Gutenberg Changelog #72 Gutenberg 13.9, 14.0, WordPress 6.02, Themes and Design Tools

Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog #72 Gutenberg 13.9, 14.0, WordPress 6.02, Themes and Design Tools

Birgit Pauli-Haack and Nick Diego discuss highlights from Gutenberg 13.9, 14.0, WordPress 6.02, Themes and Design Tools.

Show Notes / Transcript

Show Notes

Nick Diego

developer advocate at WP Engine, plugin developer and themes builder. He is also a core contributor. Running Triage sessions in the core editor channel and is on the WordPress 6.1 release squad

Designing Style Variations for Twenty Twenty-Three: The Good, the Bad, and Everything Else by Justin Tadlock

WordCamp US

@WordPress/Create-Block package

Ryan Welcher new release of the @wordpress/create-block package



Hallway Hangout: Discussion on Block Themes (25 Aug)

WordPress 6.0.2

Gutenberg 13.9

Gutenberg 14.0

What’s new in Gutenberg 14.0? (31 August)

Before the end

WP Engine: Builders Resource – Explore the basics of creating powerful WordPress websites.

Stay in Touch


Birgit Pauli-Haack: Hello, and welcome to our 72nd episode of the Gutenberg Changelog. In today’s episode, we will talk about Gutenberg 13.9, Gutenberg 14.01, WordPress 6.02, and a lot of things about themes and design tools in the editor. And I am Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator at the Gutenberg Times and WordPress Developer Advocate. And today, I have a special guest on the show, it’s Nick Diego, Developer Advocate at WP Engine, Plugin Developer, and Themes Builder.

And I just learned he is also from the hospitality industry. So, we have a whole new show. He’s also a Core Contributor on WordPress and running triage sessions every Tuesday in the core editor channel. And he’s also a teammate of mine on the 6.1 release squad. Good afternoon, Nick. Thank you so much for coming to the show today. How are you?

Nick Diego: I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, sure. I should probably also mention that you were part of the group of experts on the developer hours meet up, where a group of contributors answer questions from the audience. We should schedule some more, what do you think?

Nick Diego: We should.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, in the meantime, until that happens, you held or will hold also build up basics events on the learn WordPress online meetup, thank you for those. Most events were recorded and are uploaded to WordPress TV. So, you get a lot of Nick Diego on WordPress TV.

Nick Diego: Yeah, exactly.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, what have you learned that… what are the most common concepts that are harder to understand for people?

Nick Diego: Well, first of all, those online workshops are so important for engaging directly with the community and WordPress builders. A lot of people aren’t keeping up with what’s happening in Gutenberg, they have businesses to run, websites to build, right?

And WordPress is developing so quickly as we’ll see in today’s episode with all the things that have happened in the latest releases. And so, it’s a great time to connect with them and just to cover the basics. One of my main series is builder basics, where we talk about really the fundamentals, like how to work with row blocks and group blocks and that thing.

And I think people really get a lot out of that. And so, I’m also really excited for the new 2023 theme because it’s going to incorporate a lot of the new functionality that we’re seeing in WordPress and provide users a place to look and see a working functional example of all the new stuff that’s coming in WordPress.

So, a couple ways. There are online workshops and all the other developer relations stuff that we’re doing, hopefully, we can help get people up to speed more quickly than they would on their own.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So, if you don’t have them signed up for the meetup yet, where you get all the announcements of all the new workshops that are coming there. Sometimes, there are months with 2025 workshops. Well, month of August wasn’t so good because we were… many of the faculty were on vacation, but definitely sign up and join the group.

Sometimes, there are 20. Sometimes, there are 60 in there, I have noticed. And most of them are recorded. So, even if you’ve missed them… but it’s hard to watch the recording when there is some life interaction with people in there. So, Nick, you mentioned the 2023 theme and the update here is that the theme is a base theme.

And there was a call for the community to send in style variations, that’s style variations, or something like a skin of a theme that follows the theme, but you can change color, fonts, and other things, spacings, and all the good things. And the community submitted actually 33 style variations.

And next week, the team will learn… the team will decide which ones are bundled with the default theme. And I look through them, I like quite a few. So, did you get a look at them?

Nick Diego: I did. I did. And some of my fellow colleagues submitted a couple. It’s a really exciting project, reach out into the community and get designs from other community members, it really makes you feel like this is a community project and WordPress is open-source and we have a big community. I really like the direction they took with this and the designs that have come out of it.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, there are all voices in the community that you don’t need, every year new theme, just add new styling there or so not every WordPress is going to change a theme every year, so. But you’re right, it’s actually the reference theme for all the new features.

And if the listeners want to learn more about style variations and how to create them and what it was working on one of them for the 2023 theme, Justin Tadlock, takes you along in his new post on his experience designing the style variations on the Gutenberg Times.

And I love this sentiment, although there are 1,400 words in there, but I’m just picking those from Justin’s post. So, there was a… and I quote them. “So, there was a small part of me that remembered exactly why I fell in love with WordPress in the first place.

I felt like that same 21-year old kid who had just learned to edit a theme style CSS file to make some minor color changes. This was the WordPress that I remembered from so long. The one where themes were not hundreds of files and thousands of lines of code.” So, back to the basics and back to just do change the styling.

Nick Diego: Yeah. It’s such a great quote from Justin and I completely agree. I think that because with block themes and this movement that we’re on, it’s really making themes a lot more accessible, it’s brand new, so it’s something new that you need to learn.

But it is creating simpler themes that can be visually unique with just a few lines of code. And I think that provides a lot of power to users, especially in the low code, no code movement, I think there’s a lot of exciting things happening there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it’s back to the thinkers that can just change some things and have immediate gratification that they see it right away. There is no build spot on. There is no PHP thing or, yeah. So, it’s good. Well, WordCamp US is coming up next week. I am so excited to go to San Diego on Wednesday night. I can hardly wait. How about you?

Nick Diego: Yeah, I’ll be there Thursday, but yeah. No, this is actually my first WordCamp.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, really?

Nick Diego: Yeah. I was planning to go the 2022 one, but then the world fell apart. So, yeah, I’m very excited to be going.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Okay. Well, awesome. Yeah. So, I’m glad I’m going to see you there. So, I knew that you would be there, but I didn’t know that was your first WordCamp, so yeah. Go through that post on, I don’t know if it’s what WordCamp US or WordCamp Europe what to do when it’s your first time.

Nick Diego: I saw that, yeah. I saw that.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It’s so spot on. Yeah. So, don’t worry dear listeners, if you didn’t get a ticket, there will be live streams of the talks and workshops, and they will all be recorded and available on records to be sometime later this year. So, there are quite a few block editor-related talks on the schedule.

So, Alex Ball will talk about customizing core blocks for clients. Very interesting topic. I have lots of discussions about that topic. Evan Mullins has a talk titled FSE for the win, it’s a lightning talk. And Daisy Olsen’s workshop on Saturday morning is about creating your first block theme.

Rich Tabor, always a great presenter, will talk about the new era of WordPress themes is here, block themes. And I saw you on the roster of a lightning talk. What will it be about?

Nick Diego: Well, the title of my talk is a little, I guess, attention grabbing it’s build a custom block in 15 minutes. So, the goal of this presentation is to demystify the complexities of block development in WordPress. It’s something I’ve heard a lot. Oh, building block is really challenging. It requires new skills, whether it’s JavaScript or React.

And the idea behind this is to show that you can actually build something quite functional in a short amount of time. And hopefully, inspire the… either that you’re watching it through the live stream or you’re attending, inspire people to build their own.

Because I’d be the first person to say that building blocks can be challenging depending on the complexity of your project, but it’s never been easier to get started with block development. We’ll actually talk about it later today. But there have been so many tools built by the WordPress community that makes getting started with block development easier.

And you combine that with some of the internal block supports, some block controls that are available directly from WordPress. And you can really get started pretty quickly in less than 15 minutes as I will demonstrate. So, very excited to be giving the presentation.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s awesome. I’m probably going to sneak in there. I’m going to be in the accessibility testing workshop, but I will sneak out and come see your talk. I hope that everyone’s punctual there.

Nick Diego: Hopefully, I can do it. 

Birgit Pauli-Haack: We know afterwards.

Nick Diego: Yeah, exactly.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. But what are the other talks that you are interested in?

Nick Diego: So, I’m really interested in… well, I’m very excited to see Rich’s talk. And as you mentioned, Rich is a great presenter. But I’m excited to learn more about things I don’t know much about. So, there’s getting started with WP-CLI, CLI. And then, there’s another one by WordPress Through the Terminal by Milana Cap.

And I don’t know much about them. And I think it’d be a great opportunity to learn more. It’s one of the areas of WordPress that I should be better at, so I’m excited to learn from those folks.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, yeah. Both are great presenters. So, if you’re in San Diego, the listeners, and we cross path, please don’t be shy. Introduce yourself. And I want to meet you. And even if I’m in a conversation with others at WordCamps, we try to follow the PacMan rule, I don’t know. Do you know about that, Nick?

Nick Diego: I learned of it, but I did not know prior to seeing the description here.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, when we stand in a group of people and you always do, you have two people, then another one came said, “Hey, glad to see you.” And then, you talk about things, you chat together. We don’t make close circles. We always leave one opening so other people can walk in and join us.

So, it’s an explicit permission to join a new group of people. And that’s how you meet people. That’s how the community works. So, definitely welcome to do this, and I will always make sure there is a spot for you.

Nick Diego: Yeah, that’s really great.

Community Contributions

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, we are on the section of community contributions. And Ryan Welcher did a Twitch stream this week about the new features of the create-block package. And I have actually the YouTube link for you and the show notes because he just finished uploading it to YouTube. Twitch only saves the video for 14 days and that’s… so, Ryan always downloads them and uploads them to YouTube, he edits them sometimes.

And he was exploring the new release of the WordPress create-block package. And he thinks it’s a game changer. I think so, too. So, he goes over the new features, the flags for the, speaking of CLI, the flags of the terminal program for no plugin and variant flags that have been added to the tool.

These flags increase the usability because they allow the users to add a new block to an existing plugin and or theme, and also provide the ability for a template to provide different variants for a block, like either a dynamic block or a static version, for instance. So, it’s going to be a really cool if you, yeah, do you want to say something about that?

Nick Diego: Well, a little bit of sneak peek. So, the create-block package is absolutely fantastic. I will actually be using the create-block package during my presentation, that’s what makes it possible to build a block in 15 minutes. So, there’s really no way to get started with block development. And Ryan’s did a fantastic job both working on the package itself, and then also educating folks.

He actually runs an online workshop through the meetup, through the training team as well talking about building custom block. So, can’t say enough good things about Ryan and the work he’s done there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Excellent. Yeah. No, I feel the same way. If you are more the reading type learner, Ryan also updated documentation pages for the create-block package. And we have the link in the show note, and there’s also an added section to it for how to create templates for the tool, your custom templates.

So, you can use them for agency specific scaffolding and standardize some of the work there as well. Okay, got that done. Speaking of themes and I have the feeling there will be more talk about themes or, yeah. Anne McCarthy gathered about 15 theme developers from the community from the FSE program, FSE, Full Site Editing Outreach Program.

And they discussed various aspects of theme development with Full Site Editing and starts also Figma and design systems was a topic, and how they can work together with the theme JSON. Figma also has a theme, a JSON file operation, then custom block development, or how to organize pattern libraries in her post and concludes.

And I quote, “While there is both excitement and interest in what block themes unlock.” It’s also clear that there is a buildup of pain points to address whether through clearer resources or changes to good look itself. Now, besides that conclusion is, if you are a theme developer hearing from people who already worked with block themes.

And some of them are no strangers to our listeners, it’s Ellen Bauer, Carolina Nymark, Rich Tabor, Ana Zagora, Herb Miller. It’ll jump your discovery or speed up your knowledge. So, I really urge you to just listen into people talking about the things.

WordPress 6.0.2

Okay. So, now, let’s move on to the releases. First up is the WordPress 6.0 release. It’s a security maintenance release with a few bug fixers for the block editor. And it was released, I forgot, it was, I think, August 30th.

Nick Diego: Something like that, yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. But there was one thing in there that you worked mainly on it, that’s allow remote pattern registration in theme JSON when code patterns are disabled. So, what was that about?

Nick Diego: Well, I’ll give you props for originally flagging this issue.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Thank you.

Nick Diego: And it’s where a lot of times, theme developers want to disable the core patterns that come with WordPress. You’re building your theme and you want to provide your own patterns, which makes perfect sense. And there’s an easy flag to do that.

But unfortunately, when you would do that, you would basically turn off your ability to pull down patterns from the pattern directory. So, it stymied the growth of the pattern directory, because theme developers couldn’t both use their own patterns, shut down the core patterns and then pull down from the pattern directory.

And so, this little, fairly simple change allows that to happen. So, now, you could include your pattern with your own theme, and you could also pick and choose from the pattern directory and include those with your theme. Little simple change but I think an important one for people to actually use the pattern directory.

Because now, if you wanted to, you could put all your patterns on the pattern directory and then just create a custom theme and then pull them down from the pattern directory into your theme. So, it really opens the doors to a lot of different ways you might want to work with patterns and themes, which I think is exciting. So, glad to see this push through.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, I’m really glad that made it. But when I thought about, not when I thought about it, I got it from other theme developers who said, okay. So, I was thinking how could we curate the block directory without having a lot of additional changes in Gutenberg?

And I think that change was really good. And now, you can curate, even if you are not a theme developer, but you are working for an agency and your developers have a theme for you and you want to add some of the patterns from the directory you want because of fun or whatever.

You can just add the theme, edit the theme, JSON file and add disabled core patterns, but also edit the same JSON file to pull up. I don’t know, four or five patterns that you like or from your favorite designer. So, it’s really cool. But of course having 200 or whatever, how many patterns are in there now? I think it’s 18?

Nick Diego: Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things that turns people off in the pattern directory is you open up the… you’re just getting everything. And this way, it allows you to really pick and choose what you want to include, which I think is what most people are looking for.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. So, that is already available. If you have updated your WordPress instance to 6.0.2, and there were others, the link in show notes will have the changelog from the make blog, so you can look what are the fixes, where in there, it was a security and maintenance release fix release. So, there are no new features. And this is actually not a new feature it’s just a-

Nick Diego: A bug. I considered it a bug, yeah.

Gutenberg 13.9 and 14.0

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. All right. So, the last time we had a changelog recording, it was for Gutenberg 13.8. Now, today, we discussed 13.9 and 14. And there were a few enhancements in 13.9. For instance, the media and text blog got a new help for the image settings control.

So, it’s a little bit clearer what it actually does. The post author block now renders HTML in the editor for the author description that is… there is this user profile section in the WP admin. And when you write the description for a user that’s pulled in into a theme, you can actually add HTML to it.

Nick Diego: Yeah, it’s really helpful.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: … I didn’t read it yet. So, that’s definitely an enhancement or going back to original feature set. The post feature image now has a link target and attributes. Not quite sure. I’m fail to see the, oh, you can… link target is you can open up a new window.

Nick Diego: Yeah, exactly, a new tab. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: All right. And I also like that query title in the search template or the search result template. Now, you get some variations there. That is really cool. And then, is the transforms. Transforms is such a powerful tool. But I don’t think a whole lot of people, developers or plug-in developers or theme viewers are actually using it.

Now, you can unwrap the group. It’s actually only a change in or an add-on to the transform menu that you actually can do this… the box that are assembled into a group can now be separated again. It’s the same as the more options menu, but it’s much faster to get there.

And transforms, it’s actually a huge topic. And later this year, we’re probably going to talk a lot more about it because there’s some work in progress. Do you want to take the layout style?

Nick Diego: Yeah. So, we are breezing by many, many enhancements because we would be here all day if we were talking about each one. But under global styles, you can now add a disabled layout style, theme support flag to opt out of all layout styles, which it just provides developers with more flexibility about how they want styles to be applied. And then, the next one which I’m really excited about, and I think it’s so minor. And I’m excited because this is my ticket.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I saw that.

Nick Diego: But it enabled opacity on global styles for color pickers. So, if you’re in the normal block editor, when you add a color you can actually change the opacity on that color. They’re nobody’s no fault of anybody just got left off in global styles, so that got added. So, adding consistency. So, now, you can basically change opacity on colors throughout the all of WordPress, which is fantastic.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Good job. Thank you, Nick.

Nick Diego: Well, I think that Ellen Bauer pinged me about that and I’m like, I can fix that one. That one’s easy. I can do that. And then, for elements, update the load order of CSS in the site editor. We have a lot going on in the editor with different style sheets and different way things are loaded.

And with time, we’re starting to see these… figuring out the optimal way to load styles and making sure that nothing… things don’t interact negatively with one another. So, a nice enhancement there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. It’s also about the hierarchy, now who comes first. Yeah.

Nick Diego: Exactly. It can get very tricky because we have, what we have the theme, we have core, we have user styles that they edit in global styles. So, there’s a lot going on in the site editor for sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And then, we have edited stuff from the theme and it’s really… I’m glad that someone is actually organizing that. So, it’s not too complicated anymore. The site editor also got up some changes or some enhancements. Well, so, the author nicename template creation is now available for now.

I think that concludes with the fallback template for content, all template possibilities that you could create with a site editor, author nicename, it’s not the username, it’s a different field in the profile, but you can now do it with that instead of the author name, so.

And now, that all the templates are there, we also finally got the view side link in the editor. And I think a lot of millions of people probably are so glad that is actually now available. You don’t have…

Nick Diego: I would hear it so much. I would hear it so much. Where’s the view site button? And now we have it, which is amazing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, we have it. And I think it needs to be more intelligent. So, because when I edit the single page or single post or template, I want to click view site and then see it, but it goes to the homepage. But it’s one step at a time and I’m glad I don’t have to open browsers and do all that, which reminds me so much of previous of WordPress scenarios.

Nick Diego: Yeah. No, it’s definitely a huge improvement, but more work to be done, for sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Like Everything in WordPress, you have a first version and then you see what do the people want? What do we do? Let’s try it first and see what we need. So, I think that… is that all for 13.9 that we want to point out?

Nick Diego: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of bug fixes, just a lot of improvements. But I think the meat of new features comes in 14.0.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: I think there was a lot as of the 13.9 was really a cleanup things and that continued. There were also in the background, some changes continued from lodash and from the testing that were continued from, and I think the last three or four plugin releases actually. And I’m right? Yeah.

We are at the end of 13.9. In comes Gutenberg 14. And it was just released this week on August 31st. And it came with an enhancement. I would like to change that a little bit up. Let’s start with the design tools first, because that’s what everybody’s waiting for.

Nick Diego: Yeah. This is I’m so excited about. So, to focus on the example of a paragraph block, one of the things that was missing from the paragraph block was the ability to change the font family and the typography controls. We had all the other stuff but not font family.

Similarly, you couldn’t change margin and padding. Now, there’s good reasons why those, that functionality wasn’t in Gutenberg yet. There were still some things that needed to be fixed and whether it’s visualization for margin and padding or interactions with web bonds to do those font family.

But we finally cut the green light on all this stuff. And there’s a huge project underway to provide consistency across as many blocks as possible. So, in 14.0, you’ll now see, for example, font family across not all we’re not quite done yet, but most blocks. So, it’s because there’s that muscle memory.

When you learn how to change font family on one block, and then you go to the next one, you expect that to be there, right? And so, this huge process of standardizing design tools across blocks to me is super exciting. I hear from it all the time from users, why can’t I do this here? But I can’t do it here.

And huge effort was made in 14.0. And it’s continuing. And we’ll be continuing to 14.1. We got tons of typography support, tons of spacing, padding and margin support. And we also got a lot of color supports as well that were missing. So, there’s a lot there and I encourage you to check out 14.0, because there may have been something you were desperately wanting and it most likely will be in 14.0, if not, 14.1.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And well, think about how many blocks are there. They’ll need to be updated. So, that’s a huge effort for contributors. I’m not sure, I haven’t looked at the copays yet, but some blocks do it differently than other blocks in the background. So, it’s always a… you can’t just copy paste like you would do it in a Google doc. You definitely have to think about things.

Nick Diego: There’s no magic switch you can just turn on then, so.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Now, you with theme JSON when every block has it. But up until now, that wasn’t possible yet. And now, that the controls are there, you also have them in the theme JSON file, so for your theme.

Nick Diego: And that’s a really good point, because I’m sure there are some people listening when I’m saying, look at all this new functionality, they might be like, I don’t want my users to have that. You can always turn this stuff off in theme JSON. So, before you… even if you wanted it, you couldn’t have it, now you can have it. But if you don’t want it can be turned off, so that’s an important component for those that want to turn off stuff.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it’s WordPress. If you have new features, we need the code to switch it off. It’s definitely MO4. It’s a standard for WordPress, right? All right. So, we mentioned it also before in 13.9, no, with Ryan Welcher’s Twitch stream, the create-block has a new variant flag as well as a no plugin flag that is in the enhancement section of the release.

I also wanted to point out a few other things from the block library. One is a setting to hide the prefix for the archive title. I don’t know how many people come to me for the classic theme to remove the category string from the archive page or the archive title. And now, with block theme, it wasn’t possible. So, now, it is. It has come in and it was actually a blocker for people.

Nick Diego: It’s really funny. This is actually a really interesting issue because the archive title is just it… the block is just a wrapper around the PHP function that’s been in WordPress forever. And so, there are people who’ve been building WordPress forever like, oh, I know how to do that, there’s just the filter to do that.

But then, you have the people that are coming at WordPress in a no code situation and they need the control for that in the block editor. So, it’s a really interesting like little microcosm of the two worlds coming together and it’s like you can change it in the filter with PHP, if you know how to do that. Or now, we have the ability to turn off the prefix, which I think is awesome.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And it enhances WordPress because you… a user, whenever, you would do this before. Now, they are. So, I’m really excited about that. Even if you know how to develop, yeah, just making a check mark in an interface is so much easier than, yeah. And open up your development environment, make that change, upload to the server and then, yeah, all…

Nick Diego: Google how to do it because you forgot.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And then, now, the post-date block on the query block or the post template. Now, you can also select that the date is the last modified date instead of the published date, which is actually also an enhancement that wasn’t before in WordPress. And so, you always have the latest date of the modification for the post, if all, or page in your Cloud.

And now, we come to the next big feature, which is the list block has a version two, and it’s now out of experiments and available in the plugin out of the box. And give it for the next three weeks, a big testing because it will come to retro 6.1, we hope.

It’s not yet clear, but because it’s coming rather late in there. But it’s out of experiments. The list items can now be easily better sorted with a much more improved user experience. Did you get a chance to use it yet?

Nick Diego: Oh, yeah. And one of the things that always frustrated me, the original list block, because I kept like, I’d want to change the order of my list items, and you could. And not that I should have expected that, but you’re so used to moving blocks around. I’m like, why can’t I move this list item? Well, now you can. And it works great.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Excellent. Yeah. So, it’s the little things.

Nick Diego: It is, it is.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It adds up. And also, in 14.0, we have a few global style changes.

Nick Diego: Yeah. I can talk about these. So, I’ve always been a big fan of block gap. And block gap is something that, not everything is making use of, but it’s the gap between blocks. And those that use it, it’s an incredibly powerful tool. And one of the things that’s neat now is the introduction of axial gap support.

So, one of the things that you have is if you imagine columns or buttons that are in a row. Before when you set block gap, it was the gap between the blocks, what happens on mobile when those blocks are displayed vertically. And well, now, you can control both the horizontal gap as well as the vertical gap, which is really powerful.

One of the things I hear a lot about or had heard a lot about was the lack of responsive controls within WordPress. And we’re starting to see how we’re not getting some interface where you define what you want on mobile and define what you want on tablet. But we’re getting these more holistic approaches to dealing with different devices and axial gap is one of them.

So, really great to see. And then, another one, which is, I think honestly, a game changer when it comes to where we’re going in WordPress is what are called spacing presets. So, if you were changing margin or even block gap or padding, you’d get a little slider or you could type in a pixel number or you… it’s free form.

For users, that’s hard. It’s also hard for anybody. Because if you want to have consistent padding or spacing throughout your site and you keep having to enter in a specific number or use a slider, you get, did I add five pixels over here? Did I add 10 over here? I get lost.

So, spacing stuff simplifies that UI where you can define how many steps of padding or margin, how many steps of space so you could have small, medium, large, extra, large, whatever you want. And by enabling this, WordPress provides a set scale.

But in theme at JSON, you can define your own scale. So, I’ve been playing around with the defining my own scale and it’s great, and not to go too deep into this, but I’m very happy. When you define your own scale, you can also define a scale that uses fluid spacing.

So, not only can you define small, medium, large, you can make that spacing value using clamp fluid. So, you can have small on desktop as different from small on mobile. And all of a sudden, you have a very fluid website that’s adapting based on old devices and it’s quite amazing.

And it’s going to take some retooling in how people build themes a little bit that really take advantage of this stuff, but it makes block themes super powerful. And we’re actually going to start seeing that in the 2023 theme. So, that’s why back to our original discussion why 2023 is such an important thing, important theme, is this going to provide a real world example of how to use some of this stuff, so.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And that combined with the fluid typography, it has been in the plugin for quite a bit now, but it’s coming to 6.1. Definitely, it’s really getting better together for the mobile responsiveness and all that. I had a conversation with plugin developers.

And they had, I think, six view port changes that you can make to the block. And I was thinking, okay, who would actually want that? Who has the patience and the perseverance to change layout for six different view ports? And-

Nick Diego: For every block, too.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: For every block, yeah. So, as you said, the scaling of this is a little bit different. So, on the last item for the global styles we’re going to talk about is the pseudo element supports for button elements. That is the hub and other pseudo elements for the buttons that you want to.

Nick Diego: Yeah. Focus and active. Yeah.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Focus and active, yeah. Thank you for helping me out. And we had this already for the link element. And now, we also have it for the button element, and it’s both in the interface as well as available for theme JSON.

Nick Diego: Yeah. Having these additional supports for elements is really great. And it allows you to pull a lot of that CSS that you had in your own style sheet and put it back into the theme JSON. Granted theme JSON, they’re getting quite big. But the beauty is you can edit it directly in the global style. So, it’s very powerful.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Awesome. So, good things are coming to WordPress with the next version. I’m just going through that. And we have some more features, one more feature with… for the patterns, this new bundle of collections of header and footer block patterns in the plugin, because the directory is not working right with all the dynamic stuff. So, they bundled a few more collections there.

Nick Diego: Yeah. It’s nice to see those updated. The ones that have been there have been in there for a while.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, yeah. I think the pattern when, the first introduced like the 5.5 or something like that. So, they’re coming… new things are coming in the pattern. There’s one feature that I really like, it’s the merging of blocks that you allow, that you can merge wrap blocks or into wrap blocks from both and list group and all that. It’s a nice quality of life change.

And it needs a little bit, it takes more to explain that than show that. So, we probably need to do a demo on that and will be demoed on any of the talks that are on workers, learning on workers, not learning WordPress online, meetup groups. I’m sure some of them will demo that. And that, I think unless we overlooked something, we are at the end of it.

Nick Diego: Yeah. Well, I mean, for the listeners, we breeze through a lot here. These two releases 5.9 and 14.0 super impactful, but they’re also give you a really good look about what’s coming in 6.1. We’ve had full site editing and block themes in WordPress for a while now.

If you’ve been hesitant to jump in 6.1 is going to have a lot of things that you might have been looking for in order to get started and jump in. So, very excited for 6.1, and having all of this stuff included in core.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And the next version is 14.1. Of course, the next… and it will be released on September 14. That’s interesting because on September 13, it’s going to be the walkthrough. That’s a preliminary date. It hasn’t been officially announced, but it’s for you listeners here.

You heard it here first. But it’s when the release leads from a core, technically leads from core and block editor go through what’s going to be released and demo some of the things. So, we have all the priorities, right? The last version that will make it into WordPress 6.1 of the good note plugin is probably… so the feature releases on September 20th, there will be a release candidate of WordPress 14.2.

So, whatever gets into that release in that milestone will be wrapped up and pushed into WordPress 6.0. And I think the editor release leads will do some last. And of course, the triage will go through that and see what’s happening there.

Nick Diego: Yeah. And I have a lot to do with the next few months.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. All of us, because we are going through all the PRs and mark all for dev notes. So, there is a team. And Milana is doing the same for core, for the track tickets to find the dev notes that need to be published, and then we publish them. So, that’s going to be a really interesting thing.

And I learn so much when I do that. It’s just mine. I don’t know where my brain do, it does that. But yeah, I just keep adding to it. So, we are almost at the end of the show. Is there anything, Nick, that you wanted to share with our listeners that you didn’t get to yet?

Nick Diego: Yeah. I mean, I’ll do a short plug here. So, our developer relations team at WP Engine, we do a lot of contributing to both the docs team and training and to core. But we also do, produce our own content, take supplement, some of the things that are already out in the world.

And so, if you just go to, it’s all just tutorials and articles on building with modern WordPress, very topical to what we’ve talked about today, talking about fluid typography. One of my favorite articles that I just released is about contextual patterns, which I don’t think that many people know about or use.

But it’s a great way of functionality that’s in Gutenberg and in WordPress to take your theme to the next level. So, yeah, lots of great content. But of course, we’re always contributing to training docs as well, so.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. And I really like what you’re doing there. All of the articles are really well go deep, sometimes, deep developer wise, sometimes, content creator wise. So, it’s a great mixture for any target audience pretty much. That’s terrific. So, thank you for joining me today, sharing your knowledge and opinions with our listeners. And I’m looking forward to meeting you in-person.

Nick Diego: I know. Yeah. I can’t wait. Well, thank you very much for having me. I remember listening to this podcast a year ago, once I started working on WordPress full time. So, I think I’ve peaked now that I’m on the show now, so.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. You made it.

Nick Diego: That’s right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: That’s what I thought. When Doc Pop invited me to the Pope Magazine. He said, “I made it.”

Nick Diego: That’s right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Dear listeners, our next show will be recorded on September 15th. So, there’s 13, walkthrough, 14 release, 15th Gutenberg changelog recording. It will be released shortly after. And we will have the brilliant Channing Ritter from the WordPress design team on the show. As always the show notes will be published on

This is episode 72. And if you have questions or suggestions or news, you want us to include send them to, that’s Or, just shoot me a DM or PM on Slack or Twitter. It’s all opened for us, for you. Thank you again, Nick, for joining us. What’s your Twitter handle?

Nick Diego: Just Nick Diego, @nickdiego on Twitter. Wow, I should notice it, it’s actually @nickmdiego on Twitter. It was hard to get Nick Diego.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, you need to kick the Nick Diego out who has your handle.

Nick Diego: Exactly.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. Well this is it. Thanks all. And be well. And if I see you on WordCamp US, please, I’m looking forward to it. Take care.

Nick Diego: Thanks so much.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: All right, bye-bye.

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