WordPress 6.3 roadmap and release squad, WPCampus schedule, Wayfinder and more—Weekend Edition #254


Hubby and I are almost settled in our new apartment, except we are still missing our furniture. They are scheduled to arrive on June 1, which would make it exactly 74 days, since they all got packed up in Sarasota. Yesterday we measured all the rooms, so we can decide where we can place the big items, and how to organize our offices. So, when I write “settled”, I mean getting accustomed to living in our neighborhood, organizing our infrastructure of daily life and using all the transportation choices, rather than being settled in the apartment.

WordCamp Europe is coming up fast. There are a ton of Gutenberg talks on the roster this year. I collected them all in a separate post. And if you are going in person, make sure we connect and have a chat. You can DM me on Twitter, send an email or just pick a slot from the public calendar.

I am excited about exploring the city a couple of days prior to Contributor Day.

This Weekend edition is again full of updates on the open-source projects, tutorials, and videos. Hope y’all enjoy it.

Have a lovely weekend!

Yours, 💕

WordCamp Europe 2023 – Block editor talks, meet & greet, Contributor Day and more
WordCamp Europe is less than four weeks away, the speakers and sessions have been announced, and the schedule is now available. Time to make plans. Read more.
WordCamp Europe 2023 – Block editor talks, meet & greet, Contributor Day and more
WordCamp Europe is less than four weeks away, the speakers and sessions have been announced, and the schedule is now available. Time to make plans. Read more.

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

The Roadmap for the WordPress 6.3 release has been published. Anne McCarthy identified three focus areas for this release:

  • Polishing the Site Editor,
  • Iterating on blocks,
  • Expanding patterns
  • Stabilizing usability and prioritizing refinement,
  • Enhancing design tools,
  • Leveling up APIs,
  • Addressing PHP items (8.x compatibility), and
  • Performance

For each focus area, she described the scope and listed GitHub issues and PRs of the work in progress.

On the heals for the Roadmap, Hector Prieto published an update on the WordPress 6.3 Planning Roundup, confirming the release scheduled as it was proposed earlier and announcing Matias Ventura as the release lead and all other members of the release squad.

  • Beta 1 will be on June 27, 2023
  • Release Candidate 1 + Dev Notes are scheduled for July 18th, 2023
  • General release aimed for August 8th, 2023.

During the latest Hallway Hangout, contributors discussed what is in the works for the Site Editor and what can be expected for WordPress 6.3. Anne McCarty posted a summary and shared the video recording in Hallway Hangout: Let’s chat about the Site Editor & 6.3.

The next Hallway Hangout is scheduled for May 25, 2023 – 17:00 UTC. Nick Diego and Justin Tadlock will be discussing Curating the editor and building block themes for clients. Don’t miss it. RSVP via Meetup.com

In his Design Share: Apr 24–May 5, Joen Asmussen shared what the WordPress design team has been working on the last two weeks. He lists quite a few avenues with their respective GitHub PR/Issue links, so you can follow along and chime in.

  • Document title – as part of the re-introduction content editing to the site editor, a short video shows the switch in the UI for either editing the template or the single page, that is using the template
  • Revision History Management – explores a potential future side by side page comparison
  • Vertical Text as a new design tool introduced to certain blocks
  • Featured Image improvements – show a more compact and streamlined interface to handle feature images settings

Justin Tadlock published the monthly roundup What’s new for developers? (May 2023) on the developer blog. It’s again full of focused notes about changes in the WordPress worlds relevant for extenders, plugin and theme builders and agency or freelance developers building sites for others.

Anne McCarthy published the next FSE Program Testing Call #23: Rapid Revamp. “With the roadmap to 6.3 published and another version of Gutenberg out in the wild, it’s time to test some of the upcoming features that are in the works to upgrade and polish the experience of using the Site Editor:” she wrote and listed all eight of them.

Led by Fabian Kägy, Gutenberg 15.8 was released on May 18th, 2023. The number of PRs merged for this release was considerably higher than for 15.7 and it’s expected to rise with the urgency of the upcoming WordPress 6.3 release. There are only three Gutenberg plugins releases left until Beta 1 on June 27.

  • 15.9 scheduled for May 31
  • 16.0 to be released on Jun 14 (after WordCamp Europe)
  • 16.1 RC 1 to be release on June 21

In his release post What’s new in Gutenberg 15.8? (May 17), Kägy highlight three new features that need testing from Gutenberg plugin users:

It’s always a great pleasure to connect with Fabian Kägy. We had a great time geeking out over the blog editor while recording episode 83 of the Gutenberg Changelog. We discussed Gutenberg 15.7, 15.8 the feature available on the Experiments page and 6.2.1, Gutenberg Storybook and 10up tools. The episode is at the editor now, and it will arrive in your favorite podcast app over the weekend.

Riad Benguella published the post Command Center: Request for feedback asking for testing and review of a new feature that will come out of the experimental phase for Gutenberg 15.9, for now called the Command Center, and the Marketing team is probably recommending a new name: The Wayfinder.

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

Caroline Nymark published an Introduction to the Site Editor for creators. This tutorial is meant for Beginners and no-code creators and covers everything available since WordPress 6.2 and Gutenberg 15.7. Although it’s title Introduction, it is quite comprehensive and covers the Site Editor, Navigation, Styles, Templates and Template parts. Then she dives deeper into the Design Tools via the Styles menu item. You will be creating or modifying themes in no time!

Maxi Blocks – a template library for site builders using WordPress Block editor. It came recently out of beta and offers developers a whole range of design tools in an interface that has been built on top of Gutenberg, yet using custom components to offer additional design features. The plugin comes with hundreds of icons, patterns, templates and sixteen custom blocks. The Pro version is available at MaxiBlocks.com. It’s meant for designers looking for all the tools, not so much for beginners or site owners. There will be a learning curve due to the additional UI components.

MahdiAli Khanusiya built the plugin PatternWP – a pattern block library for WordPress. The first version offers patterns on many categories. for the busy site owner. The plan is to be adding new patterns and templates on a consistent basis.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Lots of feedback has been provided during the Call for Exploration. Anne McCarthy published FSE Program Build a Block Theme Summary. The TL;DR: “Using the Site Editor alongside the Create Block Theme plugin supercharges the experience, mainly by filling in gaps around font management and offering more nuanced creating/exporting options. With these added features, the Site Editor is both left to shine as a theme building tool and the current known pain points impacting regular site building come to the surface, like needing more clarity around where layers of styles are coming from. In general, feedback fell into three categories: Create Block Theme plugin pain points, missing options in the Site Editor (font management, synced patterns, desire for more styling options with certain blocks), and UX considerations for the Site Editor that match the site building experience. ” she wrote. The videos shared from the contributors are certainly eye-opening.

Mike McAlister explains in his article how a native and iterative approach to responsive control in WordPress could bridge the gap between the goals to rely on intrinsic design and still be able to handle edge cases for viewpoint-driven responsiveness of a site.

In his video, WordPress Gutenberg Product Manager explains what’s next for Responsive Websites and Block Themes, Jamie Marsland interviewed Rich Tabor on intrinsic design, what a theme product might look like for theme creators and what the next wave of block building inspiration might arrive at the WordPress shores.

James Koussertari explained Using Layout Sizes in theme.json. “The layout setting in theme.json is great for developers, as they can set default container sizes for their design system, easily in one place. It also means that content editors do not have to think about which container sizes to set manually each time they add a block.” he wrote on the blog of the Gutenberg Market

The latest call for testing ended last week, too and Anne McCarthy recounts the feedback: FSE Program Front Page Fun Summary. The high-level feedback revealed: “In general, the call for testing was relatively tame bug wise, with only a few obvious ones found, mainly in the Navigation block. The usability feedback related to many ongoing projects in the Site Editor underscoring the impact of solving these consistent problems, in particular the clarification of the content <> template relationship and confusion around the overall experience of managing pieces of navigation. ” and “While the new Grid layout type was the primary focus of the testing call, feedback on it was limited to suggestions for consolidating the various options between the grid layout, Columns block, Gallery block, and Table block.” McCarthy wrote.

 “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.

Alfredo Navas, WebDevStudios was Having Fun with Query Loop Block and published a post to tell you all about it. He takes you along to explore the usefulness of the Query Loop block and learn how to extend its capabilities.

In his latest post for the Developer Blog, Michael Burridge created a tutorial on useEntityRecords: an easier way to fetch WordPress data. If you have simple data fetching requirements and don’t need additional customization or resolution checks, the useEntityRecords function can be a straightforward choice. Burridge shows how it simplifies data handling in contrast to useSelect + getEntityRecords.

Don’t miss next week’s Developer Hours about the new WordPress tool called Playground. Adam Zieliński will introduce the app and demo some great use cases for it. There are two events, so all timezones get a chance to participate live.

WPCampus will take place from July 12 to the 14th, 2023 in New Orleans. The organizing team released their schedule. WPCampus 2023 is a hybrid event. Join in-person or online.

I spotted Nick Diego on the roster with his 3-hour Workshop: Modern WordPress Building Techniques: Full Site Editing in Higher Ed.

But there is more:

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: Colorful Duplo blocks by Maruska, found on WordPress Photos site.

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