Matt Mullenweg introduced the Gutenberg project at WordCamp US in late 2016.
If you want a big picture overview of why Gutenberg was built, I recommend Matt's post, “We Called it Gutenberg for a Reason“.
We are nearly 4 years into the project now, and are not yet half-way through. The Gutenberg project is split into 4 phases and we're currently in Phase 2.
In this post, I'll introduce the different phases of Gutenberg, with a particular focus on Phase 3 because that's most important for PublishPress users.
This image from Matt is an overview of the four phases:
- Easier editing: Completed, December 2018.
- Customization: In progress and possibly complete by the end of 2020.
- Collaboration: Due to start after Phase 2 finishes.
- Multilingual: Due in 2023, perhaps.
Gutenberg Phase 1: Easier editing
Phase 1 was about building the Gutenberg editor. The editor was first released as a plugin, and it was then integrated with WordPress 5.0.
Gutenberg Phase 2: Customization
Phase 2 is currently underway and the focus is on expanding Gutenberg from posts to the whole site. Instead of simply being able to use Gutenberg for writing, you'll soon be able to use Gutenberg for logos, sidebars, headers, footers and more.
Your logo? That will be an image block. Your homepage? That may be a grid block. Your menus? Those could be navigation blocks.
In October 2019, Matt outlined the current progress with Gutenberg. I've embedded Matt's presentation below. Fast forward to the 1 hour mark to see the Gutenberg portion.
This image below shows the specific plan for Gutenberg Phase 2. As I write in mid-2020, the WordPress team have made progress on the underlying code, but several key features are not released yet.
Gutenberg Phase 3: Collaboration
Here's Matt's description of Phase 3:
[This] is where we take everything that you see in Gutenberg and make it so that you can real-time co-edit with anyone else who is editing the same things you are.
Matt has talked often about wanting Google Docs-style collaborative editing in WordPress.
Phase 3 is due to start in 2021 and may bring collaborative editing, dynamic comments on posts, and more. We may also see Media Manager improvements in Phase 3.
Here at PublishPress, we're particularly interested in Phase 3, because it fits in with our vision of making WordPress the best choice for publishers.
We're building the future of PublishPress around Gutenberg.