Happy 20th Anniversary, Governance of Block Editor, Playground and a new FSE call for testing #WP20 – Weekend Edition 255

Happy 20th Anniversary to WordPress!

Congratulations to everyone working, teaching, developing, designing, writing, supporting, in short: being part of the WordPress community and the ecosystem. Open-Source is a fascinating idea that has been proven no only successful in certain parts of the world but in all 200 countries where WordPress is used! Millions of lives changed with technology and being able to tell their stories online. It’s as some Americans would call it, a BFD, a big ‘fine’ deal. It’s hard to put in words on how blessed I feel as I have had the privilege to earning a living, being involved in the community and now contributing full-time wherever my skills are needed or wanted.

A real treat is the video 20 years of WordPress: A conversation with Matt Mullenweg, Mike Little and Dries Buytaert – The founders of the open-source CMSs, Drupal and WordPress, were for the first time together on stage and had a wonderful conversation about their beginnings of the web, their projects, and the future of building open-source software.

Building Blocks: The Evolution of WordPress, a book documenting the second decade of the WordPress project, will be released today.

Join the #WP20 the 150+ events around the world, Things to do and tweets online on wp20.wordpress.net. Incidentally, at WordCamp Europe I will show off my 20-year Anniversary T-Shirt and I added some stickers to my laptop, too. You can get both from the swag store under WP20 category. What is your favorite #WP20 Celebration?

If you’d like to listen to some community voices who talking about their WordPress experience and history: Follow the WP Jukebox Mini-series on WP20 Anniversary – hosted by David Bisset.

The WordPress Marketing team has been giving daily prompts for bloggers, developers, designers, photographers, and contributors in the From Blogs to Blocks campaign for the last 20 days. It has been a huge success! So many people participated. You should make a point of going back and reading the comments from contributors.

David Wolfpaw mentioned the Museum of Block Art as his ‘most creative use of WordPress that you have ever seen.‘ (The Day 5 Prompt of #wp20 From Blogs to Blocks Campaign by the WordPress Marketing team. )

Now, this Weekend edition is not all about the 20-year anniversary. The Day 10 prompt of May 25th, for bloggers: “What upcoming WordPress projects are you most excited to see happen?” is a great segue back to the upcoming WordPress 6.3 release.

Three participants shared their thoughts:

  • “I am really excited of Media Management. It will be a really cool thing.” wrote Chetan Prajapati
  • David Wolfpaw is excited about the upcoming APIs change (Block API, Fonts API) , PHP8.2 compatibility of Core and the Custom CSS in Theme variations.
  • Rich Holman is eagerly awaiting the Interactivity API and tells you why

What are you excited about when you read through the Roadmap 6.3 post? Please share in the comments or via email.

And now back to the regular programming!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Yours, đź’•

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Sarah Gooding reported on last week’s Gutenberg 15.8 Adds Pages Menu to Site Editor, Revisions UI to Global Styles.

🎙️ 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

Anne McCarthy continues her series of Core Editor Improvements with a post about the Smoother Site Editing experience. The big improvements coming are Revisions and Block Themes previews. She explains the genesis as well as how the new features are supposed to work.

Jamie Marsland posted It’s Time to Get Rid of the WordPress Gutenberg Plugin. He ruminates that Gutenberg in WordPress and Gutenberg as a plugin confused site owners. Some users don’t know that the block editor has been part of WordPress since 2018, and and think, they need to install the Gutenberg plugin to get it. Marsland does not want to deprive users to get early access to new features, nor developers to test new features with a smaller feedback loop. If I understand Marsland’s plea, he feels a Core Beta program might be more suitable than a separate plugin that confuses users and fragments the development. Marsland makes a strong case. Having a faster release cycle for WordPress core, is something the core team has been kicking around, but it doesn’t seem to materialize.

The deployment of a major WordPress release is coupled with quite a few manual processes. There are many hands needed for a 2-month release cycle. Just look at the release squad for 6.2. There are around 20 people involved just for the release alone. The total number of contributors was over 600. Getting that group together for more releases has been a struggle in the years that planned for four releases instead of the three recently.

In contrast to that, a Gutenberg plugin release every two weeks, is mostly automated and takes about one to three people to put a release together, with 60 to 70 contributors merging PRs for the release milestones. As long as those release processes between WordPress core and Gutenberg plugin are not synced up, keeping new feature development in the Gutenberg plugin seems to be a very WordPress-y solution.

Anne McCarthy published the next call for testing: FSE Program Testing Call #23: Rapid Revamp. Following the instructions it will give contributors great insight in the features slated for 6.3 and their feedback will be instrumental to the quality of the user experience of many of the enhancements. If you decide to participate, you are asked to test five newly built features:

  • Preview Block themes
  • Rely on Revisions of Global Styles
  • Content and template editing in the Site Editor
  • Using the Command tool

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

Last week we mentioned Riad Benguella‘s post Command Center: Request for feedback. Sarah Gooding picked up the topic again for the WPTavern: WordPress Is Developing a Command Center for Quick Search and Navigation Inside the Admin and wrote: “Feedback so far had been generally positive, but contributors on the project will have the challenge of providing real examples of the Command Center’s benefits in order for some to fully realize the vision for this feature as more than just a fancy shortcut for power users.” The conversation continues in the comments of both posts.

Hostinger’s head of content, Emma Young interviewed Tammie Lister, the first Gutenberg design lead, in this video: How Gutenberg Empowers Users and Its Future in the WordPress Ecosystem. Lister shared her insights on how Gutenberg evolves through experimentation and brings practical value to its users. The show is the second episode of Hostinger Academy podcast.

Emma Young and Tammie Lister on Hostinger Academy - May 2023

314 Block Themes in the WordPress repository – My Three picks

WPZoom published Foodie Blocks – a block theme with patterns and style variations for modern Food Blogger, that offers “flexibility and customization options to showcase your culinary journey”

Roman Fink, new to WordPress.org submitted his first theme even: Papanek, a theme for freelancers and agencies. “Create simple and clear landing pages effortlessly with 54 ready-to-use patterns. “. The theme as inspired by Victor Papanek, “an Austrian-born American designer and educator, who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures. “(Wikipedia)

Seed Webs, a design studio from Thailand, added their second block theme to the repository: Pai Page – a one-page block theme with seven patterns and two style variations. It’s certainly a great starting point for an image heavy site. Even if you need more than one page, you can always create more templates and use it for pages and posts.

Sarah Gooding reviewed one theme for the WPTavern: Shufflehound Releases Free Lemmony Child Theme for Agencies and also mentions the accompanying plugin with custom blocks: ‘The Lemmony Companion plugin, recommended when users install the theme, adds a handful of custom blocks that some of the patterns rely on to work. It includes blocks for a counter, icon, post featured image caption, typing text, hero auto-slider, and accordion.” she wrote.

The Learn.WordPress team published a few more quick tutorials for WordPress content creators

Munir Kamal, at Gutenberg Hub, published a tutorial on How to create stacking sections in WordPress. Inspired by the new Community theme Stacks, Kamal teaches you how to create a similar stacking effect without changing your theme, using the Group block and some CSS magic in the Advanced CCS settings.

In his post, WordPress Offers Two Very Different Paths: That’s a Good Thing, Eric Karkovack makes the case that just because there are new features coming in with the Site Editor and block themes, the tried and true classic theme is a valid path to build a site. Both paths are available and with the backwards compatibility promise that WordPress core gives, it will stay that way in the future. All the new features do is make WordPress more flexible and if users and site owners use block themes, they can modify and customize their site in ways, that is not possible with classic themes. Karkovack concluded: “This is what separates WordPress from other platforms. You aren’t stuck with a single way to do things. Sometimes this can create extra layers of complexity. But it’s arguably better than being limited in how or what you can build.”

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

“Did you know that you can customize core block style variations directly from theme.json?” Asked Justin Tadlock on Twitter. In his latest post on the WordPress Developer Blog, Customizing core block style variations via theme.json, Tadlock shows you how, and also points to additional enhancements that are being worked on.

 “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

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Nick Diego published Curating the Editor experience with client-side filters on the WordPress Developer Blog. He explains:

The recording of this week’s Hallway Hangout with the same topic is now available on WordPress.TV. In this information conversation, Nick Diego and Justin Tadlock talked and demoed the various use cases described in the above post and answered questions from the audience. Hallway Hangout: Curating the editor and building block themes for clients

In Episode 56: of the WP Briefing, Josepha Haden Chomphosy had two guests on the show: Rich Tabor and Adam Zielinski who discussed What to Know About WordPress Playground, its capabilities and promise for WordPress eco system.

In the latest episode of the WPTavern Jukebox podcast, Nathan Wrigley talked to Mario Santos and Luis Herranz on what the interactivity API is and how you can use it. The project hopes to absorb complexity and make the creation of interactive objects fairly trivial. Mario and Luis talk about examples of where the API might be used and how it can be implemented.

The recordings of episodes 6 and 7 of Ryan Welcher‘s Series of Bring me your Issues Live streams are now available on YouTube:

On Twitch, Ryan Welcher started the series: Creating a block theme for developers.

Part 1 and Part 2 are available on Twitch and will soon come to YouTube.

Welcher used the work-in-progress started them, Justin Tadlock has been working on. If you’d like to follow along, the theme is available on GitHub, First Draft

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 changelog@gutenbergtimes.com

Featured Image: Auto-generated wooden machine by AI via Imajinn plugin

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