Gutenberg Changelog #30 – Gutenberg 9.1, Prep for WordPress 5.6, Good First Bugs, Global Styles and more

Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog #30 - Gutenberg 9.1, Prep for WordPress 5.6, Good First Bugs, Global Styles and more

In this episode, Birgit Pauli-Haack and Mark Uraine discuss Gutenberg 9.1, Preparation for WordPress 5.6, Good First Bugs, Global Styles and Who’s Contributing the Latest.

Show Notes / Transcript

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Show Notes

Good First Bugs

Contributing code to WordPress

Gutenberg 9.1 Released

What’s in active development and discussed?

Before the End

Page Builder Summit, Oct 5 – 9, 2020: 35 Industry Experts Helping You Build Better Websites Faster


Birgit Pauli-Haack: Hello and welcome to our 30th episode of the Gutenberg Changelog. In today’s episode, we will talk about Gutenberg 9.1, preparations for WordPress 5.6, the Good First Bugs, global styles, and a lot of other things. I am Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator at the Gutenberg Times, and I’m here with my co-host Mark Uraine, designer at Automattic and core contributor to WordPress.

Well, hi, Mark. How are you doing today?

Mark Uraine: Hey, Birgit, actually I got sick last week.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, no!

Mark Uraine: I know. I didn’t get tested for COVID, but I definitely quarantined myself further just in case. I’m doing a lot better now though, and have pretty much kicked all the symptoms. So I’ve also got my new glasses. I don’t know if I told you last time that I was waiting around for my new glasses to come in. I’ve got them now.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes.

Mark Uraine: No more fiddling with the old ones. But what about you? How have you been doing?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I’m very well, lots of client work, and since Wednesday, I’m back at my favorite topic, the block editor and the Gutenberg, phase two.

Mark Uraine: All right. That’s so good to hear. 

Listener Questions

We have a listener question, actually, this episode. Bud Kraus has a question for us, Birgit. He asks, “What does the edit select button in the top bar of the editor refer to?” Now…

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That is a great question.

Mark Uraine: Right?

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Now you and me were talking and that came into, that was introduced well into while we’ve been doing our podcasts. And I’m surprised that we didn’t cover it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No. And I’m glad we’re picking it up now, Bud.

Mark Uraine: Right. Thank you, Bud, for bringing it to our attention. 

So yeah, the edit select modes up in that top bar were introduced to help solve an accessibility issue. Before the select mode, keyboard navigation had to jump through several stops to get from one block to the next in the editor. So you had to tab through all the blocks, toolbar items, and features before you can actually jump to the next block. And that was just taking way too long.

So select mode, keyboard navigation skips the blocks toolbar and can jump from block to block very easily with the keyboard. We made sure that jumping between these modes is very easy. So if you hit the escape key, you go into select mode and you kind of see a visual change in the editor. The block that you have selected is kind of all highlighted blue. There’s no toolbar. And then hitting enter, or immediately starting to type will take you right back into edit mode where you start actually editing the block itself. I hope that helps clarify that purpose though.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it does. And so it is when I’m kind of typing in my paragraph block, I hit escape and then I can navigate to the block below.

Mark Uraine: Right. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And if I’m kind of going with the arrow keys from block to block, hitting enter I’m getting into the block. That’s pretty cool. Yeah. So why would I need the button up there?

Mark Uraine: You don’t, if you know the keyboard shortcuts, but maybe those, that’s always there to help out. Right? 

And in fact, I know that there’s an issue on GitHub to introduce possibly a browse mode in there as well, which will allow you to actually click any links in the editor and jump to those links, if there are other pages on your website, to be able to jump to those pages, actually, from the editor itself. Yeah. We’re kind of experimenting with that one right now.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So I’m just thinking about how I do it now, because I have seen myself jumping from different pages. I think it’s when you’re linked to them and do the right mouse click and select open a new tab, then you actually can see where this link actually goes to.

Mark Uraine: You get the front. If I’m right, you get the front end view of that page, though.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right.

Mark Uraine: This would kind of keep the editor, keep it all in the editor. So you would jump to that page while keeping it in the editor.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s a good feature.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Why haven’t we thought about that before?

Mark Uraine: Well, someone did, but we just haven’t implemented it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Excellent. We have a few of those in our list today.

Mark Uraine: Right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Someone thought about it three years ago. Yeah.

Dear listeners, I just wanted to remind you if you have a question and be it, whatever it is on the block editor, you could send it in via email at that’s We are always happy to entertain and answer listener questions so don’t be afraid or don’t be shy, not afraid. Of course we are not that scary, right?


Yeah. From the announcement point we have on Wednesday, I participated in the Dev Chat meeting of the core team, and Josepha Haden updated the scoop of the upcoming WordPress 5.6 release. So full site editing was never really in the release. It was announced as a public beta, but the navigation screen was supposed to be in the release and they are not ready yet. There were quite a few things where there’s a revamp of the original thought and now the team needs to work on that. I was actually quite relieved when I heard that or saw that. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Mark Uraine: I’m with you. I’m very relieved actually.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes. Because none of the features felt really ready or coming out of experimental yet on the plugin, and getting them out of experimental too soon is never a good thing when you have millions of users using it.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, and she also said, “We heard it from others.” I think Riad also said this, that the next three weeks the focus on the team will be the widget screen because that will be in 5.6, and it’s also a big feature and there is a call for testing out. We will have, of course, the link to it in the show notes, but Anne McCarthy put together with Andrei Draganescu and you, Mark, the test for introducing the widget screen and the testing flow with about 15 steps. It’s not scary at all.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Some of that’s just kind of making sure you have a WordPress site ready to do.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s right. It starts with whatever site using WordPress 5 and then make sure you have a theme that supports widgets.

Mark Uraine: Exactly.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. It’s an interesting way to go through that and discover, actually, this new feature. So even if you don’t want to participate in reporting bugs that are within there, Anne also has a few questions, then, “Did it crash? Did the editor perform expected? Was it intuitive enough for you to add blocks and also your third-party widgets from other plugins? Have you tried doing it keyboard only? And if you know how to use a screen reader, does it work well with that?” So these are the five big questions and there’s some more information on that. So, yeah, help us help the team get this feature ready for….

Mark Uraine: Yeah. For many of you, many of our listeners out there, you know that with the Gutenberg plugin, we’ve already kind of taken over the widget screen in the admin. So kind of we’ve actually implemented a lot of the design changes that I was hoping to get in. And now that they’re implemented, the flow is a lot better. 

If you’ve tested it prior to this release, 9.1, you probably had a very bad experience. Well, after 9.1, your experience should be better now. It’s a lot more intuitive. It flows a lot better, the legacy widgets or third-party widgets that you have show up in the inserter now. You can just add them from the inserter into your specific widget areas and really manipulate them or edit them there. So please, yeah, please test this out. I think honestly, Birgit, I’m going to run through this test myself. I’ve done it on my own local systems, but I want to try it on a site that I have live and see how I do with it and give my reportings there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I was one of those who started using it in 8.9, I think. And I wrote about it on the Gutenberg Times and how unfinished it is, and I was hoping that some of the things that you and I, Mark, talked about wasn’t working well would be done in 9.0, but it’s one release later. But I’m also pleased to read that there is now actually an attempt to have feature parity for the previous widget API. So there is a wrapper around each widget before having a styling that is specific to the widget area. There was a reversal in approach, and I really liked that. I’m happy about that. And also there was one other thing, but I forget about it. I forgot about it. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. It’s coming. And so, yeah, please test, everybody.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Hang on. I got it.

Mark Uraine: You thought of it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, I thought of it. And it would be also very, very important to test with major plugins, like if you use BuddyPress that has widgets or bbPress that had widgets or Jetpack, what other big ones? I think LifterLMS or any LMS would be really good and membership plugins to see if their widgets are still working right with the new screens because I can see that the third party, the plugins actually all working have a lot of widgets that they provide for the WordPress ecosystem, so they all should work well. I’m going to…VU, for instance, same thing, product widgets and all that. Very important. Yeah. So that’s it.

Community Contributions

Mark Uraine: Thanks, Birgit. And our community contributions. We noticed that Ryan Welcher, he’s a lead web engineer at 10Up revived a Twitter account, @GoodFirstBugs. It’s all one word, the handle, and on it, he tweets about track and GitHub issues the WordPress team thinks are good bugs for first time contributors to tackle. So if you ever thought about contributing code to WordPress, this Twitter account can spark some inspiration. We’ve got the link in the show notes, and we’ll also share links to tools and instructions on how to get started. Just a reminder, that’s @GoodFirstBugs is the handle, Twitter handle.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And thanks to Ryan Welcher to revitalize that and feed it all the new bugs and the old ones, too.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Excellent. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: People are always asking, they come into this project, and they’re asking, “What should I work on? What can I work on?” Following a Twitter account like this might really be beneficial.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. You can earn, it’s really interesting to see what kind of flies by, where there still needs to be work done. And the best way to tackle something is when you have a personal itch to scratch. If you see that issue’s there and the team thinks that’s a good first issue, go for it.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It’s quite rewarding, actually, when you can contribute to that. That brings us to the Gutenberg 9.1 release.

Gutenberg 9.1 Release

Mark Uraine: All right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And Riad wrote in his release notes that there are almost 200 commits in this release and 77 contributors. This is huge. Yeah. So many new contributors to that. The main focus of this release is on other iterations on the main project, of course, that go into 5.6, that’s the widget screen and the block API.

Mark Uraine: 200 commits. Yeah. Excellent.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. This is a longer show today.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Is everybody ready for this now?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Of course we always bring you the highlights of it. The two new features that are in there, not as dramatic as others were. 

There is now in the social links block, you now have the option to actually open those links in a new tab. There were multiple requests for that and it finally landed in a good Gutenberg plugin. The other feature is that you have an image size control now for your media and text block. You might have noticed that when you put an image in the media and a text block on the image place, you had a dropdown in the sidebar that has small, middle, large kind of image sizes, but they wouldn’t change because media text block actually adopts the size depending on how the text is in there. Now you can change it and kind of fix it as well, have fixed size on the image control.


From the enhancements were quite a few and the inserter now has all the block patterns in a category or per categories. So you could have a hero patterns and a column patterns and just select those if you were looking for that. They are in a dropdown. I have found that that’s not as easily intuitive to find than other ways to navigate that, but check it out. And I’m really happy about that. Now it doesn’t feel like the kitchen drawer anymore. It is a little bit more organized.

Another enhancement is that you have now it reduced the minimum height for the spacer block to one pixel. I guess it was also multiple requests that people wanted to have a pixel accurate spacer block. Reminds me of a little bit out of the nineties.

Mark Uraine: The problem was that the minimum height was 20 pixels. And for many people that was just maybe too much. And so the conversation was around, “Okay, what should we decrease it down?” And then inevitably the conversation goes to, “Well, why can’t we just decrease it down to one pixel?” And I don’t know really who uses it for one pixel, but why not? Right? Well, handling a block, grabbing the block at a size of one pixel is actually very difficult to do. So there was a lot of brainstorming around how that can be done. There were some great PRs put out there. So finally they found a solution.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I’m glad that they kind of also listen to the people who need things. Yeah. So don’t get discouraged if you have a need on the block editor that you haven’t found yet, or that you haven’t found implemented yet. Go on GitHub and do a feature request.

Mark Uraine: And you know what, Birgit? The spacer block is one of my favorite blocks. I remember we talked about getting rid of it at one time, like when we introduced padding or margins and teach block, we might get rid of, but I actually love the spacer block. I love being able to throw it anywhere and just manipulate spacing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And have a little bit more offset of things and columns and images. Yeah. It really helps to put your own design on that.

So another enhancement is the show, the full screen keyboard shortcut in the menu. The full screen is something that has been quite controversial and people always need to go to the big logo on the left-hand side to remove it or get back to WP admin or go on the other side in a top toolbar to go to the three dot menu and then switch it off. Now you can do this with a keyboard shortcut, and there are also keyboard shortcuts for the code editor as well as for the visual editor.

We’re going to talk about it a little later, but there’s also, maybe we could talk here. There is an effort by Enrique Sanchez, who’s going to work on user-defined keyboard shortcuts and how to implement that. And that is really cool.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, for sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Some other enhancements like the audio block shortcut transforms now with all the sources are in there, when it comes from the classic block or the classic editor content, there was a little, there were some features missing there. And then, of course, the widget screen got a lot of enhancements. You can register legacy widgets now as block variations. That is really cool.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. That goes back to what I was saying, how you can find your third-party widgets in the inserter now. When you add them from the inserter into your block or into your widget area, they automatically are wrapped by the legacy widget block, which is really cool. And it’s a block variation of that block.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. The first implementation was that you had to know about the legacy widget and then were able to get from a dropdown list a third-party widget, which now it’s so much cooler to actually identify the legacy widgets and have titles and all that. It’s really cool.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yep. I’m looking forward to testing that widget screen now. 

Then there were some accessibility enhancements. Some of the components now received the aria-haspopup announced that they actually opened an additional user interface to manage that. That’s definitely helpful for screen readers to implement that. That is not implemented.

Mark Uraine: Did we get that for the inserter previews, like the block previews? I’m looking through the list.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No.

Mark Uraine: It doesn’t look like it, huh? I wonder if it’s beneficial there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It would be. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And that’s pretty much, there’s some other smaller enhancements, but I think that’s the main thing now.


Mark Uraine: Yeah. And we have about three new APIs, so there was a new combo box control, new data controls, adding new sync select control, and the date, time picker heading support for highlighting the dates.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, that’s good. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. And 23 bug fixes in this one, this release. Widget screen, of course, being one of the major focuses right now, got a lot of bug fixes, auto expanding the last selected widget area when opening this inserter, fixing legacy widget block previews, and using iframes and fixing the global inserter as well. That was kind of trying to figure out how to open the inserter, which widget area, if you have multiple widget areas on screen, how to know which area to drop the widget into and stuff. So all really good work.

There was fixing the range controlled direct entry in the input field. This one was like a bane of mine for the longest time. You’d go and you’d try to edit a number and I would want to type in 20 and it would be like 200 or something. It would keep one of the digits, even if I highlighted them all and tried to edit it. Birgit, that’s fixed.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I’m so glad. I was using that, too, and every time I kind of had a hard time finding the right number to enter in certain things. 

Mark Uraine: And you would type in there and then so if highlighting them all wouldn’t work or for some reason then I would start and I would delete each character, but I couldn’t delete the last character for some reason. And, yeah, the whole host of….

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Even if you use the arrows up and down, then it wouldn’t work either, so the whole input of numbers. Yeah. Thank God it’s fixed.

Mark Uraine: Yes. And there were some accessibility bug fixes as well, fixing the color contrast in the code editor, which is nice, fixing the keyboard navigation on the image block toolbar. Kudos to that stuff. And one other bug fix I want to bring up was fixed the canceling of the drag and drop using the escape key. There was evidently an issue around dragging and dropping and using the escape key. I’m not too sure exactly what the issue was, but the fact that whatever was happening there is fixed is good because that drag and drop has probably been also driving people to an upset point with drag and drop. We’ve come so far, Birgit. Drag and drop has just improved so much with some of the recent work that’s been done with it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I need to get back and test this some more because I really had not used a lot of drag and drop, but recently I had to build columns again and then drag and drop them in from outside into the columns. And I was very pleased that it actually worked.

Mark Uraine: Wow. Good.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I didn’t have that success before, so I’m really happy about that.


Mark Uraine: Excellent. There was one performance improvement, avoid relying on DOM events to measure the loading time. That was one thing. 


Then about 42 experiments in this release. Yeah. Right?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Several of them, of course, have to do with the site editor screen. So this is full site editing stuff, which included things like adding basic template information for the editor header, adding a reset button to the global styles sidebar, which is really cool. If you go through and make a bunch of customizations to the global styles, there’s a button where you could just reset it all again, back to default.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I have a question if I may.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So the site editor, how do I get there?

Mark Uraine: The site editor? So, yes, thanks, Birgit. 

That is under the plugin Gutenberg and on the experiments section of the plugin. If you click over to that, you’ll see a couple of check boxes, just check those on. You’ll see that two of them, I believe, relate to full site editing. Turn those on, save those changes, and you’ll see a new menu item under the Gutenberg plugin called site editor. And that’ll give you access to some of this stuff.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for giving me a map for that.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Thank you for asking, Birgit. Okay. 

So the post and site blocks also got some updates, one of which is adding a link option to the post title block. You have the post title block, which is appearing in the query block. You can make it a link now, the title, so that people can use it as such. Themes and global styles got several updates. Now we’re supporting defining colors and gradients configuration from the theme .JSON file We’re also supporting defining font sizes and custom units in that same .JSON file as well. We’re allowing themes to en queue custom CSS variables also in the theme .JSON file.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That theme JSON file is going to really be quite powerful.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. It’s very robust.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. But also it’s just one place to do all the settings and configurations. Yeah. Now it’s distributed over all the whole functions page.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Hopefully that helps bring things together in a very understandable, logical way. The navigation block and screen had several updates as well. One of which I’ll talk about is allowing social links within the navigation block.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes.

Mark Uraine: This is a, yeah, kudos to that. Before we only were allowing just links to other pages or sites and stuff, but now you can add your social links there as well. Really cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s cool. 


Which brings us now to our documentation section of the release. And there are various things in there that I wanted to point out. 

They added a data format and flow architecture document to the developer documentation, which quite a few people kind of trying to get your head around, “Where do I come up,” like the bird’s eye view on that and have more of a conceptional approach on this. This is really cool. Then the block directory added developer documentation as well. Now that was introduced in 5.5 and they were still working on getting all the kinks out after the release and now they have settled on a developer documentation.

Mark Uraine: So all the kinks are worked out.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Not there, they’re never worked out, but it’s stable enough so people can rely on what they actually want to do.

Mark Uraine: Okay.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: But thanks for pointing that out to me. And they also continued to work on the ad block editor components documentation. We talked about it in the last episode. And, actually, I wanted to tell you that a listener contacted me on Slack after our episode. I wanted to participate in that documentation endeavor. His name was Henzo and we got him onboarded and he was in the meeting, in the block editor meeting, as well as the dev chat. Thank you for volunteering. His name is Henzo. You find him on Slack.

Mark Uraine: Thank you, Henzo.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes. Then additional documentation was, or the documentation was improved around the data registry control and the selector creators. They also updated the getting started guide for those who want to do First Good Bugs, and then enhance also the block context documentation. Block context is when you add a block to an inner block or a block to an inner block of somebody else, some other block like a columnist block or group block or color block. The context changes and things are switched on and off so this is now documented.

Code Quality

And then they had a few code quality items in there. One was about the dash component. It actually uses phones that are shipped with WordPress. So that is good. There are 19 code quality items in that release. A few of them also are covering the rich text component with simplifying the format types or the value of type definitions. There’s an update on the video block to get it to use hooks instead of other JavaScript.

Mark Uraine: The others.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: The other JavaScript, right. And then also the block directory is switched now to the blocks register block type filter to get them in.


In the various section there was only one in there I wanted to point out, out of eight, and that is that they removed the block-based widget editor from the customizer. And I think that is crucial for the testing or releasing the widget screen that they’re not also dealing with the customizer at the same time. I don’t think they have decided yet what will happen with the customizer, but the old widget API is still in place. So the customizer would still keep working with no problem with the widgets.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. We were having some really interesting issues trying to get a block that you made changes to, to update in the preview as well. This was working with widgets, the third-party widgets, but getting the blocks to do it was causing a lot of struggle right now. So I think that was a good choice.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. You don’t want to have people, the expectation that things look now as they worked previously, if they don’t.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, and this was our Gutenberg 9.1 review of the release notes.

Mark Uraine: Yep. That was the changelog.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

Mark Uraine: 200 commits.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That was the changelog. 77 contributors. Yay.

Active Development

Mark Uraine: And so, listeners, that brings us to what’s in active development or discussed. And as you’ve been following along with anything Gutenberg related, you’re familiar with Anne McCarthy’s wonderful posts on the monthly updates for Gutenberg. 

She covers high-level items that Gutenberg contributors are focusing on. The recent one is regarding October. Each month this post comes out and covers all the major issues. It’s one of the best posts to get a deeper level of what’s happening in Gutenberg and really be able to track the progress. Very thorough. There are links to issues talking about what the main goals are and the focuses. The community has just been so blessed to have these posts at a frequent cadence like this monthly cadence.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: If you haven’t been keeping up with Gutenberg and you’re a new listener here, this would be a good entrance to see what has actually happened with Gutenberg phase two and what will be in the next releases, like 5.6 comes out in December. And then the next one is 5.7 in March, 2021. So yeah, in that period things are going to happen.

Mark Uraine: These posts are a lot better than jumping into GitHub because, Birgit, we have reached 2,500 issues in GitHub now I believe.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. That’s really scary. But on the other hand, there’s a lot of work to be done. But but also the component, it’s not components, it’s kind of projects, the various projects. They have now also overview issues where they track sub issues, so to speak. And that has been really helpful as well. So you can, and there’s a label for that in the GitHub issue repository where you can click on overview, and then see what are the overview issues and then drill down from there. You could do this with all of them. So be it the widget screen, be it the global styles, the full site editing navigation, those four.

Speaking of global styles, there was some progress in there. I think we heard a few of them in the changelog. I just want to point them out again. There is a theme JSON. Their editor is now controlled through the theme JSON, and theme developers can make their, put all the … so the infrastructure is really robust now with colors and font size and gradients, and you just have one configuration file. And so is also the block JSON file that drills it down into single blocks. You can change in the block JSON, you can kind of override the theme JSON file with different colors for a paragraph, for instance, or for a heading, and don’t have to do block variations or something like that. So that’s really good.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Those two files are going to quickly become the favorite files in WordPress for people to work on right there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I can see that even if you are not a developer, once you figure it out how this JSON works or the file kind of reads, it’s all text files, those who normally edit theme files or do child themes, or just can edit some of the colors there or switch off some features that you don’t want, even if the theme supports it, you don’t want your users to use. I’m really excited about this theme JSON, block JSON. Well, the block chaser is for every block, but the theme JSON is just for the site and the theme.

There’s also an interface for the global style sidebar where a user can actually edit the color palette and a content producer could change it. That’s the first time that there’s a user control for editor settings. Also Jorge wrote exposed some limitations that the block editor currently has, and that are being solved with different PR. We are going to watch out for those, how user can control the editor settings.

Tammie started to review the option screen. Over the last two years, you get to the options by the three dot menu on the top of the editor, and then go all the way down to the bottom of that menu and click on options. There’s a pop-up coming up and that has the kitchen drawer in it, from keyboard shortcuts over all kinds of different things that you can switch on and off, and Tammie has done a great job in re-imagining that particular pop-up in. It’s a modal.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. I love that. I think it’s a good direction and I’m really looking forward to, as I know we’ve talked about this before, is how the word options is used like in three or four different areas in the UI. I’m really hoping that this brings together and unifies some of those terms.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. What it also brings us probably pulling some of the options and settings from different screens also into one screen, which I really like to put it together because you are always trying to figure out, “Where is that again? And where do you have to switch off the published two step,” kind of thing.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. “Is it in settings or is it in options or maybe it’s a tool.”

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. That’s a great work there. That’s God’s work, Tammie.

Mark Uraine: Fantastic.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: When I was reading through the comments on that issue in GitHub I was also reminded on the great mock-ups Mel Choyce did in preparation for the block directory about a year and a half ago where she also envisions a way to organize blocks through a WP admin page, and have a list of all the reusable blocks, and how often they were used or the context of blocks from plugins. I have not seen that revitalized, and I really would love to have something like that because when you have, I don’t know, three or four, even only two plugin block collections installed, you get about 40 to 50 blocks in addition. If you want to switch them off, you need to know if you actually ever used them, because then your site that uses it might look a little funny or when you edit it, you get, “This block is not available anymore,” kind of error screen. I would really hope that the team goes back to figuring out how that would work.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. How to service that better. Good point. That also brings us to another one that we talked about earlier, Birgit, about keyboard shortcuts, like customizing keyboard shortcuts. And this is a really old issue that was actually recorded by Andrea back in 2017, if you can believe that. It’s one of like, this issue is 3218. It’s in the three thousands. I think we’re in like 22 thousands right now. It’s been picking up more traction lately and Enrique Sanchez has been working on it and coming up with some design solutions.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, when I put the rundown together and they had this four digit issue number I said, “That can’t be true.” Yeah. So, great to pick that up again. 

I think that brings us to almost the end of the show. Before we end it, though, I wanted to point out if you haven’t heard about the Page Builder Summit, it starts on Monday and it’s a free online event. I suggest you check it out over the course of the next five days, starting Monday. 34 speakers. We’ll talk about WordPress page builders. It’s about Elementor, it’s about BeaverBuilder it’s about Oxygen and, of course, also Gutenberg.

Then there are also talks about what problems are they solving, what performance improving or project management with page builders, so many talks are actually not page builder specific, but Matt Medeiros, who’s going to talk about Gutenberg, he had a cameo on the Gutenberg Times with a video, “Don’t Hate Gutenberg,” about a year ago. Then Elliot Condan, he’s the developer of Advanced Custom Fields, he will talk about how using the block editor and creating blocks with advanced custom fields. And then there’s Tom Usborne, who is the creator of January Press theme and the January blocks plugin.

Yeah. Check it out., October 4 through 9.

Mark Uraine: Clever URL.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s a clever URL.

As always, the show notes will be published on thegutenbertimes/podcast. This is episode number 30. And if you have questions, suggestions, or news you want to include, send them to That’s

And if you are new to the podcast or a long-time listener but haven’t written a review yet, we would love for you to do that. It helps us distribute this a little bit further and it bubbles up in the directories. You can leave a review on or on iTunes, and it would really help us. And we read your review on the show.

Well, thank you all for listening. It was, again, wonderful to talk to you, Mark, and this is for me goodbye until the next time.

Mark Uraine: Thank you, Birgit. Of course, wonderful sitting with you again and, listeners, we wish you the best. Okay. Stay healthy.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Bye-bye.

Mark Uraine: Bye-bye.

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