Gutenberg Developer Hours, from Zero to Hero Series and Adoption paths — Weekend Edition 203


Among other links, today’s edition links to three posts about technology adoption, feature adoption, FSE adoption. Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Tammie Lister and Anne McCarthy shine their light on different paths you can take on your journey to explore and conquer the new features, for contributors, theme developers, site owners or site builders.

The most approachable parts of designers are Block Patterns. For inspiration, visit Tammie Lister’s, Patternspiration site, the WordPress Pattern Directory or install the free Extendify plugin.

In any case, don’t go it alone. Every week, you can join other WordPress practitioners on various levels on the Social Learning Spaces or in Hallway Hangouts. You find a list of the upcoming events below.

As always, there is more in this edition from generous people that accompany all of us along our journey.

Grab your favorite hot or cold beverages and enjoy this Weekend’s Edition. As always, let me know what you think, or what you need on your block editor journey.

Yours, 💕

PS: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb


Join us again February 22, 2022 on 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC for another Gutenberg Developer Hours.

 “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

Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Executive Director of the WordPress open-source Project, published A Theory of Technology Adoption in the WordPress Project.

In the introduction, Chomphosy quoted Calestous Juma “Many of the dominant technologies that we take for granted have weathered moments of social tension and threats of succession.”

“As we head into the iterative part of Gutenberg’s phase 2, there are a few things that we should be aware of that will motivate or inspire our community of users to take a fresh look at the WordPress editor. In my observation, that breaks down into three parts.” She wrote.

  • Apparent usefulness (to the extender) – aka, what does this do for me?
  • Apparent ease of use (to the extender and user) – aka, is the difficulty ≤ the current technology?
  • Apparent trustworthiness (social proof/social sentiment) – aka, do my trusted friends trust this thing?

Intrigued? Deeper insights in the post.

At WCUS 2021, Helen Hou-Sandí talked about custom blocks development for the new website of White House. You can watch the recording now on

Video: Helen Hou-Sandí WordCamp US 2021

10up recently published more details of the project on the company blog. A Voice For A New White House Administration. Videos enrich the various aspects of the work. Quite a few interesting aspects of the design and build process are noted. For instance: “To simplify the content creation experience, 10up removed sidebar options in favor of new blocks for the featured image, category, and date that are displayed in the editor in the same position that they appear on the page.”

Take your time to digest the learned lessons and experience reported by one of the leading WordPress agencies. There are quite a few takeaways that might help you navigated the block universe of WordPress.
Thank you to Post_Status for surfacing this blog post.

Matias Ventura, principal architect of Gutenberg was our guest on the 60th episode of the Gutenberg Changelog. Grzegorz (Greg) Ziolkowski and I discussed with him way to restrict customization in a full-site editing world, the Gutenberg 12.5 release and some changes coming with WordPress 6.0

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast
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✨ ✨ Friendly Reminder:
Eleven days left to respond to All Things Media Call for Testing

It’s a great way to collaborate on ideas on how to integrate the rapidly growing WordPress Photo Directory and Openverse into the block editor.

Building blocks and plugins for the editor

One change in 5.9 to the Cover block is now documented in this DevNote by Glen Davis. He explains the changes made during refactoring of the Cover block. He also notes that theme and plugin developer were surprised by these changes, as there was no documentation published until now. The most considerable changes was that opacity styling for background color was moved. It broke some sites.

This has already been fixed, and is scheduled to deploy as part of the WordPress 5.9.1 release. Until then, you can use Davis’ suggested work around or rollback your WordPress 5.9 upgrade with this powerful nifty little plugin “Core Rollback” by Andy Fragen.

Joni Halabi found a way to Overriding WP core: Dynamic blocks edition. She shares how she replace the render_callback function for the Core RSS block to render a customized HTML on the front end.

If you have similar needs, you can override a single argument to avoid unregistering a block via register_block_type_args or modify the content generated for the block with render_block_this-name

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

Building themes, adopting to FSE

Next week Friday, Daisy Olsen and Sarah Snow will offer the fifth session in their five-part series: Zero to Block Theme Series #5: From Site Editor to Theme. The recordings of the first four parts are available on YouTube:

Anne McCarthy published in the series of Core Editor Improvement “Core Editor Improvement: Curated experiences with locking APIs & theme.json. She explores “some practical ways you can perhaps apply these locking options to your individual projects to both provide some guardrails and still allow users to make things their own.” If you are working on creating an editor experience following the strong standards for publishing and brand design, this post is for you.

Ryan Welcher posted a short video on Locking down theme.json and discusses how to control the effect of adding a theme.json file to your classic theme.

James Koster showed in his post Expanding template creation options in the Site Editor and embedded videos early concepts on creating full page prototypes. You can follow along the PR on GitHub. And if you have an idea or opinion, add it there.

One of the 47 Block Themes built for full site editing in the WordPress repository is Miniblock OOAK by Carolina Nymark. She describes it as “One page, all the blocks. If all you need is one fully customizable page, it does not get simpler than this.” Justin Tadlock took it for a spin and posted his review on the WPTavern: Miniblock OOAK and Outside-the-Box Ideas in the Theme Directory

In her article, Gutenberg Full Site Editing does not have to be full, Tammie Lister lays out a path for gradual adoption of the various tools coming with WordPress 5.9., that starts with stopping to use the term Full-Site Editing. That term hides the fact that it’s a conglomerate of many pieces for each could stand alone and be integrated separately with existing sites. “My best advice to anyone looking to start on this journey right now is to start with patterns, move to theme.json, and from there, gradually move through whatever makes sense for you.” Lister wrote.

Anne McCarthy suggested a similar path in her post from last fall, that’s still immensely relevant Sharing Approaches for FSE Feature Adoption. As always, Anne is ahead of us all, so I bring the article back to everyone’s attention. McCarthy divided her advice for different kind of users, some are for site owners and site builders, others for theme developers. Then she defined four level and explained each one with the matching tools and features, that collectively make out Full-Site Editing.

If you are struggling to see the forest for the trees, let Lister and McCarthy guide you on the first steps of your journey. Or join us for Gutenberg Developer Hours on February 22, 2022, at 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC

Content Creators and Site Owners Tools

Let’s celebrate with Jamie Marsland the latest updates of WooCommerce Blocks and Storefront block, both premium plugins. They now leverage the new full-site-editing features of WordPress 5.9 and allow for editing your store’s templates through the site editor. In this video Marsland demos, how to edit a Single Product page as well as a product category page.

Sarah Gooding reported on an addition to the Kadence Blocks collection: Kadence Blocks 2.2.4 Adds Lottie Animations Block.”Kadence Block’s implementation is in the free version of the plugin and includes block controls for further customizing the animations. Users can adjust playback settings, like autoplay, toggle controls on/off, and change the playback speed and loop settings. The animation’s size, padding, and margins, can all be customized.” Animations can be a fun tool to add a little whimsy to a site, usually, I find them overdone and quite distracting. So use at your own risk 🙂

Nathan Wrigley host of the WordPress Jukebox podcast had Chris Lubkert and Rich Tabor on his show and discussed with them Building Sites With Extendify. You can learn more about their vision for a future of page layouts and block patterns in WordPress. Interestingly enough, Extendify’s 1400 block patterns and page layouts are all based only on core blocks, coupled with their unique utility design system.

Rich Tabor also is a contributor on the Gutenberg repository and has been exchanging ideas and solutions with the Gutenberg team since the early days of the block editor in 2017.

Nathan Wrigley has increased the frequency of publishing: After three years without it WordPress Jukebox is now a weekly show again! You can subscribe to it on your favorite podcaster and you never miss another show.

In his latest video, Future of WordPress Page Builders is Gutenberg, Matt Medeiros monologues about page builders in the era of Full-site Editing in Core. What do you think?

Hallway Hangouts, Webinars, and WordPress Social Learning events.

As shared last week, Anne McCarthy has a new FSE Outreach Program Exploration for you.  All Things Media and WordPress Photo directory She invites you to the upcoming Hallway Hangout on February 16th, 12:30 pm ET / 17:30 pm UTC to with her and a designer from the Openverse project to chat about the call for testing. The link will be shared in the WPSlack channel #fse-outreach-experiment.

If you can’t make it, Courtney Robertson invites you to the GoDaddy Event “Call For Testing WordPress Media” on February 18th, 2022 at 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC.

On Feb 23rd 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC Hallway Hangout: Navigation Block. Designers and developers working on the feature will join Anne McCarthy to chat about the new feature. Join the WPSlack #fse-outreach-experiments channel for details and zoom links.

February 14, 2022 – 4 pm ET / 21:00 UTC
Exploring Theme Blocks with Wes Theron

February 15, 2022 – 4:30 pm ET / 21:30 UTC
Adding Custom CSS to Your Site with Hugh Lashbrooke

February 16, 2022 1 pm ET / 18:00 UTC
Beginner’s Guide to Full Site Editing with Sarah Snow via WordPress Social Learning

February 18, 2022 1 pm ET / 18:00 UTC
Zero to Block Theme Series #5: From Site Editor to Theme with Daisy Olsen and Sarah Snow

February 21, 2022 – 12 pm (noon) ET / 17:00 UTC
Hello Blocks! Coding a custom block with Wes Theron and Ryan Welcher.

February 22, 2022 – 11 am ET / 16:00 UTC
Gutenberg Developer Hours with Birgit Pauli-Haack and expert panel

March 1, 2022 5 pm ET / 22:00 UTC
Intro to Templates and Template Parts with Wes Theron

Featured Image: Jennifer Bourn “Pile of blue glass chunks in the sun” found in the WordPress Photo Directory

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