Big Changes coming, Hallway Hangout, new course cohort and building custom design tools—Weekend Edition 264


I’ll be on vacation for the next two weeks and during that time, I will stay away from the computer or phone as much as possible. Really disconnect from the net. I’ll let you know how that went when I’ll get back 🧐

While I am gone, WordPress 6.3 will come out next week, and I hope my efforts to share all that information prepared you, your clients, and teammates well for the next major release.

In case you missed it, the comments on this post by Josepha Haden Chomphosy WordPress 6.4: What’s on your wishlist? will be open until August 15, 2023. “Adding your ticket here won’t necessarily guarantee inclusion. But no one can fix things they can’t see, so bravely share your thoughts!

So I am almost out the door! Be well!

Yours, 💕

PS: I might share some photos on Instagram @idx

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Doc Pop interviewed Justin Tadlock on the podcast Press This: Big Changes Coming to WordPress 6.3. They discussed the upcoming WordPress 6.3 release, which marks the end of Phase Two of Gutenberg development.

As some of you already know, the features in WordPress 6.3 include a revamped site editor interface with better navigation and stylebook support, making it easier for non-coders to customize their sites visually.

A new Command Palette is introduced, enabling users to quickly access various functions in Gutenberg. There are also performance improvements, such as fetch priority support for images and updates to the cache and file system API.

Joen Assmussen collected all the great work of the WordPress design team in his latest Design Share: Jul 3-Jul 28, among those

  • Search views and a Meta search for Openverse
  • Refined revamp of the showcase pages with additional filter component on
  • Assemble a WordPress Design Library for various teams to use
  • Details page for Template parts
  • Improved Confirm dialog modals, and
  • Lots of design work for the new pattern screens in the Site Editor
Screenshot of Showcase redesign

🎙️ Latest episode: Gutenberg Changelog #87 – Patterns, Gutenberg 16.3 and WordPress 6.3. with Anne McCarthy as special guest, hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

In his latest video, Dustin Hartzler wants you to Master Text Formatting in WordPress Block Editor.

  • 🔍 Learn the basics of bold, italics, and underlining to add emphasis to your content.
  • 📌 Discover the power of heading levels to structure and organize your articles effectively.
  • 🔠 Personalize your text with different font styles and sizes that match your unique brand.
  • 🌈 Paint with words by changing text colors and adding a splash of creativity to your content.
  • 🌟 Highlight key points and quotes to make them shine and stand out.
  • 🔧 Master text alignment to achieve visually appealing and well-balanced content layouts.

Hartzler is a long-time podcaster in the WordPress space, who just published his 525th episode of the Your Website Engineer podcast. Congratulations!

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Live Q & A: Design Systems and theme.json
One of the key challenges of running a site or series of sites at scale is ensuring design consistency and compliance with a design system. During this show, David Bowman,… Read more.
Live Q & A: Design Systems and theme.json
One of the key challenges of running a site or series of sites at scale is ensuring design consistency and compliance with a design system. During this show, David Bowman,… Read more.

You must have been waiting for the part 3 of the Beyond Block Styles to come out! Don’t wait not more! Justin Tadlock pushed it over the finish line! Beyond block styles, part 3: building custom design tools. You learn how to add a button and a set of icons to the block toolbar for the Separator block. It’s a great tutorial for advanced theme developers.

You would need to to read the other two parts before it, though:

It’s a great project to study from beginning to end. I learned so much about the inner workings of the block editor.

 “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

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Early Gutenberg adopter and freelance developer, Igor Benic shared in his post How to Read WordPress Block Content Programmatically and read blocks from content in WordPress. You’ll learn how to tap into the functions of the core/block-editor packages. ICYMI, Benic also published How to programmatically add a block in the WordPress Block Editor earlier this year.

Sarah Gooding reported on how you should Start Testing WordPress’ New Interactivity API. It’s still unsure of the Interactivity API will be ready for 6.4 release in November, the Interactivity API packages and features made their way to the Gutenberg plugin with version 16.2. “Developers can follow the API’s “Getting Started” guide on GitHub to scaffold an interactive block with `@wordpress/create-block`. Take a look at the roadmap, which has an extensive list of tasks the team has in mind for the initiative and will include tracking issues for features as they progress.” Gooding wrote.

Upcoming WordPress Events

Join Nick Diego and Justin Tadlock for a Hallway Hangout on August 17, 2023, at 1:00 PM CST (18:00 UTC) on Extending blocks with custom design tools. They’ll have a casual conversation about creating custom design tools for blocks from a theming perspective. You’ll learn how to go beyond the Block Styles API and build your own custom controls, like an emoji-based icon picker for the Separator block. Tadlock and Diego will also explore the possibilities of using block development to extend block themes and discuss current theme development limitations.

Everyone is welcome, but if you’re interested in block theming or building block themes for clients, this session is especially for you. RSVP for the event through the Learn WordPress Meetup group to access the meeting link. Don’t miss it!

WordCamp US organizers published their schedule for the talks on August 25 and 26, 2023. As with all Regional Flagship events, there will be a live stream. Here is a list of the block related topics.

I love the emphasis on contributing, community and accessibility!

Jonathan Bossenger announced the first Learn WordPress course cohort on the training team’s blog: On September 4th, a 6-week cohort titled “Developing your first WordPress Block” starts. Bossenger will facilitate the course designed for first-time WordPress block developers. The structure includes weekly sessions covering block development topics such as block styling, attributes, and interacting with WordPress data.

The cohort will meet in both asynchronous and synchronous sessions, with a one-hour real-time session every Wednesday at 8:00 UTC. If interested, read more about the application and selection processes in the blog post

Nathan Wrigley and Anchen le Roux scheduled this year’s Page Builder Summit for 18th – 22nd September 2023. They put together is a great slate of new and veteran speakers. It’ll have plenty of Gutenberg topics, and it doesn’t hurt to learn about all the businesses and products in the WordPress space.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s master branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Don’t hesitate to send them via email or send me a message on WordPress Slack or Twitter @bph.

For questions to be answered on the Gutenberg Changelog, send them to

Featured Image: “Mumbai Lab Architecture” by BMW Guggenheim Lab is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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