Future of Themes is here, Block Examples updated and a Walk-Through – Weekend Edition #209


This week went fast, didn’t it? How has your week been?

I am excited about next week’s WordPress 6.0 Product Walk-through, identifying the features, that might or might not be ready for the release.

There is a ton of updates, discussions, and tutorials below. Enjoy!

Yours, 💕

Anne McCarthy just posted a new call for testing through the FSE program. Authoring an Author Template

The meticulous test instructions walk you through creating a template for your author pages, learn how to the locking UI for blocks works. It allows a site builder to prevent and editor to remove or move locked blocks. You’ll also get to test new design options and the new No Results block. If you have a half an hour or so spin up a new test site with LocalWP and follow the instructions. You have until April 21st to leave your feedback on your experience. 

Gutenberg Development & Design

Andrei Draganescu, was the release wrangler for Gutenberg 12.9. It is a feature packed release. The highlights are:

  • Block locking UI. Prevent editors from moving or removing blocks.
  • Better galleries are possible the gutter controls
  • New Block themes features
  • Easier management of deeply nested block structures
  • Better defaults and more intuitive controls

56 people contributed to this feature set, 8 of which were first time contributors. 

Justin Tadlock, WPTavern has a taken a closer look: Gutenberg 12.9 Adds Block Locking UI, Automatic Pattern Registration, and Full Theme Exports

Mary Job and I also discussed all the new features on the 64th Gutenberg Changelog podcast, but we also talk about so much more! The episode will come out later this weekend and land in your favorite podcast app.

In her newest Design Share, Channing Ritter, highlights a myriad of design updates the team is working on and that could use your input and critique.

Under the headline Status & visibility panel improvements ,she links to a prototype you can browse the explorations to improve the Publish and Post meta in panel in the post editor. I really enjoyed the various views of how the panel could look. A much cleaner look and so much clearer, too. Browse the prototype on Figma. Other highlight are not less interesting:

  • Adding post category templates
  • Page start options
  • Style variation hover animation
  • Icons for Group, Row and Stack (new) blocks
  • Comments query loop, default design mockups

All work in progress, and soon to come to a Gutenberg plugin near you!

Screenshot from the Prototype: Exploring Status & visibility panel improvements

Dave Smith and Ben Dwyer walkthrough covers a new variation of a popular block Using the Featured Image with the Cover Block. It’s spectacular, and a long awaited enhancement for the post template. Now you can add a cover block to your post template, used the featured image as background, and display the post title on top of it. Smith and Dwyer demonstrate the usage with the new block theme by Automattcians called Archeo

Block related News on the WPTavern

Ivan Messina, Support Host, published Gutenberg: the complete guide at the WordPress editor. It’s a walk-through the differences to classic editor, and the various interfaces that come with the block editor. It’s also a great link to point people, too, that just want to learn more before they make the jump from Classic Editor to the Block Editor.

Building Themes for the block editor and Full-site editing

Rich Tabor, product manager at Extendify, thinks “A new era of WordPress themes is finally here“. In his post he explains the four concepts, what makes a block theme different from classic themes. He continues to ouline the Future of Theme development: “It’s more apparent than ever to me that the barriers of theme development are slowly becoming smaller and smaller. There may always be some level of technical skillset required to produce phenomenal block themes, but generally speaking designing, assembling and launching a theme has never been easier.”

Developing for the Block Editor and Gutenberg

On GitHub Discussions, Dennis Snell posted a proposal on concept of dynamic Token in Core in a the GitHub discussion post. 

This goes back to the preliminary roadmap for Gutenberg phase 2 post for 6.0 by Matias Ventura when he wrote: “Explore the viability of inline tokens. This has come up repeatedly in the context of rendering dynamic strings (such as current date) in rich text blocks.

Snell wrote: “One area the block model has been deficient, however, is in establishing more granular semantic types of “inline” content that carry meaning not associated with a block. These inline semantic parts represent content or metadata that comes from outside the document being edited and may be relatively static or highly dynamic.” 

He then outlines the Token concept, followed by code examples. He shows the usage in different context, for in block.json, save and edit space and the token execution in a PHP file. And if you feel this all rings like Shortcodes, you are not wrong. It definitely would be Shortcode 2.0 with a much better interface. Check it out and let your opinion known.

Rich Tabor released all his personal plugins on GitHub. In the spirit of the second open-source principle: scratching a personal itch, he wrote: “Every single block I’ve added, I built out of a need of my own.” You will find:

Rich Tabor has been a very early adopter of the block editor, so his plugins are also great teaching tools, to solve common block builiding problems.

Ryan Welcher released Gutenberg Examples Repo 1.1. “This release marks a major update to this plugin that includes completely updated block examples as well as new non-block examples.” he wrote.

The release contains around 40 PRs by eight contributors. It’s the first new release in over two years. The instructions on how to use it have been updated, too.

Yesterday, Ryan Welcher held his weekly live programming session on “Creating a custom admin screen using Gutenberg packages and components.”

Upcoming WordPress Events

8 Social Learning Meetups

April 6, 2022, 12 pm EDT / 16:00 UTC
Creating A Sidebar For Your Posts Using The Full Site Editing Blank Template with Bud Kraus, JoyofWP

April 6, 2022, 2pm EDT / 18:00 UTC
Builder Basics: Designing with Columns, Group, and Row Blocks (Part 2) with Nick Diego

April 8, 2022, 11 am EDT / 15:00 UTC
Block Theme Discussions: Supports in theme.json with Daisy Olsen

April 12, 2022 2pm EDT 18:00 UTC
Builder Basics: Headers and Footers in Full Site Editing w/ Nick Diego

April 13, 2022, 10 am EDT / 14:00 UTC
Create a Magazine Layout with the WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor with Wes Theron

April 15, 2022, 11 am EDT / 15:00 UTC
Block Theme Discussions: Presets in theme.json with Daisy Olsen

April 19, 2022 2pm EDT / 18:00 UTC
Builder Basics: Exploring Block Layout, Alignment, and Dimensions (Part 2)

April 21, 2022 3 am EDT / 7 am UTC
Using Block Patterns with Wes Theron

WordCamps and other events

More and more WordCamps are being scheduled! On WordCamp Central you can view the whole calendar.

April 8, 2022 9 am – 5 pm CDT / 14:00 – 20:00 UTC
WP Career Summit conference for Careers in WordPress, organized by team at Post Status

April 20th, 2022 – 10 am – 4 pm CST
DE{CODE} 2022
a virtual developer conference by WPEngine

May 16-20, 2022
A virtual conference. Call for Speaker is open

June 2 – 4th, 2022
WordCamp Europe
Sign up for updates to get notifications about speakers, sessions, and schedule.

June 25, 2022
WordCamp Montclair, NJ
The call for speakers is open only until April 15th, 2022

June 20 – 24, 2022
Page Builder Summit will take place June 20th to June 24, 2022. The call for sponsors is still open. Sign-up for the VIP list to learn first when tickets are available and the schedule is published.

September 9 – 11, 2022
WordCamp US
in-person conference in San Diego. Call for Speakers is open, deadline April 17th, 2022

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