Unholy Crusade against the desktop?

WordPress Gutenberg will be the end of WordPress by Dedoimedo (Dedoimedo)

Ever since mobile (touch) became the prevalent consumer platform, there's been a lot of focus on developing mobile solutions. This is fine. Except these mobile solutions are also pushed onto the desktop, where they utterly fail. Touch software does not work on the desktop. It just does not.

 

Moreover, there's a bigger problem here. While most of the content is consumed on the mobile, most of the content is created on the desktop. It makes sense. The desktop is an infinitely superior platform for writing and image processing. The full keyboard + mouse combo and the multi-application usability beat all and any touch solution.

 

I do not consider social media "updates" content. I consider content to be meaningful articles that provide new and unique information, of which there is less and less every day. I am extremely confident than the vast majority of actually valuable articles and posts are made using the classic desktop formula. Just imagine writing 500 words on a keyboard versus touch.

 

WordPress Gutenberg seems to fall into the touch category. It is a product that seems optimized for mobile, but it has no place on the desktop. And if you wonder whether this is a good idea, just remember Windows 8. So much effort, money, intellect, work, and marketing was invested in promoting Windows 8 as the new and radical user interface. Desktop was going to be become "just an app" on the Start Screen. This design introduced the same problem like Gutenberg - 2x as many mouse clicks as before.

 

Fast forward a couple of years, Windows 8 is a sour memory. Everyone wants to pretend that it never happened. Windows 10 brought back the classic menu layout, because there is ancient, proven logic to that arrangement. It is not luck or coincidence or hype or trend. It's human natural evolution. It's thermodynamics.

 

You cannot fight against the natural order of things. I've explained this in my Windows Blue conspiracy article. Touch can NEVER replace the desktop because it is a less optimized form of content creation. It is a one-dimensional medium whereas keyboard+mouse (and the separate screen) is a two-dimensional medium. Writing on a keyboard is faster than touch. Desktop screens allow for a large number of items to be displayed due to the use of a high-precision pointer, minimizing hierarchy depth, and increasing situational awareness and overall work efficiency. These are given. Fighting against them leads to a sub-optimal product.

Is Dedoimedo wrong? I don’t think so.

6 responses on “Unholy Crusade against the desktop?”

  1. I dunno. There’s enough work being poured into it and people will just get used to it eventually, I think. I tried it in beta and it didn’t work as advertised, and it didn’t have a very important feature that I’ve come to depend on in the Classic Editor. I’ve installed the Classic Editor plugin for now. I’m going to give it a wide berth, but I will come back to play with it every once in a while. Sometimes, writing software should just remain writing software and not become ‘blocks’ as they’re pushing for.

    I feel this article was more of a rant than anything else (I still have to read the entire article to see the valid critiques). Whether or not Gutenberg is a touch-first thing remains to be seen, in my eyes.

    As for the main point – Dedoimedo seems to write a lot of words on a daily basis, but he forgets that others have also written a lot. People have produced entire books on mobile/iPad/tablet-with-keyboard. It’s been done many times over. So the idea that touch is not for longform writing is plain wrong right now.

    1. I write my posts offline in Markdown in the Byword app, a real distraction free text editor. I tried Gutenberg, but the block style editing was slowing me down. And because the writer is focused on interacting with the GUI to create new blocks of text/images, the experience is actually quite distracting. Gutenberg does not support Markdown.

      To borrow from a review on WordPress.org.

      When I write I do not think “Paragraph Block. Hard line. Paragraph Block. Paragraph Block. Image Block. Blockquote Block.” The Gutenberg editor breaks a natural free-style of writing with these partitions that force me as the writer to think about the type of content I am authoring instead of the message being communicated.

      More reviews:

      Iain Poulson – Is Gutenberg the End or a New Beginning for WordPress? (Delicious Brains)
      Chris Lema

      1. I agree. It’s not really for fluent writing. It’s more for website building. It’s nice to be able to put images and embeds quickly into your post, but freeform or serious writing? Not on Gutenberg!

    2. I’ve had an iPad since 2010. I usually upgrade to the latest.

      You are correct, it’s possible to do all those things on an iPad. But as someone who’s attempted to use the iPad for work — I even have the shitty iPad keyboard Apple sells — it takes me more time and effort to do writing tasks (and many other tasks) on an iPad than on a regular mouse/keyboard interface. Even something as simple as managing a Linux server via SSH is difficult. The iPad keyboard has no ESC key. Many remote access apps, e.g. Prompt, include it as an extra on the on-screen keyboard. However, the on-screen keyboard is hidden if using a hardware keyboard so the user spends time tapping the screen to bring up/and remove a special commands keyboard.

      Google “iOS ESC Key“.

      There are other limitations.

      So while I love my iPad, I freely admit that it’s an inefficient tool for many tasks and some tasks are impossible on the iPad.

      I can cut my lawn with scissors. It’s doable. I am sure someone somewhere has done that. But a scissor is not the best, most efficient tools to use to cut a lawn. For that, we have lawnmowers.

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