Modern WordPress Development is hard, Theme Building and more -Weekend Edition #180

Howdy, my friend!

Greeting from Germany, where we follow a mask mandate again for buildings, shops, and restaurants. The weather is switching rapidly between cold and rain to clear sky’s and heat within hours. We learned quite a bit about power line networking while setting up our home office for two at my parent’s home.

After the break last week, we have plenty of information, discussions, and creative updates for you. Due to vacation time, we didn’t see a big changelog, though. It’s all good. We all can use a breather and catch up on the finer points of Gutenberg development.

Let’s dive in,
Yours, 💕

Gutenberg 11.2

Gutenberg 11.2 was released. You can read up about it on the release post, as mentioned above, there were many small but powerful changes to blocks, site editor. Sarah Gooding has the skinny for you on the WordPress Tavern.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I recorded the Gutenberg changelog episode #49 yesterday.

📢 New Episode #49 is now available! 🎙️
Birgit Pauli-Haack and Grzegorz Ziolkowski discuss Gutenberg plugin release 11.2, drag and drop, flex layout, core data shortcuts and modern WordPress development.

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog podcast
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Modern WordPress Development is Hard!

My friend, Chris Wiegman, started an interesting, multi-faceted discussion on a changing WordPress ecosystem for developers on Twitter. Others chimed in, like Matias Ventura, Alain Schlesser, Victor Ramirez, Rich Tabor, Mark Wilkinson, Jessica Lyschik and many more.

Since the tweet and the blog post, Chris Wiegman wrote another blog post “Learn React Fast”, raving about the ReactJS for Beginners Course by Wes Bos.

Stack Overflow published their annual survey results. Here are some numbers.

  • This year, React.js (40.1%) surpassed jQuery (34.4%) as the most commonly used web framework.
  • JavaScript completes its ninth year in a row as the most commonly used programming language.
  • Technology: 22.54% of Professional Developers work in PHP, 68.62% work in JavaScript.

It’s quite reassuring that WordPress is not stuck where it was 10 years ago (v 3.2w3tech 13.1%). The web has evolved exponentially since then, and so has WordPress and the surrounding community.

I am eagerly awaiting to read through all the various branches of the twitter thread where more developers shared their experiences and their lessons learned. The discussion is, of course, ongoing. It seems to be coming in waves.

 “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. The index 2020 is here

Content Creation and #nocode WordPress

Gutenberg has opened the eco-system to many possibilities that haven’t been there before, at least not without in-depth knowledge in software programming

Preparing for a talk at a non-WordPress conference, Chris Lema published parts of his slidedeck in Using WordPress Without Writing Any Code. Lema also inspired me to look at Uncanny’s Automator for WordPress plugin.

Tammy Lister wrote a tutorial on Creating a page to display content from across multiple sites. She gives you a tour of the RSS Block, how to add it and combine it with other blocks. Lister also shows you how to style it via theme.json and how to build a page template in the new site editor. In conclusion, she wrote: “Creating a collection of content on a page previously took a lot more to do. You would either have had to know development or used a plugin. Now, you can use a block that core provides, and it has styling out of the box ready to go. “

B.J. Keeton of Elegant Themes wrote a tutorial on How to Use the WordPress Event Block by Automattic. There are plenty of occasions, when you don’t need a big event’s management plugin to announce and market your events on your website. More often than none, event registration and attendee management is better handled by other SaaS products. With the event block, you can highlight your event and guide the future audience to the right place for more information, registration, and payment.

In his latest video, Nick Diego, walks us through how to manage the visibility of block content using the Block Visibility WordPress plugin, while making live edits to the plugin’s website.

Chris Wiegman wrote a comparison theme review: Blocksy vs GeneratePress. The article is helpful not only because of those two themes. It’s a good blueprint, on a decision-making process for selecting a theme for your site. Wiegman describes clearly the problem to be solved and why he took the approach he took.

Block-based Theme Development

Jeff Ong posted Configuring Theme Design with theme.json on News section. A deep dive into the new method to configure themes and support features of the block editor.

The state of Full-Site Editing was the topic of last month’s Hallway Hangout with Anne McCarthy and theme developers around the globe. McCarthy provides a summary of the topic and the recording is available on YouTube

Brian Gardner, former StudioPress, now building block-based themes at Frost. Take a look at the just released Starter Sites.

Channing Ritter of the design team published additional details on block-based Widgets in WordPress 5.8 and Beyond. In this post, Ritter highlighted a few cool things that are now possible with widgets, and she took a look at where things may be heading next.

Theme creation is now easier, found Tammie Lister in her post, while Justin Tadlock points out the obvious in his article: (…) we are not there yet.

Joe Casabona has joined Carolina Nymark and Fränk Klein in offering an online course on Full-Site Editing: Master Full-Site Editing. Casabona offers a 50% discount for now.

Eric Karkovack asked, Will Full Site Editing Help WordPress Themes Finally Reach Their Potential?”. He wrote: “Instead of offering completely rendered designs, a theme might include an array of options for the header, footer, navigation, and content area. From there, a website owner can choose the options that best fit their needs and fill in the blanks with content.

Carolina Nymark updated her Block Markup VSCode extension. It includes autocomplete snippets that helps you add blocks to your templates faster. For the latest update, Nymark included the change from Query Loop to Post template and added the Search Block and Query Pagination.

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 Blocks for Gutenberg

Alex Standiford chimes in with “Blocks Have Changed How We Approach Building Themes – Here’s How.

Rich Tabor helps you Manage WordPress publishing tasks with the Todo List Block. After creating the Markdown Comment plugin, he also created a To-Do list block for content creators.

I list it under the Block Building headline because Tabor has been an early adopter of Gutenberg with CoBlocks which GoDaddy bought even before the Block Editor was merged into WordPress Core in 2018. Studying his code and approach will make you a better block builder.

Tabor has been busy writing tutorials for building and extending blocks on his blog

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