What’s next in Gutenberg? (January 2021)

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 January. 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. 

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. Global Styles focus areas for January include:

  • Determining what APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. and infrastructure functionality (not user facing) to include in WP 5.7
  • Support for translation theme.json strings

Follow along:

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

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.-based 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. Editor

Work on the Block-based widget editor (Widgets Screen) is a continued focus for the month ahead. The purpose of this effort is to bring the flexibility of block-based editing to the widgets and 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. screens.

Blocks in the Widget Screen

Adding block support for the widget editor is an ongoing focus. Progress toward this effort can be accessed via the Block-based Widget Editor project board. The emphasis for January will be eliminating bugs.

Blocks in the Customizer

An exploratory phase to find the best path for adding blocks in the customizer. 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 include the following focus areas:

Milestone 1 – Site Editing Infrastructure and UI

Work toward infrastructure and UIUI User interface improvements including:

Milestone 5 – Query Block 

This work includes the following Query Block 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. 

Milestone 6 – Navigation Block

Work on the Navigation Block is an ongoing effort and focus for January. An overview of the work in progress can be found in the Navigation Block tracking issue.

In addition to the above, the Theme Experiments repo is being monitored to see how theme developers are building block-based themes. Please continue to share there, it is appreciated!

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

PHPPHP The web scripting language in which WordPress is primarily architected. WordPress requires PHP 5.6.20 or higher 8 has been released please review the Dev Notes in the 5.6 Field Guide with a particular focus on preparing your plugins for PHP 8

Theme Developers

Those interested in learning more about block-based themes may wish to read the comprehensive article @frankklein wrote on what he learned while building a block-based theme. 

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: 

  • CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Editor weekly @ 14:00 UTC on Wednesday in #core-editor focused on all things Gutenberg. 
  • Block-Based Themes meeting twice monthly Wednesday @ 16:00 UTC on Wednesday in #themereview focusing on preparing for Full Site Editing enabled theme development. 
  • Block-Based Widget Editor meeting weekly @ 07:00 UTC in #feature-widgets-block-editor on Wednesday focusing on implementing the ability to manage blocks in widget areas.