State of the Word, 2017

I really enjoyed connecting with the WordPress community in Nashville this previous weekend. On Saturday I delivered the State of the Word presentation alongside Mel, Weston, and Matías. There’s always a post-event buzz but I definitely noticed a change in tenor of people’s thoughts on Gutenberg after the presentation and demo. The video is above, check it out when you get a chance.

30 thoughts on “State of the Word, 2017

  1. Hi Matt, Once the metabox issue was resolved it was clear that Gutenberg had turned a corner. It was a great demo and Matias did a very nice job of it. I’ll be sure to check out Mor10’s presentation also since you gave it such props.

    The good news is that from here on out it just keeps getting better.

    You mentioned that perhaps other projects might use Gutenberg. My impression is that it is tied to the Rest API, so I’m curious how that would play out.

  2. I really enjoyed seeing the State of the Word; it was upbeat and thoughtful. I loved seeing Mel up there, along with Weston, and seeing Matías do a live demo was thrilling! It was just aboot the best part of the entire weekend.

  3. Matt, very glad to hear that the WP Foundation is now ramping up its giving program for community members. Does this mean that donors will now receive some sort of thank-you note for donating? I gave in December 2016 and was very disappointed that the only response I received was the PayPal email receipt. It would have been nice for the WPF to have, at very least, an automated email response or something to make donors feel valued.

      1. Glad to hear it. My wife works in major-gift development so when I didn’t receive anything I heard all about it from her. 🙂

  4. Matt—in one of the Q&A answers, you mention that “whatever we can do to help people, we will. That’s WordPress’ way.”

    I’d love to read an article discussing the “WordPress Way” in more detail and what it means to you.

  5. First time when I installed Gutenberg, very early beta (I like to test betas and new plugins) had not idea its planed as core thing or that this is so important for WP future… played with it for a 20mins, (even I liked the way is trying to do the things)
    I gave up.. because it was bad, lots of errors, not logical (at that time) not responding…. then I forgot about it (as many plugins im not impressed).
    Few months later I heard again about GB and all that dust around, installed it again mostly from curiosity to see where it is now…. It improved 5000%.

  6. Matt I’m a business level user that has built many WordPress sites, starting initially with self hosted and playing around with many different themes and plugins. A few years back I ultimately concluded that simple is best and I have now moved to just working with and its themes and free or paid options as the need arises.

    I find that limiting my functionality and design options actually increases my creativity to achieve business goals. I experiment with sites for myself and others to try achieve these goals and think this should be a business model for many going forward. I also think the modular Gutenberg approach will deliver against this really well and cannot wait to get stuck in.

    Two questions. 1). Will I be able to test Gutenberg on before the official launch date or is the only way the plugin on a self-hosted site? 2). At what point in time if at all will you enable plugin type functionality in the blocks?

    1. Both good questions!

      On the Business plan you can install and test the Gutenberg plugin in wp-admin. We’ll be adding Gutenberg to Calypso sometime before April to try to get as much testing as possible, but not sure the exact date yet.

      Plugins and themes can add and modify blocks today, there are APIs for everything already in the Gutenberg editor.

      1. Many thanks for the answers, really appreciate it and all clear. And very excited to hear about earlier release on Calypso since I use it in the browser and as a Mac app.

  7. In your email with the subject “Tip(ton) Your Cap to WordPress 4.9” which was sent at the release of WP 4.9, you wrote that during this State of the Word you would include some of the results of the survey. I’m wondering what’s left of that and if you managed to include any?

    1. The survey results were pretty boring, I think we need some new questions for next year. We’re going to publish these survey results and previous years in a blog post.

      1. Matt, let me try to understand this.

        Last year there was quite a bit of backlash that results were not shared. This year you promised results would be shared and you even put that in print in the aforementioned email.

        And now you just say that the results were boring?

        Who are you to decide that?

        Oh wait, I forgot, you are the dictator and tyran of what was once a happy and healthy community!

      2. In the talk I mention that they’ll be released in a blog post, which is being worked on. I did decide they weren’t interesting enough for the finite time in the presentation.

  8. How is Gutenberg WYSIWYG? The demo only shows the backend. Switching to the frontend “paints” a different picture altogether! Take a vanilla WP install with only the Gutenberg plugin and the current default theme and open the Gutenberg demo.

    Backend will show a serif font, frontend a sans-serif font.
    Backend will show a site-wide image, frontend a content-wide image only and a sidebar.

    Isn’t this only becoming more confusing for end users?

    I am so surprised that nobody talks about this…

      1. So apart from re-coding the backend we are now also expected to re-code the frontend of all the sites we developed for clients?


    1. “I am so surprised that nobody talks about this…”
      Please watch the video from 1:08:50 ..There was exact question asked, and Matt had quite explained that. Also I think this will be improved so you get exact that on frontend.

      1. @antunjurkovic
        Although the asker mentions that we have not seen anything on the frontend in the presentation, the actual question he asked is what frontend editing means to Matt. The answer has nothing to do with my question.

        funny how different people tend to interpret the same information differently…

  9. Hey Matt, great SotW this year – finally caught up with it and I have to admit, it was a tour de force. Great content, and a superb positive vision for the future. Thanks sincerely for the focus to push the project through 2017, and for helping us all keep an open mind about what the future can hold.

    I have to confess I’m coming from the agency/enterprise space, and progress this year has been through at times troubling territory, but by and large I think it’s now clear that Gutenberg is rebuilding a framework for WordPress that we can all build on together. And the risks, though real, are well understood, and largely mitigated.

    I’m genuinely excited for 2018, and WP 5.0. I don’t know if you take requests for names, but can I make a submission – could we call this next one Esbjörn Svensson? 2018 will be the 10th anniversary of his passing.

    And kudos for sticking with the Gutenbeard – it’s, erm, yeah, very ‘open source’!