Insights into theme building for FSE, Headless and Gutenberg — Weekend Edition #185


Now, you might have heard or read, Andrea Middleton has left Automattic after 10 years shaping and growing the WordPress Community, and new leaders for open-source. Whenever I spent time with Andrea, I came out a better person.

I have a hard time, accepting this big change. I can’t imagine the WordPress community without Andrea Middleton. As you see, I am still in denial. 🤷

Even from the distance, she makes sure we are ok. She published a blog series: “Letters to an open-source contributor” – That might be you, too! She shared her wisdom on Communication, Collaboration, Criticizing for Change and on Leadership . Andrea has a way to make us listen and hear the truth about ourselves and our community. And she promised more. 🤗

Well, I still keep forgetting her advice on communication:

„Be kind; be brief.”

Andrea Middleton

To clarify, I have trouble with the brief part, not the kind part.

Now it’s Gutenberg time. Many people are exploring block-based Themes. How about you? We have quite a few awesome resources for you, about that and so much more. Enjoy!

Yours, 💕

Headshots Ellen Bauer, Carlina Nymark, Anders Noren

We scheduled a Live Q & A on building Themes going from classic to block-based themes. I am thrilled to discuss with Ellen Bauer, Anders Noren, and Carolina Nymark, three brilliant WordPress Themes, the challenges, and opportunities of building block-based themes, using theme.json, Block Patterns and getting ready for Full-site editing.
Join us on October 7th, at 16:00 UTC / 11:00 EDT and register now.

Gutenberg Development

Gutenberg 11.5 was released and had quite a few enhancements, as you can read in What’s new in Gutenberg 11.5? by Mike Schroder.

Justin Tadlock has more details: Gutenberg 11.5 Adds Widget Grouping, Iterates on the Block Gap Feature, and Updates Nav Menus.

Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I recorded Episode 52 of the Gutenberg Changelog podcast, and it will arrive at your favorite podcast app over the weekend.

Hector Prieto describes the next focus areas for the Gutenberg development and WordPress 5.9 in his post: What’s next in Gutenberg? (Mid-September 2021)

Jason Crist from the WordPress Theme team curated again an extensive list of issues and PRs, related to full-site editing. Join the discussion on adding Child Themes support for FSE, duo-tone in theme.json or how to the experiments on controlling Navigation block and screen via theme.json.

Building Themes: Full-site Editing, Theme.json and Global Styles

Alfredo Navas dove deep into the documentation and wrote a tutorial on How to use the Full-Site Editor to create a block-based theme. Start with blank files and the right folder structure. After activating the theme, Navas walks you through the process of creating a fully functional theme using the Site Editor and the new theme blocks available. No code required. You can then export it as a zip file and upload to other sites, too.

During this week’s Hallway Hangout, facilitated by Anne McCarthy, Marcus Kazmierczak and Dave Smith, attendees discuss various pathways for adopting full-site editing. There is also a Recap post with the recording, a summary of topics and links to all the resources mentioned.

Take a deep dive into handling color choices via theme.json with Carolina Nymark‘s Lesson on Theme.json color options. Nymark no only covers the usage of all color options, she also shows you how to disable the color picker, gradients, duotone etc. The disabling methods are inconsistent for all the choices. It’s important to consider context.

Fabian Kägy shared his insights when he rebuilt his site as a block-based theme. He walked us through the various aspects of theme development and the challenges he faced. “I outline a few of the things that really impressed me and also a few areas that I have been struggling with a bit / have open questions about.” Kägy wrote. He added quite a few code examples to illustrate his thinking. Well worth following this rabbit hole!

You still have time to send in your feedback for the Theme Switching Exploration taking place in the FSE Outreach Program. The focus of this exploration is looking at Theme switching from a longer-term perspective. It guides you through a very basic theme switching process and then asks you to creatively think about what you’d like to see happen. Doesn’t this sound like great fun? You can influence the next phase of full-site editing and the future of WordPress themes standards.

Speaking of Exploration: Javier Arce presents in his post Interaction with Colors an exploration of the Color panel and Color picker and a proposal for their improvement. In their current implementation they for instance don’t seem to scale well, take a lot of screen real estate. Arce is part of WordPress design team and works on the Inspector Controls for the Global Styles sponsored by Automattic.

Gutenberg for content creators and site implementers

Hugh W. Roberts used a great example for his post on how reusable block can help you with your content creation and save some time in the process. In his post “How to Create And Use A Reusable Block For Your Book On WordPress” – step by step – you learn how to create, Reusable blocks, place them into your post and amended them over all instances, when things change.

Andres Noren has been working on a new theme for full-site editing. Justin Tadlock spotted it in the Theme Review queue and tested it for the WPTavern: Tove: A Block-Based WordPress Theme

Block editor for developers

Iain Paulson wrote the Ultimate Overview of the WordPress Block Editor for Developers in 2021 for Delicious Brains.

Delicious Brains recently acquired plugin Advanced Custom Fields has passed the 2-Million active installations’ threshold! Congratulations! Through the grapevine, I learned that Delicious Brains is also taking over also ACF Blocks plugin from Extendify. Munir Kamal is the original author of the plugin and then joined Extendify back in March.

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 team at WebDevStudios also build some Blocks for ACF. Among other blocks, that could also be Block Patterns, the plugin provides an Accordion block and a Carousel Block for which the data is managed through Advanced Custom Fields. Have a look at the Wiki for documentation.

If you are interested in Headless WordPress and Gutenberg, WP Engine Launches Faust.js, a New Headless WordPress Framework for a NodeJS hosting environment. While Frontity builds on top of the mainly client-side ReactJS framework, Faust is built in top of NextJS, server-side ReactJS. Sarah Gooding provides us with the details.

You don’t have to host with WPEngine to use this framework. It’s open-source and available via GitHub. The repository has gathered at the time of this post over 400 stars and 43 forks. Faust.js is in the early stages of development.

From the project board for the roadmap, we learn that the Data Fetching process is considered done, and Authentication handling is being worked on. The team still discusses a Gutenberg Bridge and Gatsby support, yet another front-end framework build on top of ReactJS

Kellen Mace, developer advocate at WPEngine, published some additional details on how Gutenberg and WPGraphQL can fit together:

WordPress Events

WPCampus, a two-day virtual conference in the Higher Ed space, starts Tuesday, September 21. Here is the schedule. There are quite a few Gutenberg related presentation, so it’s worth getting your free ticket.

WooSesh 2021 is scheduled for October 12-15, 2021. It’s a live, virtual conference for WooCommerce store builders organized by Brian Richards.

Page Builder Summit is coming back and will be happening October 18 – 22, 2021. Nathan Wrigley and Anchen Le Roux are at it again! Sign-up for the VIP list and learn first about the details of the event.

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