How can we make building blocks easier, New 2022 Theme, Persistent User preferences and more – Weekend Edition 188


I am so thrilled that I now have more time to work on community outreach, organize Live Q & As and learn more about Gutenberg development. There is also a lot going on in the WordPress community. People are sharing plenty. Last week, the edition had more a theme related focus, this week, we have a developer focus, it seems, despite we just had our Live Q & A on block-based theme. See for yourself!

Did you see the site by the team around the HeroPress network, Topher and Cate DeRosia! All WordPress podcasts in one spot! All because of RSS feeds. A standard published in 1999, now hardly mentioned anymore.

The six-hour shutdown of Facebook, helped many of us yet again to appreciate the open web, and the people who keep it that way. And yes, that’s all of you, dear readers, the theme, and plugins developers, site builders, content creators and site owners using WordPress.

Keep it up and keep creating!

Yours, 💕

Table of content

 “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.

Using Gutenberg for Content Creators and site builders

Anne McCarthy collaborated with the Gutenberg developers and designers to describe the continued progress on accessibility in using the block editor for existing and future features. She has details on the Navigation block’s accessibility as well as for the Gallery Block Refactor. You’ll also find an asorted list of high impact improvements.

In his post on the Torque Magazine, Will Morris shows you how you can use the WordPress Pattern Directory. He explains first what Block patterns are and what the Directory entails. Then he walks you through how to make a block pattern from the directory usable on your site by copy/paste. Another way is adding a block pattern from the Inserter panel. Both variations are explained in a step-by-step way and should get a WordPress newbie or just someone who just switched from classic editor to the block editor, started.

Marius Jensen updated his Persistent Block Editor Settings plugin He added support for the following user settings:

  • – Block breadcrumbs
  • – Most used blocks
  • – Caret positioning

All settings are stored with the individual user profile information, and persist in between computer or browser changes.

Theme development in for Full-Site Editing

Ben Dwyer described in his post the role Universal Themes will play in WordPress ecosystem. He defined the term Universal Theme as a theme that works like a classic theme for a site that has not enabled Full-site editing, and act like a block-based Theme for those sites that do. He shares code-snippets for templates. Dwyer also stipulates, that Universal Themes are a temporary measure, as their need will diminish with Site Editor’s improvements further down the line.

Kjell Reigstad just introduced the new Twenty-Twenty-Two theme. It’s bird themed, and I truly loved the backstory of this inspiration. Reigstad tells the story that an array of birds joined his family every morning for breakfast at their bird feeder, and the theme is a mediation over what he saw. My husband and I had a similar breakfast with wildlife experience. Our birds were a bit larger: a white duck, herons, ibises, and Limpkins.

The theme will be a pure block-based theme geared towards the Full-site editing with difference color palettes exposed to the Global Styles interface and interesting block-patterns. In the post, the images are mock-ups. The Themes still needs to be built. Reigstad teamed up with Jeff Ong for the development.

WPTavern published two posts about it, too

This week’s Live Q & A recording – Going from classic to block-based Theme with Ellen Bauer, Anders Noren and Carolina Nymark – is now available on YouTube. The blog post with resources and transcript will follow next week.

“Creating a scaled and fluid type system takes a bit of creativity, especially in the context of WordPress block themes, but here’s what I’ve explored.” Rich Tabor tweeted. Using a Fluid Type Scale in WordPress Block Themes with Theme.json

The Future of Theme Switching

Anne McCarthy published the Summary from the Theme Switching Exploration in context of the FSE-outreach program and the 10th call for testing. It had some interesting insights, like the expectation that user created templates are thethered to the theme and don’t stay around after switching a theme. Or that custom block styles, font-color and type choices survive after the theme is changed.

In her post Adventures in Block Theme Switching, Channing Ritter, team member on the WordPress design team, used the comments from contributors as inspiration for three different approaches on the entrance for theme management:

  1. The first idea envisions a redesing of the Theme Live Preview to allow for switching theme after a preview with a way to apply existing styles and templates.
  2. The second idea makes theme management available via Global Styles sidebar of the the Site Editor.
  3. The third idea takes the idea of shipping more then one color schemes from the Twenty-Twenty-Two Theme and envisions a way to actually use template parts from all installed themes on a site.

It definitely is easier to understand when you watch the video and here longer explanations for each idea. Share your ideas and comment on the once before us! This is the moment you can influence where the team is taking the next phase of development.

Custom Blocks Development

Join us next week, Thursday, October 14th, 2021, for a Discussion with Helen Hou-Sandi, Mark Jaquith and Riad Benguella on How can we make building blocks easier? It’s a continuation of a discussion started by Jaquith a few weeks ago:

The tweet about an exploration from Jaquith, inspired by Hou-Sandi’s blog post, spurred a flurry of conversation around custom block development. The premise? “What if building custom blocks for the Block Editor was as easy as supplying attributes and a block of HTML? What if this produced React editing code and PHP rendering code without a build step?” All three panelists are long-time WordPress contributors who have been different approaches on tackling these ideas. We will have more links and resource for you on the Live Stream.

This week, I published a proposal for a new event series on the Make Core Blog: Proposal: Gutenberg Developer Hours series of events. It would be great if you could comment on this idea and let me know if you are interested in being part of the panel. It’s meant to be a low-effort way to help out other developers, without getting into all the administrative part of organizing those sessions. That’s what I will do.

Lee Shadle was a guest on the WPTavern Jukebox podcast on How Blocks Create New Opportunities. Podcast host, Nathan Wrigley discussed with Shadle the world of Gutenberg blocks and the new world of WordPress product business. It worth listening to the show undistracted. Shadle and Wrigley go deep into change mangement and how business owners might be able to approach building for WordPress in the classic way and slowly move into the block-based way without jeopardizing their revenue or the time they spend with their families.

Join us on October 28th at 12 pm EDT / 16:00 UTC Gutenberg Times Live Q & A: Converting classic widgets to blocks Learn from the BuddyPress team members, Mathieu Viet, David Cavins, Varun Dubey.

Gutenberg Times Live Q & A: Converting classic widgets to blocks Learn from the BuddyPress team members, Mathieu Viet, David Cavins, Varun Dubey.

Using create-block script to build blocks

David Gwyer started a new site on the domain to share his experience developing for Gutenberg in tutorials and resources. The first tutorial is titled: Creating a New Block for the Gutenberg Editor.

Gwyer also curates Gutenberg Developer Resources on GitHub.

Phil Sola has experimented with the WordPress create-block script and found a way to use it also for a multi-block plugin. He published the code on GitHub: Multi blocks plugin.

In this Thursday-Twitch-Stream, Ryan Welcher also covered using create-block for a multi-block plugin in a step-by-step video tutorial. The GitHub repo is available here.

For this I only got to listened for the first 10 minutes and learned about the Dependency Extraction Plugin for webpack that replaces references to external packages to reference to WordPress global script that are already available in any WordPress instance. Because of that all your plugin doesn’t need to bundle all the packages, and be kept really small.

In previous Twitch Streams Welcher covered:

Welcher holds regular Live Twitch streams on Thursdays 10:30 am EDT / 14:30 UTC. Follow him and you will be notified when he goes live.

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

WordPress Events

Page Builder Summit

Page Builder Summit is coming back and will be happening October 18 – 22, 2021. Nathan Wrigley and Anchen Le Roux just published the schedule

Here is the list of Gutenberg / Block-editor presentations

  • Forging the Future with Full Site Editing with Anne McCarthy (10/18 – 9am EDT)
  • The Future of Building WordPress Websites with Brian Gardner (10/18 – 12pm EDT)
  • What does Full Site Editing Mean for Page Builders? with Joe Casabona (10/19/ 9am EDT)
  • Customizing WordPress Block Editor for Client Projects with Birgit Pauli-Haack (10/19/ – 10 am EDT)
  • Mastering modern WordPress with Full-site Editing & Custom Blocks with Rob Stinson (10/20/ – 5am EDT)
  • How to Build Any Page Layout Using Kadence Blocks with Jake Pfohl (10/20/ – 12pm EDT)
  • Building a Custom Blog Archive with Blocks with Mike Oliver (10/21/ 11am EDT)
  • RIP Page Builders with Chris Lubkert (10/19 – 1pm EDT)

The schedule is not out yet. Sign-up for the waitlist to receive notifications.

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Hi Sy, thanks for stopping by and leave a comment. Yes, it should. I take from your questions, that it might not for you. What are you trying to do? And what exactly didn’t work? There might be something else going on.