Gutenberg Changelog #0 – WordCamp Europe, AMP Stories, RichText and Block Directory

Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog
Gutenberg Changelog #0 - WordCamp Europe, AMP Stories, RichText and Block Directory

Intro-Episode for the new podcast Gutenberg Changelog hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator at Gutenberg Times and Mark Uraine, Designer at Automattic and Core Contributor to WordPress.
Birgit & Mark will share updates and trends around the development and usage of Gutenberg the new block editor for WordPress. In the last six month, there has been an big increase of activity and initiatives and it’s hard to keep track of it. The Gutenberg Changelog’s purpose is to help WordPress developers, designers, Site owners and consultants to stay ahead of the curve.
In this episode, Birgit and Mark introduce themselves to you; what is Gutenberg Times and what Mark works on at Automattic. Then, they cover WordCamp Europe, plans of the design team for contributor day and Mark’s session on Saturday. Birgit points to the list of Gutenberg related session on the Gutenberg Times for your viewing pleasure.
Shout-out to Zac Gordon and the upcoming JavaScript for WordPress online conference mid Juli. Birgit and Mark will be speaking at the same time during the four-track day of presentations at this conference.
The AMP Plugin was released this week, just in time for WordCamp Europe. It brings AMP Stories to WordPress and Gutenberg. Mark talks about the RichText Component and its Roadmap for text colors, Footnotes, Checklist, and mentions. The Block Directory discussion on design and meta team was next. Mark explained what it is and how developers will be able to add their blocks to the systems. As this new feature is still in the design & prototype phase, it’s a great opportunity for WordPress users to chime in on those conversations and shape the future of this feature.

Show Notes | Transcript

  • Music by Homer Gaines
  • Logo Design by Mark Uraine

Show Notes

Gutenberg at WordCamp Europe

JavaScript for WordPress conference (Online) July 11 – July 13, 2019

AMP Plugin release version 1.2

RichText Component

Block Directory Discussions

Design Team

Meta Team

Core Team

More Free Time by Homer Gaines

Theme song “More Free Time” off the album “Move Meant” by Homer Gaines.

Developer by day, maker of music by night, Homer Gaines has been producing music and scores for independent film projects since the early ’90s. Finding inspiration in many genres, his music is cinematic with an ambient lo-fi mix of rhythmic undertones and driving beats that flood the environment and become the backdrop for every mood.
You can listen to more of Homer’s music on all streaming music platforms and follow him on twitter @homergaines and Instagram @homer.gaines for more updates and music releases.

Next Episode will be recorded on July 21, 2019

If you’d like to contact us with suggestions, comments and news to cover, send an email to

Transcript Episode 0 – Gutenberg Changelog

Birgit Pauli-Haack: We hear this all the time.

Mark Uraine: There’s so many updates, tons of community work happening. It’s hard to keep up. How do I follow it all?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Here is your answer. Listen to the Gutenberg ChangeLog.

Hello and welcome to our intro episode for this author’s new podcast called Gutenberg Changelog. I am Birgit Pauli-Haack, curator of the Gutenberg Times and I’m here with my co-host Mark Uraine, designer at Automattic and core contributor to WordPress. So, how are you today Mark?

Mark Uraine: Hi, Birgit. I’m doing great. This is going to be a fun project with you. I’m looking forward to sharing Gutenberg updates and trends with everyone listening. How are you today?

What is Gutenberg Changelog and who are Mark Uraine and Birgit Pauli-Haack

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I’m so excited that we are doing this together, Mark. This episode is for our listeners to find out who we are and how the podcast came about and what we are trying to do. We also have a few news items that we’re going to share with you. So here’s the idea for the podcast. We connect over the whole week, the news around Gutenberg; from the design team, the core team from around the broad community of WordPress. And even from outside. No longer than 30 minutes. Some shows might even be shorter. It’ll be for designers, developers, do it yourself site owners and consultants. We don’t go deep. We’ll provide context and connect the dots for you and Mark is a perfect co-host for many reasons. First of all, he’s a brilliant designer and even a nicer person. Mark not only contributes to WordPress though, I have seen you in the P Five space. What are other projects you work on?

Mark Uraine: Oh Birgit, thank you for that. Yeah, I really enjoy the open source projects, learning about the communities and experimenting with ways to bring them together. Right now, currently on my work at Automattic has me focusing entirely on Gutenberg and the WordPress block editor.

So one of the things we heard in phase one was a desire for more open communication and transparency and I believe this show is going to help.

Birgit, you’ve been wrangling the Gutenberg Times for awhile now. How did that come about?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, it’s been almost two years now and that I could curate all things around Gutenberg or how we call it now, The Block Editor, which came to Europe 2017 in Paris. I saw the first videos of Gutenberg and I was fascinated. I wanted to learn all about it and I started collecting what other people published while they were experimenting with it and exploring the new space. At first, I used Storify because of the easy embeds of what Twitter and other media. Again, quite the following and people ask me if there’s an email newsletter.

I didn’t have one until about January, 2018 when I finally gave in and started publishing on Right now I’m preparing 106 roundup posts. We also have a YouTube channel where you can watch our Gutenberg Times Live Q and A’s with various people from the WordPress community. We recorded them last fall and the spring and we will record future ones. Saturdays I publish an e-newsletter with carefully selected links between four or seven to various blog posts from other people that have great value for our subscribers.

In the last four months to space exploded with energy and it was really hard to keep up. I’m glad that you, Mark, agreed to host this with me because two people see more than one and I’m sure you have quite a different perspective on looking at things, so it will be a great combination.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, I think it is too. It’s, it’s going to be valuable for people who are really interested in Gutenberg and want to see what the latest is with it. So I hope this communication platform really works for them.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I hope so, too. And if listeners want to get in contact with us, I’m put this out right now. I just created the email address called Just send your questions to suggestion

Plans for WordCamp Europe

So, Mark. You are heading to Berlin for WordCamp Europe. It’s June 21st to 23rd and I liked that the tradition that actually have the contributed day on the first day. What are the design team’s plans for the contributor day?

Mark Uraine: Yeah, contributor days are the best. It’s an excellent opportunity to contribute and receive immediate help with anything that might be unclear. I like having contributor days at the beginning too because you meet some great people that you’re likely to interact with throughout the rest of the conference. This year there’s going to be a few things going on at the design table. First, is the blocked directory prototype testing. Mel Choice has written up a test and I’m not entirely sure who’s going to be running the tests, but we’re going to be looking for feedback on the prototype for the new block directory coming.

Number two is some Gutenberg design work. I don’t have an agenda for that one yet, but it might include some relatively light issues that can be discussed in a group setting. I’ll also help acquaint people to the [inaudible 00:05:55] and even the code base if they’d like to know how to navigate it all.

Third, there’s the figma component building, right? There’s a desire to organize our design library and figma right now and that’s going to be handled by a few other people and getting people involved with creating those components in the interface. There’s also triage that could possibly be happening. It’s still up in the air right now, but it’s important to consider.

What is Figma and how does WordPress Design Team use it?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well those are some great projects and topics to get involved in as a contributor. So, for our listeners who are not deep in design of work, can you help me out briefly with what is figma and how does the team use it and is it a closed system or can other designers across access to a component library?

Mark Uraine: Yeah, so figma, it’s an interface design tool and it allows the creation of UI elements, prototypes, etc. It’s browser based, but they do have a desktop application for it as well.

And each of these offer a great collaboration environment, so that several people can edit the files simultaneously. Our figma component library is open but if you want to make edits, you need an invite to the account and that can be achieved by asking in the design channel in Slack.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Awesome. Awesome. But if you don’t want to edit, you just want to use those component libraries, you can download them and and use it in their work?

Mark Uraine: Sure. Sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: All right, well that seems like quite the lifted tool. You are also on the session schedule for Western Europe. I did not have you on my list of Gutenberg tops. So what’s the topic of your talk?

Mark Uraine: Yeah, I did- I’m not talking about Gutenberg, I’m talking about designing in the open remotely. It’s an interesting juxtaposition between how no one ever sees me, but everyone sees all the work that I do.

I’m going to talk about the benefits of designing in the open and working remotely and I’ll go over how to like how people can start doing this in their own processes at home.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah. I don’t want to get too deep into the designing in the open because it has some quite some challenges when a lot of people have opinions that they add and to sort through them. I think we got a little a taste of that last year.

Mark Uraine: For sure.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: It sounds so interesting. I have a lot of FOMO for the next weekend and I will be glued to my TV watching the live stream via Chromecast and our listeners can too, of course. Mark’s talk is on Saturday, June 22nd at 4:00 PM local time. That’s 10:00 AM you eastern daylight. That’s at least a human time. The schedule is posted on this site and for the Gutenberg Times I pulled the Gutenberg related links (to talks) out and you can follow along on the Gutenberg Times. We have the link in the show note and I expect there would’ve been more talks though about WordPress development that will include tips and tricks on the Block Editor because it has been out now for six months and I think a lot of people will include some of it in their other talks.

2nd Annual Javascript for WordPress conference (online) July 11 – 13, 2019

So, speaking of live stream, I wanted to mention that JavaScript for WordPress Conference hosted by Zac Gorden over at It will take place online July 11th, 12th and 13th. The first day of workshops Javascript and WordPress and React and WordPress. The second day of talks in four tracks with almost 40 speakers, which is immense work to put it all together, and Zach has been really working on this.

The third day is a contributor day, where he helps other people to get into documentation and/or helping with documentation and also with the GitHub Repo. Also the link is in the show notes by the way. Both of us will be talking on July 12th. Check out the schedule which was just posted yesterday. Today is June 14th when we record this and I hope we will publish that in two days. So…

Mark Uraine: What is your talk about for that conference?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: My talk will be the various plugins that are available now for Gutenberg and what they are about and how different developers made the different design choices for the plugins. And how they’re handled- some of the challenges of a building block of plugins for Gutenberg.

Mark Uraine: Oh, that sounds interesting because listening Birgit and I are speaking at the same time that day. So, Make sure you attend Birgit’s talk.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I want to attend your talk so we all have to look at each other and while there’s so- it’s about Headless WordPress, it’s about design for WordPress. It has a lot of talks and we all probably will watch those for the rest of the year to catch up with all the good content that will all the good content. Shout-out to Zac Gorden of Javascript education.

Mark Uraine: Okay, that’s great.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah.

AMP Stories for WordPress Block editor

Mark Uraine: So Birgit, our first topic for today, a little bit of what kind of this podcast is about here is- one of the topics is the AMP Plugin release for 1.2. It’s going to be including AMP Stories. It’s a big story. Prior to WordCamp Europe. And yeah-

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Did you have a chance to look at the Beta version and/or release candidate a how to create AMP Stories in Gutenberg?

Mark Uraine: Yeah, so I haven’t taken the Beta for a spin yet. What I’ve seen so far, it’s a natural fit with Gutenberg. Gutenberg Blocks really allow for a smooth UX interaction when creating stories and they’re using some interesting design patterns to achieve a particular level of customization. The two things I’m talking about here are the ability to rotate blocks that they have and then they’re including also a template picker of sorts. Both are super helpful and I definitely want to review them in more detail. I’m also very curious, see you about- see any results from usability testing with this release. What about you Birgit? What are your thoughts?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Well, I also saw a few stories published by the Guardian’s website last year or from the BBC. I was very excited when I heard that AMP Stories are coming to the AMP plugin and that the team around Alberto Medina, Weston Ruter, Pascal Birchler and others are working on bringing AMP Stories to Gutenberg. I haven’t been that excited about visual web development for a long time and the wait is almost over for that.

I’ve been waiting since last WordCamp US, where they told me about it and about an hour ago actually Weston Ruter tweeted that there is a release candidate and the final release is scheduled for Wednesday, June 19th. I’m following the clock in Berlin, local time just in time for WordCamp Europe but in stories also we’ll have a special place in Google’s heart, the search results pages. They announced at the IO last month, that’s a developer conference last month, that they will show the amps stories from travel sites on top of search results pages and I got really excited because I’m here in the local environment, that’s a main economic industry is tourism. And we can show our clients how to build these wonderful AMP Stories with the plugin and create visually attractive user experience about the places they might visit and the business, organization and tour guides won’t need a dedicated developer team to produce those stories to show off their tourist destination.

And so I, they can use the AMP plugin even if the site is not AMP verified, it still works. So I’m really excited about this. Of course, I am also excited about AMP but it more fixes what publishers kind of ruined for us in the last 10 years with all the ads and all the weight that they put in all the tracking and definitely helps make that experience faster and easier to handle. We will have a Gutenberg Times live Q and A with Alberto Medina, Pascal Birchler and the designer Cassie Bosco and it would have be on July 26 2:00 PM eastern on our YouTube channel.

If you subscribe to a e news on the Gutenberg Times, you’ll get the details right into your inbox.

Cover: Gutenberg Times Live Q & A w/ speakers and sponsors
Registration is open now. Reserve your seat!

RichText Component for the Block Editor

Birgit Pauli-Haack: All right. So another- so we have another two topics that we wanted to talk about. I think, I dunno how many topics we have, but just kind of go through it.

So, but one that’s made really some waves in Europe at React Con was the Rich Text Project spearheaded by Ella van Durpe, who built the new rich text component among others, of course, that was integrated into Gutenberg earlier, I think, this year. And in the show notes you will have the link to of the Gutenberg Rich Text Roadmap and the meetings happening on Wednesdays and the core editor channel. Mark, so for the layman and women, what exactly is the Rich Text Component?

Mark Uraine:Yeah. Yeah. So the Rich Text Component is great for the development of custom blocks. It lets you create content editable input with some basic formatting options, including bold italics, strike through. You can create links. There’s some things like inline images now and it’s basically allows block developers to create things like headings or paragraphs within their own block. Does that make sense, Birgit?

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, it does. It seems to- thanks for clarifying. I think it’s basically a feature that allows me as a developer to give users a toolbox for text formatting for my blocks, whatever block I come up with. That’s really cool.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, exactly. It’s- so the roadmap that Ella’s put together has some really nice features coming up. There’s an- they want to include text coloring, a footnotes, checklist button on the list block, mentions rewrite, and Ella’s really broken down the roadmap quite well. For those listening that want to review it further, it’s issue number 13778 in the Gutenberg Repo on GitHub.

Progress on the Block Directory

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So, you mentioned it before when we talked about the contributor day, for WordCamp in Europe. The block directory is one of the nine priorities that Matt Mullenweg mentioned in his State of the Word at WordCamp US 2018 and it’s in the prototype phase. Mel Joyce has done a fair amount of publishing about the process on the days design, make blogs. So this will introduce a completely new feature for content creators to search and find blocks outside their own site or on their site with the possibility to install single blocks instead of plugins with a whole lot of them. The research and the user experience flow and the last update about the prototype is well worth a read to learn more about the features.

Mark, I hadn’t seen yet- it said discussion how developers can offer blocks for this new directory for this work. There needs to be a similar mechanism that existing plugins and seams have.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, those are great questions, Birgit. Unfortunately I don’t have all the answers in detail. I know there’s a lot of research happening though right now. Last month Alex Shields posted a bit about this on the Make Meta Blog and he mentioned that these single block plugins will be a subset of the existing plugin directory, but with more restrictions. With the help of like a json file or something similar, these will be identified and included in the search function of the Gutenberg Block Inserter and a Mel Choyce pointed out a couple times, that it’s really a way to, to get rid of like dead ends in your flow of content creation as you’re building your website.

So if you’re searching for a particular block and you don’t happen to have it installed, it’ll present you, hopefully, with some results that you- that may not be included quite yet in your website, but that you can add straight from the flow of creating content. And ultimately the plugin block developers will need to follow those guidelines set forth and to be included in the subset. And I imagine they can simply upload these single block plugins as they would any other plugin in the plugin directory.

To find out more information, attending the Meta Team meetings and Slack. I believe their meetings are biweekly on Wednesdays, but that- you probably ask some great questions there.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Oh, good. Another Wednesday meeting. Capital W like wordpress, everything happens on Wednesdays. I’m just joking about that because there’s the editor meeting in the morning and then I have WordCamp US meeting right after that. And then we have the, the core channel, a new contributors meeting, the core meeting and then yeah, bi-weekly then the Meta meeting. So, but thanks for breaking this down for me.

Mark Uraine: Yeah, there is a lot on Wednesday, aren’t there? I get up at 6:00 AM for that editor- core editor meeting

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right? Yeah. That’s a long day. Yeah. So, well but this doesn’t sound as complicated as I thought it might be. And I think that existing plugins will probably- can just be modified and kind of add that JSON file that you were kind of thinking about with the- so JSON is a data format like comma separated value list and so we have all the design documents and the Meta Team’s post in the show notes for you. And so now is the moment to get involved if you want to be part of the decision making process. It’s all in the open and there are a lot of good discussions had on the main blogs and also on the GitHub repository. So go there and, and check it out.

Mark Uraine: We definitely are encouraging everybody that can contribute and be a part of this. And if there’s any questions we’ll really make an attempt to try to answer them- help guide you into some of the maybe easier issues to get involved with just to get people’s feet in the door with contributing.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Yeah, I think having hearing from a lot of plugin developers that are interested in block distribution, contribute to that discussion. Especially when it goes towards the part where you also thinking about premium plugins because that’s also a major part,of the WordPress ecosystem is the business models around it on not every- any developers in the space needs to eat, needs to make money at some point to feed his family. And so that’s going to be really a nice way to kind of expand the ecosystem.

Mark Uraine: Right.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: So I think for now we are at the end, do you have anything else that triggered a thought that you wanted to kind of get into the show today

Mark Uraine: No, not right now. This has been a good show. I think we packed it with some information here.

Gutenberg Changlog Logo & Music and what’s next

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right? Yeah, me too. Yeah, and so does this the end then of our introductory episode of these completely new podcasts, a Gutenberg Changelog. The music was created by my longtime friend Homer Gaines and he’s a developer by day and a maker of music by night and Homer Gains has been producing music and scores for independent film projects since early nineties. Finding inspiration in many genres, his music is kinematic with an ambient of low fine mix of rhythmic undertones and driving beats that flood the environment and become the backdrop of every mood. He writes, when he made the music available- the Gutenberg Change Log title music is called More Free Time of the album Movement. More free time. Can we all have that? Yes.

And Mark Uraine, co-host of the show, created the Gutenberg Change logo and it was inspired by Gutenberg logo Design by Christel Rossignol, It will be on your cover art wherever, whatever tool you use to open this app. The show notes will be published in And if you have questions or suggestions or you just want to say hi or have news that you want us to include, send them to That’s So this is it for the day.

We will record the next episode in a month, July 12th, because we are all traveling and then we will try to do this every week so we don’t have to have the full- yeah, all those stories or big stories. And so until next month, I wish you a safe trip to Europe. Say hi to everybody over there, Mark, and thanks for doing this with me.

Mark Uraine: Thank you. And thank you to our listeners.

Birgit Pauli-Haack: Thank you. And Goodbye.

The raw recording is available on YouTube.
Podcast audio was edited for clarity and brevity.

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