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This is not a Gutenberg Review, It’s a Blog Post

WordPress users are fantastic. This review and how the reviewer brought it back. My reply is a blog post so here we are and below is my reply.


Hello Jan. I usually write the text all in plain form inside a blog post, then split it with some h2 h3 h4 headings and adding images.

PERFECT! Seriously, thank you for that. 😉 I read many reviews and your reply cheered me up immensely. I’ll let more qualified people reply to that.

About this not being a blog, I beg you pardon if I was OT, but then please tell me, is there an official forum where WordPress users can freely discuss about matters like this?

I’m getting very off topic but the thing with blogs is that they frequently devolve into a mess of either positivity (never saw that myself but I’m keeping an open mind) or negativity (OH YEAH, ALL THE TIME!)

The site is divided into sections for support of the WordPress code, support of plugins and themes, and reviews which is feedback.

When someone leaves a review here it is not a blog post. It’s their experience for that theme or plugin. Though as you know we’ve good software for blogging about that.

If someone leaves a review that is substantive about that plugin or theme then that’s fantastic. Gutenberg’s 4.9.8 callout had the desired effect. People are trying it and for the most part even their 1 star reviews have provided good feedback to improve it.

If someone just vents, hate posts, rage replies then that’s not for here. I don’t think you’re surprised that happens. Such behavior has a limited value and a short shelf-life here. These forums are moderated and no, that’s not censorship in case anyone wants to chime in that way.

You left a review of reviews. I commented about that as a moderator. You replied in an excellent fashion and brought it back to feedback about this plugin and editor. Much thanks!

*Drinks coffee, probably too much but here we are.*

The people who are coding Gutenberg, who are driving it forward, who support the users, who are doing this on their own time for the community are good people. These forums are 100% staffed by volunteers. I know you get that but others will read this and again here we are.

For their efforts they generally get a “thank you” but some disparage them, cast aspersions on their intentions and motivations. The whole effort gets accused by some and something negative and those users are occasionally downright mean and cruel. That may get tolerated on some blogs but that’s abuse and isn’t tolerated long here.

*Finishes off coffee, I’m sure you see a theme with me.*

Thanks again for the update. It’s the weekend so someone may not get to it soon but you’ll get a reply about your experience and some follow up questions.

Categories: Geek Software

Tagged as:

Jan Dembowski

15 replies

  1. > Abuse: You get that one, right? Spam, harassment, rage posting.

    Ok, quite many Gutenberg reviews were completely deleted due to some of these reasons but people do not understand, why are similar reviews not deleted at other plugins, see @wp_acf

    Thanks for your work. Please use the same standards everywhere.

    1. Any review that is deleted is actually archived. It’s still there but you need to be a moderator role or greater to see it. Regular users can’t and those archived reviews and they do not get tallied in the review count.

      (Insert conversation about bbPress and WordPress roles HERE.)

      Archive is a great option because we’re all human and can and do make mistakes. An archived review can be restored.

      but people do not understand, why are similar reviews not deleted at other plugins, see @wp_acf

      Thanks for your work. Please use the same standards everywhere.

      Standards are applied the same everywhere uniformly and anyone who thinks otherwise is mistaken. BUT! There’s a “but”.

      Much of the review abuse can be picked up in an automated fashion such as Spam. The forums use Akismet for that reason.

      The rest are manually scanned by a moderator and sometimes things do slip by that effort. It’s a resource thing and not a matter of favoritism.

      Forum users, theme and plugin authors report reviews all the time. They all get looked at. Sometimes it’s because someone does not like a review and that’s an awful reason to report a review or topic.

      Abuse gets dealt with but that’s the purview of forum moderators. If they don’t agree with the person who reported it then it will not be redacted or archived.

  2. I recently visited a local restaurant. I ordered a medium rare steak. They brought me grilled chicken. When I left a bad review complaining that I was given something I didn’t want or ask for, no one expected me to explain what I did or didn’t like about the grilled chicken. No one expected me to help the cooks in the kitchen make better chicken.

    You and the moderators fail to understand the way the majority of people review a product . They could absolutely care less about giving you any feedback. When almost every single review says the product sucks, that is all you need to know. You don’t need to know why it sucks. All you need to know is that people will go somewhere else if you keep giving them a different product than the one they want.

    I have built my entire business on the WordPress platform. 100% of my income in the last 10 years has come from WordPress. It will take some time to move to a new CMS. I have 100’s of sites that I maintain on WordPress. But I have already started exploring my options. The last two new sites I built were not WordPress. One was just straight up PHP/HTML and one was ClassicPress. I plan on building the next one with Craft CMS to see how it goes. Eventually, I will find a WordPress alternative to use for years to come. I am not afraid of change, I am just not going to change the way WordPress wants me to.

    Mostly, my decision to leave WordPress is not based on the inclusion of a product that I didn’t want, it is based on the decision of WordPress, the Gutenberg team, and the review moderators to understand that not only do we not want it, but we don’t want to help you make it better either. For the majority of WordPress’s user base, that would be a complete waste of time.

    1. This will be long but it’s a blog and these are blog comments so here we are.

      You’re making some incorrect assumptions. I’ll try to be complete.

      I recently visited a local restaurant. I ordered a medium rare steak. They brought me grilled chicken. When I left a bad review complaining that I was given something I didn’t want or ask for, no one expected me to explain what I did or didn’t like about the grilled chicken. No one expected me to help the cooks in the kitchen make better chicken.

      What did you pay for your dinner? Yes, you were served chicken and not steak and for a paid meal that’s bad. I would be surprised if anyone tolerated that in a restaurant.

      But your example with WordPress is wrong. You didn’t go to a 5 star restaurant. You went to the local community soup kitchen.

      • If you had gone to your local community soup kitchen for a meal, would you have complained and left an insulting review when they messed up?
      • If you had been asked to provide useful, positive feedback instead of a 724 word rant and personal attack, would you have helped to improve the kitchen so other people don’t get chicken instead of steak?
      • Would you demand to speak to the soup kitchen’s manager?
      • Would you abuse the people who volunteer there for free, would you berate them?
      • Would you go outside, switch hats, come back and pretend to be someone else with the same problem and repeat all of your abuse anew?
      • Would you follow them to their personal blog to continue your behavior? Behavior that is essentially now harassment?

      I don’t expect you to own up to your behavior in the WordPress forums at least not to me. You should own up to it to yourself.

      You and the moderators fail to understand the way the majority of people review a product.

      Understanding reviews is not that hard to get and negative feedback is feedback too. What’s not feedback is abuse and you know exactly what I am talking about.

      They could absolutely care less about giving you any feedback. When almost every single review says the product sucks, that is all you need to know. You don’t need to know why it sucks. All you need to know is that people will go somewhere else if you keep giving them a different product than the one they want.

      That’s complete nonsense.

      Take a moment, or a week if you need it, and check yourself. When you paid for a meal and the restaurant got it so wrong, when you express and vent in a restaurant review, that’s expected as long as you’re being civil. There are limits to your behavior anywhere. People who say “the customer is always right” are delusional and you are not a customer.

      Your venting and berating people doesn’t apply in the soup kitchen. You can’t demand your money back for a free meal and you don’t get to yell at the volunteers there. If you think they messed up, fine. Communicate that like a member of the community. Make it better for everyone and participate. Ranting, personal attacks and hate brigading isn’t participation.

      You are behaving like WordPress.ORG is a company and you know that it’s not. You’re not a WordPress.ORG customer and you never were. No one expects you to work for free. When you are given the work of other people at no charge, you are expected to behave with a modicum of respect and manners. Especially when you go to the community forums.

      A free user of any free open source software is not a customer. Your choosing to ignore or disregard that fact doesn’t somehow validate your behavior. The idea that bad behavior is permissible because you feel entitled is wrong.

      Yes, people have asked you to keep it positive and contribute and yet, out of a sense of your entitlement you felt that hate brigading the review section ought to be allowed. That by not letting you run rampant somehow moderators are not fulfilling their responsibility.

      I have built my entire business on the WordPress platform. 100% of my income in the last 10 years has come from WordPress.

      You will think I’m being snarky or sarcastic but I sincerely mean this next part.

      Congratulations on your accomplishment. These last 10 years have not been kind to small businesses. Web design, deployment of sites to deliver what your customers want on a schedule isn’t easy. Yours is a very competitive market that is undercut by low bidders who do not deliver the same quality of work.

      It is because of businesses like yours that permit open-source projects like WordPress to be successful. But no one is your punching bag. The review section isn’t your blog. The replies there are not blog comments.

      You’re angry and behaving badly. Many people are and that has been tolerated to a point. Please do not be surprised when the volunteers who are keeping the support forums going start to prevent that abuse.

      If you want to write an essay, if you want document you what you see as being wrong with WordPress, if you want to switch to a new platform then please do that. Just not on the forums. That place isn’t anyone’s blog not yours or mine.

      At least two of my favorite people who I have mad respect for left WordPress and I don’t think less of them. They’re wonderful people and when we’re in town at the same time I see them. Being an expert on one platform is career death; you should not put all of your eggs in one basket. If you want to leave WordPress behind then I hope you are doing it for better reasons than the new editor.

      That you don’t want to help improve it is fine. Don’t expect others to tolerate bad behavior in the forums either. No one is entitled to that.

  3. I am leaving WordPress because you and the Gutenberg team (not the open source community that made WP great) are now comparing it to a soup kitchen. Wow.

    WordPress has not been open source for quite some time, and it IS for profit. How do you think Matt Mullenweg became a millionaire? WordPress users are what has made him an excess of 40 million dollars.

    1. Do you honestly not understand that Automattic/WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG are not the same thing and never have been?

      That’s an real question to you on my part. People like to toss that “Matt, MONEY” around and it’s always been incorrect.

      Yes, Matt makes money off of WordPress.COM and Automattic. It’s a scale thing. He and others are successful in that space.

      Who’s next on your list? 10up, Yoast, Pagely, WP Engine, many others do the same just not necessarily at that scale. And you are in the web making business as well. Should people begrudge your success if you choose to participate in an open-source project on your own time?

      Each of these statements are true.

      1. Matt’s angel investment company (not Automattic) does not fund WordPress.ORG outside of hosting, Internet connectivity and paying a few people to keep the lights on.
      2. Automattic does provide resources in the form of people. Not surprisingly they take Five for the Future seriously.
      3. Gutenberg is not some Matt plot to fight Wix or Squarespace or aliens from Mars. The new editor is about the users and always has been about people who say things like “He’s doing it for his investors” should take a close look at the companies that invest in Automattic.

      Please, educate yourself before you make statements like that. You do not need to parrot what people less informed than you say.

      I’m really trying here in these comments. Take some time and learn about this before you comment anymore.

  4. Contrary to poplular belief, the people writing the code for WordPress and the entire team that developed Gutenberg are not volunteering their time. They are all being sponsored by someone. They are being paid. WordPress is not open source, though they like to throw that term around (Because it is profitable)

    1. It’s not about popular belief. And WordPress is 100% open-source and always has been. I get that you’re upset but you don’t get to make up facts or play loose with definitions.

      Everyone that is contributing code to WordPress is doing it because they want to and that’s important. Some of those people have experienced burnout and move onto other things. I’ve met them and for all I know you may have too. Some are paid to do that as their job but they are being paid for their time. It’s not like a contract with payment schedules to deliver a website.

      Automattic, 10up, Yoast, and all the people participating are not writing code because their employer or sponsor is ordering them to. None of theses employers or sponsors is saying “Make sure you get this feature in”.

  5. First off… I am not upset at all. I am simply commenting on a blog post that encourages comments, that I found by searching for articles related to Gutenberg on WordPress. It caught my attention in the search results because I recognized your name from seeing all of your canned and misguided responses on the WordPress forums.

    Second… the guy flipping burgers at McDonald’s is not bound by contract either and no one is forcing him to do his job. Just like the volunteers* that write code for WordPress, he goes to work everyday because that is how he makes a living. He wants* to do it.

    I understand why you think the way you do about the authenticity of WordPress being open source, after all, we live in a world where a TV evangelist can volunteer his time by spreading the good word of God because he enjoys helping* people (while living in a multi-million dollar home that rivals Matt Mullenwegs, and driving a two hundred thousand dollar car) Wow, that is so selfless.

    ~ “None of these employers or sponsors is saying make sure you get this feature in”

    What? That is exactly what just happened with the Gutenberg editor. They were told to get this feature in as fast as they could, even before it was complete. It wont be complete for years and they were still told to get this feature in regardless. The ONLY reason they wanted Gutenberg is because it will increase the possibilities to earn money through “open source”. Nobody added it because they wanted to, they added it because it is putting food on the table.

    1. The blockquote tag works in the HTML comments here if you want to use them.

      I’m pretty sure we’re both going to leave this conversation behind. Here’s why.

      You’re making broad and vague statements that aren’t true. I don’t expect to change your mind and I’m too informed to be swayed by your incorrect statements.

      In no particular order:

      They’re not canned and misguided responses. That you let your emotional reaction drive your point of view isn’t a problem for me. It’s a problem for you. Those responses are valid and your disagreement doesn’t change that. Yes, the same topics get the same answer. How is that shocking?

      The guy flipping hamburgers has a choice too. Sometimes they go on to becoming engineers and WordPress support forum moderators.

      First job I had working for my uncle who was a Burger King manager and he worked me hard. After that it was White Castles in college which also paid for my trip to Hong Kong. Then I went into IT and Network Security. Here we are.

      Matt Mullenweg as a TV evangelist. Oh boy. Were you thinking about Jimmy Swaggert? Please step away from the Kool-Aid, your conspiracy theories are showing.

      You’re conflating open-source with “not making money”. That you dislike other people’s success doesn’t change how open-source works. Look at the forks of WordPress. Try doing that with Microsoft Windows or any other closed source project.

      You do not like Matt. Cool! I don’t 100% approve of him either or anyone. But I don’t let that dislike color how I see other people and their efforts. You claim to know that all that motivates Gutenberg contributors is the idea to make more money? Nope. That’s not the case. I’ve met a few of them and you’re wrong.

      As to the part that says people only contribute to WordPress only to put food on the table, that is ridiculous. Look at all the code in the plugin and theme repo. Look at all the contributors to WordPress core. Those people do that because they want to, there’s no one that does it because they are forced to by circumstances.

      What? That is exactly what just happened with the Gutenberg editor.

      No, it wasn’t. That effort involved a lot of people and some of them had nothing to do with Automattic. Matt was the WordPress release lead for 5.0. Are you going to blame him and his company for the breaking changes in 5.0 that had nothing to do with the new editor?

      The TinyMCE editor that was hacked into WordPress was fully baked but it wasn’t going anywhere. There was no progress and no advancement in that space. Lots of other things were new and improved. Tags (remember The Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin?), nested comments, the customizer, REST API, etc.

      The editor became the part that didn’t improve or change. Changes made to it were stylistic only. The new editor was progress to answer this simple question.

      Is there any way we can do the post/page editor better if started from scratch? Is there any other technology that can be leveraged to improve that.

      It’s gone through many iterations and it works. Is it perfect? Of course not, nothing made by anyone is. That’s why the Classic Editor plugin exists. There are others that essentially do the same thing. Disable Gutenberg is one.

      Why would you disparage the other people involved in Gutenberg or WordPress 5.0 just to promote a conspiracy theory that’s easily disproved?

      Like I wrote above, I do not expect you to agree with me or suddenly have a change of heart. This exchange isn’t bad but we’re not moving one way or the other.

      We’re just going to have to disagree with each other. I wish you luck in what ever you do, WordPress or otherwise.

    1. That’s fantastic. 😉 The Classic Editor and at least one other plugin are there for that reason.

      The idea behind the new editor is a simple one but nothing new will ever 100% be for everyone.

      What I’m curious about is why there isn’t a budding market for editor plugins. I don’t mean add-ons like WP Bakery or Visual Composer, I mean a plugin that replaces the whole editing experience.

      1. I think any builders like WP bakery, VC produce a lot of unnecessary code that has consequences on the main site. The site becomes clumsy and various tools like GTmetrix shows many mistakes. A more advanced WP user I think don’t need any builders to make content in his site. I prefer to make things simple and working with less resources. Less plugins is better.

        1. Oh, as someone who supports WordPress users in the forums I know about all the code those add-ons produce. Users who disable those plugins have a ton of short code to deal with.

          What I am curious about is why isn’t there a plugin that produces good HTML and WordPress friendly posts. For example, if someone wanted an editor by Not TinyMCE XYZ (made up of course) that sounds like an option. I don’t think it would be easy but I guess there’s not a market for that editor space.

  6. Late to the conversation, but I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post and all the responses by you, Jan. WordPress has been around for ages, and historically much of it has consisted of cobbled together bits and pieces of code in the form of plugins, and because anyone can modify it and provide their bits of bob to the uncle there has historically also been quite a lot of fragility.

    On the other hand, there is a deep pool of people, from developers to consumers, who are part of this incredible global community who contribute in the most surprising and often awesome ways, ultimately to the benefit of everyone by increasing stability, reducing fragility and working hard to combat bad actors trying to breach the security for their own selfish purposes.

    Times have changed and WP needs to keep up, which is exactly what is is doing. Change is hard, big changes are especially difficult, but without it there can be no evolution and the thing that no longer competes will wither and die.

    Constructive criticism is helpful, even negative criticism is useful, but there is never a rational excuse for abuse.

    Gutenberg is improving, and after the initial shock the open source community is rising to the challenge of creating Blocks and improving functionality all the time. The cobbled together bits of uncle bob are coming together into a more compact organism which is simple for newcomers to use, and opens up a whole new area of development for the specialists.

    Love it, we live in interesting times.

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