Theme.json Horizon, Classic Editor plugin extended, Gallery Block Refactor and more – Weekend Edition #182


Greetings from Germany, where the weather is moody and federal election campaigns heat up. As the American rule to avoid politics and religion at dinner table discussions doesn’t apply, we have lots to talk about with family and friends we haven’t seen for over two years. You can view my photos, mostly landscapes, on Instagram.

As mentioned in the last edition, I have fabulous news.

I am thrilled to announce that on Monday, August 30th, I will start as developer advocate at Automattic. Automattic will also sponsor the Gutenberg Times and the Changelog Podcast. 

To be part of the WordPress developer relations team feels to me like coming home, and I am deeply grateful to Automattic for offering me the position. The best is yet to come for Gutenberg and publishing with blocks. I am elated, to be part of an astonishing team to take the world-wide WordPress community on the next journey.

Via previous surveys, you shared a considerable amount of great ideas on how to improve the Gutenberg Times, Live Q & As or Changelog Podcast. Now I will have the resources (= time) to implement some of them. We can hold more Live Q & As covering the topics suggested in the surveys, or invite guests to the podcast.

Share your ideas or comments via email or leave a comment below. I want to read them all!

Now without further ado: There is a heap of links to share with you, after I skipped a week.

Yours, 💕

Classic Editor plugin extended for one Year

The WordPress core committers officially extended the support for the Classic Editor plugin all through 2022. This gives everyone another year to migrate to blocks. 

Josepha Haden Chomphosy also wrote: “Still, if you’ve been putting off using the block editor, this is an excellent time to give it another shot. Since it first appeared in 2018, hundreds of WordPress contributors have made a lot of updates based on user feedback. You will be pleasantly surprised at how far it’s come!”

On the WordPress Tavern, Justin Tadlock interviewed, core committer, Jonathan Derosiers and has more details on the core team’s approach toward maintaining the plugin beyond 2022.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2021” 
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

Gallery Block Refactor landed and needs testing

The Gallery block hasn’t had any significant update since the release in WordPress 5.0. It was clear that a different approach would be needed for the next iteration. Glen Davies spearheaded the Refactor of the Gallery block. The main change was to use the InnerBlock feature to create Galleries as collection of single image blocks.

This empowers content creators to assign different styles and links to individual images of the Gallery. Although the refactor progressed well, it didn’t make it into WordPress 5.8 as backwards compatibility with the earlier version and migration for existing gallery blocks needed more attention.

The code changes made it into the Gutenberg plugin and are available via the Experiments section. You can use the Gutenberg Nightly version, or the 11.4 Release Candidate, or wait until Wednesday (Sept 1) for the stable 11.4 release.

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

GitHub all releases

Gutenberg 11.3 released

Vicente Canales from Chile, wrangled the release of Gutenberg 11.3 and you can read What’s new in Gutenberg 11.3? (18 August) in his release post.

Justin Tadlock tested the new Gutenberg plugin version and has the details: Gutenberg 11.3 Introduces Dimensions Panel, Adds Button Padding Support, and Speeds Up the Inserter

In the new Episode of the Gutenberg Changelog #50, Grzegorz (Greg) Ziolkowski and I discuss the preliminary roadmap to WordPress 5.9, Gutenberg 11.3 release and Navigation Screen and Block.

As mentioned, Gutenberg 11.4 is already in the works. For testing purposes, the release candidate 11.4 RC is available for download. Final release is schedule for Wednesday, September 1st.

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Navigation Blocks and Screen updates

The Gutenberg developers working on the Navigation Blocks and Screen met for a Hallway Hangout to discuss the current issues. (Github Tracking Issue). The goal of the discussion was to identify those that need to be resolved to take the block-based Navigation feature out of the experimental state and get it ready for the merge into WordPress Core, possibly for 5.9 in December. Dave Smith posted links to the recording and relevant issue on the Make/Core blog.

Building Blocks

Rich Tabor updated his tutorial How to add and remove Gutenberg block styles with Javascript. “And while it is relatively simple to add block styles using PHP, removing them is not quite as easy — especially block styles added by WordPress core (or any added client-side). Enter JavaScript… and I promise, it’s not as daunting as you might think.”

Ryan Welcher explains how to request data with the getEntityRecord selector and expands on some details and use cases. Welcher provides a series of query examples and then walks you through the method on how to create a loading state and update the queries.

Block Editor for site implementors and content creators

Justin Tadlock explored the new plugin Block Attributes, that empowers users to add attributes to blocks via the advanced section in the sidebar. This is handy when you need to add a click event or aria-labels to blocks. Tadlocks tutorial explain the how: Adding Custom HTML Attributes With the Block Attributes Plugin

Jamie Marsland of PootlePress (WooCommerce Blocks) wrote a tutorial on How to create an Industry News Page with the Gutenberg Block Editor. Marsland walks you through the usage and display options of the RSS block.

Theme development for Gutenberg

Matias Ventura, the ‘spark of Gutenberg’ gave in his post The Theme.json horizon a bird’s-eye view on the broader impact and opportunities the Theme.json file provides for the WordPress ecosystem.

Tammie Lister shared her fun with group block borders, with instructions on how to control borders via theme.json.

Frank Wazeter explored a way to use the new theme features of WordPress 5.8 without depending on the Gutenberg plugin to be present. Wazeter wrote: “This code shows how a WordPress theme can support and mimic Gutenberg Plugin’s templating system for the block editor/template editor, while not having a dependency on the Gutenberg Plugin itself. “.

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