Releases Galore in WordPress open-source projects, Business Case of Gutenberg and more — Weekend Edition #179

Howdy, friend!

Today’s weekend edition is a double-feature, so to speak. I’ll skip next week because of traveling overseas. First trip in 20 months. I am so excited and also busy to get ready. I will be back into your inbox on August 7th, 2021.

This week was an exciting week for the WordPress open-source project and its many hundreds of contributors. One release after another! Just wow! Let’s dive right in.

Stay well and keep safe!

Yours, 💕

WordPress open-source project Releases in July 2021

WordPress 5.8

Five hundred thirty awesome contributors worked on WordPress 5.8 and the release team let it loose on Tuesday as Tatum, after Art Tatum, a renown American jazz pianist.

Need to catch up on all the features in this new version?

BuddyPress 9.0

In time for the block-based widget editor, the BuddyPress team released their block widgets in their 9.0 version this week. The new BP Widget Blocks are Legacy Widgets, rebuilt as BP Blocks. You can also access them in the Block Editor for use in your posts or pages!

WordPress Pattern Directory

The Meta Team has been collaborating with the Design team and designers in the community on the first version of the WordPress Pattern Directory. They released it officially on Tuesday night. Justin Tadlock has the skinny.

I found a few to add to my favorites. What are your favorite block patterns? These initial 80+ patterns are also a great inspiration for theme builders who look to include themes styled patterns in their themes.

If you are interested in creating block patterns from scratch, browse through this list of resources around block patterns.

Gutenberg Plugin Version 11.1

The Gutenberg Team released another version of the Gutenberg plugin, version 11.1.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I discussed its many of the changes on 48th episode of the Gutenberg Changelog

Justin Tadlock wrote: Gutenberg 11.1 Adds Drag-and-Drop Support for List View and Upgrades Block Borders

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2021” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly. The index 2020 is here

Theme building for Full-Site Editing

Tammie Lister shares here theme design journey on the site Ephemeral Themes. This week, she posted “Tips for creating a theme in the site editor” and explained the importance of testing early and often. Well worth your time!

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s main (trunk) branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

Kjell Reigstad has the weekly round-up of issues, updates and discussions around Gutenberg and Themes for you. In this post Reigstad covered the most recent PR on FSE Blocks, General theme building and Global Styles. The list of overview issues is a great start if you need to catch up on the overall concepts and ideas.

Carolina Nymark, team rep on the Theme Review Team, ask for your comments on the newly proposed Theme requirements for inclusion into the Theme directory on You can also read them in more details on GitHub issue #12 on the Theme Requirements repository of the Theme Review team.

Deadline for the first round of comments is July 26th, 2021.

On July 28th, 2pm CET. The team will conduct a Zoom interview with theme authors about the requirements. Spots are already full. Hopefully, the interviews will be recorded to educate more than a few theme developers about the requirements.

Justin Tadlock provides background and more context as to the initiative via his post Next Phase of the WordPress Theme Review Overhaul.

Rich Tabor published The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Block Templates in Gutenberg and provides a comprehensive tutorial on how block-based theme template fit into WordPress template hierarchy and how they help WordPress users controls their site. Tabor also provided details instructions on how to build block-based templates and leverage them in your theme.

In his post Universal Themes: Customization on ThemeShaper, Ben Dwyer explored about how to make Global Styles and the Customizer work together. Dwyer looks at how to use classic WordPress tools (in this case the Customizer) to customize a block theme, while saving these changes in Global Styles – making a universal theme!

Developing Blocks and Plugins for the block editor

Last month, Dmitry Mayorov, Senior Front-End Engineer at 10up, published a crash-course in WordPress Block Filters. Mayorov shows you how to extend core blocks with filters. He also helps you with the decision between extending a core or build a custom block instead.

Michael LaRoy wrote a tutorial on creating blocks with Advanced Custom Fields. He wrote: “By providing a PHP solution to block creation, a developer already familiar with ACF can efficiently create new custom blocks without writing any JavaScript.”

Bill Erickson has a tutorial on how to use Inner Blocks with ACF Blocks, to expand on the usefulness of the plugin for more complex layouts.

Alex Standiford explained in his post “How Gutenberg Blocks Work the basic concepts of how the block-editor stores content, why HTML comments and how is it rendered.

Business Case for Gutenberg

Artur Grabowski, co-founder of Extendify, a Gutenberg first product start-up, was Joe Howard‘s guest on episode 153 of WPMRR Podcast: Going Big by Solving WordPress’ Biggest Roadblock. Grabowski, like many other business development people in the WordPress space, regards the missing new user onboarding experience as the biggest roadblock for even bigger growth of the WordPress ecosystem. Howard and Grabowski had an honest and nuanced conversation about the business case for Gutenberg First approach to WordPress products.

Grabowski took a historic view to the ongoing debate about Gutenberg being the right path for WordPress. Back in 2016, while working with Adobe and its product Spark, Grabowski became aware of many innovative web building tools. They were all block-based. It is only a fairly new concept for WordPress. “There is a lot less unknown here about the end state than some people realize.” If you are interested in the WordPress product space, I recommend you follow the link and dive into the details of things.

The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed.

Artur Grabowski

Incidentally, Cory Miller, Post Status partner and Jeff Meziere talked to Chris Lubkert, also co-founder of Extendify, on their Webinar for the Business Value Academy. Webinar: Mergers & Acquisitions with Chris Lubkert

Before co-founding Extendify, Chris Lubkert and Artur Grabowski worked in the Merger & Aquisitions department of Automattic. Tammie Lister also joined Extendify as their head of design. Extendify is the new home for a series of block-editor plugins and tools: Editor Plus, Redux Framework, Editors Kit, Gutenberg Hub, Gutenberg Forms, ACF Blocks, and Block Slider to name a few.

Episode #48 is now available with transcript.
Next recording August 6th, 2021

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