Gutenberg Changelog #21 – Iceberg Markdown editor, Gutenberg 8.2, WordPress 5.5, and Theme Team activities

Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog #21 - Iceberg Markdown editor, Gutenberg 8.2, WordPress 5.5, and Theme Team activities

In this episode, Mark Uraine and Birgit Pauli-Haack discuss Iceberg, a new Markdown editor, the Gutenberg 8.2 release, what might be merged into core for WordPress 5.5, and Theme Team’s discussions of Global Styles, block-based themes and full-site editing.

Show Notes / Transcript

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Show Notes

Iceberg – distraction-free editor for Markdown

What’s Released

What’s in active development or discussed

WordPress 5.5

Gutenberg + Themes News


Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, hello, and welcome to our 21st episode for the Gutenberg Changelog. In today’s episode we will talk about Iceberg, a brand new markdown editor for Gutenberg, about Gutenberg 8.2 released this week, WordPress 5.5 in the starting blocks. The team’s activities to get more community members involved in the early discussions around global styles, block based themes and full set editing, and so much more. 

I am Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator of the Gutenberg Times and owner of Pauli Systems, a web development and design agency in Naples, Florida. I’m here with my co-host, Mark Uraine, designer at Automattic, and contributing to WordPress as the design lead for phase 2 of Gutenberg. Welcome, everyone. Hi Mark, how are you today?

Mark Uraine: Hey, Birgit, I’m doing really good. It looks like we have a release squad for WordPress 5.5 now. That’s been outlying. I like the group behind 5.5, and the all-women squad lining up for 5.6. These two groups are going to really make some good things happen. I’m looking forward to seeing these next two releases come to fruition. 

Here in California, we’re starting to open up again, little bit by little bit. The roads, already I see so many more cars on the roads. I took a drive today, actually. I was amazed at how quickly things get back to people traveling and moving around. I’ve been able to see some friendly faces today, and that just brought a smile to my face. How have you been doing, though?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, it’s good to see you. If it’s just a Zoom, but it’s nice. Yeah, we haven’t seen each other for two weeks. I’m also exhausted and exhilarated. It’s all kind of up and downs, up and downs. It’s been a great week. I might have mentioned before that I am also contributing on the WordPress documentation team.

Mark Uraine: Yes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: The team rep for the block editor end user documentation…not the developer documentation, that’s a different team, but for the end user documentation. In the last two weeks, we onboarded about 10 new contributors.

Mark Uraine: Wow.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s even ahead of next week’s Contributor Day for WordCamp Europe. I’m so thrilled. They are brilliant people that joined us, and they’re wonderful to work with. We are building a fabulous documentation squad. For now, we work through beta testing our processes, so we can scale that operation from a one person team to 10 and more. That’s kind of, I’m very excited about that. I was a little bit afraid about that tsunami of work that’s coming our way with 5.5 and 5.6, and whatever comes next, when we are still dealing with the documentation from 5.0.

Mark Uraine: Well, Birgit, your energy is amazing. The fact that you’ve gathered up 10 new contributors to this team that are really putting in time and helping out the project, thank you for that. That’s amazing work right there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, thank you. If any of our listeners want to contribute, writing tutorials or documentation of blocks, or other block editor features for the end users, we’re looking for you. Just send me a private message on Slack, or join us at the #Docs meeting in the Docs channel on Mondays at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, or 15:00 UTC.

Mark Uraine: Not to put us too much off-topic, Birgit, but has the docs team had any other coffee Zoom chats lately?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No, we’re scheduling. There’s a Doodle going around. I think they will announce soon. It was for the week of WordCamp Europe, so I don’t know if we actually came to a conclusion there. Thursday is Contributor Day, so we’re all online anyway and have a Zoom room somewhere. It’s going to be really interesting to see a Contributor Day actually virtual, and not in person around a table with cookies and everything.

Listener Questions

Mark Uraine: Right. That brings us to listener questions, Birgit. Before we get into any listener questions, I wanted to read a new review we received on Stitcher. This one is by Peter Ingersoll. The title of the review was Excellent Information Filled WordPress Podcast. 

“Many WordPress developers and editors did not like the Gutenberg block editor when it first came out. It’s come a long way and is now a really great aspect of WordPress. For the definitive discussion on all things Gutenberg, subscribe to this podcast. They obviously work hard on this podcast and know their stuff. I learn a lot. I also really like how Birgit and Mark present and interact, conversational but on topic. Thank you. I really look forward to new episodes of Gutenberg Changelog.” 

Well, thank you so much, Peter. Those are some heartfelt words and uplifting for us, wouldn’t you say, Birgit?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, very much. I think I grew about 10 inches. Yeah, my head barely fits through the door. Thank you, Peter. That’s a wonderful review. 

Now dear listeners, if you want to help us promote this podcast too, you could write a review as well. If you’re listening on iTunes, we wrote a little tutorial for you, how to add a review. It’s on the, We will read it aloud here as well.

Now, to our listener question. It’s more a suggestion that our friend Bud Kraus from JoyofWP. Bud would like to have the icons back on the block toolbar more options menu. That’s the three-dot menu above the blocks. 

He states, “Print-impaired folks need those icons, as they can’t read the text only. Font is a hair smaller too, really hard. Those icons are not just pretty pictures for some people.” Mark, that was probably through the G2 update of the block UI, when that changed. What can you tell Bud?

Mark Uraine: Yeah, I know the G2 updates for the redesign in Gutenberg there has been really focused on trying to lighten the UI around a lot of the elements. I remember we did have those icons next to the options in the popover menus, or the dropdowns from the block toolbar. We did recently move those with this work. I think that’s probably going to stay right now, Bud. I really appreciate the comment, and I get that concern of yours. 

We’re probably going to test it out right now, and kind of get more feedback on this. Your feedback is valuable, Bud, and definitely informs the decisions that we make. We’re going to hang onto that one, and kind of see how this feels right now. If it is a necessity, and we need to get those icons back, that’s something we need to consider. I know the concern about icons, though. GitHub recently just kind of changed their icons somehow. Well, not somehow, but they did. 

I notice that when I go through, and I’m clicking through things on GitHub, whenever I come across the new icons it always causes me to do a double-take. Like, I don’t remember this being the right icon for what I clicked on before? Any sort of visual change definitely has some trade-offs, and Bud makes a great point. Thank you for that, and I’m putting that on my post-it on my desktop here to keep an eye out for. That’s a concern we should be aware of.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, thank you for sending this in, Bud.

Community Contributions and Iceberg

Mark Uraine: That brings us then, Birgit, to community contributions. Like you mentioned in the intro, Rich Tabor came out with Iceberg, which is a markdown distraction-free editor built on top of Gutenberg. For our listeners, you can go to to check it out. I had an opportunity, as you did Birgit, to test it out a little bit and provide some feedback during the process. It’s a beautiful editor, quite honestly. The way he really just makes it distraction-free, and the colors that he’s using…what was your take on that?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it’s really fast, and powerful, and elegant. I like the interface. It’s very minimal, which is what you want.

Mark Uraine: You wrote a review.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, and you can read that on the Gutenberg Times. I also had a few ideas for what could be added as features.

Mark Uraine: Look at you, you’re already adding features to Iceberg. I thought Iceberg we’re trying to minimize the features.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I had a few ideas in terms of…if I use that for my writing, and I’m writing for multiple sites, I don’t want to reconfigure Iceberg over and over again. So having a way to use the same settings from one site to the next would be a really good thing.

Mark Uraine: Good point.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I know that Jeffrey Carandang and Rich Tabor, they’re the team that built Iceberg. They also brought you core blocks and editors kits. They’re very early adopters of the block editor. They have a lot of experience, and it really shows.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, in fact I know that Iceberg made it into a WPTavern article as well. It will be linked in our show notes. It’s called New Iceberg Plugin Brings a Distraction-Free Writing Experience to WordPress. I’m sure it got accolades on that article there. I did have an opportunity to talk to Rich a little bit about it. That little bit of distraction-free writing really influenced some thoughts that we on the Gutenberg team had about spotlight mode. 

And Riad put together a PR just recently kind of bringing the idea of this distraction-free writing mode into Gutenberg, when we have the spotlight mode. He was kind of building on top of that, what are some other ways we can remove some of the Chrome around the editor? There’s a PR for that right now where we’re talking about how we might get that sort of feeling in there for people who just want to focus on writing. It’s really good work, Rich and team, whoever’s involved with that, just phenomenal.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: To be honest, I’m really glad that both of them selected to make this a premium plugin. A lot of people know Gutenberg is not yet finished. It’s not stable, and changes all over the interface. Having a product built on top of it is really hard work, and it needs a lot of agility. They both need to make their living somehow, and we value it much more when we pay for it.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. I totally agree with that. The work that they did is valuable.

Gutenberg 8.2 Release

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, speaking about Gutenberg, so Gutenberg 8.2 was released on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, we had 8.2.1 with some regressions that were fixed. There were new features in there. Not a lot, but very nice. The cover block received a customization for content alignment, so you could now say, “OK, I want the text that I just wrote either be on top, or on the left side, or on the bottom of the cover block, or on the right.” You get a nice little interface there. I really like that very much. 

The team also added a support for block pattern categories. When you have, I don’t know, hundreds of block patterns in your inserter that you actually can drill down on categories, if you look for your image for a feature block or something like that, that you only see those. Which is a nice feature to have, especially when you get from themes and plugins more block patterns into your block editor.

Mark Uraine: Right, right. There could be a lot of stuff in there, and so it’s great to be able to categorize those, and search through the patterns as well.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: There were also a few enhancements. There was kind of an interesting question, “What’s the difference between features and enhancements?” 

Features is new, and enhancement is kind of enhancing on an existing feature. Now, when you open up the inserter, you see the most used blocks. That is now limited to just six elements. Before, I think it was 12, so it kind of pushed all the other categories below the fold, so to speak, and that has been changed. 

Then the buttons block allows now split and merge, of buttons I’m guessing. Then an enhancement is also for the local environment, with better errors for the run commands, for better run command errors. Yeah. 

What else? Oh, that’s certainly something that theme developers will really like. The specificity from the embed block styles are going to be refined, so there’s a little bit more control over it.

Mark Uraine: There’s a lot of conversation going on about that embed stuff right now. I don’t know if you noticed on GitHub there. I was catching like two or three different issues about how people paste in links to the editor. When we have an embed block, we kind of automatically convert it to the embed. But how does someone who wants just the link to show convert it back to the link, or something? There’s been some issues and discussions around how we surface that to users, so that they can really have more control on how they want that link to look.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, and speaking of embeds, that’s pretty much the whole list of first issues for the documentation team is writing the documentation for those. The heart of it is, that’s the transforming. I think it was in the last version already that the transform embed block into a paragraph block, that kind of solves that link issue. 

What else? Oh, the group block has now a matching frontend markup in the editor. Yay. Then the team added two new block patterns. One is a hero image with two columns. The other one is a feature or services block pattern. I’m looking forward to testing those on a few sites that we are releasing soon, to use the core blocks for that.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. One of the discussions that rise up too is whether or not core should provide these block patterns, or if we should really just provide the UI and allow third-parties to bring them in as far as themes or plugins. That discussion is still kind of ongoing right now. We’ve got core patterns in there right now, but I’m not so sure if any, or maybe some, get into WordPress 5.5. We’ll see.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I can see that that’s an issue. It wasn’t because the core patterns also have the assets kind of come in with the plugin? That’s always an issue, what to do when you want to change them out. It’s a load on the plugin, as well. I think, didn’t we talk, I had talked with somebody about it, I’m not sure if it was you. That the block pattern is actually meant for the plugin and theme developers and API. The block patterns from the core are actually just the testing and the examples that those developers are using to build their own patterns.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Yeah, we kind of needed…we were building the UI for block patterns, but we needed some patterns in there to make sure we can actually test them out, that the functionality works well. Get others involved with feedback and testing. That’s why they’re in there, for the most part. We know that there are…we were trying to create patterns that people would use on their sites too, just to get feedback there.

New APIs

That brings us then to the new APIs section of the Changelog. There were about 13 different PRs there. Some regarding React hooks, some around the WordPress ENV, the WordPress scripts. There was one about adding CSS support to start and build scripts. Another one about support and enabling/disabling dev tools. Another one about adding PHP unit support to the APIs there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s great.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, 13. I mean, that’s a lot of PR changes that are going in there right now. I remember in the past, there has only been, most of the time there was just like three or four things going.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yep, yep.

Bug Fixes

Mark Uraine: Oh, and there was another one about supporting controlled inner blocks, which was an interesting one to look at. 

Then there were about 16 bug fixes with this new release. Several of them had to do with CSS fixes, and a couple around buttons. Then there was some cover block resizing, border radius fixing. Preventing contributors for accessing the medium modal. I guess there was a bug around that.

Performance PRs

Finally, we’ve got about six performance PRs of which I’m not going to dig into with six. I would like to point out that the loading time, they’re testing around the loading time, was improved by over a second, so from 8.1 to 8.2. That’s a pretty significant change there.


Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. If you think that was enough, there were also 37 PRs on the experimental features that are, as you recall, the full site editing, the navigation block, the block-based widgets, the global styles, and the block directory are the five experiments.

Mark Uraine: Wow.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: There are in Gutenberg. For the full site editing, and I’m not going to go through all of them.

Mark Uraine: Before you go into these, I just wanted to point out, with all these API changes, and all these experimental full site editing changes, you could tell the team is really ramping right now. Getting ready to incorporate some big full site editing capabilities. Go on, sorry.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No, no, absolutely. Yeah, it’s exciting to see that there’s so much movement on there. For the full site editing, what stands out for me is the query block that has been added to it now. Which allows you to drill down on the content that you want to see on a certain template or page, in terms of custom type, post types, categories, taxonomies. All the taxonomies for a post grid or something like that. 

There was still missing was doing that with the latest post grid to actually also use it for the custom post types. That is in experimental. Then have also in experimental, and fixed and refactored, is the post author block. It’s kind of interesting to see how the discussions go. I think we need to all start experimenting with the full site editing so we can have an opinion of that. What we actually want in a post author block, and what we don’t want, so we can let our voices be heard.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, totally.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: There is also a focus mode and top toolbar mode now for the full site editing. There have been a lot of changes also to the navigation block and screen. That is definitely moving forward quite a bit. Now, it has block movers on the block navigator. Also an ellipsis menu for the block navigator. A location management for the menu. If you want to have a top or a bottom or a social. 

Then also there’s a navigation link block that uses now the rich text split/merge remove behavior that we know from there. And of course, yeah, we now need safe and failure notices that are available. Now you can edit some new menu items in the block inspector. That’s cool. The sub-menu nesting on saving with nested items, yeah, it still needs probably some work, test it out.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, that sub-menu is, wow. That was a difficult one to kind of wrap our heads around. Even what’s coming out in it right now is just kind of like a good NVP. It’s pretty strong. We’ve got an idea of how it should flow and work.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I think that with usage, it gets better in terms of what really works and what doesn’t.

 The block based widget screen and customizer tab got a new interface package, and you see the block editor in the widget screen. You can use it also in the mobile view. The legacy widget is now added to the calendar transformation. It can be transformed into a legacy widget, and then go into a theme place for that widget. That’s really also tackling the backwards compatibility quite a bit. That’s definitely going to be a topic around the widget screen and the customizer tab.

Mark Uraine: The widget screen is the widgets block screen. We have these block areas, which were like the widget areas in the widget screen. That’s coming together really well. It’s almost dialed in nicely. There’s just this legacy widget, is really kind of the difficult thing for us there. Who knows what third-party widgets people have on their sites. In order to use this widget block screen, we have to somehow gracefully bring them over to it, those third-party widgets, and not destroy them in the process.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah, that gives a big of a riot there when that happens. I think the themes, how they’re built now, that will stay around for at least a few years. So backwards compatibility is really important for that.

Mark Uraine: I don’t think that widget screen will be, the actual widget screen will be going anywhere anytime soon.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, so there were also some additional changes to the global styles and the theme JSON. I’m pointing out here only the implement of managed CSS for the global styles. That’s going to be really interesting for people to discover. The last piece of the experimental section is, there has been movement on the block directory. Through the grapevine we heard that the meta team who’s working on it has been doubled in size of teammates. 

So there will be some new, or not new but some major progress made here, I would assume. Now you can activate, deactivate a block if it’s already installed. It supports only arrays of assets that you inject, like pictures or graphics or CSS styling. Then it also removes the author rating when it doesn’t exist. The opposite of direction, there will be author rating displayed in the block directory. They also updated the layout so it fits on the smaller inserter width.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, that layout’s even undergoing a bit more revision as we kind of think things through a little more, but see where it lands.


Birgit Pauli-Haack: Later on today we will talk about the new ideas on how developer documentation should work for the block directory. We’re not through with this section yet. There’s also a documentation section, or updates on the documentation. That’s developer documentation. There are nine PRs for that. I wanted to highlight that there’s a document for performance testing commands now, and documentation for the side effect in React and JavaScript on how they’re handled in WordPress. 

They updated the block editor’s docs to incorporate the block toolbar popover slot. Meaning if you have on the toolbar a popover, you can kind of put something in there as a plugin developer. They added a read me to the menu, replaced flow function, module, component. That’s it for the documentation part that I wanted to highlight. Did I overlook something?

Mark Uraine: No, I think that’s right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: OK.

Code Quality

Mark Uraine: Yeah. You got all those. Then we had about, this release we saw 14 different code quality PR changes that went in. There was a couple around the image block. One in particular, removing the extra div wrapper in the editor. That’s always nice, whenever you can pull some stuff out of there. Another one I’ll talk about is using a light block DOM for the cover block to map frontend markup. 

I think that kind of relates to some of what you were talking about earlier, about trying to get the markup to match what’s on the frontend also with the editor. Little by little, we’re getting closer to a real good seamless experience where one CSS file provided by the theme could really apply to both the frontend and backend, ideally. 

Build Tooling

The build tooling had about 11 changes with this release, a couple of which include a refactor the changelog script as a release tool command. This really helps improve the release flow for everything. 

Getting this changelog all together and dialed into one place. The storybook was set to use a consistent port number now, instead of that port number changing and all. It’s a consistent one. 


We saw about 11 various other PRs that got into this release, a couple of which include adding a simple block patterns end-to-end tests, and a test utility. 

Another one, adding end-to-end tests to verify cover can be resized with drag and drop. Those were a couple among some other end-to-end tests and additional improvements. All-in-all, this was quite a big release. It feels very packed with things, as we get closer and closer to full site editing. That closes the changelog for us.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I just added up numbers that we had here, and those were 138 PRs.

Mark Uraine: Are you kidding?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No, line items. Some of them had two or three PRs. Yeah. Congratulations to the team. That’s some great work and hard work to put this all together.

Mark Uraine: Really good.

Active Development

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. The next section is what’s in active development, we’ll discuss. I mentioned it before, Anne McCarthy hosted a discussion issue on GitHub with the title, Next Steps For Block Creation Documentation. 

She has ideas on how to improve the developer documentation for Gutenberg. It’s already a good to-do list. In the article, after some background, she also distinguishes between the official documentation and then tutorials. 

She is really asking for input in terms of having the first magical steps to being a newbie from start to finish, and find out where the gaps are. If you, dear listeners, are a PHP developer and haven’t gotten into Gutenberg yet, it might be worth following this part of the discussion. It’s directed at you in finding out or letting you know what you need to get into custom block development. 

What are your hurdles? What are your confusions? It would really help. We put the link of course in the show notes. It’s a GitHub issue, so it collects all the comments right there on the issue or on that article. 

Anne also published another article, this time on the Make/Core Blog, Ways to keep up with Full Site Editing. That was identified by a few people, amongst them Justin Tadlock from WPTavern, that there’s a lot of things kind of up in the air. 

It’s hard to keep track of it. In that article, she helps you, kind of divides it up in what’s yearly published, what’s quarterly published, what’s monthly published. Then bi-weekly and weekly, with not only the posts that are regularly published, but also with the meetings and chats, and the summaries from those. That gives you everything that you could use. Kind of for you to decide how often do you want to keep up with things.

Mark Uraine: It’s really a comprehensive list, yeah, really well done and put together.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it’s awesome.

WordPress 5.5

Mark Uraine: Birgit, let’s talk a little bit about WordPress 5.5 here. We know it’s on the horizon. The release squad is identified. Beta 1 is scheduled for July 7, 2020. I just recently posted on the Make/Core Blog about the editor features that we’re hoping to include in 5.5. I talked about things that we know will ship. We’ll include the new UI design. That’s going to be happening. There’s a PR for block movers. We need to refine that still. 

We have the block inserter panel. If you remember, it was just a popover up in the upper lefthand corner. Now, it’s an actual panel that kind of slides out, allowing more room and a cleaner view. Then this new UI design also includes a lot of the surrounding elements of the editor, like the sidebar and the top toolbar. We know the block patterns UI is going to get into 5.5. That includes, like we mentioned, the pattern search and the pattern categories. 

There are still several issues that we need your help, listeners, to come in and give us your feedback. To test things out in these issues. We really would like to see them get into 5.5, but we need the help to make that happen. These include the navigation block as one of them. We’re incorporating the navigator into that, to kind of help navigate through the navigation block. We know that the menu items can become really intense as far as how many menu items people could include there. 

The various interactions for that little navigator, there’s the sub-menus that we talked about. We have the navigation menu screen, which we mentioned that we’d like to get in for 5.5. The widget block screen, of course there’s the core block patterns, which is still up in the air, and the block directory, as we mentioned. 

Then even the block design tools, which are kind of like the global style tools but on a block-by-block basis. All those things we’d like to see happen before 5.5. Whether they get in or not is still up in the air. It really depends on how much we get together as a community and put effort into making those things happen.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: There is not a whole lot of time, right? Today is, well, it’s kind of the, it’s June next week. The first beta is when the decision needs to be made, which… Yeah, a version of Gutenberg actually gets into the core.

Mark Uraine: Exactly.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: There are only two left, two releases left, right?

Mark Uraine: Yeah, yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So it’s either 8.4 or 8.5, depending if they do another release in the next week. Yeah, kind of cut down the release cycle in half. That’s really interesting, yeah. There’s a lot of things to be done. Don’t put so much in there, because your documentation team doesn’t come….

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. It tells you where my focus is. From there, also I want to surface.

Mark Uraine: I want to keep those 10 new contributors you have busy.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I’m looking actually for 20-25.

Mark Uraine: OK, OK.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: We need to kind of have reviewers, and those who can publish. Yeah, there is a whole idea behind things. Out of that, getting really into it, what’s a good process? I notice that when you draft and collaborate on Google Docs on content, and put all the images in there. Then copy/paste it over into your blog editor, it’s so nice. It all comes over. The text is formatted nicely, and you see the pictures. Yeah, it’s really great. 

If you’re the owner of both the website and the document, it should all be fine. The big problem is that the pictures are still referenced to the Google Doc. For an official documentation, we definitely can’t have that. It would require that the contributor keeps that document around. I found an issue that is the issue 2515, and I’m lobbying for a week now to get it higher on the priority. It’s almost three years. 

I know that there was an external images into the media library, that would be automatically. That would be really great. I know there was REST API issues on the media library for a year or so that weren’t fixed, before those can happen. I know why the delay is, but I’m trying to get it a little bit higher in there.

Mark Uraine: Good, keep pushing it. That’s what makes things happen, Birgit. When that issue has someone to champion it and drive it forward, those things get done.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, and it’s only if you shut me up, right?

Mark Uraine: You know what? I’ve run into that very same issue multiple times. It’s a desire of mine to get in there. I’d love to have, when you copy over content from another editor into the block editor, I would love that that content is…if it’s images and media, it gets added to the media library.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, definitely. For those who want to be in the forefront of theme development and what’s coming up, Andres started documenting how themes can hook into the various sub-systems on the block editor. This document needs to be reviewed on a wider theme community, and probably discussed to kind of see what’s working, what’s not working.

He suggests an experimental theme.json, which is all the parameters and settings, as a method for the theme to define the global styles. We put the link in the show notes. It’s on the developer documentation already there marked experimental. If you are a theme developer, and you want to kind of get going on this and see how that’s going to shape up, you can actually contribute to the decision here.

Gutenberg and Theme News

Mark Uraine: We also have the Gutenberg and theme news, if anybody’s been paying attention to those posts coming out. Let’s see, there’s some more of them brought to you by the new weekly Gutenberg and theme news from the WordPress theme team. Cal collected a set of GitHub issues that need your voice and feedback–12 general issues. 

Samples include discussing themes, citing font style rules for the heading block. A conceptual discussion about removing all default margins in blocks in the editor. I actually just saw this come up recently elsewhere as well, removing these default margin and paddings is a big desire for people. There was a discussion around standardizing class names for blocks and backgrounds.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, big desire.

Mark Uraine: There you have it. There was seven issues concerning block based themes, for instance, a discussion on figuring out why, a way to handle inline dynamic content in theme templates. Or the issue for creating a new post title block. The last section is global styles. There were about five issues there. Recap the next steps for global styles, allowing themes to override global defaults and block settings using global styles. There’s a lot of discussion going on, and a lot of things that need decisions. 

Maybe you can add your voice, and make your opinion heard. Please, chime in on those posts. Comment on them. When you see the PRs or issues that are linked, click on those and leave some feedback for the designers and the developers, the contributors who are a part of this. Recently, there was also…we’re talking about themes, and themes use the customizer quite a bit. 

David Herrera facilitated a special discussion on Slack in the customizer channel, about the customizer and full site editing. Between the customizer team, and the developers and designers on the Gutenberg team. This wasn’t, just not that long ago. There was a great discussion going back and forth on the future, and how to integrate things together. If you’re in the Slack channels, check that out.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I really commend the theme team, how they pivot to really surface some of the issues that people need to talk about and want to talk about and put it all in one post. So you only have to go to the theme They started that about two weeks ago, that they have weekly news about things. Tune in to their new news there. Cal did a great job putting that together. There’s also Jeff Young, who participates on that. 

There are others on the theme review team, or theme team, because it’s not under review anymore. It’s really putting it all together. 

Now, we come to the end of our show. I want to remind everyone on that, Gutenberg phase 2 Friday design update number 54 was published last week by Mark Uraine. You have a lot to read now, so we don’t want to add any more.

Mark Uraine: I think we covered that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: As always, I’m sorry.

Mark Uraine: I was just going to say, I think we covered so much in this episode.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it was a lot. It’s great, everything, the creativity and the buzz around things is really cool. 

As always, the show notes will be published on the This is episode 21. If you have questions or suggestions, or news you want us to make clear, send them to That’s Thanks for listening and sending in your questions. We’re so happy to read reviews. Thank you so much, and good-bye until the next time.

Mark Uraine: Thank you, everybody. Birgit, it was a pleasure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Bye, Mark.

Mark Uraine: Bye-bye.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Take care.

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