Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Changelog #42 - Full-site Editing Scope for WordPress 5.8, Gutenberg’s 10.4 Release, the Query Quest and Gallery Block Refactor
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Birgit Pauli-Haack and Grzegorz Ziolkowski discuss Full-site Editing Scope for WordPress 5.8, Gutenberg’s 10.4 Release, the Query Quest and Gallery Block Refactor.

Show Notes / Transcript

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Show Notes

Akira Tachibana’s tweet

Gutenberg Freaks (Japanese Podcast about WordPress & Gutenberg)

My Name is by Grzegorz Ziolkowski

Full-Site Editing Scope for WordPress 5.8

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

WordPress and Gutenberg Releases

New tools for transitioning to Block-based Themes

Refactor Gallery Block

Also: Quote: convert to nested blocks

File Block: Add support for embedding PDFs

 If you have questions or suggestions, or news you want us to include, send them to changelog@gutenbergtimes.com.

Please write us a review on iTunes! (Click here to learn how)

Transcript

Sponsored by Pauli Systems

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, hello, and welcome to our 42nd episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast. In today’s episode, we’ll talk about full-site editing scope for WordPress 5.8, the 10.4 Gutenberg release, the Query quest, and also the gallery blocks refactor. 

My name is Birgit Pauli-Haack. I’m the curator at the Gutenberg Times, and I’m here with Grzegorz Ziolkowski, JavaScript developer Automattic and WordPress contributor. Hello, Grzegorz. How are you, and how is life in the Gutenberg fast lane?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Hello Birgit. I’m great. Busy as a bee. Yeah, there is a lot happening, especially in the last two weeks because of the decision around WordPress 5.8 release.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: You’re right. I actually interrupted my break from Gutenberg Times, my move break last Saturday, where I did a tiny newsletter to at least have some of those things go out. Yeah. But I’m back. My office is now almost boxes free. So, it’s a win and I celebrate all the little wins.

Listener Questions

Speaking of that, we received an interesting question from listeners of the Japanese Gutenberg podcast called Gutenberg Freaks. A big thank you to Akira Tachibana to relay the question. And Akira is the team rep for HelpHub on the documentation team where he’s actually my boss. And then he tweeted in this Japanese Gutenberg podcast, they are chatting about how to pronounce your names, Birgit and Grzegorz. Also the recommendation to Changelog, your enthusiasm to Gutenberg documentation. So, greetings to the Japanese host and listeners of the Gutenberg Freaks, and a big thank you for the recommendation. 

I’m sure you’re not the only ones puzzled by the pronunciations of our names. So, I start, my name is a composite of “Beer,” as in German beer and “Git” as in GitHub, Birgit. A developer’s delight actually. So, Grzegorz, can you help people learn how to pronounce your name?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: First, sending big hugs to our fellow podcasters from Gutenberg Freaks in Japan. And this is really cool. So, I will get inspired by you Birgit. And I also wanted to have something similar, an incredible mix of beer and the Git. So, I tried to decompose mine name using only familiar English sounds. So, what I got is something like this, G from Gutenberg, Sher like Sherlock and gush. So, that gives you Grzegorz.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: And you will have the link to my website when I’m pronouncing my name and surname. And also we’ll give the reference to the podcast and the show when you discuss that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes. Excellent. So, now you know. And this is also a good reminder to ask our listeners to head over to Stitcher or iTunes or any other podcast apps of you favor to write a review of the show. We had a few reviews early last year, but then we didn’t ask for any more. So, we will ramp that up again, and we had this auto method that any review that we get, we actually read aloud here and give you a shout out. So, I don’t know though, and let us know what you think about our show. It doesn’t have to be a five star review. So, just to kind of, “We love them and we are very happy about that.” We can take criticism.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. In other shows they give six star reviews. So, you can go also for that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Nice. Yeah. 

Announcements

And so the big news for this week is that Josepha announced that the go/no-go decision on the scope for WordPress 5.8 release that was made this week. In a meeting with Matt Mullenweg, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Helen Hou-Sandi, Matias Ventura and Hector Pietro. They come together and Matias demo’ed of the current state of the development of the various components for phase two. And Josepha then afterwards published a follow-up post with the video of the meeting, which is about 90 minutes and also the outcomes. So, we learned the following at that. 

So, what will be in 5.8, all the improvements for Gutenberg 9.9 to 10.7. We are now 10.4 so, three more to come plug-in releases. It will introduce the new site theme blocks, which is a query block, a site logo block, a navigation block, the site tagline, in total about 20 of them.

And then it will also introduce the theme.json mechanism for block-based themes, but it will not have yet show up as an interface for the user to use. For the user to use, is only the page template editor to create templates for pages and posts that also show up in the drop down list in the post or page editor. So, to introduce that gradually, because there is a whole new concept around templates for users, the content creators, or those will have access to templates. And there’s a unanimous kind of idea that introducing the full-site editor, even if it were ready at one time would overwhelm a lot of people and doing it this way, it would introduce only pieces of it, but then prepare people for the larger release of the site editor that will come in December.

The difference between the page editor and the December release is also the timeframe as I understood it, where extenders like plug-in developers, and especially theme developers can prepare themselves to actually create block-based themes that are based on the theme.json mechanism and the global styles, but it’s not yet part of the interface. 

And then there were two things, the widget screen and the block widget and customizer are probably ready for release by that time. And Matias did some great demonstrations there. And there also will be some design tools like duotone, layout controls for padding and assignment. And we will certainly talk about this later in the year, some more. So, Grzegorz.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah, there is one thing I wanted to highlight is path and directory. So, they discussed that. For a start, there will be a way on the wordpress.org website, you will be able to browse the patterns that will be submitted. But for start, you will have to copy the code and pass that into your website to get this pattern. Later, they will discover some more advanced techniques. So, probably that will be similar to how a block directory integrates with the inserter. So, I hope that would be next step, that you would be able to install a block pattern directly during editing your website.

Definitely I think that the plan is looking really great. And Matias mentioned that those new blocks that are added in his opinion could be something that would make a great single a major release of WordPress. So, that just shows how many new features are included. 

So, not only that but also so many technical aspects, technical APIs that need to be exercised by the extenders you mentioned. So, I think that the way it’s scheduled is very good for the community. It gives a lot of time. And the fact that most of the things are optional and that is really, really nice. And also one thing that was discussed that some of those new blocks, they don’t look perfect from the user experience perspective. They are fully functional and they won’t break, but they consider that there could be other, some sort of label like. They mentioned first GitHub and they discuss that could be something like laboratory,

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Some lab, something like that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I liked when Matt said, “Well, can’t we have something that’s more than beta, but the kind of dragons, you will meet some dragons?” Yeah. It’s a very interesting video to watch as a small collaborative and it’s the questions that are asked back and forth on the team. So, quite a few people already watched it and they were very positive about it. So, we, of course, we’ll have the link in the show notes. 

I think having the developer first APIs in a release before the users get to use all of it is part of the learned lessons from the WordPress 5.0 release where everything appeared and the plug-in developers or theme developers didn’t have enough time to test things in core. And this is now doing it the other way round and saying, “Okay, for the users, it’s locked in and the extenders can now get everything for testing or what they need in core, even if it’s not visible yet.” 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: And definitely the template editor feature, which is something that’s designed, especially for non-block based teams. This is something that will allow people to experiment with the full site editing, but limited to only one single page. So, that is very powerful. And in my opinion, that’s the most exciting part of this release combined with new blocks?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, a couple of weeks ago, Josepha also published that to narrow down the scope for the user to saying, “You will be able to all shoot things for an MVP kind of thing is to have a single landing page.” And landing page is what a lot of content creators actually do all day is creating single pages, sales pages or registration pages for events or something like that. And they only need one template for that or multiple templates, but they don’t need to change a lot of other things on the site. So, it’s good to start out with a good use case that gets a lot of exposure, but also with a narrowed down scope. So, people don’t get lost in the weeds. Yeah.

Community Contributions

Coming to the community contributions. If anyone, everyone needs to catch up on all things full-site editing because you wanted to wait until it’s actually in core and it’s coming, Anne McCarthy gave a great presentation last night, that was on April 15 at the Mega Meetup and it was prerecorded and it’s available on YouTube. And it covers in less than 30 minutes, all components of full-site editing. The full-site editing outreach program that she runs. And she also discussed a few of the outcomes that come from the four calls for a test. And after Anne’s presentations, there were great questions back and forth in the audience. It was a great meet up. 

And then Marcus Kasmierczak was brave enough to do a live demo of some of the screens that will come to the 5.8 release and also answered some audience questions. And he actually demonstrated the template editor that will come. He didn’t use a classic theme, he used a block-based theme, but it was a great presentation.

And he had some great notes as well there. So, once the video and the shared links from the Mega Meetup are available, we’ll also put them in the show notes. Big shout out to the hosts, David Bisset and Jean Felisme, as well as Guy Cicinelli for a well run meetup, despite the technology hiccups that meetup.com had to offer and delayed the start of it. I think around about 150 people in there. So, it was well attended and I think it will be even more attended after the fact on demand. 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: It sounds like a great meet up to watch the recording. I’m personally interested now to see what Marcus did during the live presentation. He’s also doing some Twitch sessions when he’s trying to build a full-site editing theme from scratch. So, maybe we’ll include that into his Twitch account so people could check that out. And also 30 minutes to show the most important features of full-site editing is, it’s impossible. I don’t believe that it happened.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And when we definitely link Marcus’s Twitch account, as well as Helen Hou-Sandi also did a three-hour Twitch stream and learning about block-based themes and how to build one. So, you can get two things about the same thing. And both are great teachers and learning how their minds work when they learn something new. It’s definitely interesting. 

Mark also has a series of posts on his blog about building blocks. So, we will also link that in the show notes. Speaking of testing, the community is called upon the fifth test of the site editor. And Anne McCarthy published a query quest for you to test the query block, and the whole group that was in the demonstration from Matias, agree that query block is not something that should be in the hands of users. It’s something that theme developers are definitely working with, but right now they don’t have a better name for it. 

If you have ideas on how to name the query block, the loop block, or something like that, all these technical terms, query or loop are only for developers. And we all know what they mean, but it’s hard to create that concept in the minds of a user that does not work with code. So, if you have any suggestions there, have at it, send them in our email or reply on Twitter or something like that. 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: It’s very hard to come up with a good name for the query block. And it’s so in DNA of developers, that it’s hard to wrap your head around something different.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right. We know a few patterns of that from the widget blocks, right? It’s the latest post block, is pretty much a query block. And so you see all kinds of blocks. So, maybe having block variations that have names and not have the parent block kind of appear in the inserter and refactor those archives and blocks.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Now that you told me that, so, one thing that was discussed during the development process is that we could factor those latest posts and look at archive blocks to use query internally although it won’t happen soon, but in the future it might be because it’s exactly the same concept.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And it would really help to also get it into the interface because then the settings that are in the sidebar for both of them can then be replicated in the overall query block also for custom post types and in that area. So, yeah. Yeah. Glad we talked we talked about it.

What’s Released – WordPress 5.7.1

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Okay. So, now we can switch to some more interesting stuff that actually happened. So, this week we have a minor WordPress release and it also included security patches and it’s WordPress 5.7.1 release. And there were several bug fixes for the block editor. We counted eight of them, and those are something quite important, but they are very specific use cases that were reported after the major release. And they were fixed. There was also one security for the latest post block. And all the patches were backported also for previous releases. So, it’s now secure in that regard. It was about password protection for password protected posts that could show up in the latest post block. 

Gutenberg 10.4 Release

And we also had Gutenberg 10.4 release. And this one was also quite big, not as big as the last one, but still the number of enhancements, which is at 31 is very impressive.

Enhancements

And I wanted to start with the efforts that Ben Dwyer is leading to bring the block styles parity between the front end and the editors. So, some of the blocks, they didn’t look exactly the same between what the users see when browsing the page when you are editing. And it’s got a lot of improvements. So, some of the blocks that were updated are archives block, latest comments block, quote, separator. And in the past, there were more blocks like that. So, you can expect that in the major release, this experience will align greatly, which is a great improvement in my opinion. 

And so one nice improvement is for the publishing flow. So, now when you are about to click the publish button, you will see the site icon, the name of the site and the URL. So, that’s a nice way of showing what you are actually changing, especially if you are using multi-site. And there were several iterations to the List View. So, now they improve the way the items are focused when you are navigating in the sidebar. And when you are moving with the mouse or with the keyboard, it better highlights items, both in the sidebar and in the canvas of the block editor. And there is also a special way of highlighting template parts. So, header and footer, they look different. So, I find it very interesting because it better presents the way the site is structured. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I think it’s one of the hidden features, the List here, it’s a block navigator. I think it was the first name of that feature. And it’s now called List View just to catch people up what we are talking about. So, one comment also for the ensure front end and blocks editor kind of look the same. There was one of the discussions from the tests on the full-site editing was about preview. And that has a lot to do with that because in the block editor, when you do a post, you have to preview and then see in a separate tab, that goes away in the site editor. And there is a back and forth in an issue how that would solve. And Anne McCarthy pointed out that that’s actually not a missing feature. It’s a symptom of something else. And that is that there is no parity yet or trust in the parity of front-end blocks and how they look on the front end and how the look and the editor. And that is definitely a focus that people would need solved by the time when the site editor goes into core. So, that’s something that the team is also working on, and this is the smallest atomic view on it right now.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. In fact, it required a lot of changes in how the styles are ordered in the editor. So, there was a lot of work to make sure and also to better reset defaults because WP Admin brings its own set of challenges.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. And you also want to make it easier for theme developers to then, when they add additional styles to it, that they also can replicate that in the editor. And that has always also been a big hurdle for theme developers right now. So, yeah, that’s a great effort.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. There is also a new feature. I mean, this feature existed before. So, now there is a way to revert your changes applied to the template and go back to the original wide, the one that was exposed by that theme auto. And this one you will find in the header. And when you click on the drop down menu that’s next to the name of your template, and there will be a new button that allows you to revert to the default. And what was the name….

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Big saver.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah, the button is called clear customizations at the moment. There was change of supply to the pre-formatted block. So, now you can use color controls there. Always, it’s a nice improvement. And I expect that we will see color in most of the blocks by the time of their major release of WordPress. And there was also some technical change for the query block. And it now uses a WordPress loop, which is a WP query class for the query block. And as I understand that, it gives more power to developers how this block will behave.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really powerful class in PHP. 

Bug Fixes

So, there were also 25 bug fixes in the Gutenberg 10.4 release. And one of them is that they sort of only show the patterns that are in use for the allowed blocks in the canvas. The block library per se, quite a few blocks got some additional love there or fixes. For instance, the buttons block now prevents the overlapping of button blocks. And on the front end prevents having column width bigger than 100. And that was something I also had a problem that when you showed a column block with a full width, you were not able to handle the rest of it because you didn’t see all of it.

And then in the gallery, there was a bug that added on media other items to the gallery, again, using the external URLs. And then the bug for the image block, it now preserves the custom size of the image placed in the block editor when you replace the image. Yeah. that’s one of the things that needs to be tracked down multiple times, because sometimes that’s a regression from previous or it’s new features that all of a sudden don’t come over and when you replace the image, because it doesn’t remember and fixing that it’s definitely a good thing. I appreciate it. Definitely. 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. I want to say that this is because we are using the media library that existed before. So, this requires integration between two systems. And it’s always hard to do. And most of those bugs exist because of the integration isn’t so smooth as it should be. Yeah. But it’s improving a lot and I think we applied a lot of changes on both sides to make the process more streamlined.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I think integrating with a long standing system, there needs to be a lot of knowledge transfer in terms of how things work and you only find it through bugs and somebody reports, “Oh, this is my expectations. And then this didn’t happen.” And then all of a sudden, “Oh yeah, I didn’t think about that.” Yeah. Just looking through the list of bug fixes if something stands out, but most of them are really….

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: So, there was one back and that actually I introduced, but it was quite interesting. So, the change that there was landed before, was that when you are using a block auto-completer, the slash inserter command in the past, you would be able to use only one word. And the change was that you could use multiple words, especially important as you have a list of new blocks that will arrive soon. So, finding a block is getting harder. But there was an interesting side effect for the user auto-completion. This would continue to match the user names, even when you don’t care about auto-completion anymore. So, there are some now special handlers that prevent from that, because that was effectively slowing down the post if you were writing a long paragraph and you start like you did mention at the beginning.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, thank you for that. Yeah. And I think we are through the bug fixes here.

APIs

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yes. So, we had three API changes, and one is quite important to mention because there was deprecated very low level APIs from WordPress 5.2 removed. And just to make sure all the authors of three plug-ins that were identified were contacted and they are aware they will update. Hopefully they will update their plug-ins. But if you are a plug-in author you definitely should check out those changes and make sure that there isn’t anything that could potentially break your plug-in. Although, as I said, those are APIs that we don’t expect are popular at all. And there are for a long time, not used by anything that is in Gutenberg. And we just do it because we believe that in contrast to PHP, in JavaScript, every byte matters because we are serving 40% of the web. So, we want to make sure that we provide only the essential features. So, yeah, we should expect that in the future, it will be always on a smaller scale, just taking into account all the breaking changes. I like the possibility of breaking changes on the larger scale.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, when you say three authors of the plug-ins that you say API, that was only the repository. So, if the plug-in is not in the repository and uses it, yeah. The plug-in author definitely needs to … but that was 5.2, when was that released? Was it March 2019 or something?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah I believe so.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, two years.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yes. Yeah. That’s why the decision was made.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. So, nobody should use that after that.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. And also there was a change in the way block patterns integrate with the query blocks. So, the initial approach was that you would define a scope param on the registered block pattern and by scope, you’d provide the name of the block. And this would effectively mean that this block pattern would only show up inside the query block. However, the decision was that this is a limitation that prevents from searching for the block pattern in the insert and so they changed the approach, and now you just provide a block types param when registering a block pattern that just informs that this pattern applies also to this query. And then if you go and watch the demos with the go/no-go decisions for WordPress 5.8, then you will see they talk a lot about this query block. And this is the thing that we also discussed in the last episode that allows you to navigate to block patterns for the query block.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for the explanation. I didn’t know exactly what it would be when I read this, but that’s a pretty big, yes. 

Experiments

So, now we come to the experiments, and there were 23 of them, and most of them cover the navigation editor and the block, but we started out with a very big one and that’s the customizer now also has a widget inserter that is a block inserter pretty much. So, the customizer can handle widgets in blocks quite nicely. In the demo that Matias did also this week in the go/no-go meeting, he showed off the inserter. So, the blue plus is known from the block editor, as well as from the site editor. When you click on it, there is a sidebar that opens up and the team now makes that available to the customizer as well. And it works quite nicely, quite smooth. And you can add that too. And so you can have all those, the blocks available for the widgets in the customizer. 

The legacy widget was also added to the customizer. That is the widget block that handles all the backwards compatibilities to the existing widgets that are in plug-ins and themes already on sites. So, now you can also manage those in the customizer. This is definitely necessary when it goes into 5.8. So, people are not surprised when this lands there.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: I guess this is mostly so people don’t have to jump between the widgets section and the block editor section, because otherwise that would be two separate places to add widgets.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right. In the WP Admin menu there’s appearances and widgets, that’s the widget screen and that handled blocks already. And actually Bud Kraus from Joy of WP, did a nice five-minute comparison between those two, the old widget editor screen and the new widget editor screen. And that had been working for quite a while, but the biggest hurdle for the widget screen to actually get into core was that quite a few people, I think most people now used to customize it to edit the widgets and it wouldn’t work well with that yet. And it seems to be working now. So, test it out, especially when you are a plug-in author and/or have lots of plug-ins in your site to make sure that the widgets also show on your sites and you can edit them. Not a whole lot of people edited after the initial one.

Yeah. But after the initial setup, but some people fiddle with it all the time because they procrastinate on writing or something like that. Yeah. That’s about the customizer and the widget and that’s coming along just nicely. So, it will be ready for 5.8, unless some really big bug comes up. Navigation editor and block the navigation. The team has been working on it for now a good year and a half. And I think the backwards compatibility, as well as the interface on how to create menus, edit existing menus and add additional features into the navigation box. That’s still a work in progress. So….

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah, I think that’s a lot of work because you need to cover all the ways you can lead content in WordPress. So, that’s a lot and you need to convert that into a nice UI. So, that’s a lot of work.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. And also needs to kind of, sometimes you need to unlearn things and how do you teach people the new thing? And I think the user interface is definitely getting there. We talked about the widget editor. Now you can manage the live preview link. And yeah, I know the iteration on the legacy widget block that also is in the widget screen, all right.

Documentation

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: We also have 25 items in the documentation section. So, some of the things that I wanted to talk about is, there are now explanations for the template parts and how you can add more details about them in the theme.json file. And there is also something I was surprised to see, that there is not a practical example of adding a control to the sidebar. I was surprised mostly because I didn’t know it doesn’t make sense because it’s obvious it should.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Good.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: And there was also an interesting clarification what the block wrapper means in the context of building blocks, when you are dealing with edit or save methods. So, it was clarified that you should use an actual DOM element when you apply the method calls, use block props. So, it won’t work with React-related components like fragment from React or some higher level components like service site render that people often use to render callback methods in PHP to produce the output.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, good. Yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That classification gets … definitely a good start there.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: There was also a very nice contribution that was brought up today. The documentation for the block creation and in particular for the case, when you call NPX wordpress/create-block for the template that was built specifically for this tutorial and now everything is aligned and that’s really nice to see it happening finally.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, good. I need to check that out.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: And there was as usual, is quite boring if you know what’s going on, that there were several changes. I mean, boring to talk about that, that there are changes for the TypeScript documentation. What I mean is TypeScript support. So, when you have all those 

codes, descriptions, you will have better support and also better integrations with the editors. 

Code Quality

And on the quality front, we had seven PRs merge. I wanted to mention one. So, we are actively working on using prettify tool to format all the files, just to have one style in all of them. It’s especially we started with YAML scripts, but there are other changes coming the next few days for Markdown file. So, that we will have folder documentation to have one style.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Excellent. Yes.

Tools

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. And there’s also tools. There are eight changes, one important change for developers and designers, when you are using now Watch mode to develop Gutenberg features, CSS changes will be picked up when you edit something and you won’t have to restart the build which was the case before. And it was really annoying for those working with CSS styles.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. All right. 

So, this was the changelog for the Gutenberg 10.4 release. I just wanted to also note that there’s now also 10.4.1 release out that fixed three things that we’re pretty annoying or even produced the white screen of death. So, those are fixed. And if you had trouble with that, download the 10.4.1 release, and you should be on your way. 

What’s in Active Development or Discussed

Now we come to the sections on what’s active in development or discussed. And you brought something from the block-based theme meeting notes regarding block template parts.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. Because I’m finding it very interesting. That’s another way to allow people using features from block-based themes without actually using them. So, there are now three new methods in PHP that allow you to use template parts with a single function called Gutenberg blocks template part at the moment. And there are two variations for the header and footer. 

So, basically it allows you to call this method in your team and you will just render the template part. And another thing that is even more exciting. And we also discuss that, is that you will be able to use a custom template that uses only blocks for the page you are editing. So, yeah, we discussed that and then there is nothing more we can cover, but I wanted to highlight it again.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. It’s definitely something to look out for when you are not there yet for the block-based theme, but you want to give you users, as a theme developer access to, for instance, the template editor that comes out with 5.8, “here is your coding underbelly,” so to speak, the foundation on how to make that. And we definitely make those PRs available in the show notes because they’re coming in 10.5, both of them, right?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. They were already merged.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: They are already merged.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: … definitely coming.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So, well, if they already merged, you could actually pick them up through the Gutenberg Nightly version that you also get on the Gutenberg Times. All right. 

What’s also discussed and what I wanted to talk about in the last episode, but it was already so big, was that the days an update on the refactor for the gallery block. And the refactor has the idea to actually use nested image blocks to form the gallery. And Glen Davies is heading up that effort and he had a poster that called for testing. Yes, another testing call, yes. We can all do this, but remember the mantra, many eyeballs make all bugs shallow kind of thing. So, the refactor version is now using single image blocks inside the gallery block, and you can use all the great features like the individual video links for each image, the block styles that come with the core editors. You can have rounded corners, or if you have square images, there are actually circles. Very nice for speaker galleries for the conferences. You can have any choice of sizes or editing or the editing capability, so you can crop them. 

And if you use a plug-in with your site, like the code blocks, you can still apply the grade filters and the animation that that plug-in provides. I tested that so that’s just really a great refactor that’s still working. Davies also walks you on those posts through the few features and asked to test them all the many facets of the gallery block. I left a comment on the posts with my impressions, and I also did a bug report because the images, when I applied styling, when I added the gallery block into a group, all the styling would be gone. And I started again.

And I also suggested that make it possible to apply the block size, not one at a time. So, if I want have my 10 speakers at a conference, I don’t want to touch every single image and make good rounded corners. I want to select them all and then apply them. I know that’s a highly complicated process, but it’s definitely something other people would like to. And I also suggested to respect the alt texts that are attached to an image in the media library, that it comes over when it gets into the gallery to start out with that. So, that made it to the project board, but if you… yeah, definitely tested, Justin Tadlock on the WP Tavern wrote about it. And he explains how this change can make a lot of difference for gallery layouts among other ideas. He also pictured that you could actually use a pull quote block as part of a gallery block. So, it’s some interesting ideas coming down the pipeline here.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. I also wanted to mention that this idea of a nested blocks is something that is constantly reviewed by the Gutenberg core team. In fact, the decision was made between before WordPress 5.0 that the quote block although in a nested version wouldn’t make it to the release because at that time the user experience was good enough because this setup is very complex. As you figure out during the testing, there are so many new possibilities that it also creates friction sometimes. And you expect more because you can do more things. Like for the gallery block, when you have nested blocks, you can take an individual image and drag it out of the gallery block and put in a different place or the other way around. So, you can also use movers the same way as she used them in other contexts.

So, you can move, use the same interface to change order of the blocks which are images at this point. And the next step is if there is an image, you can also add something else. And so the quote block, there is an open PR. Andre is working on that one, but he’s busy now with global styles. So, it’s on hold. So, if someone wants to help with that one, we’ll leave the link in the show notes. 

And I know that for the List block, that’s also another one that people expect those levels of nesting. This one is much more complex. There are some technical blockers that are actively working to resolve. So, I hope that is going to be in active development or moving forward in this year as well. Because in general, I think that the more we use nested blocks for everything, the better it is for the user because they just get more power and they use more consistent UI.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. That’s a big point. And to have the consistent UI so you can change things as you want to, as you actually do in single blocks that you also can do it in nested blocks. But that can be really complicated when you have the nested blocks in columns and it can be quite … so, yeah. We will share the PRs in the show notes, so you can at least review them and maybe you want to take on some of them to push over the finish line. 

I also want to point out in the next release, in 10.4, we will find Gary Pendergast’s PR who includes for the file block an option to show an embed of the PDF files for the … and it’s a much nicer and richer experience. It’s the only file format that actually has a building embed, a view.

So, I know that there are a few plug-ins out there, but they’ve been updated for the last two years. So, having that in core is definitely beneficial. Although not everybody can open PDFs, especially on mobile, it’s still a very frequently used file format to make sure that white papers and can be printed. So, that’s coming to a WordPress in store near you. All right. So, what’s our time right now? We are almost at the hour.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: … but before we end the show, I want to remind you about the query quest we mentioned before the call for testing The deadline is May 5th, but somehow it doesn’t feel like that three weeks away. So, don’t procrastinate. It’s one of the powerful features that will come to 5.8 is the query block, whatever the name will be. Right now, it’s also handled as post list block or so. 

And I also wanted to point to an issue that Kjell Reigstad from the theme review team opened. And that is inspirations for query block patterns. I think that most theme developers will be working on the patterns rather than the query block. And there are great examples collected in that issue. And yeah, pick one, then try out how this works. Yes.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. This is also a chance to have your contribution. If you would just provide a great pattern that will be integrating the WordPress core because as I understand, there will be a few for start.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, there have to. Yeah. Well, so this has been a fully packed show again. Thank you all for hanging out that long until the end, dear listeners. 

And as always, the show notes will be published on the gutenbergtimes.com/podcast. And if you have questions or suggestions or news, you want us to include, send them to changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. That’s changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. And I found out that we are all on Twitter. Yeah. Grzegorz is picking up DMs on Twitter as well as I am. So, if you happen to be on Twitter and have some ideas, yeah, don’t hesitate to send us a DM. And thank you, Greg, for all the great information that you brought to the show. Until the next time.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Thank you, Birgit. That was great to talk to you again and see you all in two weeks.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: All right. Bye-Bye.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Bye.

Published by Gutenberg Changelog

Updates and Trends around Gutenberg, the block editor of WordPress - A podcast with Mark Uraine & Birgit Pauli-Haack

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