Patterns, Block Styles and Slotfills—Weekend Edition #263


One more week, and I will start my Summer vacation. It’ll be a mixture between, pursuing neglected passing projects, giving family support, birthday celebrations and home improvement projects. My husband and I will join my in-laws (MIL + SIL) on a river-cruise on the Danube and visit new places and revisit familiar places.

The last touches on the WordPress 6.3 release are happening. If you haven’t yet, check out all the information that’s out there, and you find in the last two weekend editions.

Yours, 💕

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

WordPress 6.3

On the WordPress News site, Anne McCarthy published Synced Patterns: The Evolution of Reusable Blocks. You’ll learn everything there is to know about how the term “Synced patterns” is replacing the term “Reusable blocks”, and how this brings a unified creation experience for new pattern to your WordPress site with the new version.

Many users have been applying reusable blocks to CTA, bios and compliance copy on their sites. Those will stay intact. Nothing changes here. The same mechanism you used to create reusable blocks, is also used to create synced patterns. It’s now also expanded to create standard patterns. A feature many site owners and designers have been waiting for. McCarthy and I also talked about this during our podcast recording.

Matt Medeiros, publisher of WPMinute, asked in his latest episode:
Will WordPress 6.3 be the best ever? “There are a lot of exciting features coming to WordPress 6.3 which will set the tone for the next few years of our favorite CMS.” he wrote.

Jonathan Bossenger provides a recording of his Testing WordPress 6.3 – Developer Edition session. You’ll learn how to install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin, convert a local installation to 6.3 RC for testing. Then use this setup to test it against a theme that is in active development, and then revert it back to WordPress 6.2.2. With WordPress 6.3 due on August 8, 2023, now would be a great time to help test the release candidate, as well as confirm that your plugins and themes are ready for the 6.3 release.

Gutenberg 16.3

Michael Burridge led the latest Gutenberg release. It was mainly a maintenance release and comprised of a myriad of bug fixes for features slated for WordPress 6.3. Burridge highlighted in his release post What’s new in Gutenberg 16.3? (26 July) 

🎙️ 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 and I talked about this release and, of course, also about WordPress 6.3 while recording the Gutenberg Changelog 87. It’s always a great joy to listen to Anne and take a deep dive into the Site editor with her. The episode is still at the editor, but will be available via your favorite podcast app over the weekend. My favorite Podcast app is Pocket Casts and I have been a paying subscriber for many years.

Sarah Gooding reported on the release as well in her article: Gutenberg 16.3 Adds New Tools for Patterns. “Most notably, custom user patterns now have a dropdown menu for renaming, duplicating and deleting them. Patterns and template parts that come with themes will only have the “duplicate” option available since they cannot be deleted or renamed.” she wrote.

 “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

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

Jamie Marsland released a new video with a tons of WordPress News that you probably missed with a demo of the Justin Tadlock’s Breadcrumbs Block, the time to read block, and vertical text feature, and finally short appearances from Mike McAlister and Kevin Geary, with strong opinions on block themes specifically and Gutenberg as a whole.

When users are new to WordPress, taxonomy is one of the concepts, that is harder to explain. Sarah Snow published a tutorial: Categories vs. Tags: What’s the difference? on the Learn.WordPress site. She shows you how to use them and that they are good for SEO juice and enhances content discovery for your readers. And never have posts “uncategorized” again.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Last week, Justin Tadlock published part 1 of his Beyond Block Styles series. In part 2 he walks you through how to build custom styles for the core Separator Block. Beyond block styles, part 2: building a custom style for the Separator block. It’s a deep dive into the inner workings of creating block styles for core blocks. You would need to have a certain set-up in place to follow along, and Tadlock takes you by the hand on using the WordPress scripts package with themes. I can hardly wait for the third part. I probably see first drafts next week.

Oh, and while I have you: Are you a developer with a topic idea that you would like to share with the community? How about publishing it WordPress Developer Blog? Read the tips and guidelines and find out how you can contribute. Our next monthly meeting will be on August 3rd, 2023 at 13:00 UTC in the WP Slack #core-dev-blog channel. Or just DM me on Slack @bph and we’ll set up a talk.

If you are a novice to working with NodeJS or npm, Jonathan Bossenger has a tutorial for you on Learn.WordPress: Installing Node.js and npm for local WordPress development.

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

In his live coding session on twitch, Ryan Welcher covered – it seems – his most favorite topic: Using custom SlotFill to extend a codebase, using is ever evolving Advanced Query Loop plugin and adding more settings to the plugin’s sidebar.

Michael Burridge and Justin Tadlock presented at this month’s Developer Hours about Styling Blocks. The recording is available on WordPress TV. The panel talked about CSS custom properties (also known as CSS variables). You learn how to leverage them in custom blocks to give users more control over the styling and presentation of their sites.

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

Featured Image: CCO licensed photo by lanche86 from the WordPress Photo Directory.

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