Standardization for theme.json, Blocks without Build process, Patterns – Weekend Edition #183

Featured Image: Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash

Howdy,

And suddenly, the summer is mostly over. Among other things, one notices the increased activity in the WordPress space and the growing length of all the newsletters.

This week, the core team managed two releases: WordPress 5.8.1 RC with a few bug fixes, and Gutenberg plugin 11.4. Grzegorz and I discussed details and more in our 51st episode of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast.

The Gutenberg developer team received reinforcements with the Frontity team, who joined Automattic’s Dotorg Division. WordPress Tavern’s Sarah Gooding has more details on this story: Automattic Acquires Frontity, Founders to Work Full-Time on Gutenberg.

With all the excitement around new beginnings, we also need to say Farewell to Andrea Middleton. Soon, she will leave the WordPress space to enrich the communities on Reddit with her leadership brilliance. I wouldn’t be where I am without Andrea’s encouragement, support, and guidance. I will be eternally grateful for all her work in the WordPress community, her big heart and for her friendship. It’s hard to imagine WordPress without her.

I have been blown away by all the kind words from so many of you on Twitter, Slack, and email. Thank you all so much! You really made me feel the love. There will be group hugs at in-person events!

With that, I leave you to the brilliant minds writing and experimenting with Gutenberg and sharing their lessons learned.

Yours, 💕
Birgit

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WordPress 5.9

Josepha Haden Chomphosy publish the WordPress 5.9 Planning Roundup outlining the schedule and scope of the last WordPress release for 2021.

Go/NoGo Decision will be made on or around October 12, 2012, followed by the Feature Freeze / Bug Fixes deadline of November 9th. A week later, on November 16, Beta 1 would be released. Between Beta 1 and the final release date are roughly four weeks. The final release is set for December 14th, 2021

The scope matches pretty much what Matias Ventura onlined in his “Road to 5.9” plus a new default theme.

Chomphosy also mentioned some roadmap hopefuls, mostly PHP related; among them the Pattern insertion and creation for submission to the directory.

She ended the post with a call for volunteer for Triage Lead and Release Coordinators, positions that need to be covered to get a release started. If you are interest, comment on the post on the Make Core blog.

 “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.

Block Patterns

Anne McCarthy published a Video On Block Patterns and took “a look at the power of patterns, where you can currently find them, how you can start creating your own, and what’s to come in future releases”.


The meta team is working on a new component called the “Pattern Creator” to empower designers and site builders to submit Block Patterns to the directory, too. You can follow along and contribute via the GitHub repository

Navigation Screen

Sarah Gooding wrote about the Hallway Hangout where Gutenberg developers discussed what issues needed to be solved for the Navigation screen to make it out of the experimental state within Gutenberg plugin. Gutenberg Contributors Get Organized to Move Block-Based Navigation Forward

Full-Site Editing and Theme.json for Theme Builders

Ellen Bauer of Elmastudio, wrote about her Lessons learned building our first block theme for Full Site Editing. As early adopter, she wrote: “Converting Aino to a block theme was our first big step towards this new WordPress theme era. We feel this was important so we and our theme users can now explore block themes more deeply. From here we can learn and add new features step by step.” Justin Tadlock recently posted a review of the Aino theme and plugin.

Bauer also published a tutorial on How to Customize the Footer in Full Site Editing Block Themes


Marcus Kazmierczak created a tutorial on how to use the theme.json feature with a Classic Theme. After describing the various settings for colors, typography, layout and more, Marcus also explains in detail what happens in the background.


Rich Tabor published a series on Standardizing Theme.json and covered

Tabor wrote: “By standardizing just a few key high-level entries within a WordPress theme’s theme.json file, we can finally create a class of themes that truly are interchangeable. Interchangeable in function, while remaining distinct in style.”

Brian Gardner followed along and shared how he implemented Theme.json and Standardizing Font Sizes for the Frost Theme


Tammie Lister also makes the case for The need for standardization, by writing about the human aspect, mostly cognitive load and the spark of creativity that comes from limits. Another aspect Lister touches upon is translation, and the many languages, WordPress is translated into. She has a great way explaining the unlimited possibilities, starting with three main colors.

The biggest argument for basic standardization Lister makes almost as a side note, is the interchangeability of Themes. What happens to all the user choices for color, typography etc., when the site owner switches the Theme?

This is quite timely as a question. Anne McCarthy is working on a guided exploration of Theme switching as the next round of testing for the FSE outreach program. If you’d like to participate, join the channel #FSE-outreach-experiment of WordPress Slack, that recently celebrated the 400th member.


Speaking of which, Anne McCarth posted the summary of the 9th call for testing on the Make Test blog: FSE Program Handling HigherEd Headers Summary


Jason Crist compiled the 63rd Gutenberg + Themes Roundup. While many issues discussed are about the theme.json file and feature handling, I also found the exploration around a Mosaic View for the Template views of the Site Editor.

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

Building Custom Blocks

Iain Poulson announce the 5.10 Release of Advanced Custom Fields

  • Block API v2 support
  • Block preloading
  • Full height button

It’s the first big release of ACF for the Delicious Brains team


Marcus Kazmierczak wrote on how to Make your own create-block templates. First, he explains how the official block building scaffolding tool create-block works. Then, Marcus provides instructions and background on how to customize the template to your block-building needs. You might also enjoy Fabian Kägy and Grzegorz, recorded live session on “Tooling: Using Create-Block Scaffolding and 3rd Party Templates” via YouTube.


Helen Hou-Sandi explained an agency’s approach to streamline Custom Block development in here post: Exploring custom blocks from a PHP-centric developer UX point of view.

Riad Benguella had a similar idea and approached it from a runtime-agnostic point of view. He shared Blocky via GitHub, and wrote: ‘The fast way to create WordPress blocks. No more hard JavaScript files, or weird PHP registration.’


Justin Tadlock recalled a discussion that started on Twitter with Mark Jaquith tweet: “What if building custom blocks for the Block Editor was as easy as supplying attributes and a block of HTML? What if this produced React editing code and PHP rendering code without a build step?”. A World Where (Some) Block Development Is Merely a Templating System With No Build Process?


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