Did you miss your weekly Gutenberg fix? I had some great days off, no traveling, no projects, just my books, my house and hanging out with my husband. It was nice and quiet for a chance. So, well rested, I am here to accompany you into the last week of the WordPress 6.1 release cycle. The Release Candidate 5 is available and you can read more about the WordPress 6.1 Release Day Process.
Gutenberg Times has been nominated under the category “WordPress Blogs” and the Gutenberg Changelog in the category, yep you guessed it, “WordPress Podcasts” both categories are further down the ballot sheet, number 18 and 19.
Please consider voting, only, of course, if you find it worthwhile, and it stacks up against the competition 🙂 You can only vote once per email address. Needless to mention, the email address also subscribes you to the weekly newsletter, which is well-rounded and well researched. It’s a newsletter, I read every week, together with WPOwls, The Repository, and Post Status.
I would be grateful, if the Gutenberg Times and the Gutenberg Changelog received more than five votes this time around. 💕
Now, dive into the vastness of awesome content produced in the WordPress community about the block editor. The Time to read is 15 minutes, not counted the time it will take to follow all links. Don’t take it all at one, space it out over the next week 💡
Have a fantastic weekend and to those who celebrate it:
Happy Halloween! 👻 🎃
Developing Gutenberg and WordPress
Anne McCarthy shared with us the list of writing flow enhancements of the Block Editor via the latest Gutenberg plugin releases. My two favorites are the Links automation with “[[” and the distraction-free writing mode. I also like how the updated Documents Settings space feels not less busy than before.
Gutenberg plugin version 14.4
In his post What’s new in Gutenberg 14.4? (26 October), first-time release lead, JuanMa Garrido, shared the fun fact that Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press in the year 1440. He highlighted the following from this plugin release:
- Explore easier navigation and larger previews of patterns in the Inserter
- Enjoy distraction free writing
- Control image captions from the block toolbar
- Lock the ability to edit the navigation block
- Take advantage of improvements to Fluid Typography
Sarah Gooding also covered the release in her article Gutenberg 14.4 Introduces Distraction-Free Mode, Redesigns Pattern Inserter. She started with “Gutenberg 14.4 was released today with long-awaited support for distraction-free editing, to the delight of content editors around the world. It hides all non-essential UI and clears the canvas for a focus on text-based content creation.”
It is a special delighted to have the brilliant Anne McCarthy as co-host on the Gutenberg Changelog podcast. We mentioned the Museum of Block Art, Interactive Fiction, Gutenberg 14.4 and what’s next for the Phase 2 of Gutenberg project.
The 75th episode will arrive at your favorite podcast app over the weekend. Oh BTW: Last week, Matt Mullenweg announced on his blog that the team of Pocket Casts open-sourced the code for the iPhone and Android apps. You can subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast via Pocket Casts
🎙️ 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
Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and content creators
Anne McCarthy also shared their enthusiasm for Distraction-free writing with you on YouTube. They wrote: “It drastically reduces tooling options to allow you to focus in on your content. This is such a game changer for me that I quickly recorded this video the same day I explored it’s current iteration ahead of the next Gutenberg release! I hope any writers out there get excited too. Since this is an early feature as well, please explore and report back any feedback you have, so iterations can continue!“
Sarah Gooding took a sneak peek at a new feature to come to the Block editor and summarized the discussion in this post: “Gutenberg Contributors Explore a New Browse Mode for Navigating the Site Editor“. Gooding wrote: “Although the project’s contributors have been referring to it as “browse mode,” it is essentially a redesign for the existing UI to make it more intuitive for users to navigate. Gutenberg may not need any more new “modes” but the site editor is in dire need design improvements that will unify the experience and make it less chaotic for getting around.”
In earlier Gutenberg Times Weekend Editions, you already got the chance to see the beta version of this. Now it’s live in its first iteration. Sarah Gooding has the scoop for you. WordPress Themes Directory Adds Style Variation Previews. She reports: “Meta team contributors are also working on adding the ability to filter the directory for themes with style variations. Dufresne proposed creating a new
style-variations theme tag as the simplest route towards implementing this.” You can learn more about this proposal from the trac ticket: Add ability to filter for themes with style variations
The Theme shop Olive Themes has been offering themes in the WordPress.org repository only for two months and just published their third block theme, Arc FSE. They describe it as “Arc Fse is a free, multi-use block-based theme that adheres to the Full Site Editing features added in WordPress 5.9. As a result, you can alter every component of your site, including the colors, typography, and page layout, to meet your needs.” The other two themes are Medcity and Exo
Ana Segota of Anariel Design announced their new eCommerce Block Theme named Olorien at the WooCommerce Marketplace. According to Segota, the theme is packed with ready-to-use block patterns and makes creating pages from scratch an easy drag-and-drop experience.
Artemio Morales calls himself an ‘Electronic Literature Creator’ and introduced the Gutenberg Interactive Fiction Engine, an early experiment.
“Interactive fiction is software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment. Works in this form can be understood as literary narratives (..). “, I learn from Wikipedia.
When using the Morales’ demo, the story starts with an image of a forest and text. Below you find three choices to continue the story: one leads you deeper into the forest, one guides you to the next clearing and the third has you headed for the town, each giving you a different continuation of the story. Then on the next station, you get to have a choice again.
The journey, on which you can take your readers can be quite elaborate and doesn’t have to be all text. You can use any core block that’s available to you. The interface is still a bit rough, and if you want to try it out I recommend watching Morales’ video walk-through.
Morales also lists a few use cases beyond the interactive story telling.
- “Choose your own adventure” YouTube stories
- Interactive comics
- Audio stories with branching paths
- Marketing and educational content
- Multimedia posts incorporating elements from all the above
Morales ends his introduction with ideas how to improve the plugin and what other blocks might enhance the production of such an interactive fiction/non-fiction suite.
The plugin Gutenberg Interactive Fiction Engine is available for download on GitHub and the code is open-source for discovery and collaboration.
Are you trying to figure out how to use WordPress, the Block Editor and FSE to make your website? Long-time WordPress educator and early adopter of the block editor, Bud Kraus of JoyofWP will hold a paid two-day live class starting 11/8. The second part will take place on 11/15. Learn all the fundamentals of how to make a WordPress website in a hands-on live class. Designing Your WordPress Website Step By Step.Use the discount code ‘Take10’ to get 10% discount.
Justin Tadlock published a fun new single Block plugin called ‘Powered by‘ in the plugin repository. It’s a block that generates a random “Powered by” messages. It is meant to replace the typical “Powered by Theme/WordPress” message in footers, but can be used anywhere. You have the choice of messages with or without emoji. The code is also available on GitHub
Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks
Mike McAllister, WP Engine and early adopter of the block editor, introduced OllieWP, “a hub for the next generation of WordPress”. with tutorial blog posts on design tools, full-site editing, patterns and more. The latest post covers Global styles and the future of CSS and why this feature is a “complete game-changer”.
Michelle Schlup‘s WordCamp US 2022 talk The future of themes: designing for the block editor and beyond. The description reads: “This talk works through the entire thinking process as it relates to theme design. It offers a thorough checklist of steps and tools for designing themes that support WordPress core functionality, custom templates and content, common plugins, and an array of standard and custom Gutenberg blocks.”
In his A beginner’s guide to the WordPress template hierarchy, Jonathan Bossenger covers how the template hierarchy works, and how it affects both classic and block themes.
In the WordPress TV video Let’s code: global styles variations in block themes also by Jonathan Bossenger, you can follow along and learn how to create a new block theme, and add a few new Style variations to ship with the theme.
Last week, Daisy Olsen and Justin Tadlock held the Hallway hangout: block theme development features in WordPress 6.1 – a casual chat about some Block Theme features that are planned to land in WordPress 6.1. This is the recording.
Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.
Michael Burridge in collaboration with other contributors, published the course: Introduction to Block Development: Build your first custom block to Learn.WordPress. You are invited to a step-by-step tutorial on building a real life example of a block for the editor, from setting up your development environment, using create-block scaffolding to testing your first iteration of the block. As you work through the project, you will add configuration options that enable the user to customize the look and feel of the block to their liking or to match a style guide.
Ryan Welcher published a two-part series of live streams on Creating Custom WordPress block that supports Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) on YouTube
Welcher starts developing a custom block that interacts with both, native custom post meta registered via code and with fields created using Advanced Custom Fields. He demos the use of
InspectorControls and the use of the
useEntityProp hook to retrieve data from the custom fields and to modify them through the block’s code. Welcher also shows you how to modify the custom block, so it can be used in a Query Loop block and have the value of the custom field be displayed on Archive pages.
On a side note, Welcher also published the code snippets he has been using during his Twitch stream’s development projects on VS Code: Modern WordPress Developer Snippets. If you use Visual Studio Code as your development tool, you can add them via
Code > Prefernces > Extensions
Riad Benguella posted Secrets of Gutenberg: The keyboard shortcuts package and explains how to use the package with any ReactJS context at first. Further, into the post you also learn how to use the package in your WordPress plugin or Block plugin. If you want to contribute to Gutenberg code, you can use this package to solve a long-standing issue by yours truly and create a keyboard shortcut to open the “Edit HTML” on a single block. 😉
Carlo Daniele released the course Custom Gutenberg Block Development With the WordPress Block Editor on Kinsta Academy. You learn how to set-up your local development space, how to use the official Create-Block scaffolding tool, build your first block with adding controls to the Block Tools bar, the sidebar, and Block Styles. In the final lesson, Daniele covers how to use InnerBlocks, and other fine-tuning steps.
Upcoming WordPress events
November 18, 2022
WordFest Live Returns – the 24-hour Festival of WordPress
February 17 – 19, 2023
WordCamp Asia 2023
Contributors are gathering to organize WordCamp Germany next year in Munich, Germany. It’s so exciting to me, and I can hardly wait for a WordCamp in my hometown! Sign-up for notifications when the organizers have more details.
Have a look at the schedule of upcoming WordCamps to find one near you.
Learn WordPress Online Meetups
October 31, 2022 – 4 pm EDT / 20:00 UTC
Part 2: Re-Creating Block Designs w/ Wes Theron
November 1, 2022 – 8:30 am EDT / 12:30 UTC
On Twitch, WordPress development live stream: Internationalization
November 3, 2022 – 10am EDT / 14:00 UTC
Internationalization in Block Themes w/ Jonathan Bossenger
Photo from around the World
With in-person meetup rebooting all over the world, I resumed sharing photos from Gutenberg talks at WordCamps today.