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README.md

Gutenberg Plugin Compatibility

Hello! This research project has concluded, and the database is no longer being actively maintained.

Overview

This project's goal is to produce a database documenting whether or not WordPress plugins are compatible with Gutenberg. For any questions beyond what's covered in this document, please open an issue and we'll do our best to help out. The complete backstory is covered in wordpress/gutenberg#4072.

How do I know whether a plugin is compatible with Gutenberg?

For our purposes, a plugin is compatible with Gutenberg when:

  • A WordPress user can perform the same functional task with Gutenberg active. For instance, if the plugin includes an "Add Media" button, it's considered Gutenberg-compatible when it has a block registered for the Gutenberg inserter. Feature-parity, essentially.
  • There are no (obvious) errors when the WordPress plugin is active alongside Gutenberg.

Once a plugin is manually reviewed in a test environment, it's either marked is_compatible=yes or is_compatible=no in the database. Some plugins are pre-classified as is_compatible=likely_yes or is_compatible=likely_no based on reasonable assumptions (e.g. a caching plugin probably doesn't expose editor-specific functionality).

Why are you doing this?

We want to make sure everyone can use Gutenberg when WordPress 5.0 is released. Plugin incompatibility is statistically one of the most likely reasons they won't be able to. Having this compatibility data will help us strategize the release process.

The WordPress.org Plugins Directory has an incredibly long tail distribution of active_installs. The 5000 plugins listed in the Gutenberg Compatibility Database represent >90% of the total active_installs count.

This sounds important. What can I do to help?

See Testing for more details.

Testing

Before you begin, you'll need to register for an account if you haven't done so already. Our ideal testers are people who have time to test dozens of plugins. Each plugin can take a minute to test, so you can probably work through 30 plugins in 30 minutes.

Visual learner? Watch this video walkthrough, and then read the rest of the documentation (which has important specifics).

Creating the test environment

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Once you've logged in, click the "Create Test Environment" button to create a fresh WordPress sandbox (using WP Sandbox) with both Gutenberg and a randomly-selected plugin with is_compatible=unknown. In this process, is_compatible is set to testing for the plugin. It can take several seconds for the sandbox to spin up.

Opening the WordPress admin

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After the sandbox is created, you'll be taken to the randomly-selected plugin's reporting form. Click the "Open Editor" button to access the Manage Posts screen in the WordPress admin.

Manually evaluating compatibility

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In the WordPress backend, first look at the Classic Editor to see if the plugin exposes any editor-specific functionality (e.g. a meta box, TinyMCE button, etc.). Use your best judgement in the process; plugin may require some configuration before it exposes editor-specific functionality.

If the plugin does expose functionality in the Classic Editor, open the Gutenberg Editor to see if the user can perform the same functional task. Everything should work 100% as expected for the plugin to be considered completely compatible. Even little bugs should be considered incompatibilities; this is valuable data to document.

Common incompatibilities include:

  • Plugin adds an "Add Media" button in the Classic Editor, which doesn't exist in Gutenberg.
  • Plugin renders a metabox in Gutenberg that isn't fully-functional for some reason.

If the plugin doesn't expose editor UI, then it's likely compatible with Gutenberg. But again, use your best judgement and assess the plugin's description, etc.

Recording compatibility findings

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When you feel confident with your assessment, log your findings in the database:

  • Mark is_compatible=yes or is_compatible=no based on your judgement.
  • Categorize the compatibility details based on one or more of the available options.
  • Use the open-ended text field to clarify your response with sufficient detail for the next person who reads it.
  • "Tested version" is the plugin version, not the Gutenberg version. This should be automatically populated when the sandbox is created.
  • If you can find some official conversation about Gutenberg compatibility for the plugin, please include that link as well.

Double-check all of the data you've entered. Once you're satisfied hit "Submit" to save your results, and then click "Create New Test Environment" to launch an environment with a different plugin.

Meta

This repository is a bunch of files that power the Gutenberg Plugin Compatibility database:

  1. plugin-stats.php downloads key plugin data from the WordPress.org REST API.
  2. Knack is a SaaS application used to store our database and make it editable.
  3. index.php renders the webpage with the Knack database application.
  4. knack.js powers our logic to launch a new environment and bring you to the edit plugin view.
  5. launch-environment.php calls out to create the sandbox environment.

Everything in the repository is set up to auto-deploy to the server that hosts plugincompat.danielbachhuber.com.