Gutenberg Changelog #67 Gutenberg 13.2 and 13.3, WordPress 6.0 and more

Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog #67 Gutenberg 13.2 and 13.3, WordPress 6.0 and more
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Birgit Pauli-Haack and special guest, Grzegorz Ziolkowski talk about WordPress 6.0 release, Gutenberg 13.2 and 13.3 and interesting discussions happening on the Gutenberg Repo

Show Notes / Transcript

Show Notes

WordPress 6.0

Community Contributions

What’s Released

Gutenberg 13.2

Gutenberg 13.3

What’s being worked on or discussed

Stay in Touch

Transcript

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Hello, and welcome to our 67th episode of the Gutenberg Fran Podcast. In today’s episode, we will talk about Gutenberg 13.2 and free WordPress 6.0 and discussions that are taking place and would need your opinion. I’m Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator at the Gutenberg Times and WordPress developer advocate.

And I’m here today with my special guest and former co-host Grzegorz Ziolkowski, JavaScript developer at Automattic and virtual school contributor. For WordPress 6.0 release co-lead for editor responsible for the merge of the Gutenberg bits and bites into core. Mary Job sends her regards and is taking a break this week. Good evening, Greg. Thank you so much for joining me again tonight. How are you?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: I’m great. I’m so happy that the release went out. Everything works, the work didn’t collapse, so that’s great. Also, want to thank you also for being part of the release team and also, I need to mention that I was also a co-lead for the editor with Adam Hevinski, his help was so important to making that happen, because that was a lot of work to bring all the changes from the editor to WordPress core and making sure that everything works.

The group that helped was so huge. There was, I don’t know, 20 people, at least helping all the time with different type of tasks, which was an amazing experience to see how everyone cooperates.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: And also the release team was much bigger. You and the documentation team also having a core lead like Milana, right?

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Oh yeah. So it’s really interesting to be part of the team and see how it works. Also, the team was bigger than ever, as far as I know, and I think that it still could be bigger. In my opinion. We have so many tasks that are necessary to make all that happen.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  I was on the release course now as a rookie and of course I needed co-leads because as a rookie, you don’t know what to get yourself into. But there are so many pieces that go into this release and it all has been a mystery and most still are mystery to me. Yeah. But I learned a lot. I learned a lot from all of the people on the release squad. But it’s also the more I know, the more I know what I don’t know.

And so it’s kind of that really overwhelming feeling that, okay, I have watched so many times, but I still had no idea what is really behind it in all the different pieces that are there. So, and as you said, I’m in awe of all the brilliant people that make these run smoothly and are always there to help each other out. It’s an amazing experience.

Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad I did it. It was a lot of work and, but wrangling dev notes, it’s a unique experience anyway. But yeah, congratulations that you helped bring it over the finish line. 

Announcements

So yes, WordPress 6.0, Arturo was released this week named after the contemporary Latino jazz musician, Arturo O’Farrill with a good Irish name. And there are many features and enhancements that are rolled out with a new version. We talk probably about all of them during the months, leading up to the release on this podcast, we will share again, of course, the release post, and then the field guide with the dev notes. And we will also share two videos with you. One is the release video by the design team. If you haven’t seen it yet on the about page or in the release post, watch it.

It’s a great design and cutting from screen to screen, to highlight all the features that are in there. It’s a great piece of art, so definitely watch it. And then the second video is by Anne McCarthy and she covered the site building process between WordPress 5.0 and WordPress 6.0. 5.0 was released just to repeat that December 6th, 2018. So it’s three and a half years ago. And in that video, you’ll see how it changed from the early versions to how you build sites now. It’s a great, interesting video to watch. If you haven’t tried out the block editor yet, if you’re one who hasn’t started using it yet, I think you will be surprised, or it’s eye opening to see how it really changed and maybe it intrigues you to start using it again.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. It’s a huge change. How it all has evolved from starting small to edit only the content that’s post and pages. And throughout all that time, how data change itself, by bringing more tools that are supported and allow you to do more and more things with the content to add some styling and create beautiful designs without using a single line of code. And now even you can create the whole experience. And there’s many block themes that empower users to edit everything without ever opening and edit or code the detail where you need to deal with PHP files, CSS, and all that big stuff that are becoming more and more complex every year.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And I think the biggest piece that helps a user to one part be in control, but on the other hand, not have to think about too much about design or the block patterns. And I think they have come really a long way from the first idea of a reusable block that people used this kind of templates or block patterns, but then they were changing it and then they changed it over the whole page site. But now combining just core blocks into this amazing designs and design system, it’s really remarkable. Yeah.

So that’s definitely part of that show notes today is that video. And we also shared the article that the WP Tavern posted about that. And then just today I found that Pantheon published an article by yours truly like what to expect from WordPress 6.0. And it goes a little bit more on the developer side. And apart from the enhancements, talk about the enhancements for the writing experience. It’s more about develop oriented, how to code, with code examples for the new pattern features on pulling in patterns from the directory wire theme, JSON Slug, or also create page layouts on the create page action, and then some block locking examples, and also how to establish those style variations in the theme, JSON. So it’s a little bit different than the release post on WordPress.org. So, Greg, what are the most intriguing features that you found for WordPress 6.0?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: So you already mentioned them, from the coding perspective, you covered how to integrate them on, on the owners of the site. And I think for the user, very exciting possibility is to use style variation when they are provided with theme because everyone have different taste and style variation allow you to quickly change colors, fonts have presets that you can quickly pick one and another, and another until it’s something that clicks with you and you don’t have to go and change every setting on the website yourself is just, you have bigger chance to… The other thing block locking. I think it’s great and it has a lot of value, but it’s still missing much more detailed control because everyone can lock and unlock now, which is nice, but you can change that.

Yeah. But the idea is that in the future, you could have permission-based rules. So, as a site admin, you could just block everything you want for everyone else or whatever else you would like. So this still needs some development, but it’s the step in the right direction. And also all the work on patterns that how it evolves. You mentioned that how it was limiting and the beginning, and it was introducing with classic themes in WordPress 5.5. And it didn’t have so much power because for the content of the post, you don’t use design so often, but with templates, it’s just so powerful having a way to insert a footer, a header. And now this is even integrated more contextual. If you use this in line inserter and you are on the bottom of the page, it’ll propose you some footer patterns in other places, it will propose other patterns.

So it tries to be smart and help you to do the right choice. So it’s no longer, only core blocks in those inline researcher, but also patterns. And yeah, in general, I really like how all the concepts that we already know, they build on top of each other that you mentioned reusable block. So you can now do sort of magic things. You find the block pattern you like, you convert that to reusable block and suddenly you have something you like, and it syncs with all other places the same applies with template parts.

You can pick from the block directory pattern of footer and just magically it’s there and synced suddenly with all other places. So I’m looking forward to seeing more and more things like that, so people no longer have to worry that they open a new template or new post and they see blank canvas and they don’t know what to do. Now they open an inserter. There is so much inspiration in there and that you… it’s just a different experience. It’s so much easier to create the same website that you see on the themes demo side than it was before.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, well said, Greg. That said, I also like the writing experience. So the favorite feature that I have, it’s not a big deal, but it’s actually helping, when you are doing a lot of in-line linking you have the two square brackets, and then you get a list of all the latest posts or pages that you’ve had. And then you can do in in-line linking for your site. And before you had to kind of look for that and search for it, and what’s the name of it? And you had to go out and then you had this. Yeah, so this is really nice. And I liked all those keyboard shortcuts that make it, I don’t have to change from keyboard to mouse and have a very smooth experience yeah. So 6.0 is out.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: It’s definitely for experienced users because there are lot more gems like that. Once you discover you never want to go back and you use all the methods. But it takes time, but…

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And then the same, what trips me up. So the WordPress had this for a long time that when you have a highlighted text, and if you have a see a link on the browser and you copy the link and you highlight text, and then you can just Ctrl V you can actually, it uses the URL as a link on that highlighted text. That trips me up everywhere else.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Especially, so I know that GitHub took it over. Yeah, now when you want to highlight, or have a link there, you highlight the text on that. You have to URL Ctrl V works. Yeah. That’s really cool. And I use a user note taking app called LogSync. They have taken that on too, but the Google docs, every link I put in Google logs, I have to do twice because it just over click. I can’t do it anymore. It’s just so interesting. Yeah. 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Another experience.

Community Contributions

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Google docs get on it. We need that there too. Yeah. So another experience that I had during the WordPress 6.0 release cycle, during the beta and release candidates, I used a great plugin that I want to do a shout out for. And it’s called the Core Rollback Plugin. And it was created by Andy Fragen, who is a long time contributor to WordPress and also part of the beta tester plugin crew. And it allows me to select all the WordPress versions back to 4.0 and install it on a test site. So I was able to test the upgrade from 4.0.23, to 6.0, and does it work or does it bomb?

And then at first I was a bit disappointed because when I started it, I had a block theme enabled. And of course, then I can only have a WordPress version that actually can handle block theme. So I was only rolling back to 5.9, which didn’t help me much, but then I realized that, okay, I needed to change the theme. So I changed it to Twenty Ten theme. And then the other part was, how do I get to 4.0? I also needed to change the PHP version to 5.6 and I lose local WP. So that was really interesting. And then it took me maybe a minute or two to install the old version and then upgrade was WCLI to the next version. And that was so fast to test. And then I just went into the site again and did a comment or something like that, just to make sure it works. But that is really, it was very helpful.

So I’m sad that I didn’t know about it before, because sometimes when you had a WordPress install and the new version came out and you were way on the cutting edge, you had a plugin conflict or something like that. And then how do you roll it back to the previous version? And this plugin will save you so much time and headaches. So just make it sure that’s in your toolbox when you manage other people’s websites, because it can really help you with that, go back to the safe version within five minutes or so. And wait, the next two weeks till the next version comes out from workers. Yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. It’s also fascinating that warper still supports some old version that to get it working, you need to use PHP version that is no longer even developed like 5.6. But still, if people have that, they can use WordPress, which is mind blowing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. It totally is. And I think Serge is watching that percentage of users that still use PHP 5.0 very closely, because I think it’s going to be real soon that WordPress is going to skip it and say, “okay, yeah, from now on, we are not supporting 5.6 anymore. You got to have to be on 7.4” or something like that, but it’s that promise of backwards compatibility and not kicking users out just because they don’t know they are hosting environment that still uses these old PHP variations. 

What’s Released

All right, but this were two interesting weeks. So we had not only WordPress 6.0 come out, but in the last two weeks, we also had two plugin releases. One was 3.2 and the other one was 3.3 and we will cover them both today. So let’s get started. So Gutenberg 3.2 was released on May 11th and it had a few new features in there.

One was the new preference, persistence API, and we are also happy that it’s there. Now. It saves now the editor preference in user meta, not in local storage anymore for that the preference handling needed to be revamped before. So we talked about it a little bit in the last episode, but now it’s here in Gutenberg 13.2. So you won’t see the welcome guide. You dismiss the welcome guide and it will remember on the site. If you prefer the top toolbar, it will remember. And if you don’t like the full screen anymore, it will remember, but only on a site basis. So you can access the same site over and over again. And the user settings will be there for you.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. It might be also per editor screen. I mean, if you are on the edit site page might be different and on edit post page or widget page could be different. I don’t know, because I didn’t play with that, but I would expect that to happen this way, because in the past, those changes were independent, but it’s a huge change. We waited for so long to make it happen. It wasn’t a trivial task, but we finally have that. And it’s a huge improvement for all users.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, definitely for new users and long time users. Yes. I probably will miss the welcome guide popping up once in a while…

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: And you can always enable it. There is a setting.

Enhancements

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. So in that version also received a visualizer for the panning and margin of all blocks. So when you use the dimension settings of your block, blue outline appears on the screen around the block and expands and contracts, depending on the width of your padding and your margins. And that is really helpful for people that don’t know what padding and margins are, but they know they want the distance and they want the distance inside or outside. Yes.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: The other change was for the comment query loop. So there is a new block, which is post comments form. And the idea was to reach the alt experience. When on the post page you would have comments section, which usually is a list of comments and there is also the form. So the form was missing. And now inside the editor, you have something that isn’t interactive, but just presents a preview of what you will see on the front end. So it’s on the front end, of course, there will be interactive form that you can use to comment on the website, which is a great change. And that brings the feature priority with the old approach that we had in WordPress 5.9 with the post comments block that is now hidden from the insert it’s still there.

But the idea is just to combine those blocks together in the future. So depending on what you use, what the team prefers, whether the new version of the comments log which allows you to move all the pieces around the rapid with group blocks, with all the blocks you can imagine within its template. And the old one is still based on PHP functions that all team authors know from the past, you can provide your own template with template PHP file. There is a lot of hooks, all the things. So I’m looking forward to see that combined to have a full experience for all the use cases we have for the classic blocks and for the new blocks.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  No, it’s wonderful. And I, there were about 10 new blocks coming to 6.0, with a common section. And this one, unfortunately it didn’t make it, but it’s coming then in 6.1.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: No we made it, it was so important to bring the same experience that we added that, that was still during beta phase because, the release happens, but that change was already one or two weeks ago so that there was still time to include that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Oh, okay. Excellent. So there’s a full common suite. Suite of blocks for, for the common settings for themes and templates.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. It also came from user testing during beta phase that people were complaining that they cannot replicate, their old designs without this block.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. So makes sense to backboard it to 6.0 yes. So we talked about the next version of the quote block and the next version of the list blocks are in experimental stage and you have to switch them on through the experience menu item on the Gutenberg plugin. And now with this release, the quote block version one now has the feature that you can exit the block just by hitting enter we know this from other blocks that works here with the list you have to hit enter twice, out of the block and then a paragraph block and the code block has now too, before you actually had to physically get out of the block by using the mouse or hitting tab or something like that. Yeah. So that’s really good. So explain to me, Greg, I’m glad you’re here. Explain to me, so I’m at the block API section where now it’s allowing the custom domain path for the view scripts, assuming that’s through register that’s for blocks and that you can have a different path than before.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. So that’s coming, if you ever build the theme or plugin, there is this domain pet metadata field that you can provide. It’s just when you are using translations, there is a default folder for that inside every WordPress, but as an author of the theme, you can generate all the translations yourself and put it in every folder you want. So because plugin, authors and team authors use that, we added a change that allows to provide the same type of functionality when you are registering view script, it’s mostly for plugin and team authors. And when they, if they want to have some special JavaScript code that is for many blocks, they add additional functionality, then it’s going to be useful.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Excellent. So I know there was something important, but I couldn’t explain it. Thank you. What’s also in 13.2, is that the style engine now added typography and color to the back end for the editor so you can, can add it to the block styles and is it for the blocks, Jason, right?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. As far as I know the study in gen, at least at this stage of development, it’s mostly about extracting existing code to something that in the future could evolve into something more sophisticated. So it’s more on the refactor side for now, but it’s a preparation for bigger things that we have planned for the future with having unified of way of the handing styles for blocks on the PHP and JavaScript side to ensure that it’s the same on both sides and in the future, we can do interesting things, we will cover that probably with the next release, it might be going in the next release. So one of the changes that recently landed in the Gutenburg is that because of the style in gen, you can only serve CSS styles for blocks that are actually displayed on the page, which is mind blowing that you can can think about all the savings you have because of that, because you exactly know, not only the blocks you used, but also what type of styles were enabled for those blocks.

And I think that’s the biggest win for this whole refactoring.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. There’s a whole discussion about, is of one of the implementation about standardizing, how themes interact with the styling of the blocks and as well as plugins. And I think that’s also necessary to standardize that in terms of when, when plugins want to introduce new blocks, they need to be able to use the variables that are introduced with the theme JSON file to just seamlessly integrate with, with an existing theme. Yeah. So what’s, I’m really sad to see that go. But what was removed was the experimental PWA support for the WP admin, which pretty much was playing around with the idea that you might get an offline and still would be able to write your post and manage your site. There was an experiment by Ella Van Durpe I think. And I think it was a good experiment, but it wasn’t pursued any further because of course, had other priorities.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: But there is PWA plugin from Google and you can also check it out and it has a lot of similar functionality but for the front end, which is also a nice thing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Excellent. Yeah. And I will dig that up and show it in the show notes link in the show notes, the Google PWA plugin.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yes. And one interesting, I think from the release and being on the team, so together with Adam Janinski, we work on several improvements to the workflow of bringing code from the Google plugin to WordPress core. And we are using NPM packages as a way to share code from Gutenberg and use that directing core. And we introduce a change in workflow that is automated with GitHub actions. So if someone is using GitHub and actions that they know how powerful those tools are. And now we are tagging for the WordPress major release those packages and we can easily update all of them, by using only the distribution tax, little change in the code, but it simplifies so much things inside WordPress core and how the code is shared between those two code bases, which is quite interesting. Someone wants digging into strategies for managing deep projects. I recommend that reference.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. you should write about those little tools or little ideas that make such a difference on the release of WordPress, because I can see.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Oh yes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  That other people can really benefit from that. But I think it takes a little bit more strategic approach than just a PR that it has been in the release. Yeah. And the Gutenberg release. So that would be really great.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah, it’s interesting because usually the code you need to write is the easiest part because all the tools are so advanced these days, Github has APIs tools for that. And so it’s not an issue to code something. The issue is to come up with all the steps, what needs to happen after what, so it works together. So we definitely will be updating documentation for the release team for future releases, how we use the tools we improved and yeah, also for NPM packages, that’s also something I plan to write to describe how the process has changed with this release and to benefit everyone.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, definitely. So I found with the release that quite a few things have been done by the same people over and over again. Yeah. So the documentation is kind of the shortcuts for them, but if a new person would step in, then it kind of needs a little bit more flesh and strategy kind of yeah. High level information in there. Yeah. So what’s again, is there anything else in Gutenberg 13.2, we wanted to talk about? I guess that’s it for 13.2 and we are going right into Gutenberg release 13.3, that was released yesterday. Ryan Welcher wrangled the release over the finish line and posted the release notes. There are comments from 55 contributors among them with their first time contribution. Yay.

That’s really good. I was really amazed at the 6.0, sorry. Just digress again. Those WordPress 6.0 release was interesting that there were also 25% of the 500 plus contributors when new contributors, they had never done this before. So it was very interesting. It wasn’t, as I think previous releases 5.8 and nine were a little bit higher, but still, that’s a very high number of new contributors and…

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah, the number of contributors is really interesting thing we know for Gutenberg about people who contributed with scope. It’s now over 900 people and, it’s only code and there’s so many more people that help with testing with finding issues, trying to, provide designs, documentation. That’s a lot. And for core, we don’t know the exact number for all releases because we have core commuters. So which is a smaller group, like 60 or 70 people only. But I would love to do to get the exact number of people who ever got props for WordPress core, that would be a huge number.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, must have been in the tens of thousands of people there.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, and you said it right. It’s not only those people that commit code, but it’s also those who, who argue about the best features, how to approach it. Yeah. and comment on things or review PRs or patches. So yeah. It must be a huge number and it’s still a huge number if you also consider the people that write documentation, the people that organized meetups, the people, they alone, 780 meetups in the world. Of course, the last two years, they were a little bit crippled because of the pandemic situation, but they will come up again and organizing months over months of meet up Wordcamp meet up, Wordcamp organizers that it’s just really amazing, people that test things. There are 20 different themes on make.wordpress.org that people could join and see what they can do.

So if you want to do something, just a little pitch here, it’s the end user documentation team still needs writers. They triage a lot of things and all in GitHub now where you can look for the first night issues, good first issues that you could start writing and help beef up the documentation. And if you are interested in doing just that, feel free to write to me or ping me on slack or on Twitter. And I’ll have you get onboarded on that. 

Gutenberg 13.3

Well, let’s dive into 13.3 release. So the first thing is you can now transform a cover block into a media text block and keep most of the design too. And that’s fantastic. Because sometimes you want to do that and you couldn’t. So you had to delete the cover block and start all over again.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. It’s really intriguing how far you can go with transform these days and also how block adjust, because now it’s not only content, but also a lot of styles and those styles are also, taken from one place from version to another, which is quite a complex thing to do.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. I tested it in WordPress 6.0 there is this feature where you can transform from a paragraph into a quote block or a list block. And it also keeps background color and text color. And it is really amazing. Yeah. And this transformation from cover to media text did not make it, but it’s now in the Gutenberg plugin,

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: I’m a little bit surprised to see that, but also it’s a great news that table of contents block is back in the Gutenberg plugin. I mean, it was disabled at some point because it’s hard to sell. I mean, it wasn’t ready for pride time for some reasons, but now it’s back and it’s still experimental. So that means it still needs some testing, but it’s really nice, especially for posts where you have a lot of headings because it automatically generates tables of contents, how the name says. And because of that, you will have a nice overview of what’s inside the post. And it’s also super handy to be able to go to the section when the post is very long. So that should have a lot of usage on some websites.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And it automatically detects your headings and creates if they’re not already in there anchor links for them. That’s how it works. So you could also use the same anchor links if you want to link from outside of the post, into the post to a certain section. So that’s definitely a nice side effect for that. And it also does it, if you have on page breaks, it detects the heading over all the pages. And it also can jump from two headings that are on subsequent pages for that post. So it’s quite sophisticated in the feature set. One feature set that I’m actually missing is that it automatically creates the table of content as a numbered list. And I have never used a number table of content on a website. So it was always in a bullet list, but I cannot change it back into a bullet list.

What you have to do is to kind of create a static block out of that. And then it does a bullet list. But it does not update anymore when you add a heading. So then you have to delete it and start all over again. So that’s a little bit cumbersome, but I think I will file a feature request for that to have it as a real feature I advocated for it, but it didn’t make it in the first version. So what’s also interesting actually in this release is that the post terms, you can now add dynamic variations for custom taxonomies. So when you have the post term block, it kind of also lists every taxonomies that are registered with your site. And then the other part, what I really like is that query loop block now has a parents filter.

So when you’re working with, with a page, you can now use the parent filter to display content from the children of a particular parent page, which eliminates the need for a plugin again. Yeah. I think I need to count all the plugins that I have that I won’t use anymore because work has it built in, and the place on a list of the sub pages, or you can, even if you have featured images with it, you can even make some nice cards with that on the parent page and show up the next subsequent pages. At the agency. We had quite a few requests for that because some people couldn’t rock the post kind of post page thing and they always want the pages that’s so static. They never change, but you want them a different path of discovery and not just through the navigation menu, but also through imagery on the page where it can say, “okay, now you go here, then here and here and here,” it’s really interesting.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. It’s also, the way query loop evolves and how many new features gets with every plugin. It’s really interesting to follow.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  So let me ask you this, are teams working, or is a team working on the idea that you have a developer ahead who wants to kind of modify the query a little bit more granular than just what you offer through the interface, kind of handled SQL statements or something like that.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: So to also support SQL, I don’t think that it’s on the roadmap mostly because it’s way too complex and you still can go and code yourself something very custom if you want to right? So it wouldn’t be that hard to replicate, maybe let me put it this way, replace the server implementation of the query loop, the wrapping block and provide your custom query from that. That’ll be much easier in my opinion than allowing users to start filling with as well and all the square injection, vulnerabilities and stuff like that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. I hear you. It’s a small thing, but in the new version, you now have tool tips on the split border radios control. So when you’re in the sidebar work on the border radios, you actually get tool tips where you are actually working on it. Is it the top part of the border or is it the left or the right part or the bottom part? And that’s really some quality interface and you can actually have a radio separate. And I didn’t know that, it’s kind of here now. You can have a radius control just for the left border. Yeah. It’s a little round, but the other three, they don’t have a radius at all. And it makes for nice, interesting forms. Now you can do this with Gutenberg in there.

And I also like the color controls are now merged with a dropdown component that is a little bit more helpful. It shows when you change the background color to a gradient, it now also shows you in the sidebar when you just open it, what is the current color? And it also shows the gradient instead of just the breakdown color. And you surprised that’s not the background color that I had. It’s a gradient. And now you see it all. But the color panel has gotten quite complicated as well. With the same with you click on it and then it comes out and then you have two tabs on there, one the solid color, then the gradient color. And then in the gradient, you can then change the radius and it’s gotten quite complicated. And I can see that certain things take a little longer or need to be tested first with one block before it’s rolled out to the other blocks yeah. But that makes also for sometimes it’s not consistent over all the blocks.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. But it also makes a lot of sense to combine all those related tools into one. So the sidebar is not so overwhelming for users. So before we had many colors, if you would open that, a year ago, that would be all those things that you see now in this tool table dropdown, they were inside the sidebar, it’s just the necessary step to organize all that better.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. I like that curation of settings, then there is for each section heading for the color there’s on the right end side, sometimes a little too subtle, the three dot menu where you can also switch on and off some features. Yeah. By default, you only see the color for the text for the background, but when you click on the three dot menu, you also see that you could actually manage the link color, but it’s not offered for every block, but you can switch it on if you need it, for instance, for a quote block or for a list block. But sometimes you need to kind of really go beyond the obvious and click on that three dot menu to find additional features that you knew were there before, but now are a little bit hidden. Yeah, that is…

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yes, but if you are a new WordPress user, I’m curious how it works, because it might take some time for people to discover that the three dots actually allows you to enable more controls or remove the controls that are there, but they don’t like.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. So the same…

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Feeling of similar changes, there is one, I would say big change because the block list, the thing you see on the sidebar, but the other side, the one we were talking was on the right side. But on the left side, you can see all the list of all the blocks that are on a given page or template. And that’s very important for the editing experience, especially for templates where there’s a lot of nesting involved. And now there is an option in your settings to show openly view as default. So before you have to click a button to open that list, but you can just dock it and it’ll be there all the time.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. I really like that, especially. Yeah, you’re right. The list view is such an integral part working with templates with all the nested blocks. Yeah. So having that open all the time really cuts down on the load time of the editor and your work workflow when you work quite a few templates or even in, on a normal post. Yeah. But I don’t think that setting is available for the post editor. I think it’s only for the site editor.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. I don’t know about that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. It’s only for the site editor it’s post editor. Well, has that too always open list view. Yeah. So I looked at the preference tables that were in the screenshots. It’s for both the post editor and for the site editor. Yeah. A lot of people ask me about that when I demoed some of the new features. So what else do we have?

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: There’s there is still no official post with all the change lock files. So we are using something that was prepared earlier. And so we might need to jump a little bit.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: To find other items that we have highlighted today. And one of the change is for the heading block. And now we have font family support there. So it was available in other places now it’s been enabled there for future party.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And a lot of people have been waiting for that our user can now change the font family for the heading block and not just the theme developer. And there’s also a enhancement for the gallery block, but especially for converting a classic block gallery into a gallery block to also include the image caption up until now it didn’t come over with it. So that’s definitely a plus for those who converting galleries to gallery blocks. Yeah. And the other two things that are highlighted here are actually part of the table of contents block. And we already talked about that. So I think we are through with that. Was there anything in the three 13.3 that you wanted to point out

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: There is a lot of items as you rule in the change logs from two releases. And also we discussed work 6.0. So I think we covered a lot today.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. But we didn’t cover all and we never cover all. So dear listeners, definitely check out the change log that will be on the make.Wordpress.org blog when it comes out as a what’s new in Gutenberg 13.3. Yeah. 

What’s Discussed and in the Works

And we are at the section, what’s discussed and what’s in the works that hasn’t been released yet? But it’s definitely top of mind and or discussed quite a bit. So there were some discussions on what keeps theme developers or agency developers who build themes for on taking, for instance, block themes or other features of the site editor.

So those issues come up quite a bit, not quite a bit, but once in a while, and to have some ideas on what would be good for an agency. So one of them was that made it into WordPress 6.0 was for instance, that themes could register blocks. And I think Grzegorz, you were quite instrumental in that to get it fixed or get it implemented that although the recommendation says that blocks are the territory of plugins. But we heard from agencies that we are building custom themes just for that one site implementation that had additional cost also to deploy a theme as well as blocks in plugins to make it available for them. So that was one of the discussions that came out of…

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah, also the use case was that sometimes themes require some very custom design and this is a way for them to bundle a block that just is targeting that specific theme. And it wouldn’t make sense in all, all other places. And, but yeah, it’s not the recommendation blocks belong to plugins.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, but just because it’s technically possible, doesn’t have to be, you have to use it, but it’s available for those who really, really need it. Now, before they had each agency or each freelancer who needed it, came up with their own hacks to make that. And now it’s just the standard way of using register block type on the theme PHP theme.

So to alleviate some of the adoption hurdles or blockers for adoption there’s now a new label on the Gutenberg rebuild called focus blocks adoption. And it’s used on the Gutenberg repo to identify those specific issues that if they would be solved, they could remove the blockers from adopting blocks or block themes. And I think it’s an interesting concept now to highlight those one of them is one issue. He got that label is by Fabien who has issues C7943 titled allow the usage of block based template parts without using block based templates. And that’s an interesting idea for classic themes that want to gradually adopt what’s possible now with the site editor also for their themes and how to implement that.

And part of it is already Grzegorz told me, and Ari has it in the issue is already available since 5.9. But what this particular issue is talking about that it also activate the site editor to edit those template parts without editing any other templates or sections.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. So idea was that if you have a classic theme, you can also provide a template part HTML file that will contain this template particular template part, and that worked, but you wouldn’t be able to edit that. But the proposal is to open the UI for the same, that is inside in block themes for classic themes, which is an interesting way might be a challenge. But the more we open those solutions for classic themes, the better everything becomes.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And it follows the narrative that Matias actually had when he joined us here at the show, after he published the preliminary roadmap of 6.0, when he said that all the things that come with the block theme are not there necessarily to replace how themes work. It’s more to expand the reach that classic themes can offer to their users or the site owners. And I really like that narrative because it kind of, has that new can come in, but in piece and bits and you don’t have to adopt it completely, it’s a gradual adoption. And even in two or three years, you still have a need for classic themes, but there might be a need to open that up for some of the user controls or for the site owners controls. So yeah. Block themes are not replacing or making themes totally redundant. It’s actually opening up the whole place for new things.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: It also opens an interesting world where you have a block theme, but you’ll like it, you could switch to the classic block and still retain template parts that you build in your previous theme, it’s WordPress, everyone can do whatever they like.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And now you can do even more and you didn’t know that you liked it. Yeah. Like gradients. 

So then another discussion that came up now that 6.0 is out Matias Ventura, the lead architect also updated already some of the tracking issues. And I’m sure there is a new blog post in the making in outlining the roadmap for 6.1. But he already has a site editor and template roadmap tracking issue about 19 tasks. And that’s about the site editor and how to create template and template parts changes to the interface or updates to the interface to make it for impossible, to edit a template part properties and focus mode. What is a focus mode? It’s another way of seeing the editor. There’s also a browse mode coming to the site editor that you look at it from, you just browse the designs, but you’re not editing.

So yeah. And other things like restricting block editing capabilities, we talked about the block locking at the beginning of the show that comes in 6.0, and that is now that needs to be expanded on. You mentioned that it needs to be role based of course, but also you probably want to lock down the editing part of a footer or header that people can edit it. Not just remove it or move it, but also not edited that is still missing.

So there are quite a few in this tracking issue, hints of what’s to come. And if you’re curious, we of course share the link in the show notes and what he did for template for the site, edit 10 templates, roadmaps Matias Ventura also published a global style, ongoing roadmap that he updated. And that covers some of the style engine that we talked about. If you want to learn more about it, also the main interface for making changes to the global styles, browsing styles, without having to edit things, web fonts that would just have the web fonts for the style variations right now. But the big part of the web funds API didn’t make it into 6.0, but it will hopefully make it into 6.1.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: Yeah. Also interesting discussion on Twitter where Matias were involved about the future of web phones that maybe openverse could host some web phones and having those open source version of phones, integrated with the WordPress for everyone. That’s also interesting perspective and general openverse opens so many new ways of reusing content created by other people, which is images, videos, music, and whatever… Phones. That would be another way.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, and color palettes would actually be also quite interesting. Yeah. So you can swap out the color palette of your theme and just by bringing it in from the openverse. Yeah. Oh, did you see that there’s a new contributor batch if you added photos to the openverse, to the WordPress photo directory, you can now see that on your profile. Open verse open so many different things for WordPress. It’s amazing, yeah.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: I already have this batch. I just checked.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah me, too

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: I Uploaded two photos.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. I think I uploaded four or so but yeah, it doesn’t matter. It’s a contribution and it will be honored. Yeah. So you have the site editor, the template, the global styles tracking issue. And then the last one is pattern as the section elements. That’s kind of the next phase for patterns and interesting proof of concept there’s first a tracking issue. And then James Costa has quite a few little videos and what he kind of considers as a browse mechanism for where you can browse through certain block patterns for the header, for instance, but you see the full page and that will make working on their site so much easier when you’re actually not only just looking at that section, that’s visible in your screen, but you can see the full page. And that’s also available for posts, for instance, or for pages that you create. So there are quite a few things in the works that hopefully make it.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: It, the idea for those sectioning element is really interesting. You mentioned that you can just have the recent exploration is to have zoom out mode. So, you focus on the header and then you get ways to quickly switch the versions of this header by using block patterns or maybe pre-existing template parts, and you just use arrows or something else depending, or how you use that. And how’s going to maybe implement, and it just quickly switch to another version. Another, until you find something that clicks for you, but it’s inside the page. It’s not that you open a model, then you see only just some preview of these things, but you exactly see how it fits to your website.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah, and so we will share the links to those comments and PRs in the show notes. And if you’re interested in where things are going, definitely look at those and see what it does for you. And if you have ideas, how it’s made better or what does not look right or how it can be augmented. Yeah. Chime in now is the time because now people are working on it. And the last discussion that I wanted to point out is that during the FSE program Anne McCarthy did a hallway hangout to talk about the FSE programs and how it works and all that. And then there’s an issue created or it’s not an issue, it’s a discussion post on the developer experience category on the GitHub discussions. And what the full site editing for agency use case is what are the existing features that work that are available and then what are missing features.

And then as well as the features that can be improved, for instance, as a missing features, it identifies the robust permission system for the template editing, as Grzegorz mentioned earlier, or another one is allow editing for only template parts or only specific template parts, but not other parts or other templates that is much more granular. Another interesting thought was that WordPress inland CSS does not always respect the editor font sizes. That might be a bug, but it could also be that some of the mechanics don’t work as well.

But that comes all out of a hangout meeting, which is a hallway hangout meeting is kind of an informal meeting of brains, people that discuss certain things. And this came out of it. I shared the hangout notes, hangout recap, post by Anne McCarthy, as well as this discussion at the GitHub repo. So for all you interested people. All right. So Gregorz, we are at the end of our show. I’m so glad that you were able to jump in for Mary Job this week and walk us through some of the things. Thank you so much. 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: That was a pleasure to meet with you again and talk about Gutenberg.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yeah. And as always the listeners, the show notes will be published on Gutenbergtimes.com/podcast. And if you have questions and suggestions or news, you want us to include sent them to changelog@gutenbergtimes.com that’s changelog@gutenbergtimes.com. So this was it from me. Thank you for listening. Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you were here and I will talk to you in two weeks. I say goodbye and goodbye, Greg, to you until I see you again. 

Grzegorz Ziolkowski: You for having me, Birgit. It’s always a pleasure. See you goodbye.

Birgit Pauli-Haack:  Yes. And come see us all at Wordcamp Europe. Bye bye.

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