Gutenberg Changelog #25 – Gutenberg 8.6, Block Patterns in WordPress 5.5 and Active Development

Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog #25 - Gutenberg 8.6, Block Patterns in WordPress 5.5 and Active Development

In this episode, Birgit Pauli-Haack and Mark Uraine discuss Gutenberg 8.6, Block Patterns for WordPress 5.5, active development and a Live Q&A Announcement.

Show Notes / Transcript

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Show Notes

Listener Questions & Reviews

Block Patterns

Review: A must-listen to keep up on the development of the WordPress Gutenberg project


iThemes Webinar

Gutenberg 8.5 Visual Changelog by Mark Uraine

Community Contributions

Essentials for building your first Gutenberg block by Leonardo Losoviz

Riad Benguella’s BlockBook

Side note: GraphQL API for WordPress

What’s released?

WordPress 5.5 Beta 3 was release on July 21, 2020

What’s new in Gutenberg (July 22) – 8.6

Special shout-out for “Gutenberg versions in WordPress” by Anne McCarthy

What’s in active development or discussed

New Block: Accordion Block

Reusable Blocks

Link Controls

Issue: Link UI: Add and edit links directly within the block toolbarPR WIP: In Toolbar link editing

Next Live Q & A on August 6th, 2020 with the Block directory team Alex Sheils and Kelly Dwan from the meta team and Otto from the plugin review team to answer your questions. 

Did you like this episode? Please write us a review


If you have questions or suggestions, or news you want us to include, send them to

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Sponsored by Pauli Systems

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Hello, and welcome to our 25th episode of the Gutenberg Changelog Podcast. In today’s episode, we will talk about the block directory, Gutenberg 8.6, the block editor dev notes for WordPress 5.5, and so many more things. 

My name is Birgit Pauli-Haack and I am the publisher of Gutenberg Times, and I’m here with my co-host, Mark Uraine, designer at Automatic and core contributor to WordPress. Hey, hello, Mark. How are you doing today?

Mark Uraine: Good, good. Very good. It’s great to be back again. We’ve been doing a lot of gardening lately, and it feels good to work with my hands out in the earth and just reap what we’ve sown. And so we’ve got a lot of good tomatoes and zucchini that we’re growing. That always makes me very happy, but on work side, I have been actually digging into some icon design a little bit lately for the new post blocks that are coming out in the editor, like post author, post date, those sort of blocks. So that’s been a lot of fun as well. How’s Florida been for you?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, it’s very hot in Florida and humid. Welcome to summer in Florida, and Christian and I, we can now enjoy our lunches again on the lanai with two brand new ceiling fans that kind of, they conclude our home improvement projects for this year, I guess. So work was, I did a deep dive into BBpress setting up a community for artists for a plan project.

Mark Uraine: Wow.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And it felt like a blast from the past, but it seems forums on an organization’s website are quite attractive again, after all the problems with the ephemeral nature of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and TikTok and other social media networks. And so that’s an interesting journey there. I also immersed myself into the block directory, and more about that later. So let’s get to the listener question first.

Listener Questions

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Yeah. So we had a listener question. Jeremy Techtman, he sent us a question. He says, “Is there a way to unregister core block patterns without having to do it one by one? I am creating custom block patterns and a plugin I can add to projects and want to get the core blocks out of the list.”

So at that time there was a ticket in core track by Riad Benguella. And who was already working on this problem. So we have the track issue there, but he also published a dev note about block patterns recently with details on how to register and disable block patterns. So we have that, and there is some theme support for this as well to include or exclude these. Block patterns, for those of you who don’t know, there’s a new feature coming into WordPress 5.5, and the registered block patterns are visible in the inserter under the pattern tab, which is right next to the blocks tab.

And speaking of block patterns, well, first off, Jeremy, thank you for that question. And I hope, I know there’s some work going towards that right now, so the possibility of unregistering all the core block patterns with one little bit of code is in the works and great question for that. But I also wanted to touch on, Birgit….

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, go ahead.

Mark Uraine: I was going to say, well, speaking of block patterns, Rich Tabor published a tutorial about how to best create block patterns, and formed a new verb when he blocks out the pattern. When he blocks out the pattern, meaning he builds the pattern with blocks in the block editor. So he then adds them into his plugin as described in his posts, and it’s called How to Build Block Patterns for the WordPress Block Editor. So in our show notes, you’ll also find official documentation to WordPress block patterns. And yeah, a lot on patterns there. I think I said it like 50 times.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Well, we need to get everybody to know this is coming. Yeah. And I’m excited about that. Not so much about the core block patterns, whether it’s, but it is a promise to the block plugin developers, theme developers, to create all the phenomenal block patterns they can come up with. And yeah, the core block patterns are supposed to be switched off once the better ones are in there. So….

Mark Uraine: Yeah. And you know what? There was even some talk recently about block patterns, about kind of styling them. I don’t know if this is going to become a thing, but style, keep the set of patterns, but style them using colors and sizes to match that year’s default theme. Like maybe when the next 2021 comes out, maybe we refresh the core block patterns to really tie in nicely with that default thing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. That will be wonderful. It would really make it a wholesome thing. When you just start out with a new default theme and you can create your webpage, and then you hand it over to a designer and say, “Well, get the colors right, please, and get everything else right.” But they can really do their own content. It would be really fantastic. Yeah.

And I’m so thrilled to tell all we received another five-star review on iTunes. Yay!

Mark Uraine: Wow!

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And it’s by the user Removement, and they wrote, “A must-listen to keep up on the development of the WordPress Gutenberg project. I love the Gutenberg Changelog Podcast. One of the most vital resources in this whole Gutenberg Project. Who would have thought a changelog could be so exciting? Every WordPress Gutenberg release, and I look forward to it showing up in my podcast and (en) queue.” That was cute.

So only after I received the email from Jeremy with his question, I realized that he also wrote the review. So, thank you again, Jeremy, for your kind words. And we are really happy about that review, of course. And dear listeners, if the muse finds you, please, please write us a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast app store. It helps us with the distribution to spread the word about the show. And we want to hear from you. We are thrilled that they are all were five-star reviews, but they don’t have to be. We read every comment, review, and email we receive from you. And we will also respond and on, we put some instructions on how to create a review for any podcast on iTunes —

Mark Uraine: Thank you, Birgit, for that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, and thanks again, Jeremy from Removement. 


So this week I participated in an iThemes webinar organized by Nathan Ingram. And I talked about creating layouts with image blocks in Gutenberg, and I updated my talk from the work in Miami to also cover the new things to come in WordPress 5.5. The recording is already available on the iThemes webinar page, and I’ll have the link in the show notes for you. It’s not a developer- or designer-oriented talk, more a demo what’s possible and some videos on how to get started and get over the first few hurdles as a writer or content creator coming from the classic editor. So there’s a video there, and I can certainly also share my slide deck for that. It was really fun to be with iThemes, where 40-some people were there, and we had a lot of questions and that was really good. And I think I converted a few to start using Gutenberg on their sites.

Mark Uraine: You know, Birgit, if anybody can convert someone, it’s you.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I don’t have to twist arms that much though, but it’s a good product, you know? It’s really, I really love it. But Mark Uraine, speaking of, started a series with videos about visual changes of Gutenberg on YouTube. So tell us more about it, Mark.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. It’s just something I started trying. I was kind of making some demo videos for some people at work about some of the new changes coming out. And I just thought why don’t I just make a go at this and try creating some visual presentation of the latest and most user-impactful features in the Gutenberg release and just do a video per release. 8.6 is out right now. I need to catch up on that video actually and create that one. But yeah, I thought it’d be a great way to help communicate visually to people who are interested in some of the changes that come out with each Gutenberg release.

Community Contributions

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, you know, with a podcast, we can only do so much. There’s no visuals there, but yeah. And this brings us to other community contributions. Leonardo Losoviz published another Gutenberg builder blog post on LogRocket’s blog, and he has some great insights into the life of a block developer and shared some coping mechanisms and advice to deal with some frustration about unfinished documentation, many changes, with the attempt to hit a moving target as the block editor still is.

And Leo also actually had some code and instructions. It’s a really good post. That’s the second in a Gutenberg series on LogRocket. So I’ll have a link, of course, in the show notes. And on a side note, Leo also released the first version of his GraphQL server plugin for WordPress. It’s worth checking out for your headless experimentations.

Mark Uraine: How cool.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s really cool. Yeah. And this is the end of this side note. Maybe we need to start another podcast on headless, but….

Mark Uraine: We wouldn’t, we’d have tons of information.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: No kidding. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: So there’s also another contribution recently. It was from Riad Benguella, and he has developed something called the BlockBook, which was very interesting. We have the link there, but on his personal website, he says, “With BlockBook, you can build, test, and showcase your static WordPress blocks in isolation.”

So for those of you who are familiar with storybook, which is a package inside of Gutenberg right now, where you can actually test some of the UI, look at the different components of Gutenberg and WordPress in isolation, BlockBook does something similar. So you’re able to look at individual blocks in isolation. And it’s really cool because you can test out a specific block in one theme and then click to change themes right inside of BlockBook and see how that block looks in another theme. It’s very fast, really well done. And I know there’s even a GitHub PR right now to possibly merge this into a, as a package into Gutenberg.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. He definitely still needs to do the proposal he said, but yeah, it’s really cool. And I just don’t have the connection yet, how would I, as a developer, use it for my development process. And so I kind of need to wrap my head around that.

WordPress 5.5 Beta 3 Release

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Yeah. So WordPress, everybody, WordPress 5.5 beta 3 was released on July 21st. And if you haven’t tested your plugins or themes yet with the new version, don’t procrastinate. Start today. There’s so many changes in the new version that touch many areas of the WordPress software. So get in there and check it out. Please make sure all your stuff is up to date and ready to go for the new release.

Gutenberg 8.6 Release

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And also in the same week, July 22nd, Gutenberg 8.6 came out with another 150 mergers. And again, an impressive set of 122 updates and fixes. The team has been working hard to get ready for the WordPress 5.5, while continuing to ship various enhancements to Gutenberg. This release focuses on local UI, performance improvements and bug fixes. And some of them made it into the WordPress 5.5 Beta 3.

So the two new features that are in 8.6, one is the cover block with — the cover block is not new, but what’s new is that you have for the background video, you now have position controls. So you can change which part of the video is actually showing in the cover block with the same focal point controls that images have. That’s really cool.

And then the block patterns from, this again, block patterns that are in a Gutenberg have been updated. It’s a large header and a paragraph, a large header, text two columns and three buttons, two buttons, and a quote. And those, as I heard from Mark, you said that they actually make it into the 5.5.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. Yeah… and some of the design direction with these patterns actually really leaned into the 2020 default theme. So they work really good with that theme using some colors and the content and imagery and stuff. So very beautiful, well done patterns. And it’s great to see them kind of finally coming to an end so we can get them into 5.5, I should say.


Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Awesome. We also have six enhancements. The editor has now, and that’s really cool, at the space, the site icon where the big W was in full screen mode, and I saw it first on my company website and it felt great to see our logo there. It’s a nice touch and it’s also a very beautiful logo. So it comes together.

Mark Uraine: That’s great.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So check it out when you install Gutenberg 8.6. Don’t be surprised if you see your logo there. 

Then there is block variations. They added support to finding the variations using keywords in the inserter. So that’s definitely an improvement. For the classic block, there was enhancement that to move the convert to blocks menu item out of the options menu into the toolbar of the classic block. So you don’t have to search for it so long and find it in the options button, it’s in the toolbar now.

And then there were composited patterns to improve keyboard navigation on the inserter to update the bed accessibility of those. And then the date in the publishing screen hints towards the time zone. So to make sure that when you schedule that, is the site in the right time zone. Some people have a hard time figuring that out because time zones confuse the hell out of me. That’s the only thing in working with the whole WordPress team in all kinds of different, that throws me every time, is time zones.


We also have three new APIs. One as we mentioned, disabling core block patterns, and one is to make the line height and custom units theme support flags consistent and opt in. The paragraph got some, not only the paragraph, but that’s where I saw it most or often enough, is that the line height controls in there, that’s new. And now we have theme can now tap into that. And the third new API is having the ability for a plugin to disable the image editor in the block editor. It was a new feature, and of course with every new feature also comes the new feature request, “How can I disable it?” And here it is, there is the API. Read up on that.

Mark Uraine: Wow, that’s so funny. We introduce a feature and we get a feature request how to disable it. Oh, goodness.


Okay. So that, Birgit, that brings us to the experiments. There are about 10 experiments that went into this release grouped into mainly two categories, but you have the site editor, which we’re calling the whole full-site editing experience, right? And so there’s been some updates there, integrating the quick insert or in between, in the canvas post date block, adding style attributes and changing references to the section back to template part. So if you remember, there’s a whole conversation around what do we call these global pieces, like a header and a footer? And so we had changed calling them sections at one time. Now we’ve come back to calling them template parts. We’ll see how it goes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s one of the things when you land on a 50/50 decision, yeah? It kind of goes for three months, it goes this way, and then three months goes the other way, and you compare whatever happened with it.

Mark Uraine: And then there were a lot of, also a lot of experiments, updates added to the navigation screen and the blocks. I know there, recently, maybe it’s one of these that was added in here. The navigation screen or the widget screen, I think, was being looked at as a way for a theme to enable it right now. So if you have a theme, you need to add support for it. And this way we were hoping to get a little more testing involved with the screens that are coming out that include blocks, and that was kind of a one solution to try to do this. But with the navigation screen and the blocks, it was like restoring block movers, adding error boundaries, show block appenders by default, really trying to get that UI dialed in better.

And the last experiment that wasn’t included in those two blocks was one called, one that was fixing the inserter on the widget screen. So if you tried out the widget screen lately, there’s some improvements there happening.

Bug Fixes

And that takes us to bug fixes. About 40 bug fixes went into this release, several of these being accessibility related, which is a really great addition here. I think I count about five right here that say accessibility next to them about persist, tooltips on hover, fixed toolbar, arrow key navigation, and right to left content, restoring the Aria multi-line in the rich text editor, and another one, fix the copy block button focus loss, and try to remove the visually hidden text area. So, and something about radio controls as well for accessibility.

There were some of the other ones included block patterns, override the patterns that were registered by core, which we talked about. Fixed blocks dropping to incorrect positions and inner block lists.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Very helpful.

Mark Uraine: Yeah. And preventing content loss after refreshing an editor with unsaved auto draft posts. This was kind of a big one. Someone I know kind of happened to do this and really brought this to our attention. And so I’m so glad to see we got that fix in right away.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I was … I stumbled over that quite a bit, but I could never nail down which part I was actually, or could test it consistently, which part I was losing or when, what the situation was. So I’m glad somebody figured that out and fixed it so I don’t have to worry about. What I did was I, once in a while, when I saw, okay, my site is acting really weird, I went into the code editor, copy-pasted everything from that post, and then put it in a text file so I could get it back again if I would lose it. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: That is scary. You know, especially if you’re typing a whole lot of stuff in there, that you don’t want to lose that. I’ve had it happen several times where I can see in the corner of my eye in the top bar that it saves, it says it saves, and then I don’t do anything, but I look back and it says to save again, right? Like to interact with the save button and save it. And so I’m not sure, like, okay, I thought it auto saved already, but maybe it missed something and I still have to save it?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yep. There was also, there’s also, or was also a hiccup where it would save, but not the metadata from the sidebar, on the auto-save. That was also something, but that was fixed three or four versions ago. I recognize that. So this happened to me that I lost something when from one day to the next, I kept the post open and was just editing again. It would not save the new thing because I lost my session, but it would not come up with the screen to log in again and kind of pick it up. So I knew that, that I can’t do that from one day to the next, but yeah. So that’s, yeah, it’s really hard sometimes.

Mark Uraine: So a few other bugs included fixing the drag and drop to empty block lists, fixing the drag and drop for aligned blocks, sidebar controls. So there’s more space now for German and other locales. That’s great.

There is button property handle border radius resets. So this one’s, yeah, this one was an interesting one I was stumbling across, too, is the border radius on buttons wasn’t, I guess in this case for this particular bug, wasn’t resetting, but it’s also not defaulting with the correct border radius that should be there as well. I was coming across, but finally, the last bug worth mentioning here … well, they’re all worth mentioning, but in the timeframe that we have. Block directory and removing content admin messaging, so….

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s when an editor doesn’t have access to the plugins, they had the message, “No other blocks found. Please contact your admin,” to open that up. But the admin obviously has already decided that that person doesn’t have plugin capabilities. So removing that is definitely a good decision.


So we are coming to the section of poor performance, and there were six items that made it as performance improving. And one of them was the cover site editor loading time to be included in the performance testing. And then one was to avoid the re-rendering of a post saved state component for each change. So it would load again and again, even if you only did small changes, and that certainly affected the performance of the app.

And then there were two performance enhancements for the development environment, to not install all that expensive scripts or downloads, only when it’s required and not just have a blanket download from all those scripts that could be in there to have them there. And then that improved definitely the installed performance of the WordPress development environment.

I put the benchmark here to look at. So from WordPress 5.4 to Gutenberg 8.6, the loading time decreased by roughly five seconds and that’s, or four seconds, and that’s really good.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. The key press event is probably not that noticeable because that’s in microseconds. So, but it went also down from 54 microseconds to 35. And if we haven’t talked about it yet, the benchmark for that is actually using a sizable post, which is the understatement of the year because that post has 36,000 words in it and a thousand blocks, and that’s used for these performance benchmark tests. It’s really, it’s not a representative post, but it’s really a big post. It’s almost a book in the Gutenberg. That’s a Gutenberg book. Bible. So yeah, that’s where those benchmark data comes all up, are created.


And then we have 17 documentation items and updates. I’m going to pick a few of them. So they expanded and updated the block-based theme documentation. That’s very important for theme developers that want to get started there to have accurate documentation there.

They also removed the experimental flag from, you guessed it, the block pattern documentation, because it will come into core, so it’s not experimental at all anymore.

Mark Uraine: Right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And then they added basic documentation for the toolbar button component. And we see this quite a bit that there are questions about, “How do I get a button into the toolbar, an additional button?” Because a lot of plugin developers did this for the classic editor. They just added a button, either on the toolbar or above. How can you do this on the block editor? And the basic documentation for that is now available.

Anne McCarthy created a page listing all the Gutenberg releases in relation to each WordPress version. That was something that a lot of people asked about and now it’s there, and I’m going to single that out for, normally we don’t put all the changelog items into the show notes. We just have the release notes from the team in there, but I will single that out so people can actually look at it and find it easily.

Mark Uraine: That’s a good idea.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Another documentation item is clarify interactive mode for the create block. That’s the scaffolding tool create block. Greg, who is now in vacation, it’s too short of a word. He’s in hiatus. He’s coming back in October, but the documentation team developed a documentation, moved the ESNext to a JavaScript tutorial, and moved the dev environment into its own section of the documentation.

And they updated, and another big item or important item was updated, the nested blocks, inner blocks documentation. There were quite a few changes since the beginning of, nested blocks were always in Gutenberg, but it changed how it behaved throughout the various versions. Now they updated it, which is a very good thing.

And then they updated the block registration, and then also link to the theme experiments report in the block-based team documentation. That’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing because the theme experiments are what you can use to build your first block-based theme and kind of follow along on how the Gutenberg envisions that.

Code Quality

That brings us to the code quality items. There are 11 of them, and they all start with, or almost all start, well, half of them start with the word “refactor.” So there will be changes down the line because they will refactor or have refactored the URL popover. They refactored the disabled component, the more block, the media place holder, the tag cloud block, and the reusable block edit panel. And all good things, but they’re all also things where the UI needed to be adopted. And also most of them are actually refactored to use React Hooks, which is our two-year-old new feature of react framework. And that’s finally stable enough for WordPress to use it.

Wow. Lots of things in there.

Build Tooling

Mark Uraine: Right. They just keep going here too. We’ve got 10 different changes to the build tooling included with Gutenberg. The wp-env can now start without configuration. There’s a support for different options in each environment now. There’s some automation changes, improving the performance tests set up, and fix an action, a GitHub action workflow, a YAML syntax errors. A lot of this, most of the stuff, Birgit, is over my head there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Mine, too.

Mark Uraine: I use that wp-env to spin up my local sites all the time. So improvements there. Excellent.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Good, good. And Leo, we mentioned his article. He has quite a detailed how you use that environment, detailed tutorial on how to use it in that post. It’s really cool.

Mark Uraine: Need to give that a good read through.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. The last time I used an official WordPress development environment was Contributor Day, Paris, 2017. So, and it really didn’t go that well. It was still the Vagrant, what’s it called? The VVV kind of thing. Yeah. And so after that, I went to Local by Flywheel and never looked back.

Mark Uraine: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: After I read Leo’s post, I said, “Oh, I definitely need to use that because that seems to be even easier than Local.”

Mark Uraine: Yeah. I’ve had a lot of good success with that myself. There are definitely times when I run into little issues, but yeah, we work through it. It’s not bad at all.


So there were also 17 various changes that fall into the various bucket. And we can read through a few of them here today. Embeds, so one regarding embeds, removing unsupported core-embedded/Hulu block. That one kind of made the rounds a little bit. Link control, extract reusable parts. So link control. Did we talk about that yet today? I know we’re going to talk about it a little more, I think, when we get to Sean, so….

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right.

Mark Uraine: The work that’s been happening, so we’ll get there. But updates, image size to match the columns’ width. This was something that was really interesting we found while we were creating patterns. When you add an image and text to a particular column, they weren’t matching in width. So that’s been updated.

Let’s see, the block navigation changed the visible labels for block navigation to list view. So like when you saw the block navigator or block navigation, these should be changed over to list view now. We felt that that might be a little better way to talk about it, especially in relation to the navigation block, so….

Birgit Pauli-Haack: To not confuse them. Yeah.

Mark Uraine: A little clear. There is a site tagline block. A site title, adding support settings for colors, fonts, and line height on the site title, and in the full-site editing, there’s also an added site logo block. So these are all falling under the various category. And that ends the 8.6 release.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Wow. Yeah, there were quite a few things in there. We could talk all night. 

What’s Active in Development

So the team is actually working very hard now on the navigation screen and the blocks. And they started regular scrub meetings for the block, as well as the screen. And it’s every Wednesday at 7:00 AM UTC. So if you want to join them or work on that, that’s a good opportunity to get your hands dirty on the navigation screen or the blocks. I guess I will catch up on it on the back scroll because 7:00 AM UTC is 3:00 AM Eastern, but I guess that the whole team kind of liked that time and Andrei Draganescu is driving those efforts forward. So yes, Andrei, go for it.

Mark Uraine: And Zebulan in GitHub shared a lot of the changes they’ve been working on in the core editor meeting this week. One of them particularly is converting to regular blocks button on the reusable blocks block toolbar. So if you have a reusable block and you want to kind of detach it from being a global block, you can, once you add it to your document, you can convert it to regular blocks, which has been a requested item for some time.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right? And we use it quite extensively on the documentation team because reusable blocks don’t make it into the translated — what’s it called — the Rosetta sites because there are only reusable in the database of the English version. And so they only see the WP ID, so-and-so kind of comment in there and don’t know what the content is. So we regular, we use them as templates, so to speak, and then convert them to regular blocks so they make it into the other Rosetta sites. Because the translation part that’s coming in phase four is not here yet.

Mark Uraine: Phase four, look out.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It’s phase four. Yeah. So that’s the workaround that until then. Well, Zebulan, he’s taking up quite a few things concerning the reusable blocks, and I’m really happy that he takes that on to change that up. So the team is also working on an Accordion block?

Mark Uraine: Yes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: And you added some designs to it.

Mark Uraine: I did, I really wanted to, I like this block concept, so I want to see it moving a little more and thought I’d throw up some designs, and really kind of looked at what everybody was talking about in the discussion and explored about kind of how the group block works. I could kind of see it falling in that arena, and prepared some designs for that. So I’d love to get some feedback so we can move it into a PR.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Awesome. Well, I’m going to look, check it out and have my opinions made heard. Like I always have problems doing that, right?

Mark Uraine: Let’s see, another thing being worked on is the link controls. Adam Zielinski has been contributing to this, and I believe that this one also comes from Shaun Andrews about really editing the link of an image block or a link in the block and utilizing the whole toolbar, the blocks toolbar, as that link input area. It really tightens it up a lot and brings another interaction mode to this block itself, a direct manipulation and interaction modes. And I can really see we’re already looking at ways to bring sort of that idea to other blocks around other things.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. That’s an interesting approach. It’s kind of getting away from the dropdown on the link control and just have the URL kind of just pasted into the tool bar there, and still be able to do the other little toggles and switches there. But yeah, I’m going to check that out in terms of what’s coming because for me, the link control is very easy to use because I’m a copy-paste devil. And I never used the link controls, per se. I just use the copy-paste things. 

So when you have a text in your post and you highlight it, and you already have the URL on your clipboard, you just paste it. And the highlighted piece is then all of a sudden the link. Very easy.

Shaun is also working on the sidebar for the full-site editing templates to provide easier access to the templates, which is, that’s cool for the template.

Mark Uraine: Imagine being able to switch templates and switch through pages without having to leave the editor, right?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really necessary actually. Yeah, I really like that approach. 

So we didn’t talk about the block directory. I looked through the rundowns and there’s nothing in there, and I did a whole post on the Gutenberg Times with, I don’t know, 2000 words and a lot of pictures and a lot of blocks on the block directory, which will come into WordPress 5.5. And the meta team is finalizing all the guidelines and all the little pieces of it. There’s a lot of moving parts to it. And there were three teams kind of working on it. So, and four maybe. So design team, plugin team, meta team, block team, yeah, four. So it was really interesting. So I’ll put the link into the show notes so you can read up about it. It has various sections for content editors, for developers and other things. And it also has the ton of resources that you can go back to the meta team and read up about things.

Live Q & A

Speaking of which our next live Q and A, and I already announced it as just a reminder, is on August 6, 2020, with the block directory team with Alex Shiels and Kelly Dwan from the meta team, and “Otto” Samuel Wood, from the plugin review team. And they will answer your questions and talk us through the whole thing. And let us a little bit in on the back of the scene, kind of how this all came to pass. You can register directly from the Gutenberg Times homepage. There is a button there, or you subscribe to our YouTube channel and you will be notified when we go live. It will take place on August 6, 7:00 PM Eastern daylight, or 23:00 UTC.

So that’s it for the show. Do you have any other announcements, Mark?

Mark Uraine: I do not.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Then as always, the show notes will be published on And if you have questions or suggestions or news you want us to include, send them to That’s

Thank you very much for listening. It’s so good to have you. And this is goodbye from me until the next time.

Mark Uraine: Yes. Goodbye, listeners. Thank you so much, Birgit.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Thank you, always a pleasure. Bye.


First time I have heard this podcast, its really neat, cant wait for the next one, but Marks microphone could do with an upgrade, its a little difficult to understand for people with hearing issues.

Rodney, Thank you so much for you mind words. We had some technical hick-ups during recording. Sorry, for the uneven sound.

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