Industry Analyst & Strategist

Dual Licensing Gutenberg – Gutenberg API?

Justin Tadlock takes the dual licensing question and puts it in user friendly terms, WP Tavern, Proposal and Steps To Dual-License Gutenberg Under the GPL and MPL: “At the moment, the WordPress for Android and WordPress for iOS apps use Gutenberg. Both of these apps are also licensed under the GPL, so it is a non-issue for them. However, it is uncommon for mobile apps to use the GPL. Thus, it limits Gutenberg’s potential reach.”

The big procedural hurdle in the dual licensing plan is getting permission from all existing copyright holders. Justin does go about detailing how this can be solved, but in my head this seems like a complicated and/or long process.

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So what can be done? As per usual the GPL licensing discussions can get confusing, personal, frustrating, or ignored. I may be showing my Gutenberg naïveté but would it be crazy to suggest a Gutenberg API connection to a users site? Bear with me.

Gutenberg API

Gutenberg proper would reside on the hosted WordPress site. APIs and descriptions of the functionality also live on the WordPress site. A proprietary editor could be created to connect with the API, interrogate functions, and dynamically generate its own experience based on the rules sent.

I’m a bit outside my wheelhouse here with regards to the technology and/or feasibility of such an idea but let’s take a look at the plus side of such an undertaking.

  1. No more issues with licensing
  2. Lots of control for app developers
  3. Innovation opportunities

The big “minus” of course is that developers would have to 100% create their own “version” of Gutenberg editor which may defeat the whole purpose. My counter-point to that “minus” is that Gutenberg right now is a bunch of JavaScript and we would be losing out on great 100% native applications. In my head Gutenberg is not just the user experience, it is a way of parsing content and managing smaller bits of content rather than the whole “page.” Every developer could take advantage of blocks so long as there is a native WordPress counterpart.

Gutenberg has a brilliant future, and I think we should take advantage of the best features without necessarily trying to shoehorn it into apps where it may not be as strong.

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