WordPress 6.2 Product Demo, shortcodes to blocks – Are PHP Themes dead? – Weekend Edition 245

Howdy,

Happy March! The last month of the first quarter is already upon us and Spring can come soon enough!

Last week I spent a considerable amount of time wrangling and reviewing developer notes for the upcoming WordPress 6.2 release. The Release candidate 1 will be published on March 7th, and that’s also the published date for the Field Guide that accompanies each major WordPress release.

I have been very excited about the next all-women release squad, planned for 6.4, ever since Josepha Haden Chomphosy tweeted about it. If you are interested in learning more about how WordPress releases work, watch the Make Core Blog for updates about the upcoming releases. The WordPress Roadmap page was recently updated and shows that the 6.3 release is planned for August and 6.4 for November 2023.

For myself, I will have a few distractions from my WordPress work and the Gutenberg Times the next two months. After almost a quarter of a century living in Florida, my husband and I are moving back to Germany; Munich to be more precise. It’s time to go home and spend more time with our families. Both our employers, Automattic and Oracle, and our fellow teammates are supporting us generously and wholeheartedly in our change of residence. We are forever grateful.

I am eagerly awaiting to connect more with the German WordPress community, the communities in Africa and the rest of Europe. Speaking of which, WordCamp Europe is coming up in June (8-10). I already have my ticket. How about you? I hope to see you in Athens. Use this link if you want to put an in-person meeting in Athens on our schedules. The venue looks marvelous!

And now, without further ado, the news.

Be well!

Yours, 💕
Birgit

WordPress 6.2

As mentioned, the WordPress 6.2 is coming together nicely.

Earlier this week, Anne McCarthy and Rich Tabor provided a Product Demo of WordPress 6.2. The recording is already available on WordPressTV. At the end, you can also listen to the Q & A with questions from the live-audience. Nathan Wrigley, host of the WPTavern Jukebox and WPbuild podcasts, moderated the event. The post with, captions, transcript and shared resources will be published early next week.

The first dev notes for WordPress 6.2 have been published to go into the Field Guide.

Marco Ciampini wrote about all the Editor Components updates in WordPress 6.2. A round-up post of notable changes to the components package in WordPress 6.2.

Anne McCarthy posted about the WordPress 6.2 Accessibility Improvements providing an overview of the many accessibility improvements and fixes coming to the next major WordPress release.

There are more to come on Monday and Tuesday.

🎙️ Latest episode: Gutenberg Changelog #89 – Gutenberg 16.6, default theme and Font Library with Nadia Maya Ardiani as special guest, hosted by Birgit Pauli-Haack

If you are a content creator and planning on writing about the WordPress 6.2 release, Anne McCarthy just published a WordPress 6.2 Source of Truth on her personal blog, with the caution that you don’t just copy/paste things, but us it as place to get your research started.

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

Feeling the limitations of WordPress design? Get creative with Elementor and Gutenberg! Join Bud Kraus for the virtual event Elementor or Gutenberg? Why Not Both? hosted by GoDaddy Pro on March 8th at 1pm ET / 18:00 UTC and learn how to create stunning custom layouts and designs.


Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Maggie Cabrera invites theme builders to the Hallway Hangout: Community Themes Initiative on March 7th, 2023, to discuss the next steps for the collaborative theme building. “This announcement is the proposal of a new community themes project. The goal is to bring together a squad of people to build block themes all year around the same way the default themes are built.” Cabrera wrote.


In his post, Noodling on WordPress in 2023, Chris Coyier wrote down his thoughts about WordPress. He took a broad look at the changes WordPress experienced in the last few years, the block editor for content, and in other contexts, and Block Themes. He wrote: “WordPress needs to spend a year working on DX. There needs to be a clear message about how people should be thinking about building themes and how to do so with productivity keeping extensibility in mind.” and then he continues: “maybe that’s exactly what they just did with Block Themes” – and calls it a component model. The four words in his posts were “PHP themes are dead. 🤷‍♀️”.


Ben Word wouldn’t have any of it, though. He posted a rebuttal: PHP Themes Aren’t Dead. Ben Word is the part of the team around the Roots project. He makes a strong case for using and developing for the block editor. “If you’re a modern PHP developer, you will have a worse experience developing FSE themes versus building a hybrid theme that uses both PHP along with the block editor.” Word wrote.


And to stay within it for a moment, in his post Brian Coords is embracing theme.json, kicking and screaming, and he has many questions. “Its still up to plugin developers to include their own styles for things, or use fancy tooling to try to pull from theme.json where appropriate- neither being an optimal solution. This also becomes a documentation problem.” He wrote and continues: “When you read any docs about theme.json, it’s usually in the context of full site editing, which means that almost all the documentation for it assumes you’re styling blocks and building a block theme. Even parsing what features work in block themes and which ones work in hybrid themes is difficult.”

 “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.

In her debut post on the WordPress Developer Blog, Joni Halabi, Senior JavaScript Front-End Developer at Georgetown University explains The difference between Static and dynamic blocks. The difference between these two types of blocks comes down to how they are rendered on the front-end. Read on to learn more about the details, advantages, and disadvantages of each.


Also on the WordPress Developer blog, Ryan Welcher published his tutorial on Creating a custom block that stores post meta. Learn how to create a custom dynamic block that saves information to custom post_meta and creates a one-to-one experience in both the block editor and on the front end. You will see an example of how to to use @wordpress/create-block package to scaffold a block.


Jonathan Bossenger, developer educator on the WordPress training team, takes his readers along on his experience Converting Shortcodes to blocks and has tips and tricks for creating blocks from existing Shortcodes, based on real-world examples. You learn to understand when a Shortcode should be converted to a block, processes to follow to convert blocks, and useful block development practices.


Tom de Visser, developer from the Netherlands and core contributor, shared how he has fun learning new things by looking at someone else’s code. It’s alittle harder now to do was with React in the mix there is a build step that hides the source code. In his post, WordPress block development, hacking core blocks, De Visser shows you how to get the Gutenberg source code on your local machine, how to run the development and build processes from the project with Webpack and how to use wp-env to spin up a local environment where you don’t have to worry about breaking anything.

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


Featured Image: “Printer’s Wooden Letter Blocks 1” by Sean-B is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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