Gutenberg and Calypso will be rewritten without React


(Leland Fiegel) #1

Matt Mullenweg just announced that Gutenberg (a WordPress project) and Calypso (an Automattic project) will be rewritten without React.

The decision came after Facebook announced that they would not back down from “the patents clause” which many in the open source community, notably Apache, found problematic.

It sounds like Vue is a common suggestion to take its place, along with Preact.


I have to admit, I don’t totally understand the patents clause. Some were up in arms about it, and some argue it’s not worth overreacting about.

However, this seems like the best long-term decision for WordPress users moving forward. Consider this quote from Matt’s blog post:

Core WordPress updates go out to over a quarter of all websites, having them all inherit the patents clause isn’t something I’m comfortable with.

Are you surprised by the news? Which would be your preferred React replacement, if any?


(Pieter) #2

Very happy that this automatically means that the release of Gutenberg will be postponed!

Let them haggle for a few months about which alternative to choose and we will be looking at a Gutenberg-free life for another year orso :smiley:


(David Gwyer) #3

Perhaps Preact now React isn’t an option?


(Leland Fiegel) #4

Not sure what you mean by this?


(Sebastien) #5

Whats wrong with good old jQuery?


(David Gwyer) #6

I mean Preact would probably be easier to port over Gutenberg, and Calypso rather than rewrite from scratch with Vue. Not used it though so don’t know how similar it is to React.


(Leland Fiegel) #7

Nevermind. Completely misread what you wrote. I get what you mean. :slight_smile:

Yes, from what I understand porting to Preact would definitely easier and it doesn’t have the patents clause.


(David Gwyer) #8

Thought it was me. :wink:

From the looks of it Matt seemed pretty set on React but the license issue just didn’t go away. Because of that my money would be on Preact right now, but who knows, Vue still may have a chance?


(Frank) #9

This is indeed great news. I think VueJs is the best way to go.


(Grant Palin) #10

Apparently Gutenberg has an Element concept used to implement sections and which wraps React. So changing Gutenberg to Preact might be a straightforward effort.


(Leland Fiegel) #11

Hmm, in a surprise twist, Facebook changed its tune on licensing, and will license React (among other projects) under the MIT license. It sounds like they were moved by the broad disappointment over the BSD + Patents license.

Wonder if this means Gutenberg and Calypso will not have React written out after all?


(Ben) #12

Its an interesting development for sure :slight_smile:

Even if it means React is now going to be used again, I hope the things that have been unearthed by the additional research and development will make the project stronger moving forward.

For instance Matt mentioned the possibility that blocks will be made more generic so that any library can be used to create them - at least I think that’s what he meant.


(Leland Fiegel) #13

Important to note:

  • After React is released under MIT, even if Facebook decides to revert back to the “BSD + Patents” license, anyone can do a “clean fork” from the MIT version and keep working with React from there.

  • However, should that happen, the “clean fork” of React will lose all of Facebook’s resources behind it, which is a big reason people favor React over Vue (which is maintained primarily by an individual).

So it’s still kind of up in the air. I have a feeling they’ll probably stick with React for now, even though a passionate group has been pushing for Vue.

Yep, that sounds right. According to this article, it sounds like the framework “decision” may have been blown out of proportion in the WordPress community because you’ll be able to make Gutenblocks in whatever framework you want (or none at all, with vanilla JavaScript).


(Ben) #14

Potentially it was exaggerated but I think there was also concern that “WordPress” was pushing ahead with React without any research or test cases, purely because many of the people involved in the development work for Automattic so already have experience with React through Calypso.

I’ve also seen arguments that Vue is easier to get started with for beginners - which I think is a good selling point since WordPress has always tried to be something that anyone can use.