Life-improving development tools and Theme Revolution – Weekend Edition 192


In the US, November is the month of gratitude and a time of reflection and to counts one’s blessings. I am grateful to be part of a diverse WordPress community, where I have made wonderful friends, even when we sometimes disagree. I learned to argue from a place of love. I am also grateful for you reading these roundup posts very week. Thank you for all the feedback you shared with me over the last year! I learned so much from you and the community.

Next week, I will join my fellow developer advocates for an in-person meetup and Friday is my travel day home again. I won’t be able to compile a newsletter, though. The next edition with drop in to your inbox on November 20th. Don’t use up all the links this week, so you still have some for next week. 🤣

Yours, 💕

PS: Here is a shout-out to the team at Post Status with an event you might be interested in.

Join us in Twitter Spaces on November 19 @ 12PM EST for the
 First Annual State of WordPress News event hosted by Post Status.
We’ll be joined by Matt Medeiros (Matt Report Media), Jeff Chandler (WP Mainline), Joe Howard (WPMRR), Birgit Pauli-Haack (Gutenberg Times), and Sarah Gooding (WP Tavern). Hosted by David Bisset and Dan Knauss (Post Status).

Table of Contents

Tips and Tricks for Content Creators

If you wondered what the difference is between Block Patterns, Reusable Blocks and Template part, Courtney Robinson, has the answer for you: WordPress Block Pattern, Reusable Block, or Template Part

Anne McCarthy posted another short video on a cool feature of WordPress block editor: Connecting The Dots: Transparency (settings) for the win. She wrote: “This video touches on duotone, gradients, cover blocks, dimension controls, and more showing how an improvement in one area unlocks the ability”. Enjoy!

Developing Gutenberg

The Gutenberg team worked hard to get the last features into the Gutenberg 11.9 RC, so they make it into the next WordPress release. If you want to test the release candidate you’ll can download the from GitHub, with the release notes on this page. This version will sport new blocks theme builders and template editors for the comment section, the post template blocks receive spacing controls and the new Gallery block finally comes out of experimental state and is ready to merge with core. More detailed information will reach you via the Gutenberg Changelog podcast and the usual sources of WordPress news.

In her post, Anne McCarthy introduced the template part focus mode of the block editor. In this screen, WordPress users are empowered to modify template parts, like the site wide header or footer, and style them to their liking. The focus mode ensures distraction-free modifications.

Channing Ritter and Javier Arce of the design team share on their Make blog exploration around image cropping and improving the background handling for the Cover block. They presented a few variations and also identified breaks in the workflow. And they have a proposal for WordPress users to chime in and share their opinion. It’s not work that will go into WordPress 5.9. It seems that’s already work for the WordPress 6.0 version.

Beatriz Fialho and Kelly Hoffman shared with the WordPress community their prototypes for the redesign of the Gutenberg Demo Page. Check it out and let them know what you think!

Prototype of the new design for the Gutenberg Demo Page

Sarah Gooding also shared more details in WordPress’ Gutenberg Demo Page Is Getting a Redesign.

Maggie Cabrera publish the 71st Gutenberg + Themes Round-up post with a list of ongoing discussions on Full-Site Editing, Global Styles, and Design Tools. She lists quite a few GitHub issues that could use more input from other theme authors and users. You can, for instance, learn about the Webfonts API implementation for theme.json. (#35591), or the discussion on i18n: Localizing blocks in FSE themes (#36061).

You can also consult the overview issue to gauge progress on major features.

  • Default Theme (Twenty Twenty Two): Overview of Gutenberg issues: #75
  • The Global Styles Interface #34574  
  • Post Comments Loop Block: Tracking issue #34994 
  • Site Editing block placeholders #35501
  • Typography Tools: Tracking defaults for blocks #35604

In Gutenberg Changelog newest episode (#54)Grzegorz (Greg) Ziolkowski and I talk about Gutenberg 11.8 release, the Navigation Block, Full-site Editing and the Plugin Machine. Listen in and write us a review.

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast
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Developing Blocks and Themes for Gutenberg

Aaron Jorbin created the Post Format block for Full-Site Editing theme and the block editor using Block Variations and wrote about it in Introducing Post Format Block. In a follow-up post, he also discussed Three life-improving tools for WordPress Plugin Development. Jorbin describes his experience with Codespaces by GitHub, declared wp-scripts the secret weapon of WordPress development, and explored GitHub Actions. All very educational for aspiring WordPress developers.

A master in both piano and WordPress – How Helen found herself at the inspiring intersection of music and open-source software, is the title of a recent ReadMe podcast episode by the GitHub team with Helen Hou-Sandí, a Lead WordPress Developer and Director of Open-Source Initiatives at 10up.

Dave Smith, developer on the Gutenberg team, posted a video tutorial on how to get registered images sizes in Gutenberg.

This week, Ryan Welcher live-streamed on how to add end-2-end test with Puppeteer to test blocks during development. He shared a recap and resources on his blog: Live Stream Recap: Adding e2e tests to custom a Gutenberg block

 “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.

Tooltips and Validation for JSON Files

Speaking of life-improving tools… David Gwyer published an outstanding tutorial on how to get “Automatic Tooltips & Validation for theme.json & block.json Files!” via the schemas sent to SchemaStore. Gwyer shows you how to add the schema URL into the top of the file and then how your IDE shows you description and syntax for each property to be configured.

Picture courtesy of David Gwyer.

Marcus Kazmierczak integrated the schemas into the Gutenberg repository, so they are version controlled, can also be used for testing and updating during development and, subsequently, also update documentation when more properties and features are added in future versions of the schemas.

Current URLs are:

The ideal URL will be something like, but that is still in the works.

André Maneiro has been preparing the theme.json implementation for the upgrade from v1 to v2 – You can follow along on this GitHub issue (#36154 Update theme.json schema migrations)

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

Full-Site Editing

Ona by DeoThemes Just Raised the Bar for WordPress Block Theme Design headlined Justin Tadlock. He wrote: “We are now at a point where the block system can nearly match traditional theming in features. There are still some kinks to work out and a few missing pieces, but Ona embraces block templating and global styles like few have before. It is modern, almost minimalist, yet packed with potential for a site owner who wants to share their content in style.” The theme Ona is now available in the WordPress repository

Earlier this week, I presented for the iThemes webinar “What is Full-Site Editing”. After a quick run down of the new terms (probably a bit fast) I did a demo of the new Appearance > Editor (beta) screen, and the query loop block. During Q & A, I also showed the new Gallery block. On November 22nd, 2021 at 7pm, I will give a similar presentation at the Meetup group in Montclair with plenty of Q & A afterwards.

The WordPress Block Theme Revolution Is Quietly Picking Up Momentum to find Justin Tadlock, and in his article he gives a great overview of the current scene of themes built for Full-Site Editing in mind. From the Blockbase parent theme and its child themes by Automattic, built as universal themes that care to site with or with our full-site editing available, to the new default theme of Twenty-Twenty-Two that is still in development. “Having one of its most well-known theme authors build on top of the new system shows that maybe this whole block-based theme system might actually be worth exploring.” he wrote, after he mentioned Anders Norén’s block theme called Tove.

Aaron Jorbin share his Initial Thoughts on Full Site Editing in this blog post. He had just returned to WordPress as the foundation of his site, after a venture into Headless WordPress. While working with the Twenty-Twenty-Two theme, Jorbin notices a few missing features, like how to set the favicon for the site without the Customizer, and he felt it to be a step backwards to “Save and Surprise” where a faithful preview is not available, also missing fallback option for a missing featured image.

WordPress Events

November 16th, 2021 – 11am EST / 16:00 UTC
Testing the latest features in Gutenberg
GoDaddy Pro Online w/ Andy Fragen, Birgit Pauli-Haack, George Mamadashvili

November 19th, 2021, 12pm ET / 16:00 UTC
Twitter Spaces: State of WordPress News 
With Matt Medeiros (Matt Report Media), Jeff Chandler (WP Mainline), Joe Howard (WPMRR), Birgit Pauli-Haack (Gutenberg Times), and Sarah Gooding (WP Tavern). Hosted by David Bisset and Dan Knauss (Post Status).
Hosted by Post Status

November 22, 2021 – 7pm ET / 23:00 UTC
Meetup Montclair, New Jersey
What is Full-Site Editing? w/ Birgit Pauli-Haack

February 4+5, 2022
WordCamp Birmingham, AL

Call for Sponsors and Speakers are open now.

March 4th, 2022 all day
WordFest 2022

a 24-hour festival of WordPress

On the Calendar for WordPress Online Events site, you can browse a list of the upcoming WordPress Events, around the world, including WordCamps, WooCommerce, Elementor, Divi Builder and Beaver Builder meetups.

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Featured image: Photo by Kimson Doan on Unsplash