Fieldguide for WordPress 6.2, Community theme project, Theme.json and PHP—Weekend Edition #246

Howdy, howdy!

This has been a busy week! Phew. The contributors published twelve Dev Notes related to the Block Editor together with the Release candidate 1 version of WordPress 6.2. The Field Guide has all the developer related updates. It’s time for plugin and theme developers to test their products for compatibility with the new WordPress version. The final version is scheduled for March 28th, 2023.

The release squad for documentation, Milana Cap, Abha Thakor, Femy Praseet, and yours truly, wrangled the developer notes from two tracking systems, WordPress Trac and Gutenberg Repo. After the posts were drafted, we took turns reviewing them before publishing, all 13,150 words.

Then there were the posts for the WordPress Developer Blog, that needed editing and reviewing. That was lot of reading already, and then I kept an eye out for interesting content in the community to assemble this week’s round up post. The good news is, I am done for the week. 😎 🏖️

Enjoy and don’t take it in all at once. Keep some for later.

Yours, 💕

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Mary Baum published a follow-up to the Preview of 6.2 which ran out of time for numerous questions. 6.2 Live Product Demo Q & A.

Preview of WordPress 6.2

Dave Smith and Rich Tabor chatted about the Top Five features coming to WordPress 6.2, with some cool demos of Site Editor browsing, the Style Book, Media inserter and Distraction-free mode in the post editor.

In the post, What’s new for developers? (March 2023), Justin Tadlock collected a myriad of interesting updates to WordPress that are specifically relevant for developers. “If you’re a developer who builds on top of the WordPress platform, this news is for you. The goal is to make it easier to navigate the fast-paced development cycle, narrowing down the list of must-read content into a single digestible source.” Tadlock wrote.

It’s the second edition of this monthly round-up. If the roundup posts are all you require to stay on top of changes of WordPress, you can subscribe to the Roundup Tag Feed with your favorite Feed Reader.

Dev Notes WordPress 6.2 (Block Editor)

🎙️ 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

On Friday, Rich Tabor, joined me on the Gutenberg Changelog episode #80 recording. We had great fun geeking out over the upcoming release of WordPress 6.2, Gutenberg 15.2 and 15.3. The recording will appear at your favorite podcast app over the weekend.

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

Quite a few new Block themes arrived at the Theme Directory.

Sarah Gooding at the WPTavern reviewed Lemmony: A Free WordPress Block Theme with 30+ Patterns, a magazine style theme for publishers and bloggers alike.

Gooding also reviewed: Lettre Newsletter Theme Now Available on, a theme suitable for writers and publishers to style their newsletters.

Manesh Timilsina, a plugin developer from Nepal, and new member of the WordPress Theme team, published his first theme for the Theme directory and made it a Block Theme. Congratulations! The theme is called Zino and described as a minimal, lightweight, and speed optimized. It’s still a pre-release version 0.0.2, though.

The team at Automattic also released a new theme: Bibimbap, named after a Korean dish, is a simple and fun restaurant theme. Sarah Gooding has the details in Automattic Releases Bibimbap, a Free Block Theme for Restaurants

Brad Hogan, at Block Themes Pro published the first Theme in the Theme directory as well. It’s call Blockster, “a simple, clean, easy to manage block theme meant for non-profits, bloggers, freelancers and agencies” with four Style Variatons. It’s also used as a starter theme for #node site builders, creating websites for others.

Sarah Snow and Kathryn Presner were the hosts of the workshop How to Confidently Migrate from a Classic Theme to a Block Theme. The description reads: “Are you are worried about potential down-time on your live website if you make a mistake when switching from theme to theme? Would you like to learn how to move widget areas from your classic theme to a new block theme? If this sounds exciting, please join Sarah Snow in a live workshop to learn how to safely and comfortably migrate from a classic theme to a block theme.”

Aki Hamano released version 3.2 of his plugin Custom HTML Block Extension, which extends custom HTML blocks into a code editor, allows you to write code on a larger screen via a modal component!

WordPress doesn’t have a Pattern manager/editor for site’s yet. The plugin Block Pattern Builder by Block Meister has been my go-to tool for a few years now. I also use the pattern builder of Newsletter Glue. Now the developers at WP Engine released their Pattern Manager Plugin. Sarah Gooding has the skinny: WP Engine Pattern Manager Plugin Now in Beta

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Learn.WordPress published a new course: Develop Your First Low-Code Block Theme. “By the end of this course, you will be able to build a fully functional, custom WordPress theme using very little code.”

Justin Tadlock published the Summary: Community Themes Project Kickoff. “Over 20 members of the WordPress theming community gathered for an initial discussion on the proposed Community Themes project on March 7, 2023. The primary goal of the conversation was to gauge interest and discuss what this project might look like.” There were also a few outcomes, and a few open questions. Further Discussion will happen in the #core-theme-projects channel on the Making WordPress Slack space.

If you want to follow along but don’t have an account yet, here are the instructions on how to gain access.

 “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

Carolina Nymark published another lesson on her site: How to filter theme.json with PHP.

Here is how it works: WordPress loads a default theme.json file (source). This file has all the default settings including colors and gradients. WordPress merges this data with settings from other sources, in the following order:

  • The block itself (block supports)
  • The theme.json file in the active theme (and parent theme if applicable)
  • User settings: The options in the Styles sidebar in the Site Editor
Caroline Nymark,

Felix Arntz, software engineer at Google, shared his experience switching his site from a classic theme to a block theme in his post: Rebuilding my website using a block theme He recounts all the steps in details, and the minimal code editing he had to do. Arntz is also a member of the WordPress Performance team, so his study on the before and after performance piqued my interest. An excellent read.

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Michael Burridge wrote Block deprecation – a tutorial for the WordPress Developer blog. It walks you through the mechanics of block deprecation of static blocks, with step-by-step instructions.

Earlier this month, the team of the Block Protocol published their WordPress plugin. Eric Karkovack reported on it in his post: Digging Into the WordPress Block Protocol Plugin with an interview with David Wilkinson, CEO of Hash, the company behind the Block Protocol.

“Although Block Protocol blocks are developed with no knowledge of the applications that embed them, through the hook module they can tap into the embedding application’s native functionality anyway.

This means that things like WordPress’s native image gallery, file uploading, text editing, and so on all work seamlessly within Block Protocol blocks, as if they were native Gutenberg ones.”

David Wilkinson, CEO of Hash

Are you experimenting with the Block Protocol, too? I would love to connect with you and compare notes! Email at or share some information in the comments online

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: Bangkok Taxi Ride by Birgit Pauli-Haack

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