42 Block Themes, Developer Hours and Plugins for the block editor — Weekend Edition #200

Well, who would have thunk when I started the newsletter in 2018, that I will still be doing it four years later. Welcome to the 200th edition! A huge “Thank you” to you, dear reader, for browsing and reading it week after week.

I am also deeply grateful for the contributors working on the block editor and the theme and plugin developers building on top of it. I am an absolute fan and love to be a scribe of your work and art. And there are others in the community who write, test, and build sites with it. All your encouragement, tips, news and conversations, make working on this newsletter an absolute pleasure.

Besides the weekend editions, we also publish other articles. There might be more in the future, too. Let me point you to two here.

Don’t miss Anne McCarthy’s article How 5.9 creates a strong foundation for the future. She wrote about the various features the developers are working on and how to participate in the process.

As a reminder, I list here the WordPress 5.9 Reading list for FSE and Block Themes.

And now I get out of the way to the rest of the Gutenberg news. Have a great weekend,

Yours, 💕

PS: Last Monday, I was having great fun with the members at the WordPress Meetup in Boulder on a panel with Brian Gardner and Courtney Robertson. discussing various aspects of the upcoming WordPress 5.9 Release. The video and the document with questions and links are now available. Huge Thank you to Angela Bowman for the invitation. She is a wiz with excellent moderating and live demoing skills and she was doing both at the same time.

WordPress Project updates

Tonya Mork, release coordinator for WordPress 5.9 invites you to join the team for the WordPress 5.9 Release Party 🙌 on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022 at 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC. You bring your favorite beverage and cookies, as it all will happen in the #core channel on WordPress Slack. You would need to have an account there.

The BuddyPress Team released the 10.0 version. In his release post Mathieu Viet wrote: “We’ve adjusted our BP Theme Compatibility API so that you can enjoy this amazing feature, making sure that BuddyPress-generated content integrates optimally within themes supporting it.”. Take a look at the rest of the post as the team added some neat features to the social networks plugin for self-hosted WordPress sites.

In a separate note, Viet also announced that the new version won’t load legacy widget by default anymore. Details in this separate note by

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2022” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly. The index 2020 is here

Gutenberg 12.4

Alex Lende published the release notes for this week’s release: What’s new in Gutenberg 12.4 (19 January )

The highlighted features and enhancements

In a new section he also give kudos to first time contributors for their first merged PRs in this release.

For the 59th episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, my co-host, Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I were delighted to have Fabian Kägy as our guest on the show. We discussed Gutenberg 12.4, Developer Hours, how to best implement extensibility of the block editor and much more.

Recording the Gutenberg Changelog #59: Fabian Kägy, Birgit Pauli-Haack and Grzegorz Ziolkowski.

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On the WPTavern, Justin Tadlock, took the new Gutenberg release for a spin. Gutenberg 12.4 Includes Accessibility Improvements, Categories Reminder, and a Tag Cloud Outline Style

Developing for the block editor and building blocks.

Check out Fabian Kägy’s project: Gutenberg Playgrond enables a way to embed a browser-based coding experience of example code within a post. This allows the reader to modify that code on the fly and see the changes, without a build steps or setting up a local dev environment. The project is in its infancy and was inspired by the beta of ReactJS new documentation site. We spoke with Kägy about that project on the Gutenberg Changelog #59

For February and March, we plan a series of Developer Hours, for theme, plugin, freelance, or agency developers to get their burning questions about building blocks, and other feature for the block editor answered. Expert panelist, developers from the Community will be available to discuss code problems, different approaches to solve a problem or just bounce of ideas for future development. You can read more about the details in this Proposal on the Make Blog.

The first event will take place on February 8th, 2022 at 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC with Tammie Lister, Fabian Kägy and Nick Diego. You can register via the WordPress Social Learning space on Meetup.

Marie Comet has to convert content created with the Classic Block to Block and found that tables carefully created, would to be so beautiful when converted to a table block. Her plugin Gutenberg-Convert-Table-Classic, taps into the conversion script and keeps tables in Custom HTML blocks instead. If you ran into a similar problem, modify your plugin as you see fit.

Using the Block editor and building sites #nocode

Joe Dolson who works as an accessibility consultant and is part of the WordPress Accessibility team posted an answer to those who mocked the WordPress project for hundreds of open accessibility issues on the GitHub repository. It’s rather a sign of increased focus on accessibility. But read for yourself Don’t judge progress by the number of open issues.

For the Torque Magazine, Nick Diego, developer advocate at WPEngine, wrote about Guide to Explorie Block Patterns and answers questions as the Why used them, where to find them and how to use block patterns.

Ask the Bartender: Are There Any Compact and Personal Block Themes?By “compact and personal,” I think of something like a small room cramped with all your belongings, photos, postcards, etc., giving it a cozy feeling (Tumblr themes kind of fit this). ” wrote the person asking the question. Justin Tadlock has some suggestions for her. “Right now, I only know of one block theme that fits into the compact-and-cozy category, and that is Kubrick2. I covered it in detail last month in a review. It is now live on WordPress.org.” Tadlock wrote.

Anne McCarthy is chipping way on the long list of End-user Documentation for WordPress 5.9 and just published the Dimension Controls.

Screenshot on the location of the Dimension Controls for Post Title, Cover and Buttons blocks.
Screenshot on the location of the Dimension Controls for Post Title, Cover and Buttons blocks.

A list of more new documentation pages is available in this post WordPress 5.9 Reading List on Block Themes and Full Site Editing

Plugins extending the block editor

Todo plugin by David Towoju

“Your todo checkboxes will appear both on the frontend and backend. It will even keep the current state of the checkbox when shown on the frontend.” Towoju wrote.

Here is Justin Tadlock’s review on the WPTavern: Create Todo and Checklists in the WordPress Editor With New Plugin

Newsletter Glue by Lesley Sim and Ahmed Fouad

In her post, Newsletter Glue released 2.0, Lesley Sim Informs their users about the the brand-new admin settings user interface for the premium version of the plugin. I have been using this plugin since Dec. 2020, and I would not go back to any other newsletter tool.

Social Sharing Block by Nick Diego

“A simple little block that allows you to add social share icons to the Block Editor. Choose from 10+ of the most popular social channels.” Diego wrote

Justin Tadlock took it for a spin and shared his thought in his article, Nick Diego Forks Core WordPress Block, Creates Social Sharing Plugin.

 Wicked Block Builder by Wicked Plugins

“Create your own custom blocks with Wicked Block Builder! ”

Seems to land in the same space as Genesis Custom Blocks (former Block Labs), Lazy Blocks, ACF Blocks.

You can learn more in from Justin Tadlock on the WPTavern. Wicked Plugins Launches UI-Based WordPress Block Builder

Block Theme development

In his tutorial, An Introduction to WordPress Block Themes, Eric Karkovack takes you on a tour of the different components that make a Block Theme: Template files, folder structure, using theme.json for styling and creating templates. The article is a quick overview with a comprehensive list of resources to learn more.

Theme team member, Ganga Kafle started a Twitter Thread with this question:

Why are you not submitting block themes in WordPress as you submit classic themes on a regular basis? What are the reasons behind it? Please comment below.

Ganga Kafle on Twitter

Sarah Gooding picked up the answers and put them into bigger context. “Why Aren’t More WordPress Theme Authors Creating Block Themes?”.

When I saw the tweet, I thought, WordPress 5.9 hasn’t been released yes, how can there be an expectation that there is a mass submission of block themes happening? Some theme developers did anyway. Ahead of Tuesday’s release, 42 Block Themes built for Fullsite Editing are already available in the WordPress Themes directory.

WordPress Social Learning Events (and Meetups)

January 23, 2022 – 4 pm ET / 21:00 UTC
WordPress: the Next Generation with Sallie Goetsch via The East Bay WordPress Meetup Group

January 24, 2022, 6 pm ET / 23:00 UTC
What Will WordPress 5.9 Mean for You? with Ray and Peter Ingersoll via WordPress Hartford, CT

January 26 , 2022, 1 pm ET / 18:00 UTC
Zero to Block Theme Series #2: theme.json with Daisy Olsen via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

January 26, 2022, 6 pm ET / 23:00 UTC
Intro to Templates and Template Parts (Full Site Editing) with Wes Theron via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

January 28, 2022, 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Demo: Build Your Homepage Using Full Site Editing with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

February 4, 2022, 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Beginner’s Guide to Full Site Editing with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

February 7, 2022, 12pm (noon) ET / 17:00 UTC
Taking Control Over the Editor for Client Builds with Fabian Kägy via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

February 8th, 2022 11 am / 16:00 UTC
Developer Hours with Birgit Pauli-Haack and expert panel via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

February 9th, 2022 5pm ET / 22:00 UTC
Using Block Patterns with Wes Theron via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

February 11, 2022 – 3 pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Breaking it Down: Blocks, Patterns, And Templates with Full Site Editing with Roxy Kohilakis via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

February 14, 2022 – 4 pm ET / 21:00 UTC
Exploring Theme Blocks with Wes Theron via WordPress Social Learning Spaces

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