I was told it would be worth opening a discussion here. As I type this, I’m entering text into a field that looks radically out of date. It’s not terrible, and I’m not faulting anyone, but this text area concept is very forum-esk (get to the point).
The point is, when we all create high quality, engaging experiences, things like the spacing around this area matter. The capabilities of this space, the body blob of a post / comment / page / etc, really matter if we’re going to sell the content experiences that we can produce. WordPress / ClassicPress might be the most easy tool in the world to use, but if it doesn’t have a second to none Authoring experience, it’s only going to have a maximal audience of about what it is currently: A lot, but not getting bigger and the forces of closed source (wix, squarespace, etc) will gobble it up.
I see Gutenberg as a reaction to attempting to combat these forces. The forces of the JS community that will destroy all the amazing things we’ve all made (I come from Drupal originally, 13 years there, 100+ module contributions). So I’m here to offer a conversation starter around authoring experience, and the notion of discussing alternatives to Gutenberg that offer parts of it’s promise (ease of use, slick presentation, extensibility) without all the negatives (accessibility an after thought, React centric world view, content lock in, lack of compatibility with what’s previously been made).
I’ve been telling the Drupal community for 2 years we need a way to survive the coming slick presentation methodologies that are nipping at the heals of CMS monoliths and they’ve largely sat on their hands; tied to sunk cost paradigms. So here, I offer an alternative vision to the madness called HAXTheWeb (https://haxtheweb.org/wordpress).
HAX is short for Headless Authoring Experience. It’s pieces of the vision of Gutenberg, but untethered from any CMS-isms. It has an integration methodology much closer to TinyMCE. In fact, to use HAX in WordPress, the integration takes the TinyMCE text area and then swaps it out at load with HAX.
HAX operates by understanding what’s inside of it’s tag () area. HAX is headless and able to be plugged into so many things so rapidly (we have Drupal 6,7,8, Backdrop, GravCMS, WordPress, desktop work, and a headless CMS called HAXcms integrations) because it leverages the web component standard. Unlike Gutenberg, you extend HAX by extending the web. Custom elements (let’s say tab-list) are built as pure design assets that leverage the Web components specification like an API on the front end. This allows us to build out visual assets that work on any website.
On the HAX editor side, HAX doesn’t understand anything beyond HTML primitives out of the box. The Web components / design assets that wish to work with HAX, emit an abstraction of JSON Schema via a normalized event. This way those assets work without HAX present, though if HAX is on the interface (via that tag) it’s listening for the event and then grabs the definition. When the user selects a custom element in the page that matches a definition it knows, HAX is able to headlessly build the input form to match.
(So why am I here)
I see that you’ve forked from WordPress at least in part because of the lack of future thinking direction involving Gutenberg. Gberg is a cool system, but it’s fatally flawed. It assumes too much knowledge of react to develop for. It breaks compatibility w/ large parts of a vibrant ecosystem. And it was built inspite of mass community uproar about it. It’s also ensuring a future in which WordPress is the system for running Gutenberg, making future migrations more difficult (I’ve seen this in Drupal for years so…).
So I’m here to see if we can find common ground. See if there’s any interest in a Gutenberg alternative that could drive more WordPress people here or force change within the WordPress community as a result of one of there forks having a better, more flexible, future focused editor then they have. For additional context on HAX you can read through the doc site, or you can play with it in a code pen loaded headlessly in the page and see all that it has to offer already and know that a major university is backing the development and future of it – https://codepen.io/btopro/pen/VqBjPw
I look forward to any discussion that might arise from this, thank you for your courage in standing up to the direction of the crowd. BackDropCMS did this in Drupal 7-8 transition and it’s created a brighter, more vibrant community alternative as well as a legitimate conversation starter and challenge to a community going off course.