Block editor for screen readers, Reusable blocks and so much more – Weekend Edition #160

Howdy, howdy!

I found plenty of Gutenberg posts around the net. From the DevNotes for the next major WordPress version to plugin updates and first feedback from the FSE second call for testing.

With the first release candidate of WordPress 5.7 available, we also get to study the upcoming features and changes via the Field Guide. If you have more testing capacity, use the Beta Tester plugin and give the new version whirl.

With the most important general WordPress news out of the way, enjoy the cornucopia of block and site editor updates.

Yours, 💞

ICYMI: Episode #38 of the Changelog is now available with show notes and transcript. It was another fun conversation with Mark Uraine. We talked about 100th Release of Gutenberg, WordPress Core 5.7, 5.6.1, and Testing Call for Full-site Editing.

Table of Contents

Block Editor for Content Creators

The first in a series of Gutenberg tutorials slated for the News section, Joen Asmussen wrote a tutorial on how to create, edit and use Reusable Blocks. This is impeccable timing as the Reusable Blocks received quite some changes. You learn how to reuse text snippets across posts and pages of your website and save complex layouts once without having to copy/paste them from one page to the next. Joen explains the difference between templates, reusable blocks and Block patterns. He picked plenty of use cases to explain the ins and outs of handling reusable block and use them to your advantage.

In his post: An In-depth Introduction to the WordPress Block Editor for Screen reader Users, John Carson gave an introduction to the block editor, provides keyboard shortcuts, and walks screen reader users through the editing options.

Attendees of WordCamp India received a sneak preview on the site editor and the full-site editing experience coming to a WordPress instance near you later this year. Imran Sayed gave a great introduction to the topic and also show how it currently works and how you can try it yourself via the recording on YouTube. You also learn how the experimental navigation and widget screens work. It’s a fun look into the future. Sayed also created the Phoenix block-based theme that is now available in the Gutenberg team’s Themes Experiments repository on GitHub

Developing for the Block Editor

Robert Anderson published Block editor Dev Notes for the WordPress 5.7 release:

Helen Hou-Sandi, WordPress Lead Developer, sometimes streams her WordPress contributer work sessions on Twitch. In her latest blog post Updating a WordPress plugin with a publish metabox field for the block editor, she summarized an almost 4-hour Twitch session. Don’t worry, the blog post doesn’t take as long to read. She explained the process of achieving the final code, first demonstrated what most people will need, then what she actually did to meet specific UX needs. She also shared the things she tried that didn’t work out. All in all, a great read from a WordPress developer to WordPress developer on how to bridge the gap to the modern block editor.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index” 
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. The index 2020 is here

What Happens When Block Markup Changes? Justin Tadlock and Riad Benguella answer a WPTavern reader’s question. It’s a fascinating read that explains some inner workings of the block editor when dealing with static JavaScript blocks. The details are fascinating, and I learned a great deal from the post. Different processes are firing depending on the context the block is used: for the edit screen, storing serialized data in the database, and rendering the block again on the front end, all the while offering hooks for 3rd party plugins to tap into those processes. It’s a delicate balancing act between the developer experience and the user experience. Riad made clear that the Gutenberg team needed to put the user experience first.

As Gutenberg grows, the project sometimes experiences regressions: Features that used to work suddenly don’t anymore. To prevent these regressions from happening, contributors can write end-to-end (e2e) tests that cover a given piece of functionality and alert us when that functionality is broken. In his Hallway-Hangout session, Bernhard Reiter demonstrated how to write end-to-end tests for the Gutenberg projects to prevent regressions.

Block Editor and Themes

Building a Custom Homepage With Gutenberg’s Site EditorJustin Tadlock shared his experience and thoughts when working through the Anne McCarthy’s instructions for the call for testing the full-side editing experience. It’s a detailed read, and you’ll find some GitHub issues, where most pain points are discussed for a better solution.

For more updates on the topic Gutenberg + Themes read Maggie Cabrera‘s 39th weekly round-up theme-related discussions, fixes, and developments. Many of the listed issues and discussion could use your opinion as how to proceed. Chime in!

With Build a Full WordPress Site via Block Patterns With the Hansen Theme Justin Tadlock adds another theme review to the WPTavern. The Hansen Theme is the forth block-based theme in the WordPress repository and provides numerous block patterns and block styles for the site building needs of its users.

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

Plugins for the Block Editor

On the Gutenberg Times we have been using Guidepost plugin for our Table of Contents since its first version in 2018. It disappeared from the WordPress repository, but its GitHub repository is still available. Good news, though, the next version of the Gutenberg plugin will include a native “Table of Contents” block, inspired by the Guidepost version. Justin Tadlock dug a little deeper into the genesis and details of it.

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WordPress Events

February 27, 2021
WordCamp Praha

March 4, 2021 11:00 AM ET / 16:00 UTC
WP Engine DE{CODE} 2021 
With an awesome line-up of speakers!

April 16th – 18th, 2021. 
WordCamp Greece 2021 Online.
The organizer published the call for speakers.

April 16th – 18th, 2021
WordCamp Northeast Ohio
Take a look at the Call for Sponsors

On the Calendar for WordPress Online Events you can browse a list of the upcoming WordPress Meetups, around the world, including WooCommerce, Elementor, Divi Builder and Beaver Builder meetups.

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