I am finally home in Sarasota, Florida with just enough time to do laundry, get over the jetlag and clear the backlog of messages after being away from the computer for three weeks. Next week, I’ll be gone again to San Diego and WordCamp US (WCUS). I am so excited to see lots of friends and make new ones! If you can’t make it, there will be a livestream of all sessions, except the workshops.
If you plan to attend WCUS, please let me know. I want to meet you and see you again! Don’t be shy. Introduce yourself. Even if I am in conversation with someone else. At WordCamps, people practice the the Pac-Man rule – when standing in a group chatting, we leave a space so a new person can join the conversation.
Now let’s catch up on two weeks of Gutenberg updates and posts. It’s again a long list, stoke full of creativity, features and discussion.
Developing Gutenberg and WordPress
Anne McCarthy published another post in the Core Editor improvement serie about Refining the template creation experience. She wrote: “Alongside more template options comes some exciting refinements to the overall experience that should allow you to move faster with more accuracy to do what you want to do. In isolation, these enhancements might not catch your attention but, when viewed collectively, it’s clear that the template experience has been greatly improved. ”
McCarthy goes into great detail of the template editing workflow and the videos are quite ilustrative. Many of you, who have been experimenting with block themes, might get great joy out of the fact that there is now a View Site link available in the editor. All will be available in WordPress 6.1, scheduled for release on November 1, 2022. If you don’t want to wait that long, install the latest version of the Gutenberg plugin.
Courtney Robertson posted the latest from the training team. The post includes a list of new tutorials available about the block editor. These short ,8 to 10 minutes long, free videos are ideal for on-demand direct learners.
- Creating a new header with blocks
- Customizing your post content layout
- Using the create-block tool
- Creating a landing page with a block theme
- Building a home page with a block theme
Below you also find the upcoming events from the Learning WordPress Online Meetup group.
Wes Theron posted a Summary Update: Courses Currently in Development (1 September 2022). They are all course for the block editor:
- Block Development Course
- Two Block Theme Development Courses
- Create your First App with Gutenberg Data Course
We will keep you posted on when those course will be opened up for enrollment. They all will be part of the Learn.WordPress site.
Maggie Cabrera, member of the WordPress Themes team and first-time release lead, published What’s new in Gutenberg 14.0? (31 August). The new release come with lots refinement updates, especially regarding consistence of the interface, for instance, 30 core block received UI support for typography settings. The highlights:
- Enhanced List block using inner blocks
- Add axial gap control to Styles
- Pseudo-elements supports on button elements
- Appearance tools available for opt-in via theme supports
This week, we produced again a Gutenberg Changelog episode (#72) and my special guest was Nick Diego. We talked about Gutenberg 13.9 and 14.0 releases and WordPress 6.0.2 Security and Maintenance release. We also touched on WCUS and theme releated topics.
🎙️ New episode: Gutenberg Changelog #83 – WordPress 6.2.1, Gutenberg 15.7, 15.8 and experiments with special guest, Fabian Kägy and host Birgit Pauli-Haack
Officially, Friday was the last day to respond to the 16th FSE call for Testing Back to the Basics, but Anne McCarthy wrote in the Slack channel “I was out hiking in the mountains for most of this week so will be catching up on the feedback that came in today and early next week as I begin the write up too. Thanks to everyone who has responded and for the patience! This also means that if you really want to sneak in a response over the weekend, you can”.
James Koster, design team, published on his private blog Revising the presentation of key Site Editor features. He wrote: “I’ve been ideating on how we might present site editor features with more appropriate weighting, so that the overall experience feels more like a design tool.”
Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks
If you want to know more about Style variations, how to create them and what it was like working on one for the Twenty-Twenty Three theme, Justin Tadlock takes you along for his experience designing a style variation.
I appreciated this sentiment from Tadlock’s post: “There was a small part of me that remembered exactly why I fell in love with WordPress in the first place. I felt like that same 21-year-old kid who had just learned to edit a theme’s style.css file to make some minor color changes. This was the WordPress that I remembered from so long ago. The one where themes were not 100s of files and 1,000s of lines of code.”
Tools, plugins and themes for site owners and nocode site builders
Jeff Chandler is now writing for the Torque magazine and discovered: The Quote Block We Deserve Is Finally Here. He wrote: “It’s wonderful. I can copy and paste multiple paragraphs of text into a quote. I can paste or create lists inside of a Quote. I can select multiple paragraphs that exist within the content and turn that into a Quote. “
Lesley Sim, co-founder of Newsletter Glue describes in here latest newsleter post Big Changes are Coming how style variations will arrive at the plugin’s template designer, as well as Global styles and automated newsletters. With the latter, there will be dragons in form of breaking changes coming your way in 4 to 6 weeks . So stay tuned!
Jamie Marsland published his Gutenberg Block News video and quick five minute show with the latest in the space: He covers the plugin release 14.0 – AI Image plugin and FSE Studio by WPEngine, both still in private beta and alpha testing.
In his post, Fränk Klein asks Can we please stop saying ‘Gutenberg’? and bemoans the confusion around various terms, he encounters in the WordPress universe. If you feel confused, too, let Klein explain what he thinks is the root cause, and what are more precise terms could be used when talking or writing about features of the block editor.
BTW: There hasn’t been any decision yet for on the renaming of Full-site-editing.
Vikas Singhal announced on Twitter, the release of the Gutena Forms plugin in the repository. He continues: “We try to make it as native as the core blocks, which means: super flexible , easy to fonfigure, light weight (& no jQuery) and available as a single block plugin”.
Despite it being a single block plugin, it doesn’t come up in the Inserter search. You would need to install it via the Plugins page.
The design options are fairly intuitive and you are presented with four prebuild forms to start out. You are also able to edit the submission message and error message below the form in the editor. Also, options for the form actions are to send a message (via email) or to enter a URL to externally handle the processing of the submitted form values.
It’s certainly a great start. Some documentation wouldn’t hurt especially the difference between a Form Group and a Form Field block, how to use the URL action option and an explanation of the design options.
Marie Comet built a new plugin: Convert classic to Gutenberg (GitHub). In the Readme she wrote: “This WordPress plugin provides an interface to convert posts built with the Classic (old) Editor to Gutenberg. Classic content is parsed and converted to blocks.”
Jeff Chandler has tested it and wants you to Check Out This New Plugin That Converts Posts Published in the Classic Editor Into Blocks (via Torque Magazine)
Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.
Ryan Welcher published the recording of this week’s Twitch stream Overview of the new flags in the 4.0 release of create-block on YouTube. He goes over the new –
--variant flags that have been added to the create-block tool. These flags greatly increase the usability of the tool by allowing users to add a new blocks to an existing plugin ( or theme ) and by providing the ability for a template to provide variants of a block, such as a dynamic and static version.
If you are more the reading type learner, Welcher also updated the documentation pages for the create-block package, and added a section on how to create custom templates for the tool, so you can use them for agency specific scaffolding.
A couple weeks ago, Tom McFarlin, long time independent WordPress back end developer started on a quest to write ‘better’ block development tutorials. In his A Backend Engineer Learns to Build Block Editor Blocks, Part 1, he walk you through the pre-requisites and creating a block plugin from scratch, explains dependencies and the Block API using block.json file. He also suggests a certain folder structure for the plugin and you can now activate the plugin in your development site. It doesn’t do anything yet, but you have the skeleton working. Further in the tutorial you learn about the
edit() and `save()` functions to display a string in the editor and on the front end of your site. In the reference section you’ll find short explanations of terms and links to the WordPress block editor handbook.
In a Hangout Hallway, Anne McCarthy gathered about 15 theme developers to discussed various aspects of theme development with full-site editing, styles, Figma and Design Systems and how they can work together with theme.json – Custom block development, how to organize Pattern Libraries. In her post McCarthy concludes: “ .. while there is both excitement and interest in what block themes unlock, it’s also clear that there are a build up of pain points to address, whether through clearer resources or changes to Gutenberg itself. “
If you are a theme developer hearing from people, like Ellen Bauer, Carolina Nymark, Rich Tabor, Ana Segota, Herb Miller, who have been working and building block themes for quite some time already, it will jumpstart your discovery and speed up your knowledge aquisition.
In his latest post, What are Page Creation Patterns in WordPress?, Nick Diego explains the nature of context aware block patterns, used for a specific use case; for instance, when create a new Page your user can select full page patterns, or if they use a particular custome post type, you can offer different set of patterns. He writes “Combine this functionality with block locking, and you could present users with an extremely curated editing experience.”
On July 22, 2022, Michael Piccorossi, Head of Digital Strategy and Seth Rubenstein, Lead Developer at Pew Research Center talked to co-hosts Anne McCarthy, WordPress Product Liaison and Birgit Pauli-Haack,… Read more.
What happens when a theme registers a pattern with a third-party block? If the user has the block plugin installed, it appears as it should. WordPress also does a good… Read more.
For most of WordPress’ history, the platform accepted a single layout width, defined by the active theme’s global $content_width variable. Theme authors were required to handle the CSS for it… Read more.
Since the release of Twenty Ten, the WordPress community has gotten a new default theme almost every year. This has allowed the platform to amass a well-designed and solid body… Read more.
Upcoming WordPress events
November 18, 2022
WordFest Live 2022
October 11-13, 2022
WordCamps around the World
September 3 + 4, 2022
WordCamp Kathmandu, Nepal
September 9 – 11, 2022
WordCamp US in San Diego
September 15 + 16, 2022
WordCamp Netherlands at the Royal Burger’s Zoo in Arnhem
September 24 + 25, 2022
February 17 – 19, 2023
WordCamp Asia, Bangkok, Thailand
Call for speaker was just published. Deadline: September 15th, 2022 (UTC +7)
Contributor Day is planned for February 17, 2023 (Day 1)
Learn WordPress Online Meetups
September 6, 2022, 5 pm EDT / 21:00 UTC
Customizing a footer with patterns with Wes Theron
September 6, 2022 4 pm EDT / 20:00 UTC
The Creative Side of Blocks, Vol. 2 with Brian Gardner
September 8, 2022, 10 am EDT / 14:00 UTC
A Beginners Guide to Block Locking in Block Themes with Jonathan Bossenger
September 14, 2022 1 AM EDT / 5 am UTC
Showcasing Content with Query Loops with Wes Theron
If you are curious about the featured image, I spent about an hour on Midjourney’s Discord server interacting with their Imaging AI bot to create illustrations. . It’s a fascinating journey. It’s also addictive.
Don McKenzie, designer at Deephaven, shared is experience in I replaced all our blog thumbnails using DALL·E 2 for $45: here’s what I learned.
Aaron Edwards, CTO at WPMUDEV, posted on Twitter a preview of a new plugin he has been working on to bring Google’s Imagen generated into your WordPress editor.