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This is an incredibly glib response to the issue of why people or products haven’t jumped on the Gutenberg bandwagon.

I’m sure I’ve already raised several objections to this strawman explanation but I’ll continue to do so every time it gets raised by Matt.

Speaking for myself, I’ve been using computers since before there were true screen readers. I’ve adapted with every single change to that piece of software alone, to say nothing of operating system changes and application changes and even WordPress changes since 2005. I promise you, this is not about being afraid of change. And I seriously doubt “afraid of change” is the case for even half of the rest who haaven’t aadopted Gutenberg.

As of June 9, 2021, Gutenberg is still an efficiency and useability nightmare, despite the technical accessibility improvements that have happened over the last two years or so. I see this every day with my own usage, John’s own usage, (and he’s got just as much or even slightly more experience with computer usage than I do), with clients who use assistive technology of any kind, and even with clients without any disability who don’t spend all their time living in their WordPress dashboards.

I have a single client who truly does enjoy Gutenberg, and that’s because their only familiarity with using WordPress was through visual composer.

I’m not saying, and I’ve never said, that WordPress should never change. I get that WordPress needs to adapt, I get that it needs to modernize, and I have no problem with any of this.

What I have a problem with is that adaptation being poorly thought through and poorly managed, the complete disregard for tons of completely avoidable problems having been created during almost the entire development cycle of Gutenberg, the prioritization of dreams at the expense of technical realities, (see that whole discussion on GitHub about how Gutenberg is never going to be Microsoft Word on the web no matter how much that’s wanted by product designers), and then the pretense that none of this has happened and that everything is just peachy and it’s all about people just being afraid to change.

If this were really about being afraid of change or unwillingness to evolve, I would have quit using computers cerca 1995 around the time of quite literally a seismic shift in the way screen readers work under the hood and the way they present information to users. Or that other seismic shift in 1998/9 or so when MSAA became a thing. Or that other one in 2006 when Web 2.0 became a thing.

But I didn’t. And that should tell you something.


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  • Hi Amanda. Came upon your site and this post regarding Gutenberg, trough Carrie Dills old post on Utility Pro at https://carriedils.com/introducing-utility-pro/ .

    We bought and implemented Genesis and Utility Pro in our 2016 revision of our company portal http://www.uloba.no, and achieved what we wanted, to have as accessible web portal as we could for visitors.

    We are now doing a new revision, and also want to achieve a solution that are accessible and easy to use also for content produsers.

    We plan to move to Genesis Pro (as we are running on wpengine this is included), and our understanding is that with Genesis Pro some of the accessibility pains for experienced wordpress editors are removed.

    We also want to have a solution where novice content producers can publish blogs or “stories”, and are looking at front-end publishing frameworks/plugins that are accessible, easy to use and play nice with Genesis Pro.

    As i read that you test with screen readers, do you have any experience with front-end publishing or recommendations you could share?

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