Hallway Hangout: Let’s chat about the Future of Custom CSS with block themes

This is a summary of a Hallway Hangout that was wrangled in the #fse-outreach-experiment channel as part of the FSE Outreach Program. Thank you to everyone who joined in!


Daisy Olsen, Justin Tadlock, Anne McCarthy, Michael Burridge, JuanMa Garrido, Damon Cook, Rich Tabor, Jessica Lyschik, Paal Joachim Romdahl, Birgit Pauli-Haack, Ganga Kafle.

Video Recording:


General Updates

  • We went through the latest wrapping up Phase 2 updates
  • We briefly discussed the Site editor sneak peek summary.
  • We covered the call for volunteers for replay.io tooling testing.
  • We lightly went over the next call for testing coming up for the FSE Outreach Program focused on the navigation 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. UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it. changes, browse mode, split tabs for blocks, etc.

Future of Custom CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. discussion

  • We discussed the issue around
    Global Styles: Allow saving, importing, exporting, copying from another theme without switching to it
    which quickly brought up the topic of saving issues and needing a more robust auto-save system. This is particularly true to have just after perhaps importing and switching to different styles, depending on how saving works.
    • Concerns immediately around color naming and how this will actually work came up.
  • We went through some prior art around block theme switching in general from a prior FSE Program exploration.
  • We went over the Global Styles: an input for custom CSS and Global styles – per-block custom css issues as they both interconnect. Two questions came up here:
  • Once more the topic of 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. came up with the custom CSS options as well. Overall, folks felt this will greatly help with the adoption of block themes and helps bring parity to the experience, while also expressing concerns around UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. overload.
  • We then switched to talking about the keeping up with block theme changes in general where Rich Tabor brought up an interesting bug/use case around block themes where switching to a style variation keeps you “frozen in time” in terms of additional updates to the theme. You have to switch to the default style and switch back for updates to occur. A regular check to ensure updates are propagated/able to be opted into would be great.
  • We lightly touched on layout controls and recent work there to stay up to date with Justin Tadlock mentioning that he always sticks to coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. in order to manage layout to make maintenance easier.
  • Finally, we ended talking about the new split in the block settings sidebar with questions around how folks might adopt this and needing to show best practices when that does happen.