Phase 3: Collaboration – Kick-off, add commands to the palette, server-side filter for theme.json –Weekend Edition #260


Wow. This weekend edition holds a lot of date/times of upcoming online events for all WordPress users, developers, designers, site builders, and content creators.

The most important might be the the WordPress 6.3 Product Demo on July 20th, (16:00 UTC) roughly 14 days before the final release, filled to the brink with new and enhanced features. Watching the Product Demo gets you up to speed quickly. Yes, there will be a recording, too.

Don’t forget to consult the workshop schedule of the training team on the Learn WordPress site.

Have a wonderful weekend! Mine will be dominated by unpacking boxes and eating delicious food and chatting with long-distance friends.

Be well.

Yours, đź’•

Next Live Q & A: Design Systems and Theme.json on July 21, 2023

David Bowman and and Alec Geatches from WordPress VIP will show off how they keep design systems developed in Figma and themes in WordPress in synch and their workflows streamlined. Joni Halabi, senior developer from Georgetown University will join me as co-host.

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Joen Asmussen published for the WordPress design team the Design Share: Jun 19–Jun 30, recounting all the great UI and UX work the design team contributed during the past two weeks.

  • Legend Style pictograms for the Site Editor.
  • Navigation Focus Mode
  • Reusable Blocks, Library, “Patterns”, and
  • a small fix to the layout shift when editing

Reminder: Anne McCarthy and Emily Clark will co-host a Hallway Hangout to discussion WordPress 6.3 performance improvements on July 27, 2023, at 15:00 UTC to discuss WordPress 6.3 performance improvements led by performance reps Emily Clark and Felix Arntz and also look ahead to WordPress 6.4.

WordPress 6.3

Anne McCarthy and Rich Tabor will present at the WordPress 6.3 Live Product Demo on July 20th, 2023 at 16:00 UTC (12 pm EDT / 18:00 CEST). “Join the WordPress community for a first look at 6.3 in action during a live product demonstration.” Attendees will learn about recent improvements to the Site Editor, Patterns, Command Palette, and Navigation. There will be a Q&A session, and you may submit questions in advance via the #walkthrough channel on WordPress Make Slack

Sarah Gooding reports on WordPress 6.3 Beta 3 Released, Introduces UI Changes to Pattern Management. “A last-minute PR has renamed Library to Patterns in the Site Editor and was cherry-picked to get it included in Beta 3.” she wrote, and then continues with the reasons.

Only tangentially related to the Block editor, I still want you to have this overall change on your radar: In his post on the Make Blog, John Blackburn informed the WordPress community that the project is Dropping support for PHP 5 .

“The minimum supported version was last adjusted in WordPress 5.2 in 2019, and since then, usage of PHP 5.6 has dropped to 3.9% of monitored WordPress installations as of July 2023,”

John Blackbourn, WordPress core developer

Sarah Gooding also has the skinny for you in WordPress 6.3 to Drop Support for PHP 5

🎙️ 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

Gutenberg Phase 3: Collaboration starts

Following his March 2023 Gutenberg Phase 3 post, Matias Ventura, architect on the Gutenberg project, published a series of posts to go deeper on all the aspects of the next phase and outline the requirements.

  • In Real-time Collaboration, he outlines plans for concurrent collaboration and shared edits.
  • In Workflows, Ventura discusses the requirements for the full publishing workflow and the async collaboration needs for a content team.
  • In Revisions, Ventura covers the full overhaul of the current system, by making it aware of Blocks and edits on all data layers at the same time.
  • In Media Library, he aims at expanding media management capabilities, unifying the interface with the block editor and improving overall media workflows.

There might be more posts coming and, of course, I’ll keep you in the loop.

Screenshot shared on the post about Workflows

Sarah Gooding summarized it all in WordPress Unveils Plans for Real-Time Collaboration with Major Improvements to Revisions and the Media Library

In his post, What Collaborative Features Will Bring to WordPress, Eric Karkovack explored a few scenarios that demonstrate how new collaborative features can streamline working together in a team responsible for publishing content on a larger site.

 “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

Nick Diego announced a new season of his “Builder Basics” series. The next event is scheduled for July 17th 7pm UTC ( 3 pm EDT) Goodbye Reusable Blocks—Hello Synced Patterns (and more). He’ll review the updates coming in WordPress 6.3 for reusable blocks and explore the improved editing flows for patterns and template parts.

In another event, Bud Kraus will demystify the Navigation Block for you on July 11 at 19:00 UTC / 3 pm EDT. You will learn how to set your site’s navigation using only blocks and not the classic menu system.

Bijay Yadav, long-time contributor to the open-source WordPress project, published his first theme in the Theme directory. Geum is block themes allowing the user to take full advantage of the new site editor to customize their site.

Jamie Marsland posted a tutorial on How to Choose the perfect WordPress Block Theme. He started out summarizing the advantages of a block theme over a classic theme, and listed all the considerations to take into account when comparing block themes from the repository or other theme directories. He also mentioned his favorites: Basti by Ana Segota, Ollie WP by Mike McAlister and Spectra One by the Astra team.

Anne McCarthy published the Summary of feedback from the latest FSE Program Momery Makeover Summary. “Since this call for testing took place during the early stages of an iterative process, several aspects of the feedback provided have already been swiftly addressed, thanks to ongoing development for WordPress 6.3. The relatively limited amount of bugs received and feedback aligning with feature development reflects a level of solidness in the direction of recent improvements.” she wrote.

On WPTavern, Sarah Gooding reviewed the latest block theme for blogging – Hey, built by Automattic in here article Hey: An Elegantly Simple WordPress Block Theme for Blogging.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

In his article for the Torque Magazine, How to Modify WordPress Block Themes (JSON Beginner’s Guide), Nick Schäferhoff explored ways on how you can customize a block theme’s theme.json file for those of us, who are used to tinker around via functions.php and style.css.

Jonathan Bossenger published his series for live streams on Developing Sendig a Block theme on YouTube. The goal is to create a theme following the designs by Emily Rapport. (See Weekend Edition 253 for details).

Sendig Theme

You can take Wes Theron‘s tutorial on Designing with row and stack blocks on Learn WordPress. “Using the Group block is one of the cornerstones of mastering the block editor. When you select a Group block, you have the variations of the Group block, the standard group, rows, and stacks. In this video tutorial, you learn how you can use rows and stacks to achieve various designs.

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Ronald Huereca published a tutorial on Adding Commands to the WordPress Command Palette can be accomplished, ahead of the official WordPress 6.3 Dev Notes. He explained what the Command Palette is, what it can be used for, and step-by-step how you can add your custom commands to it via a plugin.

A new post on the WordPress Developer Blog covers how to modify theme.json data using server-side filters. Discover, with Nick Diego as your guide, the possibilities of theme.json server-side filters. Learn how to modify color palettes dynamically or restrict block controls based on user permissions.

The recording of this week’s Live Q & A is now available on YouTube: Leveraging Gutenberg’s architecture to take plugin development to new levels. Learn how Gutenberg components and scripts can be used outside the block editor to revamp a plugin’s code base in this Case Study of GiveWP 3.0 with Jason Adams, Director of Development, Jon Waldstein, Lead Developer of GiveWP and co-host Lena Morita, JavaScript Developer on the Components team. The list of resources is available in the description of the video.

Ryan Welcher announced the topics for the next Twitch streams:

Recordings of previous streams can be viewed on his YouTube Channel.

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: Victoria Pickering “Old Type”, found on

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