Gutenberg Changelog #23 – Gutenberg 8.4, Features for WordPress 5.5, Block Directory, Global Styles and Full-site Editing

 
 
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In this episode, Mark Uraine and Birgit Pauli-Haack discuss the big Gutenberg 8.4 release, WordPress 5.5 features, Block Directory, Global Styles, Full-site Editing, and many Enhancements and what’s in Active Development.

Show Notes / Transcript

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Community Contributions

Official Create-Block scaffolding tool

The community forks:

What’s released

What’s in active development or discussed

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

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Transcript

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Hello, and welcome to our 23rd episode of the Gutenberg change log. In today’s episode, we will talk about Gutenberg 8.4. It’s a big release! Many new features will be coming through WordPress 5.5. And we’ll talk about the block directory, global styles and full-site editing. I am Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator at the Gutenberg Times. And I’m here with my co-host Mark Uraine, designer in Automattic and core contributor to WordPress. Hi, Mark, how are you today? You just got back from vacation, I hear.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, I did, Birgit, thank you. Yeah, I took a trip up to the mountains last week and then back, refreshed. How’s everything been going on your end?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, it’s been just peachy, which is also the color of our house. We have a new color, a new coat of paint on our house and also new rain gutters and that was enough distraction for two weeks. Now we’re looking now at the interior and see if you can make headway to simplify the things that we care about. We have been in the house for 18 years. So, a lot of stuff.

Mark Uraine: That feels good to re-feel it again now. Paint it, get the gutters going. Well, look, congratulations, that’s great news.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, thank you. And I’m glad you’re back from vacation refreshed and yeah, back to designing and leading the team. 

All right, today we don’t have any listener questions, per se. But last week we had this live Q&A and with a lot of questions about the block-based themes and full-site editing features that are coming to WordPress. You can watch the recording on YouTube and the transcript is available on the gutenbergtimes.com. It was a great audience there. Thank you to WPTavern, who picked up the announcement. And we got quite a few new listeners to our live Q&A and YouTube. So check it out.

Mark Uraine: Really cool. Yeah, we did get a listener review, Birgit, this time from SkipNet. SkipNet, that wrote “great WordPress podcast” and they wrote this on the iTunes review. And they say, “I listen to all of the WP podcasts and this is one of my favorites. I sincerely look forward to each episode. The hosts clearly know their stuff and put a lot of work into making the Gutenberg Block Editor the best it can be. Both by actually working on it and by teaching the WordPress community about it.” Well, so much SkipNet.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Thank you. It’s a wonderful review and we would like to have more of those.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. It makes my heart feel good. We’re doing some good for the community here.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And with our review, you can also…dear your listeners, if you think about what you want to do and if you feel it’s something that helps you, yeah, let the community know and leave a review either on Stitcher or on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app. It will really get the word out about this podcast. In point, I just did some calculations, and we have over 5,000 listens now through all the 22 podcasts. So over 5,000 downloads, that was really cool, thank you so much. It’s us going. 

Third Annual JavaScript for WordPress Conference

As an announcement for your schedule, I have the third annual online JavaScript for WordPress conference coming up next week, actually July 8th through 10th. And there is a workshop on React and WordPress on Wednesday. And then eight talks on Gutenberg Block Editor on Thursday, and then eight talks on WordPress Headless on Friday. All talks and the Q&A will be live.

And after the conference, the videos will be available on the site, on javascriptforwp.com/conference. And thanks to the generous sponsors, the conferences will be free for the attendees and also the recordings. If you want to follow along with the announcements, the Twitter account is @jsforwp. And the schedule is, I repeat the javascriptforwp.com/conference. It’s going to be exciting. They’re will be quite a few interesting talks about Gutenberg converting to short codes or converting short codes to blocks, that’s the right way. Or building blocks of ACF and also how to get from create block into the block directory tutorial or a … I don’t know exactly how it’s going to look out because it’s my topic. And I have started on it but then still figuring out how that’s going to work, because I don’t have yet a documentation for the block directory, and I hope it’s going to be in Monday’s release.

Mark Uraine: That would be wonderful, yes. Yeah, watching the last two JavaScript forward press conferences, they’ve been wonderful. So I’m really looking forward to this upcoming conference, especially even though WordPress and the Headless WordPress. I dabbled a little bit there and I’m always very intrigued by what people do.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. That’s all about Frontity and Gatsby and static web. It’s going to be really interesting to see what the next generation of hosting actually is, which is going to be moving all the data to a static website. Yeah.

Community Contributions

Mark Uraine: And that brings us to some community contributions. So we’ve come across … we’ve got a new plugin that I noticed called Wholesome Publishing. It is a WordPress plugin that allows users to add threaded comments to individual blocks. So this … we’ve talked about Gutenberg phase three a couple of times on our show about multi-user editing in WordPress. And this borders on that direction, just a little bit where you’re getting a little more feedback in the editor, although I don’t think this one was real time like multiple people, but it’s allowing multiple comments per block. And they even have another feature in the plugin that allows draft blocks as well. So if you create a block on your page and you mark it as a draft, it won’t show up when you publish the page until you uncheck that it’s a draft. So WPTavern wrote a nice little article about this plugin and it’s something worth checking out. If you need to communicate with other users in the WordPress site and talk about things, the blocks and the content, it’s a good way to do that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I’m looking forward to actually testing this out. I haven’t seen it yet, I only saw what WPTavern wrote about it. If you work with co-editors or with new editors that need to adhere to standards, it’s really nice to have the comments right there in the editor and you don’t have to do it over in another note collecting feature or app. 

Just a couple of days ago, Jeffrey Carandang published his block press Gutenberg block plugin builder, which is a package on NPM. And it’s a foundation he writes for WordPress Gutenberg blocks plugin development, that aims to provide a clear and concise guide for building your first block plugin. And it has some samples in the package and then is ready for post CSS. It’s translation ready, has pretty and styling WordPress configuration. Also syncs with browser live reload during development and has a Webpack configuration.

Mark Uraine: Nice. I really liked that browser sync live reload.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, that’s really great, yeah. And this is the third block scaffolding tool that we talk about here. It’s after the official WordPress create block package, there’s also that. And Marcus Kazmierczack, I might’ve put butchered his last name, is just about to write the documentation for the developer documentation. And then a couple of weeks ago, WebDevStudios also published a block scaffolding tool for developers. We will have all the links in the show notes, of course. And you have now a lot of options to start creating a plugin with blocks, with one block or more blocks. There are no excuses anymore.

Mark Uraine: No. I’d love to see someone do an analysis between these blocks scaffolding tools and to chart out what are the differences between each one and how they work Where they’ve been an interesting read.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. It also will be quite some work to be done to do that. Yeah.

Gutenberg 8.4 Release

Mark Uraine: Yeah. So Gutenberg 8.4 was released and there is a lot of stuff in it, everybody, like tons of stuff. So, about 153 line change items. This is the second to last plugin release before WordPress 5.5 beta one. And so the next one, 8.4, will also be included in 5.5 as what’s speculated there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So this is 8.4 and the next one is 8.5?

Mark Uraine: Yeah. And 8.5, they’re looking to release on Monday, July 6th. So to make sure it gets in there, it won’t be the usual Wednesday release. I’ll look forward to Monday, July 6th. So did you have something to say then be okay?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No, but, yeah. Go ahead.

Mark Uraine: So jumping into this list, we have three big features that were introduced here, added imaging editing. There’s a whole toolbar now for your images that allows you to edit them in various ways. This includes rotating, cropping. They’ve enabled the block directly. Oh, I keep thinking, you’re going to say something.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Sorry. I really love the cropping feature on this one, especially because it has a nine grid. So three, by three, by three, vertical and horizontal. So you can do a better composition, make it out of the images that somebody sent to you. I just learned a lot about composition two years ago on a photo walk from a professional photographer. And so I’m still always looking for these helpful things, they’re awesome.

Mark Uraine: Now what is it? The principle of thirds?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes.

Mark Uraine: They’re like, yeah. I love that too.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And the idea is to not put the subject of the photo into the middle, but either in the left third or the right or the bottom third, or hide that just because the middle is so less dramatic. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. It’s more stimulating that way visually, right?Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And if you put it on the side, then you’ll get a little bit more depth into the photo.

Mark Uraine: Got it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s a little digressing. I’m sorry.

Mark Uraine: No. This is all very good information. And so, the next one I brought up really is, we’ve been able to block directory. So this, for everyone following along, you know that it’s existed in the plugin, but under an experiment flag. So you actually had to go to the experiments page and turn it on or toggle it on, to use this block directory. Well, now it’s in there, you don’t need to make a toggle or anything. 

So just as you’re searching in the block inserter, if you’re searching for a particular block or keyword, and if that block isn’t available in core or in any of the plugins that you currently have, but it is available in the directory, it’ll show up for you and you can just add it right there, which is fantastic. 

And then finally, the third big feature is allowing block attributes to be modified while multiple blocks are selected. So that means instead of having to click one paragraph block, change the font size and then select another paragraph block and change the font size again, you can just select multiple blocks and change the thing. Is that right Birgirt?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, and that’s one we all waited for now three years. But I understand it was really hard to go from the single unit block to multiple and then attach some of the attributes to them at the same time when you select them. And I have not tested if you can have just a section from the above block and then another section of the next block and highlight that, or if it needs to be both that the entire block that needs to have a bold or italics or something like that. So that’s interesting, but I’m so happy that that is finally in there.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. It’s a time saver. For people who just want to really style several blocks at one time. Like they’ve got that ability.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s also kind of a feature from the classic editor where you didn’t have that distinction between blocks and you just highlight something and you change it, which you can do now also in the block editor. So a lot of writers that are little stepping kind of tripped over that.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. I totally understand why. We also have 26 enhancements that were included in this release. We’ll go through several of them, maybe not all of them. 

But we start with showing movers next to the block switcher. So the movers used to be in the new G2 UI design. You would hover over the block switcher icon in the block toolbar, and the movers would slide out and then you’d see the movers and interact with them. Now they’re actually integrated right next to that block switcher icon. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So they come back.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, back in there, they’re visually always there present. So you don’t need to guess where they are. And you can interact with them right away, moving blocks up or down. 

The support dragon drop in blocks like social links and improve drops detection, is another one that’s really important as far as the way I’ve watched people use Gutenberg a lot doing usability tests, people love dragging and dropping those who can write, and they want to move these blocks or the content around however they like. And so improving drag and drop has been a really important one to make happen. 

There’s tweaking colors of the disabled buttons to match the rest of WPadmin. So now there’s a little more consistency with that. Making popover scrolling and position behavior adapt to the content changes, another enhancement. 

Adding ability to transform a preformatted block into a code block. This is cool because we really want to improve on those block transformations. If you want to convert these blocks or the content into certain other blocks, there needs to be a way to do that. 

We added a border to blocks while hovering with the select tool active. So this is one. Like the G2 design when really removed all the block borders for the most part, and really lightened the UI. In that same vein, there’s still something to be said about visually seeing where the block boundaries are. And we do have this select mode in Gutenberg. So if you switched to the select mode, which is really about moving blocks and selecting blocks, not really working in the content of the block. But when you’re in that mode and you hover over the block, you now get the block border that shows up.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, that’s good. Yeah. Being a little bit more explicit for the boundaries, always, is definitely helpful. I have a question to the transform. I have been thinking about–is there a way to convert old content to blocks for old posts or something like that? And would it be feasible to actually look at the transform methods off the block editor to actually loop through the posts and then do that without having to call the editor just as a backend program script that runs through the website.

Theme Conversion

Mark Uraine: This would be for older posts and pages that haven’t been creative in Gutenberg. That’s a good question because I know it’s been brought up before. I just want it all to convert to Gutenberg now for me. I don’t want to have to go through everything. And so I know that that’s a desire there and when you first open the page right, it opens it all in the classic editor block. And then you have an option to convert everything to a block. It’s not always discoverable and it’s not always exact. Right?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right. But it’s good enough, but I don’t want to do this for a thousand posts. But if I want to change the theme and say, okay, I want to do a more modern theme, then the expectation from the new modern theme would be to actually deal with blocks and make it a consistent layout again. Well, if you don’t change the theme, I wouldn’t consider changing the posts because they show up just fine. But once you get into, okay, what’s the next stage of things. You only want to have one form of content to deal with. And I know a lot of publishers have to deal with that with the big sites. Anyway, that was just….

Mark Uraine: I want to touch on this just a little further before we go on, because I like what you’re bringing up. What if I switched my theme and then I have a particular set of global styles as we’re proving global styles and introducing this into Gutenberg. And I make a global adjustment setting to my posts. That I want the font size to be a certain color and a certain size or some … I’m just thinking about this off the top of my head. This is really affecting all Gutenberg blocks. Does it actually change the styling on older posts?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Probably not, right.

Mark Uraine: That’s a problem. Goodness I didn’t even think about that. So that’s something that really needs to be talked about and thought through, because that highlights that issue even further.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I was thinking, I know I talked with a few bloggers. I always tell them that, “Don’t touch them.” And if you touch them, yeah. When you do it, but then, it’s okay, what’s the next step. And that kind of brought me to … well, I haven’t thought about that yet.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. That have old styles that don’t update.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right. Yeah. And that’s normal for a theme when you change it, yeah. But now you have two sets of styles and that’s why you don’t want that technology depth there. But the transform brought me, Oh, maybe that’s a good method to kind of loop through, I don’t know, 10 at a time or something. Anyway, keep going, that was a little tangent there.

Mark Uraine: The next one highlight is removing the margin from the last button if buttons in the buttons block are centered. So what that means, if you have a few buttons in the buttons block and you’ve centered them on the page, there was oftentimes an additional margin to the right and allowing the insert icon to show. And so even though you showed the buttons were centered or you marked them to be centered, they didn’t look visually such as it was extra margin. So removing that margin just makes us all happy, now that we can see it is centered as I wanted it to be. 

Making the … I liked this one, this is my favorite enhancement. Make UI more consistent. So actually I have to go look at the PR that was done to see what ways it was made more consistent. But are you opening that up right now?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Just opening up but the very general thing.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Give me a little more definition.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It’s peace on earth. Right.

Mark Uraine: If you get it you could shout out. 

But removing the canvas padding. It’s another one, like as we’re moving towards a more simplified Gutenberg styling so that themes can really interject their own stylings and everything. We’re trying to remove more and more opinionated styles in the editor itself to allow the themes to really come in and make it the way they wanted to be. 

And then lots of image editing stuff as we already discussed. But updating rich image icons, editing icons, consolidating the crop ratios, move to the image block, I’m not sure what that one is, but change edit label to crop icon. Just so many different things that have gone into this image editing package.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I think those were listed there were actually PRs that came into Gutenberg after the image editing was already enabled. Yeah, so that’s why they’re probably here on the list, maybe. 

New APIs

And that brings us to new APIs of which I want to update the theme colors to rely on CSS variables. This is a big one, it will help theme developers to connect the theme to the colors that are in the style sheets and in the color palettes of various blocks. So that’s really very interesting to see. 

And then there was also REST endpoint for the block types. Also received a context property that describes the parent and child relationship between two blocks or more than one block. So there’s a group block and then the … those are the attributes or the properties of the parent block inherited by the children. You can style the whole group with that. 

Bug Fixes

Then we had about 38 bug fixes in this release. It’s a huge number. The first is the pixel shift for toggles. And when I first read it, it said, “Oh, that’s pixels for toddlers.” So my brain was doing some funny things there. But when you have the toggle buttons that when you switch them on or off, they shifted a little bit. It was a very small movement, but it was a little unsettling just because something moved. So I noticed that this was fixed.

Mark Uraine: I’ve noticed this in a few other places as well. Recently I was using the new block movers and moving blocks up and down. And I was noticing some pixel shift happening with those movers as well. I figured it was just my local installation, maybe just a little wacky. But it makes me want, like seeing the bug fixes for this makes me want to go back and revisit and see if I can recreate that issue as well.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, if they’re moving, I’m not sure if that’s actually an issue or if it’s by design, because I remember about a year ago or maybe even a year and a half ago, Matias wrote about animation and how the moving of the blocks gives you the idea that, “Okay, well, I moved it but where did it go?” So a slight delay movement, I don’t know where that went when the UI was changed.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. That has to do with the animation of the block moving through so you can watch it. But I was like, when you click the arrow, there’s actually the little pixel shift. It just moves a little bit and you’re like, “Oh, what happened?” Little jump there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, yeah. That’s pretty much the same issue, yeah. Might have been already … oh, it’s only toggles yeah, maybe. So though the one bug fix is avoiding overriding popover content padding. So when the content comes into the popover, that is enough padding there and not override a sections of it. 

The inserter handling of child blocks that needed to be fixed. So that is when you have a parent child and a parent block, then that announces that only a certain amount or a certain type of child blocks can be in there. And the inserter wasn’t handling that well enough. So it was fixed now, yeah. And then there’s also a fix in the internationalization. They fixed the AM and PM part on the times. Yay! And there is an image triage feature fixed on….

Mark Uraine: That was in the sidebar when you adjust you get the dropdown for image size, it wasn’t really doing anything. And so now it does. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It was only there. Yeah, and then there were bug fixes that were noticed or implemented for the block directory, the uninstaller from unused block times, the installing of blocks, adding the rest API endpoints and fixing the plugin API for installing and deleting block plugins. And also they fixed missing padding. I think that’s a theme going on through this release. So a lot of fixing paddings.

Mark Uraine: I think it’s all about the padding. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And then there were about fixing also on the image editing feature for the image size crop, avoid the re-render of a select and preserve the crop position through rotations. So that is definitely a more complex issue that is now fixed. There were three performance change items that fixed some of the performance issues. So memorize and.

Mark Uraine: I think memorize. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So memorize the use Select callbacks. So in the header toolbar was important. Enqueue the assets for rendered blocks only. And there isMultiSelecting and isNavigation mode selectors were added to the editor. Yes.

Mark Uraine: Yes. And we had 25 experiment change items, several under full-site editing. I’m not going to read them all, but they included adding a template part previews to the placeholder block. This one has been really undergoing a lot of revisions. How do we introduce existing template parts or new template parts and how do we bring it into a placeholder of some kind really make it intuitive for people to add and remove. 

Another one included fetching the template parts in the template switcher from the rest API. So if the theme includes multiple template parts, you’ll be able to use the template part switcher, which is like the blocks switcher, and swap between those template parts. 

Post title block at alignment and heading level support. So that’s really cool. You could change the heading level or the alignment of the post title. And, Birgit, get ready for this. There is add a theme exporter. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Wow!

Mark Uraine: So I haven’t even looked at this, this one snuck on there right by me while I was on vacation. But can we export a thing from Gutenberg now?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yes. That’s for real. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: Oh, my goodness. I can make changes, design it and then bam, I want to export this as a theme.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So if you can use all the design tools that you have with the full site editor, you can produce additional themes that somebody else can add to them. Yeah, pretty cool.

Mark Uraine: So, then we had about a whole set of navigation block and navigation screen change items as well. And a lot of these are being improved upon, but I don’t think the navigation screen or the widget screen are making it into WordPress 5.5, just FYI. 

But these included visual improvements to the block navigator, it included removing the navigator from the navigation block inspector. And for those of you where that makes absolutely no sense because it’s a lot of navigation words. What that means is that the navigator, which is like a tree structure of the blocks that you’re interacting with was available in the navigation block toolbar, but it was also available in the sidebar in the block settings. 

So it was just a lot of navigation navigator things all over the place. So they removed that from the sidebar, which I think is a good step. I’m glad that happened. And there was also enable creation from existing WordPress menus. So if you ever fooled around with the navigation block, you never really had the ability to say, I want the menu that I already created in the navigation screen or in the menu screen. Now you can.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, that definitely adds to the backwards compatibility of themes because you can do the new editing features, use it with an existing theme. Kjell actually demonstrated that in the live Q&A how you can add an additional template port through the block editor full-site editing. And it looks just like the rest of the website. Yeah. And that was very interesting, but though if you want to have the menu on that template as well, then you can just grab them from the menu screens of the speakers in the dropdown box grade menu. And then it says, “Do you want to create from an existing one or new one?” And then you can get that also into your template port, it’s really cool.

Documentation

Mark Uraine: And so that brings us to a list of documentation changes that have happened, there’s about 15 of those. And a couple of the I’ll call out–the @wordpress/env package, adding login details to the documentation. There are a couple handbook updates, updating documentation for package releases, updating the release documentation. Those sound like the same thing, but I’m obviously missing something. That’s okay.

Update theme support .md for experimental supports. So just a whole group of various documentation updates that’ve been going on.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Documentation is always a little bit behind, is what I wanted to say. 

Code Quality

So that brings us to the last sections of this change log, where there were 16 items that improve the code quality. And I read a lot of refactoring there of components. So for the column block that was refactored to use hooks. The rich text also using … and these are react hooks not repress hooks. Also, the toggle control is a functional component now in the media and texts. And then they actually removed the deprecated APIs of version 8.3 and removed the animation component. So it’s just a hook.

Mark Uraine: That’s cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. It’s very cool. And then there were some changes to the build tooling–11 of those where the packages and the script were updated for the new version and its change log updater was fixed and then stylesheet CSS handling in the commands, yeah. The ESLinting packages or versions were added to that and then they listed. Because there was a discussion on Twitter why people wouldn’t find the packages from Gutenberg on NPM and they were all under the keyword WordPress and not Gutenberg. So they added the Gutenberg keyword, which is really big.

Various

And then we have nine items in the various section. These are things that didn’t fit in any of the other ones, but it’s also about, they fix the left to right issue for the end-to-end testing, added a verification to the grade block package for continuous integration and then also updated the end-to-end tests for the show block toolbar as well. 

WordPress 5.5

So, that was the Gutenberg 8.4 release. It needed to be a big one because the next one is only the bug fixes for that. So it can all get into the beta. The beta for WordPress 5.5 is scheduled for July 7th and on July 6th, the 8.5 version will come out with mostly fixes for the new features, I would think.

So please, please, please test all the three features that are scheduled for coming into WordPress 5.5, which is the imaging editing and the block directory, yeah. Neither the widget screen, nor the navigation screen or the navigation block nor the full-site editing are scheduled to get in 5.5. But there’s enough to really make this a great release. 

There were other things that are, actually three other feature plugins will make it into WordPress 5.5. One is the automatic update of plugins and themes. And then the native XML sitemaps in core. And then the third one was the lazy loading images. It’s all great features to get into 5.5 beyond what the block editor brings.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. And even the block editor just being re-designed visually is going to be a big, big thing for people. So I really think it’s a beautifully designed interface nowadays.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, I totally forgot about that. Yes, the whole interface is going to change again on people.

Mark Uraine: Well, we’re used to it, because we’ve been using the plugin.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Millions of people … well I think WordPress.com actually is already using the new UI for quite a while, I think.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. WordPress.com really tries to stay up with the most recent plugin. 

Active Development

And that brings us to what’s in active development, or discussions that are going on that brings us to what’s inactive development or recently discussed and Andres has submitted a couple of issues on Github that have really interesting conversations. One is global styles recap, which is just overviewing the global styles, what’s the progress of it. Goes into some of the background, talks about the style hooks for blocks, managed CSS and talks about the benefits of managed CSS. And highlights some of the next tasks that we really need to focus on. 

That’s an issue on Github, and another one that he posted was about consolidating the style attributes of blocks. So this is really cool. If your block, what is the opts in for these certain attributes it will or it’s a certain particular block. It will get these app attributes or these components in the toolbar automatically depending on the type of block it is. So then you highlight that in your block JSON on file.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, it’s actually….

Mark Uraine: Yeah, no?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: … In the experimental theme file. So you can….

Mark Uraine: Yes. Thank you.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So the vision is that the block editor uses this data to auto-generate the inspector controls for them in the sidebar. So that is really cool. Yeah. When you say, okay, we support color palette and the color palette automatically shows up in the inspector control. That’s the sidebar on the blog editor. Really cool. Yeah. 

So, Enrique Piqueras also did a great issue on Github and it’s covering all the features of template tags and full-site editing. The whole issue is multiple pages long, if you want to look at it. But every single template tag that you would use in your theme development is listed, and also if there is a block equivalent and if there isn’t that it’s planning and how far it is.

That’s really great for thinking about backwards compatibility as well as your new theme development, where you want to say, “Okay, how do I do my comments on my template? Or how do I do pagination of comments? How do I do linking?” Yeah, there are so many template tags for linking. How would you as the theme developer do it? And this is a great overview. I like it, but that’s also good for … if you want to contribute to it, be it in discussion or actually helping with the coding, that will be really helpful to get this done so soon. So backwards compatibility can be tested this year on all themes.

Another great issue I want to point out is the overview of the block directory by Alex Shields. That’s where he kept track of the things that needed to be worked on for WordPress 5.5. So he has categorized and require for long launched directory related to block directory, but not a block of your launch and indirectly related but not required for launch. So these are all the things that need to be happening or will be iterated on after WordPress 5.5 once it’s in more usage and receive what’s not happening.

I have been testing the block directory quite a bit, but there’s not a whole lot of blocks in the repository yet. So we need to do some education on that and how to get single block plugins into the block directory. So they can, not only for testing purposes, but also to enhance the block directory with a better way to import or get new blocks in there. That’s a great feature to have and it all hinges on plugin offers to convert their blocks into a single block. 

So this is the end of our show already. Do you have any last announcements?

Mark Uraine: I don’t have any announcements today.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: All right. So as always, the show notes will be published on Gutenbergtimes.com/podcast. And if you have questions, suggestions or news you want to include, send them to changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. That’s the email address changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. So this was it. We will be here the next time for the next … it’s probably after the next release as always. And we will be talking about what are the features that are in WordPress 5.5 in the next show. 

Well, thanks for listening. Glad that you came out and listened to us again. Goodbye. And until the next time.

Mark Uraine: Yes, goodbye Birgit. Thank you for listening, see you again. It was a pleasure once again.Birgit Pauli-Haack: Same here, Mark. Same here. Thank you.

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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