What’s next in Gutenberg? (September)

This is a monthly update containing the high-level items that GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ contributors are focusing on for September. Please join us in our efforts and let us know in the comments if anything is blocking you from doing so. 

How to follow along with Gutenberg: 

Here’s an overview of different ways to keep up with Gutenberg and the Full Site Editing project. There is also an index page of Gutenberg development related posts and a new Site Editing Milestone overview issue that breaks down the upcoming work into more concrete next steps. 

Global Styles & Editor focused APIs

Global Styles refers to the system that defines and manages global aesthetics allowing overall site styles, theme styles, and blocks to work well together. Currently, the hope is that work on editor focused APIs can be wrapped up in the month ahead if all goes well. Some of this work will include the following:

Follow along:

You can follow the progress for this overall system in this overview issue. For more recent and immediate next steps, you can follow this issue describing the current state of work. 

WidgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. Screen

After months of work, this new screen has been launched out of experiments in the latest Gutenberg 8.9 release. This should allow for plenty of time for feedback before the 5.6 release. With blocks firmly paving the way for the future, this work on the widget screen is meant to help modernize the experience outside of just site editing, ease adoption for everyone, and upgrade what’s currently possible by enabling third party extensibility. This vision can’t be accomplished without feedback so please test and share any bugs or enhancements on GitHub. Work this month will include the following along with the feedback received from users: 

Follow along:

You can follow the progress of this project on this project board.

Full Site Editing

As with the prior months, work on this major focus for phase 2 is ongoing and is expected to continue iterating over the next months. Keep in mind that much of this work relates to other areas like Global Styles & Editor Focused APIs! With that in mind, work this month will mainly focus on the following based on the Milestone 2 – Site Editor Navigation. Note that timing for this work will  likely need to be adjusted depending on progress made meaning this work might start in September but continue going forward.

  • Group document settings in the headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes.
  • Indicate current template and template part when in site editor.
  • Move templates and page navigation into the main W sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme..
  • Allow browsing all templates and parts. 
  • Incorporate “Add New Page” Flow into “Add Template”.
  • Begin exploring missing functionality for the query blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. as part of milestone 5. 

We’re watching the Theme Experiments repo as well to see how themers are attempting to build block-based themes. Please continue to share there and know we appreciate it!

Follow along:

You can follow the progress of this project on this project board. To help break down this work more, a new overview issue with key milestones for site editing was also created. For each major milestone, there are related issues for each milestone that are recommended to follow if you want a more granular look at each next step (example from Site Editor Navigation).

As a reminder, if you’re interested in being a part of testing Full Site Editing, check out the experimental outreach program to learn more

Navigation Screen

Similar to the Widget Screen, efforts have begun to launch this new screen to the world in order to gather more feedback. Right now, this effort has a few blockers but, if you’re able to, testing this screen and reporting feedback would be a huge help (Install Gutenberg and head to Gutenberg > Experiments to enable this screen). The aim is that this new screen will help expand what’s possible with menus while bringing block functionality to yet another part of WordPress in order to allow for more adoption and to offer a more modern experience.  

Follow along:

You can follow the progress of this project on this project board, review the overview issues (Block Navigation, Navigation Screen) & join the weekly coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. chat.

Areas to be aware of:

Block & PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party Developers

Since the block directory is still a new feature in the WordPress world, the following includes the prior links once more along with two additional issues to chime in on: 

Theme Developers

Review the latest Gutenberg Themes roundup and, in particular, check out @tomjin’s PHP theme template compatibility proposal as it relates to Full Site Editing. Please chime in with your thoughts! Outside of this proposal, here are two other items that might be of interest:  

Ways to Get Involved:

While the above items are our focuses, don’t forget that you can always help with triage, needs testing issues, good first issues and reviewing PRs. Focusing efforts around Widgets and Navigation in particular this month would be very helpful as both screens are on their way to no longer being experimental features. 

If there’s anything we can do to make contributing easier, let us know in the comments or in #core-editor chats. While we can’t promise to fix everything, we’d appreciate being aware of any blockers.

Meetings to join:

While you can view all meetings here, here are specific meetings that touch on Gutenberg development to join depending on your interest and availability. Remember that you need a WordPress.org slack account to participate: 

  • Core Editor weekly meeting on Wednesdays @ 14:00 UTC in #core-editor focused on all things Gutenberg. 
  • AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) weekly meeting on Fridays @ 15:00 UTC in #accessibility focused on wrangling accessibility related work across Core and the block based editor.
  • Navigation Sync weekly meeting on Wednesdays @ 07:00 UTC in #core focused on triaging and discussing Navigation screen work. 
  • Block Based Themes meeting twice monthly on Wednesday @ 16:00 UTC in #themereview focused on preparing for Full Site Editing. 

#core-editor #gutenberg-next