commented Jan 25, 2018

I say we call it Coster. After Laurens Janszoon Coster.

@lushkant

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lushkant commented Jan 25, 2018

Agreed Totally!!
Saw earlier today many people having conversations in a Linkedin group "what Gutenberg is and what does it really stand for".
What sort of name it's if it doesn't make sense to the end users. I mean if it's only a codename for the ones who're developing it then they're better calling it with id's.

( Just a close watcher, not a big deal )..

@bobbingwide

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bobbingwide commented Jan 26, 2018

The plan needs to consider the names for each of the different editors that a user may be able to use, wherever they happen to be in the WordPress site.

  1. Gutenberg Editor - Visual Editor
  2. Gutenberg Editor - Code Editor
  3. Classic Editor - Visual tab - Rich editing
  4. Classic Editor - Text tab -
  5. Widgets - Text
  6. Widgets - Custom HTML
  7. Theme & plugin editor
  8. Customizer
  9. Other

The convention should take into account the user's WordPress experience.

Should this plan also take into account refactoring of the code? function names, comments, CSS styling, links etc?

@schlessera

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schlessera commented Jan 26, 2018

I think the most obvious approach would be to let people know that "The visual editor has been revamped!" and that "You can now use draggable blocks of content to shape your page!".

From the user's point view, there's no reason for it to have a proper name - the editor has changed, that's all. That it is, technologically-speaking, a completely different approach and goes far beyond the actual editor is something the developers should be aware of, but other than that, it is completely inconsequential for an end user trying to write content.

@mor10

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mor10 commented Jan 26, 2018

@schlessera Exactly: The "Gutenberg" name is meaningless to the people who will be using blocks to build content. If it's not deprecated now before launch, it will live on in the ecosystem as a confusing term without any real context.

Think about it this way: When blocks are in core and people go to WordPress TV to learn about them, they won't search for "Gutenberg" even though that's where all the information currently resides. Same with almost all tutorials etc. Plugins also ship "Gutenberg ready" content and "Gutenblocks" and use these terms to market themselves. Again, this will not work once blocks are in core because the end-users will not search for the term "Gutenberg" since it has no meaning to them.

@carlhancock

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carlhancock commented Jan 26, 2018

@mor10 Is absolutely correct. Gutenberg is fine for a project codename while in development... but it needs to cease to exist when rolled into core. It won't be Gutenberg anymore. It will simply be the WordPress editor.

This has implications beyond what it's called when the code is rolled into core... it means any and all documentation for it needs to not call it Gutenberg. It means any development resources that teach people how to develop for it needs to not call it Gutenberg. It also means training resources like @zgordon's Gutenberg Development Course would need to be updated and rebranded.

When Gutenberg is rolled into core it will cease to be Gutenberg and will simply be WordPress. I agree that continuing to refer to it as Gutenberg after that occurs will simply cause user confusion.

@zgordon

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zgordon commented Jan 26, 2018

Great discussion! Within my course I try to just reefer to things by actual names like block or editor so it will be more future compatible.

My plan is definitely to adapt the name of the course at some point, possibly when everything rolls into Core.

That said, at a practical level, since Gutenberg has been the name used for some time now in articles and talks I imagine there will be some overlap between when things roll into Core and when people stop saying things like 'Gutenberg Ready'

That said I'm totally behind this transition and thanks Morten for bringing it up so we can all do this together at the same time and in the same way.

@greatislander

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greatislander commented Jan 26, 2018

I think the existence of the (entirely unrelated) Project Gutenberg also has the potential to confuse some users. Thanks for raising this issue, @mor10.

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duanestorey commented Jan 26, 2018

@greatislander I have a post about Gutenberg (WordPress) on my site, and half the traffic that hits it is searching for Project Gutenberg (not WordPress), so there is already some confusion.

I personally like the simple "block" distinction, i.e. the "Block Editor" and "Classic Editor" as per @bobbingwide's comment. Not entirely sure how you address the rest, but drawing a line and calling old functionality Classic or Legacy seems like a good idea to me.

@mor10

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mor10 commented Jan 26, 2018

@greatislander not to mention several other web related projects with the same name including https://github.com/matejlatin/Gutenberg, https://www.npmjs.com/package/gutenberg, and an entire academic field around the person Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press.

@duanestorey This is precisely why a plan needs to be put in place now and enacted immediately. Insiders are using the term to get people to read/watch/download their stuff. This is fracturing the available information and will cause confusion down the road. This is one of those cases where being aggressively proactive, even if it's frustrating at first, is essential.

@voldemortensen

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voldemortensen commented Jan 26, 2018

Counterpoint: If memory servers me well, @m mentioned a few times that Gutenberg is a separate project that will be bundled into core, but also exist separately so it can be integrated into other projects. I agree that in core and in WordPress related documentation referring to it as Gutenberg will cause confusion for users, but once this is "rolled into core", this repository will continue to be maintained separately (unless I am mistaken). Dropping the Gutenberg name entirely could lead to lack of adoption, contributors, etc.

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mor10 commented Jan 26, 2018

@voldemortensen Counterpoint point: I don't think that's a counterpoint to my point. If Gutenberg is going to live as a project separate for WordPress (which it currently is not), it should be branched off and divorced from WordPress functionality and renamed because for the rest of the world, the "Gutenberg" name is strongly associated with the Gutenberg Project (books, not WordPress). In any case, the status of Gutenberg as a stand-alone project does not change the proposal here: In the WordPress context, the terminology needs to change now to avoid confusion and fracturing of information in a couple of months.

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voldemortensen commented Jan 26, 2018

@mor10 If it's not going to live separately, then I think we're on the same page. The proposal, to me, didn't read as specifically for the WordPress context (I could have missed something). In any case, you've clarified that it is for the WordPress context, so my point is moot.

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ntwb commented Jan 26, 2018

MP6 is rarely heard of anymore #justsayin

@mor10

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mor10 commented Jan 26, 2018

@ntwb MP6 was hardly ever talked about as "MP6" except for a few mentions by Matt. The "Gutenberg" name has entrenched itself as in-speak in the community.

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JJJ commented Jan 27, 2018

Keeping it named Gutenberg is probably what’s going to happen; that’s my prediction.

  • It pays homage to a real life impactful person, which is hard to take away
  • Phrases like old_editor and new_editor are obviously short sighted (tinyMCE has teeny, but can you really tell me what it does without looking?)
  • We’ve named themes after people
  • We name releases after people, and it brings education and awareness
  • The name becomes more than it was thanks to semantic change; a year from now only a few people will still choose to be bothered by it

My personal opinions?

I think having action/filter/class/function names with gutenberg or gb_ in them is about as good an idea as Apple having ns_ in random stuff.

  • It’s annoying and inconsistent
  • It seems amateurish, like we should know it’s not ideal by now
  • It will invoke good or bad memories years from now that have little to do with the thing
  • It’s forever, whatever we pick, and keeping it named Gutenberg isn’t the best idea, but it’s not the worst

I’d rather see the overall name issue worked-around just using block for everything, especially since it’s unlikely that WordPress will ever include any type of “block” functionality beyond marking things as spam.

The flexibility of WordPress is due largely in part to its ambiguity. Being too targeted limits flexibility. It’s hard to see a Menu for anything than a Menu, but we spent 7 years making do with hierarchical Pages, many still do, and that’s still how it works under the hood.

TL;DR - I prefer we remove references in code, but not in spirit.

@ClintonGallagher

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ClintonGallagher commented Jan 27, 2018

Either way people will continue to refer to the Gutenberg Project as Gutenberg.
So take your pick...

My Mama said "Stupid is what Stupid does."
-- Forrest Gump

My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
-- Forrest Gump

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jdevalk commented Jan 27, 2018

All kidding above aside; I agree with Morten and vehemently disagree with JJJ. The issue is, we've never before taken charge of the narrative. We've never thought enough about these things. We should. They reflect on how mature as a project we are.

There are lots of things we should have done in our marketing and branding that we haven't. 2018 is going to be the year we change that. Because we can choose to; so we choose to.

Personally I'd vote for calling it "the editor", and when we have to compare it to the classic editor, referring to it as "the modern editor".

Blocks are blocks or WordPress blocks. Seems simple enough.

@duanestorey

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duanestorey commented Jan 27, 2018

@jdevalk I agree, but I'd be inclined to always call Gutenberg 'the editor' going forward, and reference the old version as the 'legacy editor'. My thoughts on this are if you are having a conversation that involves post 5.0 and pre 5.0 users (i.e. us old folks), suddenly switching between talking about the 'editor' and the 'modern editor' may be confusing to the post 5.0 users, whereas I think legacy has the intended meaning (or at least, something in the past) even for people who may not even know what it is. With that in mind I'd propose that the Gutenberg editor, once integrated into core, is always 'the editor', and the old version is the 'legacy editor' or something to that affect.

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jdevalk commented Jan 27, 2018

Well modern is literally opposed to classic editor, which the plugin for the "old" editor is called. Of course thar can be changed, but THAT has been communicated already... And legacy is slightly harder for non-native speakers.

At the same time I think it's more important that we choose something and stick with it.

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JJJ commented Jan 27, 2018

To your own point, what’s the next editor called 12 years from now? The more-modern editor? The even-newer editor?

It’s just the-editor, since it’s the default interface. To your point about being mature, calling it something binary and closed-ended seems terribly short-sighted.

To be clear, there are at least 2 different concerns: code, marketing.

  • The code shouldn’t have Gutenberg references IMO, but it’s not the end of the world if it does. I’d like to avoid it, but it’s inevitably human to leave it as is, or risk abandoning the support of all of the early adopters.
  • The marketing is already done to our inner circle of people as a code name; code names pretty much live on forever in our hearts, and nobody else’s, and that’s OK.

Happy to be disagreed with. Let’s get this solved sooner than later so we can put our efforts towards bigger problems.

@mikeschinkel

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mikeschinkel commented Jan 27, 2018

Ah man, there goes the marketing for plugins I had planned to brand under the name ”Guten-Free!”

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ahmadawais commented Jan 27, 2018

🙌

After reading the story of both sides, I have to say that every single one of you has made valid points here.
But here's what I think!

🤔 I think the name Gutenberg should not be deprecated! It should stick! The name Gutenberg means something by now, calling it simply the editor or the new editor or the blocks editor or the modern editor (modern for how long? next ten years? and then...) or simple blocks will not be enough.

🔰 Calling it Gutenberg means something and it should. It's different, a bold new WordPress improvement. If you think that deprecating that name will bring less confusion to the table then that's where I disagree with you. Labelling the new themes and plugins Gutenberg compatible will mean — modern WordPress plugins/themes built with blocks or something!

→ And I have many practical examples here. 💯

📦 Example # 1 — create-guten-block

I've released create-guten-block — a #0CJS toolkit for building and prototyping #Gutenblocks for WordPress. If the name Gutenberg was not there, I had to call it what? create-wp-block or create-wp-plugin — both of which are overly vague.

While building something new, I want the audience to know what we have here — or the relation to what I have built with or for WordPress.

I think removing the name Gutenberg would be like removing the name WooCommerce since WordPress eCommerce could be more easy for users to understand what that is, but wait that's also a name of another plugin. Guess what there's a plugin called Blocks and many page builders that claim to be blocks builders.

⚛ Example # 2 — React Ecosystem

Since Gutenberg makes use of the React JavaScript framework, maybe we can take inspiration from them. So, in the React ecosystem — they don't keep cooking everything under one single name called React. They name it differently and build a new ecosystem of their sufficiently big tool. So many of them.

  • That's why you see, GraphQL could have easily been ReactQL. But they built GraphQL and then graphql-js and used it with `React — now we have WPGraphQL as well.
  • Same is the story with jest — you see it's not React Test or something — but a more modular painless JavaScript testing tool — that's not only used with React but in a number of other projects.

Same is the case here. While building create-guten-block I dug deep in the JavaScript community and what looked like a giant mess from the surface — felt like a lots of decision making — sometimes done right and other times wrong — but for the purpose of making devs life easier — which in turn is bringing more devs to the JavaScript world.

🛠 I built a monorepo with create-guten-block and as of now the repo has four packages that can exist in any WordPress — and two in even simple — JavaScript projects that aren't related to WordPress at all. This has led to strange but pretty good stats. Many projects are using parts of my code in their non-WordPress projects. And some are using them in their WordPress projects without having to include all four of 'em.

I think what I am trying to say here is that Gutenberg is a big bold step of WordPress and we shouldn't strip off of its name — just because that's what we have always done. This jump towards the JavaScript community can actually help WordPress grow as a product, community, and we can strike for that 50% goal @m talks about.

🤞 But hey, this is just my opinion— I vote for the Gutenberg name to stay and get strong. The new themes and plugins that support Gutenberg should mention as such. It's a new bold WordPress without having to fork it all.

Peace! ✌️

@mor10

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mor10 commented Jan 27, 2018

@ahmadawais The "Gutenberg" name is not descriptive of anything and is already an established name for something totally different. Both "React" and "GraphQL" are descriptive names that carry some meaning and reference to what they do. "Gutenberg" does not. "WordPress Blocks" does.

@mikeschinkel

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mikeschinkel commented Jan 27, 2018

" If the name Gutenberg was not there, I had to call it what?"

"Block Builder for WordPress", or similar. #justsaying :-)

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ahmadawais commented Jan 27, 2018

@mor10 I'll have to disagree with the narrative that names should always be descriptive. That's not always true. E.g. the name jest means a thing said or done for amusement; a joke. but that's a Unit Testing framework — that my friend is no joke. 😂

I think whatever sticks is a good name. I'm happy with a less verbose but more common name than the other options we have :)

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dmhendricks commented Jan 27, 2018

Perhaps the API can be referenced as Gutenberg but users will simply create "blocks." Sort of like Cocoa on OS X. Users don't know what Cocoa is, but developers do. Your point about it already being established for something is valid, but I'm not sure of any sort of infringement.

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kevinwhoffman commented Jan 27, 2018

One aspect that hasn't been touched on yet is how much we've stressed since WCUS that Gutenberg is "more than the editor." If we agree that the long-term Gutenberg vision goes beyond the editor (which is the official stance outlined in the project's documentation), then we should not further confusion by treating the term "Gutenberg" as synonymous with the editor in 5.0.

With that said, I'm in favor of "block editor" and "classic editor."

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JJJ commented Jan 31, 2018

Collectively, we have all answered our own questions without answering each other’s.

If the plan is to continue developing Gutenberg as an editor that can be used outside of WordPress core, the decision on what to name it isn’t up to us, and was already decided before development started.

Gutenberg will just live on as a separate React wrapper for a block based editor library that also happens to use TinyMCE for some blocks, and WordPress will just happen to adopt it instead of any of the other existing page-customizer type options.

In that scenario, the fact that Gutenberg even comes with a PHP layer or (WordPress support at-all) should be abstracted away eventually, in the way TinyMCE shouldn’t come with WordPress-specific code.

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scallemang commented Feb 1, 2018

I think we can have our cake and eat it too. E.g., from an imaginary rollout: "Announcing Gutenberg – the new WordPress editor. Gone is the WYSIWYG! The new system is all about blocks: blocks of text, blocks of images. [. . .]" Hell, if people can wrap their heads around—and pronounce—"WYSIWYG", I think things will work out. The name Calypso hasn't caused any pain so far, right? (Maybe I'm wrong? Is it divisive, or has it had any marketing issues?) It's just the dashboard to 90% of end-users, right?

Mac OS updates are called and marketed as Mountain Lion or High Sierra without any big fallout, I don't think, as non-descriptive as those may be. (Indeed, sometimes I run into update-specific issues with, like, Xcode compatibility and it's actually helpful to have the marketed name for my Stack Overflow searches.)

All of which is to say, I'm enthusiastic for a scenario in which Gutenberg is the product/feature name of the core WP editor where you work in blocks.

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maximebj commented Feb 2, 2018

Keep the name !

Sub branding is not a bad thing.
This project is big enough to deeply change WordPress and deserves its own name

@bjkeeton

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bjkeeton commented Feb 2, 2018

I am all about keeping the name. Between Google results, the internal WP community already knowing it, and the code referring to it, there's no reason not to keep it. I think @khromov has the right idea when referring to the "Gutenberg block editor" or something similar.

There isn't a reason why the branding can't still exist with the future of the project, code name or not. To say that the name should be deprecated because it serves no function totally disregards the work the WP community as a whole has done to accept it.

Even though tinyMCE is a third party software, people just call it the editor. The same is gonna be said of Gutenberg, too, in a few years. It seems like this is a semantic argument to me that's more about marketing and branding than anything, and the marketing and branding already exists. Taking GB out of the title (rather than adding clarity to it) is counterproductive.

Yes, Morten is right: Gutenberg on its own is not good. Gutenberg Block Editor is. Even just the Gutenberg Editor.

Regardless...you can't say that Gutenberg on its own doesn't hold meaning. It is inherently associated with revolutionary publishing, whether it has the word "editor" around it or not. People know it has to do with words, publishing, writing, etc. Even if we called it just Gutenberg WP, it'd be at least connoted, if not clear.

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transl8or commented Feb 2, 2018

My spontaneous idea about that issue would be to find a better word for "Editor".
The word Gutenberg can easily vanish then when the merge into core begins and when we have something better for 'The New Editor' or 'The Block Editor'.

Think Customizer! How was it back then?

And as someone already said, I would also prefer to think functional.
I know normal users, who still have trouble to understand what an Editor is. They start thinkin' about Microsoft Word and stuff.

The task for WordPress, in the context of democratizing publish, is simply to create content to publish.
Or as also already said: People create their Websites with a Blog or a Blog alone with WordPress.

[BTW I also see the word 'Block' a bit critical for future in the long run as it is so close to the sound of the word 'Blog' or even 'Black'. Accessibility? Can you hear me?!]

Now, has anyone feedback on the idea, to call the new Editor coming within, as part of WordPress 5.0 something different? Maybe...

  • Creatr
  • Formator
  • Constructr

... for content made of rich media to publish in an even better web.

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bjkeeton commented Feb 2, 2018

@transl8or I could see it being called the Publisher, along those lines. Keeping it away from editor (which actually already exists in Appearance -> Editor as something totally different.

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transl8or commented Feb 2, 2018

@bjkeeton 'Publisher' or Publishr, that's also a good one 👍
I personally would like to see a new word creation for it in general.

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mellis32 commented Feb 5, 2018

Throwing my opinion in the ring as a relatively new user: I FULLY support depreciating the Guttenberg codename and not replacing it with another strange name.

Please no gimmicky or proprietary names for the editor! Proprietary names like Gutenberg or TinyMCE, only add confusion for new users and makes Wordpress seem less approachable and less familiar.

If Guttenberg really will take over all of Wordpress, then we already have the best name:
WordPress.

Does Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, ect. have a special name for their text editors? Note that their text editors are much more seamless with their page editors. It's all about improving the brand by improving the editor, which eventually becomes seamless with the product.

Do we really want people talking about "Wordpress's Gutenberg" or do we want them talking about a more unified "WordPress"?

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danieltj27 commented Feb 13, 2018

Just throwing my opinion in here; I'm for dropping the project codename and referring to it as non-descriptively as a/the content editor with a block mode and classic mode.

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wpmark commented Mar 2, 2018

It would seem to me that change the name of "Gutenberg" now to something else would mean the need to change all of the function and hooks names in the plugin (eventually in core).

It occurs to me that there are many plugins in the wordpress.org repository now that will be actively using these filter and action names. If these get change won't all these plugins break?

One such example of a recent plugin mention is this one: https://wordpress.org/plugins/manager-for-gutenberg/

The plugin above and many more like it would break if all the names are changed?

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danieltj27 commented Mar 2, 2018

I’ve changed my opinion on this. After reading what people have said, I think Gutenberg has because a very important point in WordPress’ history and so keeping the name is important; as well as the code implications of course.

@teamcoltra

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teamcoltra commented May 18, 2018

I am commenting to add that I don't like the name because "Project Gutenberg" is already a thing and so searching for Gutenberg Project and Project Gutenberg is only going to be bad for SEO, or if this takes off in popularity it may drown out the actual Project Gutenberg which is dedicated to an incredibly important task.

Not only that but you create naming conflicts that deal with the other Gutenberg related code.

I'm not sure how to fix this problem now, I came in too late to voice this opinion sooner... but consider me a person who doesn't like this.

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perandre commented Aug 28, 2018

Since we are already implementing Gutenberg in Drupal (as contrib; see https://drupalgutenberg.org/), it makes sense to treat it like a separate package without "WordPress" in the name. Someone suggested that it should be named something completely different for this use case. I disagree, since it's not a fork going it's own way – it rather uses the actual React packages as dependencies. Any other CMS adopting it should pay homage to the original code by following the naming, IMO.

Gutenberg might not be the most descriptive name. It's just hard (and perhaps too late?) to make the switch.

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0aveRyan commented Sep 4, 2018

A new con of dropping the Gutenberg name:

We've invited millions of users to Try Gutenberg with no indication it's a codename. Notably over 260,000 downloads happened in the last 7 days. While the messaging did say new editor, the CTA's were to Try & Learn Gutenberg

I lean towards keeping the codename, but I'm not anti-deprecation. That said, if deprecation is the final path, I think:

  • that should be confirmed publicly as soon as possible.
  • we need to address the name change in the New Editor Dashboard widget upon launch (or sooner).
  • not all string-replaces are created equal -- some should happen ASAP like the body.gutenberg-editor-page, while others in tests/docblocks/docs are much easier to address.
  • the gutenberg/v1 namespace needs to be reserved in the WP-API.
  • While not necessary in UI copy, I disagree with @mtias Slack post -- the codename 💯 should be mentioned in Core docs for search/sanity reasons.
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pento commented Oct 9, 2018

The Gutenberg name will continue to live on as the label for the overarching Gutenberg project: Gutenberg phase 1 (the block editor) is approaching its conclusion, while Gutenberg phase 2 (site customisation) will start to ramp up soon.

There's no immediate need to deprecate the Gutenberg name (if there ever will be), so I'm going to close this issue. We can always revisit it at the conclusion of the Gutenberg project, but there's no timeline for that at this stage.

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