NextGEN Gallery Plugin to Add Gutenberg Support Ahead of WordPress 5.0

November 14, 2018
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If you’re a NextGEN Gallery plugin user and have been wondering about Gutenberg compatibility, Imagely CEO Erick Danzer announced today that the plugin will ship a gallery block in a release planed for next week. The plugin is currently used on nearly a million WordPress sites (900,000+ active installs). NextGEN Gallery’s Gutenberg block has been in beta testing since May and the plugin will support users who update to use the new editor as well as those who stick with the Classic Editor plugin.

In a post titled “A Plea to Defer the Release of Gutenberg,” Danzer outlined his concerns with the timeline for WordPress 5.0. His thoughts echo many other prominent members of the development community who have written their own calls to delay the release. He cites feedback on WordPress.org and urges the Gutenberg team not to discount the validity of these reviews:

Some people have been dismissive of those reviews and questioned whether they are a legitimate reflection of user experiences with Gutenberg. The reviews often lack detail and can be quite harsh.

But that’s the experience of ALL plugin developers on the WordPress repository. Gutenberg is being reviewed in precisely the same way as every other plugin on the repository. If any other major plugin maintained a 2.3 star rating and refused to accept the feedback as legitimate, it would not be a major plugin for long.

Even without detail, reviews on the repository represent a fair reflection of overall user feelings about a plugin. In the case of Gutenberg, it is clear the plugin is not ‘wowing’ potential users.

Danzer also referenced a release the NextGEN Gallery team shipped in 2013 that included “major and breaking changes” that had been “tested aggressively but in limited ways.” This release broke an estimated 10 percent of the plugin’s installations as well as compatibility with many extensions. It has had a lasting impact on NextGEN’s reputation for the past five years. Danzer said he fears WordPress may be headed in the same direction, except at a much larger scale.

As a postscript to his plea, Danzer assured users reading his post that NextGEN Gallery will have support for Gutenberg in time for the WordPress 5.0 release:

Despite the concerns expressed in this post, I want to assure NextGEN Gallery users that we’ll be ready regardless of the final release decision for Gutenberg. We’ll be officially in the next week. We’ve tested and ensured that your existing galleries will work when you update. We’ve developed our block so that if you add galleries via Gutenberg, they will continue to work if you roll back or install the classic editor. And we’ll have all hands on deck to deal with any issues that arise when Gutenberg is released.

NextGEN Gallery’s Gutenberg support includes a block that launches a modal where users can select a gallery to insert. Unless it has significantly changed from the beta preview video published, the gallery block doesn’t seem to offer a preview of the gallery inside the Gutenberg editor once it has been selected and placed within the content. Users who want to test the beta version of Gutenberg support in the plugin can download the latest from the NextGEN Gallery beta page.

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