Template Editor, Theme.json and is a Universal theme possible? – Weekend Edition #169


It’s not entirely Gutenberg related, but I am so happy that deputies at Global Community Team are discussing conditions under which in-person meetings (WordCamp and Meetup) can start up again. Just the fact, that in-person meetings are talked about after 14 months “online only”, is already progress. It’ll still take months before the first in-person WordCamp organizers will be able to start planning. Your opinion counts, so don’t hesitate to chime in the comments.

There was a lot of happening this week in the WordPress world. You probably saw most of it on other WordPress news sites, so I dive in right into all the Gutenberg related updates. Happy reading.

Yours, 💕

Gutenberg and WordPress Pre-release

It comes down to the wire for developers committing code before the WordPress 5.8 feature freeze coming up on May 25th, 2021. Gutenberg feature freeze is practically on May 19th when the Gutenberg 10.7 RC candidate is released. After those dates, only bug fixes will make it into the first Beta release, scheduled for June 7, 2021.

To keep all the dates straight I consult the full WordPress 5.8 Development Cycle page.

Calls for Testing

Andre Draganescu posted Help Test the Widgets Editor for WordPress 5.8 with test instructions for three scenarios any user could test

  • Migrating from classic widgets
  • Adding blocks next to widgets
  • Opting out of the new widgets screen with the new plugin

He also urges Theme and Plugin developers to read the available documentation and suggests to

  • Test upgrading classic widgets to blocks.
  • Test enabling and disabling theme support
  • Test 3rd party widgets compatibility.

Anne McCarthy in her post “Stick the Landing (pages)” ( 😁 nice pun!)* composed a real-life scenario for the various tests of the template editor and use it for landing pages. This goes to the heart of the new feature slated to be introduced to WordPress users with WordPress 5.8.

The instructions come with a very nice demo of the template editor in a silent movie. Just follow the mouse pointer.

(* I had to look it up: Stick the landing – is an expression that comes from gymnastic or other athletic routine when the athlete lands firmly and confidently on their feet. Or an aviator executes a flawless landing. – all part of the service… )

Gutenberg 10.6

Gutenberg 10.6 was released and comes with a ton of create features! For the first time, volunteer contributor, Koen Van den Wijngaert led this plugin release and published What’s new in Gutenberg 10.6? It was one of the bigger releases with 216 commits.

  • Duotone filters made it into this release now. Very cool highlight/shadow colors are already available. Theme developers can provide extend with theme specific colors.
  • Padding is here! You might not need those spacer block anymore or at least not so often.
  • Most used tags selector – many bloggers missed it for the last few years. It’s now also available in the block editor.
  • Tables can now have colored borders.
  • More blocks for Themes and modify Post list displays (Query blocks)
  • Theme.json is out of experimental and the documentation was updated just a couple of days ago.
  • Template Editor screen to create custom templates for landing pages.
  • Block Editor Settings are now available via an endpoint of the REST API. This opens quite a few additional opportunities for plugins and themes to adjust features and controls.

I have had a fascination with the Query block ever since it started as a Latest Post block. In this version, the team added Block Patterns to the place holder, so you don’t have to start from scratch assembling.

Justin Tadlock tested a few new features and shares his findings in Gutenberg 10.6 Adds Duotone Filters, Query Pattern Carousel, and Most-Used Tags Selector.

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

The Gutenberg Changelog episode #44 will be published later this weekend. Grzegorz (“Greg”) Ziolkowski and I had a great time diving into the details of this release, answered some General Gutenberg questions and also talked about what’s in the works even beyond 5.8.

Subscribe to the Gutenberg Changelog via your favorite podcast apps!
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Full Site Editing and Themes

Kjell Reigstad is back with the Gutenberg + Themes: Round up post from the Themes team. Learn quickly what was released and fixed, what is pending as PR or still in discussion that could use your input. The list of overview issues is a great way to catch up on the latest development.

Jeff Ong invited contributors and other theme developers to a Upcoming “Universal Themes” Hallway Hangout, a theme that works as a classic theme as well as a block-based theme. The post has links to recording, the sticky boards as well as the Zoom chat transcripts. I have yet to watch the gathering of Theme wizards and their thoughts on how they might want to deal with the upcoming changes. The recording is available on YouTube

Hallway Hangout – Universal Theme

The Second Call for Questions on Full Site Editing and their answers has ended, and Anne McCarthy published Answers from Round Two of Questions. Almost all answers have also reference to the GitHub discussion around a specific topic. The answer covering the differences and different use cases for the three entities that might cause confusion (#5): Reusable Block, Block Pattern and now Template. Anne answer it comprehensible, has a real life example and a great set of links to dive deeper into the topic.

Upcoming WordPress Events

May 19th, 2021
Portsmouth WordPress Meetup
Full-site Editing with Herb Miller core contributor and his block-based theme

 May 22-23, 2021
WordCamp Northeast Ohio Region
Two sessions and a Lighting talk about Gutenberg are on the schedule

  • Anatomy of a Block Theme for Full Site Editing w/ Daisy Olson
  • Web Components in WP, Gutenberg and as HTML plugins w/ Craig West
  • Lightning Talk: The power of reusable blocks w/ Daisy Olson

May 24-28, 2021
WordSesh 2021
The session schedule is now available, too. Here is the list of Gutenberg talks:

  • Blazing Fast Block Development w/ Lee Shadle
  • Building Custom Blocks w/ Rob Stinson
  • Block-Based ThemesThe Future Of Full Site Editing In WordPress w/ Imran Sayed
  • How the Block Editor Makes It Easier to Build Custom Websites w/ Danielle Zarcaro
  • Build your own Block-Based Theme w/ Daisy Olsen (Workshop)

June 7 – 9th, 2021
WordCamp Europe
A virtual event and contributor day. Call for sponsors is open.

🎉 Gutenberg Times is a media partner of WordCamp Europe 2021

June 20 – 26
WordCamp Japan
The schedule has been posted. Most sessions will be in Japanese, with exceptions, I think…

July 17 + 18th, 2021
WordCamp Santa Clarita
Calls for speakers (May 30th), sponsors, volunteers and organizers are open.

June 24 – 26, 2021
WordCamp Cochabama (Colombia)

July 23, 2021
WordFest Live The festival of WordPress
Call for Speakers is now open and submissions are due on May 24th, 2021

September 21 + 22, 2021
WPCampus 2021 Online
“A free online conference for web accessibility and WordPress in higher education.” Call for Proposal is up and proposal are due May 26, 2021

On the Calendar for WordPress Online Events you can browse a list of the upcoming WordPress Meetups, around the world, including WooCommerce, Elementor, Divi Builder and Beaver Builder meetups.

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