Block themes are the future, bibliography block, a dynamic block with AI and more –Weekend Edition 256


Before, I got the reward of seeing my WordPress buddies, friends, and colleagues in Athens, I had to work hard with the moving company to get our furniture organized in our new flat. I wasn’t hopeful, if I will find the packed lanyard with all my pins in time for WordCamp Europe, so I will start a new one. Get ready sponsors, I will hunt for swag again 😎

Have a fantastic weekend!

Yours, 💕

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Release lead, Carlos Bravo, published What’s new in Gutenberg 15.9? (31 May) . the release included 171 PRs by 56 contributors, eight of them new. Congrats to all.

The highlights:

  • The command center (working title: Wayfinder) is now out of experiments, and needs further testing and feedback. You can find details in Riad Benguella’s post Command Center: Request for feedback
  • More enhancements to the Site Editor experience: resize your site editor window, improved drag and drop (🐉 💧), simplified switching between different styles and menus and so much more

🎙️ Latest episode: Gutenberg Changelog #90 – New Testing Call for the FSE Program, Gutenberg 16.7 and WordPress 6.4 with Tammie Lister as special guest, hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

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

Nick Schäferhoff published for the Torque Magazine: Gutenberg vs Classic Editor: 29 Reasons to Switch (Or Stay Put). “You might be one of those people asking yourself whether you should switch from the Classic Editor to Gutenberg or stick with what you know. To help you make an informed decision, this post looks at key differences and features of the two editors and offer advice on which one is right for your website. Whether you’re a novice or experienced developer, by the end you’ll have all the information you need to decide which editor to stick with.” He wrote.

Ryan Welcher released a new version of his Advanced Query Loop plugin. With this version, you can now inherit the default query and still control the post count and sorting options!

If you want to connect with Ryan Welcher at WordCamp Europe, he made his calendar public, too. He tweeted: I’m going to be attending WCEU 2023 and would love to chat with you! If you’re interested, please grab some time on my Calendly link!

Sarah Snow just published a short tutorial on How to switch from a classic to a block theme on Learn.WordPress. “Are you curious about the process of how to switch from a classic theme to a block theme? If so, this tutorial is for you! Watch to discover what you can expect when you switch from a classic to a block theme, learn the recommended steps to switch a site safely, and find additional resources to get you started in a block theme’s site editor.”

Hendrik Lührsen tweeted about his new plugin: Citations for WordPress (GitHub). Make sure you download the zip-file from the release, and not the source code. If you use proper HTML < a /> tag notation. you can add links into the citation field popping up. I tested it, and it works as an MVP, it has it’s quirks. The block is a starting point for customization. I hope this might come as a plugin to the repository.

On again, off again, Ella van Durpe has been working on a Footnotes feature for the Gutenberg project. The latest PRs are:

If you have some time, maybe you can help test it.

Carolina Nymark published a new lesson: Creating sidebars with blocks. “If you want to use the same sidebar in multiple places, I recommend using the template part method because it will save you time. Editing a template part is similar to adding block widgets to a traditional sidebar. The difference is that you now choose exactly where you want the sidebar to show without depending on a developer to add the code.” she wrote.

New tutorials on Learn.WordPress

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Bill Erickson, freelance developer and early adopter of the block editor, just posted A starter theme for building Hybrid WordPress Themes. Erickson also explains the interdependencies between Theme.json and Figma Design tokens and how to work within such a design system.

Brian Gardner took a deep dive into Intrinsic Design: Building Responsive WordPress Websites. He walks you through the built-in responsiveness of the Block editor with fluid typography as well as fluid spacing. Gardner also anticipates ” that future updates to Gutenberg, and consequently WordPress core, will give builders the flexibility to modify targeted media queries and even the scale factor.”

 “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

Nathan Wrigley discussed with Mike McAlister on why Block Themes are the future in episode 78 of the WPTavern Jukebox podcast. In the introduction, Wrigley wrote: “Mike explains what the key differences are between a block-based theme and a classic theme. How it’s possible to create themes inside the editor, and how you can do this without needing to know much code. We talk about the fact that, if you’re a coding expert, you could always create complex themes, but this fresh approach opens up the possibilities for those with less technical backgrounds. The experience in the editor might not be exactly what everyone wants, but it’s evolving quickly and maturing with every new release of WordPress.” It’s definitely worth listening to, and checking out the resources shared.

For the third part of the Twitch Stream series Building a developer-focus block theme, Ryan Welcher teamed up with Justin Tadlock to take a deep dive of theme.json and block theme development. Building a developer-focus block theme. Part 3.

Part 2 and Part 1 are also available on Welcher’s YouTube channel.

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

While redesigning his blog, Rich Tabor wanted to add a link that navigates to a random post. I created a custom block using the Create-Block script and ChatGPT. It only took a few minutes. He recorded a YouTube video, so you can follow along: How to Build a Dynamic WordPress Gutenberg Block with AI (ChatGPT)

In his latest posts on the WordPress Developer Blog, Ryan Welcher posted a tutorial on using block inspector sidebar groups. With the introduction of block inspector tabs in WordPress 6.2, block developers have more control over where custom controls should appear by leveraging the group of the InspectorControls component.

Ross Morsali wrote SlotFills and fillProps in the block editor. After explaining briefly what SlotFills are and offering some user cases for their implementation, Morsali shows an example of how to use is in combination with opening a modal.

To go deeper on SlotFills, take a look at the WordPress Developer Blog post: How to extend WordPress via the SlotFill system

Jeremy Felt built an HTML Converter – It parses WPHTML into JS/JSON with a direct copy of Gutenberg’s  Block Serialization Default Parser. Felt explains the workflow on the GitHub repo: “When first building a template of blocks to be used as part of a block variation or other template, it is useful to do this work in the block editor. When adding the template to JavaScript in an innerBlocks property, it needs to be formatted differently and again differently when reusing it in PHP. As your templates get more complicated, so does this translation—when done manually.” Hence, the Converter tool.

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: Greek architecture of a rock archway in Crete by Lusp (Luke) found on WordPress Photos

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