Hallway Hangout: Let’s talk about WordPress 6.0

This is a summary of a Hallway Hangout that was wrangled in the #fse-outreach-experiment channel as part of the FSE Outreach Program. The intent was to have a fun and open ended chat about what we each would like to see for WordPress 6.0 as 5.9 continues to take shape. This was not a call to make decisions or set priorities as a result but just to swap ideas, review various issues, and more. Overall, this chat really showed how the foundation being set for 5.9 is leading to great excitement about future WordPress releases and the features that might come.

As a friendly reminder, please help test WordPress 5.9.

Attendance: Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to join. It was so neat to see folks before the year ends. cc @poena @fabiankaegy @overclokk @courane01 @anoopd @thakurtech @annezazu @azhiyadev

Video Recording:

Topics Covered:

  • We started the call talking about responsive controls after @thakurtech shared some great insights around the current experience with clients missing the ability to have more options, specifically with the columns 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.. This overview issue was identified as a great place to share this kind of feedback.
  • A lovely and well deserved shoutout was giving to @poena about all of her excellent work with https://fullsiteediting.com/.
  • Keeping up with WooCommerce changes related to FSE were mentioned with the best advice being to check out the WooCommerce GitHub repo and reviewing their latest changelogs.
  • We briefly chatted about the Comments Loop block and excitement for more robust comment abilities for 6.0, including integrated patterns.
  • The current experience of the Layout settings were brought up as an area that refinement and iteration is needed, from how it’s currently named/described to how to make it easier for folks to find.
  • The need for having more consistency with the “Preview Site” feature and/or implementing a Browse Mode was then discussed after @paaljoachim raised the topic ahead of time. Folks are going to expect similar functionality for Preview as the Post Editor and we still see folks viewing the front end of their site to see how changes are impacting the site, rather than being able to rely on what’s in the Site Editor. There was also a request to be able to drag around the current Preview in the site editor similar to what one can do with the template part focus mode. This is under discussion!
  • This led to a discussion around both expanding what templates can be created and unifying the experience with template editing mode and the site editor. For example, folks already are wanting the ability to add a custom template for a specific categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging. of posts and there’s not a way to do that now with 5.9.
  • Generally speaking, there are still some discrepancies between the post editor and site editor. It’s a tough balance to strike to have both familiar tooling in both while also making it clear how the changes in the Site Editor are more global.
  • @fabiankaegy brought up how in the post editor the break points are no longer applying correctly due to post editor not being iframed yet! This is a big issue for custom builds when list view and the 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. are open so there’s excitement for iframing coming to the post editor in the future.
  • We then dove into how the post editor experience might be improved for 6.0 by looking at an exploration from @shaunandrews on improving the post editor sidebar. A suggestion was made to include auto-detection of post formats!
  • We had a fairly lengthy discussion about all things Query LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop. block including everything from wanting to see expanded functionality, more patterns, more variations, a revamped building experience, etc. This included talking about how folks who aren’t as technical might interact with it (likely through patterns and variations).
    • Consider creating a builder for the Query Loop block.
    • Add filters to extend the block and help prevent the need to fork it.
    • Add new functionality like no results found, sticky post, etc.
    • Change the category of the Pattern inserter to be more user friendly rather than relying on “Query”.
    • Consider having a welcome guide for the block.
    • Make it easier to change the number of posts displayed and clarify the concept of “offset”.
  • We touched on the Webfonts API and the excitement there to see this implemented, especially so testing doesn’t have to happen in three editors (amongst other things).
  • We dove deep on the topic of block theme switching, being able to schedule changes, have style variations, and the possibility of a style directory! This included checking out @critterverse‘s design explorations on block theme switching and style variation switching.
  • This led to a big topic around naming! What are users typing into Google already? What should folks call this experience far into the future? How can we communicate these concepts now? We had more questions than answers. From @overclokk: “About the editor naming, I made a video for Italian people to explain the difference about content editor, template editor and site editor because it is not so easy to understand which one to use when do things. Most of the search are about “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/ editor”.
  • The oEmbed block was briefly discussed in terms of is needing 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) improvements. I’m going to track this down.  
  • The modal for the pattern explorer was raised as a topic with an idea around whether there could be more visual overlap between the modal and the directory itself potentially. Either way, it would be excellent to have better organization for 6.0.
  • We ended chatting about the WordPress Photo Directory and possible future integration. It’s unlikely for 6.0 just due to the lack of photos but there was lots of excitement around the possibilities of integration in the future regardless! Consider this a nudge to submit your photos (especially cat photos!).

#fse-hallway-hangout, #fse-outreach-program