Talks at WordCamp US, Notes from the Community summit. A wishlist, reflections and a preview –Weekend Edition 266


Apart from The Future of WordPress & What’s Next for Gutenberg with the keynotes by Josepha Haden Chomphosy and Matt Mullenweg, including Q & A, I still haven’t caught up with the videos from WordCamp US. Below is a list with links to the talks I want to see and hopefully catch up over this weekend.

Then the Community Summit discussion notes are also posted, I haven’t digested any of them yet. This part of my todo-list is also below.

And I hear you say: Who has time for all this? Well, that is a good question. The project has some great teams, that do outstanding work! And that’s the underlying reason why I only curate news about the block editor. No one can keep track of it all. 🤣

And I leave you to the rest of the newsletter. Enjoy, learn and share!

Yours, 💕

WordCamp US Gutenberg Talks

The full playlist of recorded talks is available on YouTube: WordCamp US 2023

🎥 The Independent Theme Developer’s Field Guide to Modern WordPress with Michelle Schlup Hunt (Session description, slides)

🎥 Building a thoughtful block editing experience with Aurooba Ahmed (Session description)

🎥 For All Userkind: NASA Web Modernization and WordPress with Abby BowmanJ.J. Toothman (Session description)

🎥 Hands on with NASA’s new digital platform NASA Workshop with Abby Bowman and J.J. Toothman (Session description)

🎥 Ford Foundation: Audio Described Video Plugin with Vajaah E ParkerKurtis Shaner (Session description)

🎥 All the President’s Websites with Andrew Nacin, Helen Hou-Sandí

🎥 Anatomy of an Accessible Navigation Menu with Steve Jones (session description)

🎥 The Headless Block Editor with Sean Blakeley (session description)

🎥 The Future of WordPress with Josepha Haden Chomphosy (Session description)

🎥 Gutenberg Next with Matt Mullenweg

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

Gutenberg 16.6 RC is available now for testing, and the stable release is scheduled for September 6th, 2023. I took a peak at the changelog to prepare for the next episode of the Gutenberg Changelog #89 with Nadia Maya Ardiani as a special guest.

🎙️ Latest episode: Gutenberg Changelog #90 – New Testing Call for the FSE Program, Gutenberg 16.7 and WordPress 6.4 with Tammie Lister as special guest, hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

Community Summit

Below you find a short list of discussion notes from the Community Summit directly connected with contributing to core and Gutenberg. When you read notes on the Make Summit blog, keep in mind that two important guidelines governed the Community Summit: no attribution and no decisions.

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

Jamie Marsland recreated TechCrunch’s Website in 30 minutes and shows you in this 15-minute video how he did it. WOW! I rebuilt in only 30 mins with WordPress. You’ll also learn a few things: How to have a sticky header, how to create pro-post layouts, how to change your Global style, how image ratio features work and how to use templates.

Jacob Martella posted his Wishlist for the WordPress Site Editor as it Heads to Phase 3. He explains a few missing items in broad strokes: better responsive controls, more inline options, continued improvement on accessibility and more of the Block Visibility plugin features. The latter is a nice shoutout to Nick Diego’s plugin that has been available in the plugin repo for three years, and shows 10,000 + active installations.

Tammie Lister, co-tech lead for WordPress 6.4 had thoughts and published them: Reflections on the admin design proposal. On the way from old to new, it needs opinions, listening, documenting, and considering accessibility and extensibility. Implementation of the proposal requires all WordPress teams to become part of the revamp.

Niels Lange published the WooCommerce Blocks 10.9.0 Release Notes. He listed as notable that the team uses the Interactivity API together with the Product Button block and Pagination, which improves user experience considerably. In this version, the team continued making performance improvement to the plugin. You can also find improvements to patterns for footer and features products, and with every release fixed a few bugs. The WooCommerce Blocks plugin is available in the WordPress repository

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Matt Medeiros took a peak at the early version of the new default theme and shared his thoughts in Previewing the Upcoming Twenty Twenty-Four Theme for WordPress. “With a focus on versatility, ease of use, and multiple website types, Twenty Twenty-Four is shaping up to be one of the best and most flexible default starter themes WordPress has released in years” he wrote.

Eric Karkovack asked Brian Gardner in his interview “Will There Ever Be a Market for Commercial Block Themes?” Tl:DR: “I’m incredibly optimistic. Having been instrumental in molding the premium WordPress theme market in the late 2000s, we stand at the precipice of a new renaissance, much like before.” was Brian Gardner’s answer. Read more about the challenges and opportunities of Block Themes in WordPress.

Justin Tadlock‘s latest tutorial covers Adding and using custom settings in theme.json. Custom settings are “one of the most powerful ways to build on top of the block system but is often underutilized by the theming community.” he wrote.

Code example of custom settings in theme.json. Read what happens then

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2022” 
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

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Aurooba Ahmed and Brian Coords created a couple of tools for block development and made them publically available:

Both worth a browser bookmark 🙂 Ahmed and Coords also finished their first season of their ViewSource podcast. If you want to give it a binge listen, just search for View Source on your favorite podcast app or download it from the website.

Example: Icon information for blockDefault

If you missed last week’s Developer Hours, the recording is now available on WordPressTV: Developer Hours: Introduction to the HTML API with Michael Burridge and Dennis Snell. The show started with some quick demos of using the new HTML APIs, then briefly discussed the limits of the new systems, and finished with a time for questions and discussion with participants.

Angel De Miguel, staff engineer at VM ware working on the WebAssembly, his colleague Rafael Fernández López and Automattic’s Adam Zieliński co-authored this post for the WordPress Developer blog: Exploring the future of web development with WebAssembly and PHP. “Imagine that you can now run PHP code in a new set of environments like a browser, serverless, edge, and even embedded in a different application. That opens a new set of possibilities for PHP.  At this point is when PHP meets WebAssembly.” the wrote. You’ll learn what WebAssembly is, how it makes PHP portable like JavaScript, how it is the foundation of WordPress Playground, about sharing libraries across languages and so much more.

Gobinda Tarafdar started a new project, CSS Crafter – a CSS Library for Gutenberg Blocks with premade CSS-styled blocks. Select the style and copy/paste the CSS + Block code for patterns or your custom blocks. Some of them also include pure CSS animations. It’s a fun project, that might shorten the creation time considerably.

You don’t have to create custom blocks to customize the editor for your clients. Nick Diego posted an introduction to block variations, and you will learn how to create block variations effectively and discover ways to incorporate them into your workflows.

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

GitHub all releases

Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Don’t hesitate to send them via email or send me a message on WordPress Slack or Twitter @bph.

For questions to be answered on the Gutenberg Changelog, send them to

Featured Image: Roof of the Stefan’s Cathedral in Vienna 2023 – Photo by Birgit Pauli-Haack

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