Block Manager, Preference Modal, Widget Screen, and so much more – Weekend Edition #158

Howdy, howdy,

It’s Saturday again. It’s a more leisurely pace in our 2-person household. We enjoyed breakfast (scrambled eggs, spinach, mushrooms, red beets and avocado) on our Floridian lanai, at 75° F/ 24° C. There are plenty of places that struggle with snow, rain and freezing weather. I wished, I could send you more warmth. Stay safe!

My week was all about CiviCRM and WordPress, integrating two powerful open-source tools for a nonprofit operation. The CiviCRM community is as generous as the WordPress community in providing actionable assistance. I am so grateful to all the new friends.

While putting this newsletter edition together I am catching up on block-editor development right along with you. So let’s dig in.

Have a great weekend!
Yours, 💕

🎙️ Gutenberg Changelog Episode #37 is now available with show notes and transcript. Mark Uraine and I will record Episode #18 on February 19, 2021. It’s the 100th Gutenberg release coming up. Any ideas, what we should do for it? Send your suggestions to or just hit reply!

Have you heard of WPOwl? It’s a WordPress newsletter from Poland and published by Maciek Palmowski. I had the privilege to be a guest editor of their 20th, English edition Maciek and his team are of course expert in WordPress and wonderful to work with! Join the Mega Meetup on Thursday to meet Maciek. WPOwl’s Polish language edition is about two years old and just published their 115th edition. Now I have a Polish bio, I can share with my Polish non-WordPress friends, too. 👍

On my quest to find a block-based newsletter tool for the Gutenberg Times, I found Newsletter Glue. Lesley Sim and I collaborated on this story: How Gutenberg Times increased traffic and saved hours with Newsletter Glue. I am not only awed by Lesley’s editing skills. Her opinionated design focused on readability makes it also a visual pleasure to scroll through.

Block editor for Content Creators

In Block Manager Redesign Coming Soon, Sarah Gooding summarizes the discussion on GitHub about future Block Manager enhancements.

Nik Tsekouras started a more narrow scoped issue to discuss it further.

Speaking of the Preferences, Anne McCarthy posted Core Editor Improvement: New Preferences experience, in which she described a more organized way to modify your preferences for the inner workings of the 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

In another post, Bringing the power of blocks to Widgets, Anne McCarthy elaborated on why the work on the Widget screen is so important. “With many existing WordPress sites and themes not yet able to take advantage of Full Site Editing, work is underway to bring the power of blocks when adding, editing, and managing widgets on your site.” she wrote.

Block Editor and Page Builders

It’s a Gutenberg World” was the title of the virtual meetup on January 21, 2021, with meetup groups of Lehigh Valley, Philly and the Philly ‘burbs. Various speakers, among them yours truly, did short demos of their favorite blocks and tools. In her blog post, Kim White, assembled all the links mentioned during the meeting the recording is available on YouTube. During the extensive Q & A session, we fielded quite few on around making the switch from Classic editor to the block editor.

This week, I came across Phillip Stehmann‘s podcast episode “The reason why I changed from Elementor to Gutenberg “. You can read the transcript on the page. Stehmann is a Business Computer Consultant from Denmark.

Theme development for Site and Block editor

Carolina Nymark published an ongoing list of frequently asked questions and their answers. It’s an excellent mix of big picture thoughts and technical answers. For instance, I learned you can add custom hooks to the block editor. We mentioned her course for Theme developers before. She is also working on a course for #nocode site builders. Leave your email address, she’ll update you as soon her first lesson is available.

Kjell Reigstad had some fun with block styles on Twitter. A while ago, he published a tutorial on “Customizing Gutenberg blocks with block styles” on ThemeShaper.

On Friday, Kjell Reigstad and Danny Dudzic published the 38th weekly roundup of theme-related discussions, fixes, and developments in Gutenberg. They list 14 discussion issues waiting for your input and ten issues that were fixed this week. For lurkers, and those of use who need to catchup, here is their list of sevent overview issues

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

Mike Jolley let us know about the new version of WooCommerce Blocks is out. Read in his release notes, about all the small tweaks and bug fixes.

Justin Tadlock took a closer look at the Bookmark Card block in the repository. He also mentioned that the author, George Mamadashvili, a developer from Tbilisi, Georgia, was behind the blocks published under the “Sorta Brilliant” brand. I have used several plugins as they stood out from the normal block solutions. “Guidepost”, the table-of-contents block is still working very efficiently for me. I was sad to see the plugins go.

Gutenberg for Developers

WPGraphQL Gutenberg is a plugin which extends WPGraphQL API for WordPress schema with new fields and types, so you can query content as structured data for any post which uses block editor. Its author is Peter Pristas, a full-stack developer from Slovakia. For all Headless WordPress developers, this plugin will be increasingly useful.

“It’s time to start learning how to build with the Block Editor” is the tenor of the post by Aurooba Ahmed making the case to developers to start learning the essentials of block building. She teaches via an email course. Here is a sample lesson on how to add a Custom Color Palette. Aurooba lives in Calgary, Canada and is a co-organizer of the local meetup.

Marcus Kazmierczak just posted the 7th post of his Build a Block Series on Placeholder. In the series Marcus teaches you how to build a QR Code Block from scratch ES6+ Syntax.

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog via your favorite podcast apps!
🎙️ Spotify | Google | iTunes | PocketCasts | Stitcher |
🎙️ Pod Bean | CastBox | Podchaser | RSS Feed 

If you have been a listener, please write a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Podchaser or Castbox. We would love to read from you, and more reviews help with the distributions.

Upcoming WordPress Events

February 13 + 14, 2021
WordCamp India (Online)
Have a look at the schedule here. I listed below the block-editor related talks and their links to the future YouTube recording.

February 18th, 2pm ET / 19:00 UTC
WordPress meetup in Portsmouth, UK
“Taking a plugin from pre to post Gutenberg” with Meg Phillips will share her journey upgrading her plugin Charter Boat Bookings to work effectively with the Block Editor and new requirements of WordPress 5.5+. She will cover how she followed good practice of using vanilla JS versus relying on jQuery.

February 18, 2021 – 6:30 pm ET / 21:30 UTC
WordPress “Mega Meetup”: The “Performance/Elementor” Episode

  • Michelle Keefe “What Does it Take for Your Site to Perform in 2021?
  • Maciek Palmowski: “Static WordPress – How To Make WordPress Faster And More Secure?
  • Bud Kraus: “Working With An Elementor Template”

February 23rd, 2021 – 4 pm / 21:00 UTC
WordCamp for Publishers meetup
Panel Discussion: “Career Growth and Development in WordPress and Beyond”.

February 27, 2021
WordCamp Praha

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

Featured image: Photo by Phil Sheldon ABIPP on Unsplash

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