Theme.json Resources, Block Patterns and WordPress 5.8 – Weekend Edition #175


We enjoy cooling off at the community pool after our lunch walks. It’s the simple things, right?

I learned so much in this week’s Live Q & A! You might too. Jeff prepared a insightful demo of the basics. Thank you to all those watching and asking great questions! It was a pleasure and honor to have Daisy Olson, Tammie Lister and Jeff Ong on the show. The recording is available here. So are the links to the shared resources and the transcript.

What else happened this week in WordPress? Amazingly plenty. Get yourself your favorite beverage and start reading and watching.

Yours, 💕

Release week at WordPress

WordPress is such a fantastic open-source project. I admire the team and the people in it so much!

The public Slack channel of the release squad helped me understand more of the complexities behind making software that is used by many millions of people all over the world. If you ever get a chance to spend a few minutes scrolling through the discussions on slack, on trac or GitHub, do it. Meet the people, who bring the work of hundreds of contributors over the finish line. Meet the contributors.

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 is out and ready for your testing. WordPress 5.8 RC 1 is scheduled for June 29th, 2021. That comes with a hard string freeze, and the Polyglot teams get into high gear with translations. It’s also the deadline for DevNotes of the more significant changes coming with this release.

Gutenberg 10.9 and 10.9.1 were released. Some bug fixes will be ported back to be included in the WordPress 5.8. Grzegorz Ziolkowski and I recorded the Gutenberg Changelog #46 yesterday, and it will be published on Monday. Our editor, Sandy, is on a well-deserved break over the weekend. Justin Tadlock took 10.9 for a spin at the WPTavern.

Gutenberg Changelog #46 is now available — 6/27

 “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.json Resources

You can read an Introducing theme.json in WordPress 5.8 by Andre Maneiro on the Core Make blog.

You can read up on the details specifications in the Block Editor Handbook: Global Settings & Styles (theme.json).

Another fantastic way to get your feet wet is to heed the Call for Testing #8 out of the FSE outreach program. Anne McCarthy has some interesting tasks for you. Justin Tadlock has more for you on the WordPress Tavern

Tammie Lister started a new project “Ephemeral Themes” and shared her thoughts on theme.json and why she is excited again for theme development. Theme.json inspires

The Gutenberg team is in ongoing discussion about various topics. Two were raised during the Live Q & A. Both could use your opinion and ideas.

A good way to get started and see the configuration in action is to study the themes available in the Theme Experiments repository on GitHub.

Full Site Editing

Another theme by Ana Segota, built for the Site editor will come to the WordPress directory. Justin Tadlock took it for a spin. Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design.

Anne McCarthy published FSE Program Polished Portfolios Summary with the updated feedback from a great group of participants.

On her personal blog, Anne McCarthy also published On Future Outreach Program Models in the WordPress Community. She shared some of her learn lessons on running the FSE outreach program and what needs to happen to make this a permanent contributor activity within WordPress.

Here is the Upcoming FSE Outreach Program Schedule

Ben Dwyer on ThemeShaper posted Some Ideas for Universal Themes. He wrote: “A universal theme would work in both editing modes.  A user should be able to build a site in classic mode and switch to FSE mode when the Site Editor is more mature or when they are ready to try all the extra tools that Full Site Editing will bring. Changes to a theme in classic mode should be reflected when I enable the Site Editor.” and goes into more details on how that could work. At Automattic, they experiment with the Quadrat theme.

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

Block Patterns

About 80 Patterns have been published in the Pattern Directory on, Kjell Reigstad reported in his Update: Initial Patterns for the Patterns Directory over the last two weeks, Kjell, Mel Choyce and Beatriz Fialho were fielding community submissions and working with the designers. There are wonderful and useful patterns, you can use for your site.

The discussion about Block Patterns on the WordPress Tavern has readers ruminating about Theme Lock-In, Silos, and the Block System. In a Post Status discussion, Tammie Lister thought the opposite is true. “it’s going to be easier, not harder, to switch with the newer set up.” And then she continues: “Try swapping between themes now. It’s not a picnic. It’s often a sad rained on picnic with soggy sandwiches of sadness, even with the best hope.” 🌧️ I might steal that metaphor from Tammie 💕

Speaking of Block Patterns, the design team also brought Block Patterns to all WordPress Twenty themes, all the way back to Twenty-Ten. They will be released with WordPress 5.8. Milana Cap published about these Bundled themes changes in WordPress 5.8. They are a great inspiration for designer on what can be possible with Block Patterns now. Justin Tadlock at the WordPress Tavern also took the new patterns out for a spin.

In Theme patterns for the Site Editor Kjell Reigstad show off a new UI to handle the display of different patterns for a header. It is an expansion of the block pattern display for Query Loop for various Post list layouts. He also shared his code and a short tutorial. Kjell also used the Quadrat theme from the Automattic repository

Header Patterns in Quadrat Theme / Automattic

Block Development and Plugins

For block builders, the Core-editor team published two DevNotes this week.

Block API Enhancements in WordPress 5.8 by Grzegorz Ziolkowski, encouraging plugins developers to using the block.json metadata file. He lists under the benefits:

  • code sharing between JavaScript and PHP and other languages,
  • optimized enqueuing of assets on the frontend to support performance increases.
  • Allows listing of the block on the Block Type REST API endpoint
  • It’s a requirement for blocks to be included in the WordPress Plugin Directory

Block supports API updates for WordPress 5.8  by Daisy Olsen, which outlines and additional support options for color, duotone, fontSize, lineHeight, spacing options for blocks and themes.

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Featured Image: “File:Lego Color Bricks.jpg” by Alan Chia is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0