What’s next in Gutenberg? (December)

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 December. 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 Site Editing Milestone overview issue that breaks down the upcoming work into more concrete next steps. 

Addressing WordPress 5.6 feedback

WordPress 5.6 RC 2 is set to ship on December 1st with the General Release following on December 8th. During the Release Candidaterelease candidate One of the final stages in the version release cycle, this version signals the potential to be a final release to the public. Also see alpha (beta). period development will be limited to addressing critical regressions and bugs. Ideally, this won’t be an area that needs great attention for this month’s work thanks to the great effort put in thus far to make this release a success. 

Follow along:

In addition to following individual features and their progress, you can follow where things stand on this WordPress 5.6 Must Haves project board.

Global Styles

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 focus remains on tightening up and fixing the flows, with the goal of preparing a V1 that can land as a coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. patchpatch A special text file that describes changes to code, by identifying the files and lines which are added, removed, and altered. It may also be referred to as a diff. A patch can be applied to a codebase for testing. early in the 5.7 cycle. You can find an initial list of items for a V1 here that includes everything from exploring versioning for theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML. to ensuring theme.json works cross-platform (web & mobile).

Follow along:

You can follow the progress for this overall system in this overview issue and by reviewing the Global Styles label

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 pausing this work for November, the Widgets Screen is once more a focus for the month ahead. Currently, this work involves an exploratory phase to find the best path for adding blocks in the customizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings.. If this interests you, please review this previous discussion and check out the current plan for exploration. For greater context, you can also watch this hallway hangout focused on managing blocks in the customizer. 

Follow along:

You can follow the progress of this work on this project board and you can join #feature-widgets-block-editor in WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. for future widget screen focused meetings post 5.6 launch. 

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 coming months. Work this month will focus on finishing up Milestone 1 – Site Editing Infrastructure and UI and Milestone 5 – Query Block alongside the overall Global Styles work previously mentioned. This work includes the following 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. design explorations:

  • A pagination block with different style variations to work alongside the Query Block. 
  • Query Block toolbar controls revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. to make it easier to show the content you want.
  • Exploring the idea of a Query Block builder UI to scale the experience for advanced users. 

Outside of the above, we’re still watching the Theme Experiments repo to see how theme developers are building block-based themes. Please continue to share there and know we appreciate it!

Follow along:

You can follow the progress of this project with this overview issue showing key milestones for site editing. For each major milestone, there are related issues you can follow if you want a more granular look at each next step (example from Query Block).

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

Important Note:

If you were previously following this project board, it has now been closed in order to use the milestones issues more consistently and to prevent people from needing to follow the progress in two places. 

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

Please review the Dev Notes in the 5.6 Field Guide with a particular focus on preparing your plugins for PHP 8

Theme Developers

Read the comprehensive article @frankklein wrote on what he learned in building a block-based theme. 

Help test out the Twenty Twenty-One Block based theme and give feedback/report bugs.

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. In particular, for this month, focusing efforts around testing the Widgets Screen would be very helpful and high impact. 

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 to join depending on your interest. Remember that you need a WordPress.org slack account to participate: 

  • Core Editor weekly @ 14:00 UTC in #core-editor focused on all things Gutenberg. 
  • Block-Based Themes meeting twice monthly at Wednesday @ 16:00 UTC in #themereview focused on preparing for Full Site Editing. 

#core-editor #gutenberg-next