WordCamp Germany, Gutenberg 16.8, WordPress 6.4 and Barriers to building a block theme – Weekend Edition 272


I am almost ready to head out for a two-week trip starting with WordCamp Germany on Thursday. I can hardly wait to meet members of the German WordPress community for a collective nerd-out over WordPress. I loved their graphic design so much, I used it as a featured image for this post on the web. Although there won’t be a livestream, I know the talks will be recorded and will show up on WordPress TV shortly after, and we’ll have a list of the English talks from Track 2

There will be a three week-break on the Gutenberg Times due to business travel and vacation.

There will be lots to catch up in November. Be well.

Yours, 💕

PS: Oh, oh… Voting is open for The WP Awards 2023. Pick your favorite blog (19) and podcast (20) , hint, hint 🙂

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

WordPress 6.4 Beta 4 is out, ahead of RC 1 there might be another Beta 5. Please continue testing over the weekend.

In last week’s Hallway Hangout, Justin Tadlock, Nick Diego and Ryan Welcher, discussed What’s new for developers in WordPress 6.4, from Block Hooks and improved Editor flows to the new Twenty Twenty-Four theme. The recording is available on WordPress TV.

If you are not a developer but still want to catch up what will be in WordPress 6.4 the secret tool is the Source of Truth WordPress 6.4 post by Anne McCarthy. It takes a deep dive into all the nooks and grannies of the new version, in more detail, you’d ever wanted to know. The good part is that it tags each feature for the various user groups

  • [end user]: end user focus. 
  • [theme author]: block or classic theme author. 
  • [plugin author]: plugin author, whether block or otherwise.
  • [site admin]: this includes a “builder” type. 

Now you can use your browser’s Find feature and look for the tag strings to surface relevant information for you. Or use the 35 items Table of Contents to navigate around the mother of a post.

Vicente Canales managed the release of Gutenberg 16.8. In his release post What’s new in Gutenberg 16.8 (11 October) he highlighted:

Canales also pointed out the first iteration of a pages list in the Site editor, which is a start into Phase 3 of modernizing the Admin pages.

The color of the background overlay will be automatically chosen from the dominant color of the background image. - Screenshot
The color of the background overlay will be automatically chosen from the dominant color of the background image.

In her article “Gutenberg 16.8 Makes Cover Block Smarter, Adds Experimental Pages List in Site EditorSarah Gooding discusses the improvements to the cover block, making it smarter and more versatile. Additionally, she calls out an experimental feature: the pages list has been added to the site editor, providing users with a different way to navigate and manage their pages.

Joen Asmussen shared in his post Design Share: Sep 25-Oct 6 the work the WordPress Design team has been producing. He recaps the work on the Lightbox improvements, the Toolbar button consistency, on the exploration of a color/token system package for the wp-admin redesign, and a few more site editor improvements. Some work could use some community input, and you’ll find in the post the links to the various GitHub Issues to comment. on.

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

for the latest Call for Testing, Anne McCarthy published that summary FSE Program Final Touches Summary. This testing call spanned numerous planned WordPress 6.4 features, including a focus on the Font Library (which is no longer planned for 6.4). Feedback covered more usability needs for pattern categories, more verbosity for command palette commands interface and the hope for more design tools around background images for blocks.

Bud Kraus scheduled a training event: What’s New In WordPress 6.4? for November 7, 2023, at 17:00 UTC the day of the release. He’ll focus on the improvements to the Site Editor, better ways to use patterns and show off the Lightbox functionality for image blocks.

Jamie Marsland wants you to watch his video before selecting a block theme for your next project: Don’t Choose a WordPress Theme Until You Watch This! as he has 10 questions you should consider before you make a final decision. He also explains the what and why. Marsland pulls his examples from Ollie by Mike McAlister, the about to be released default theme Twenty-Twenty-Four and Spectra One by Brainstorm Force, the team who also built Astra

Choosing and installing a theme was also the topic of a recent Learn.WordPress tutorial. The recording is now available. In this session, you’ll learn about the different types of themes as well as how to find and evaluate a theme. Furthermore, Wes Theron, looked at how to install, update and delete a theme and where to go for support.

Sarah Gooding reported on how WordPress Contributors Speed Up Twenty Twenty-Four Default Theme Performance by 40%. ““I am very excited to report that most (if not all) of the server-side performance concerns have been addressed, via additional general performance fixes that landed in core,” Arntz said.” Gooding quoted Felix Arntz.

Wes Thereon invites every one to the workshop: Using the Query Loop block and Category templates on October 17, 2023, at 20:00 UTC. You’ll learn how to display posts using the Query Loop block and how to utilize category templates if you want to change the look and feel of a page that displays posts by category.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Anne McCarthy invited WordPress theme authors to a Hallway Hangout Let’s chat about the experience of building a block theme. The recording and summary is now available on the make blog of the Test team. The overall question was What keeps developers from building block themes?

 “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.

On the WordPress Developer News, I published the ninth edition of the What’s new for developers round-up posts: October 2023.You can find a list of updates for plugin and theme developers. Furthermore, you’ll learn about the beginning of the Gutenberg as a framework documentation site. I also highlight a new plugin to for plugin authors to check their plugins against the plugin guidelines, before they submit it to the plugin repository to shorten the length it spends with the plugin review team. It’s just at the beginning, but it should help new and seasoned plugin builders to cut down on review time, that is right now still at about 90 days. I couldn’t use the work plugin one more time 🙂

Jonathan Bossenger published a tutorial on Custom Database Tables. In this short video, you’ll learn when and how to create custom database tables and how to update, and delete custom database tables

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 changelog@gutenbergtimes.com

Featured Image: Block Design for WordCamp Germany by Lührsen & Hendrik

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