Block-Based Theme Meeting Notes for 1 April 2020

This post summarizes the latest bi-weekly 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 Theme meeting, held in the #themereview 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/., on Wednesday, 1 April 2020, 16:00 UTC. These meetings coordinate collaboration in the development evolution of the 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/ project as related to the development of Block-Based Themes geared to support Full Site Editing. Moderated by @kjellr.

Block-based Theme-related updates in Gutenberg 7.8

  1. PR to add semantic tag Group block variations has been merged. This allows block-based themes to use the Group block to denote things like <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.>, <footer>, and <section>. This solves one of the most common structural issues with building block-based themes. There’s no way to specify this from the 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. yet, but block-based themes should be able to use it manually by adding an extra tagName attribute.
  • New line-height controls for Paragraph and Heading blocks are available. These use new –wp–typography–line-height CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. variables to adjust the line-height. We should expect to see more of those “official” variables make their way in as we get ready for Global Styles.
  • “Lighter DOM” block updates removes unnecessary wrappers and tags from the editor, so that the editor DOM for blocks matches the front end more closely. Which will allow theme authors to eventually share code between the front and back end.
  • The Site Editor betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. is receiving a steady stream of small updates to bring it more on par with the standard editor.
    • PR 20691 Site Editor beta supports full-screen mode
    • PR 20549 Site Editor beta supports custom blocks
  • Soon, it’ll be pulled out into its own top-level 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. item when the full-site editing experiment is active.
    • PR 20530 adding the Global Styles sidebar

It’s had some solid new updates this week and is getting closer to MVPMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia. Small heads up that a few of the standard variables recommended for experimental-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. files have changed a little bit since last time. See details in the PR

Block Styles

A handful of default block patterns were added to Gutenberg 7.7. The new version 7.8 takes that further by including an API for plugins and themes to supply their own block patterns

The PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. for this is relatively straightforward, and just needs two properties:

  • The title for the block pattern
  • The actual content, which is just an escaped copy/paste from Gutenberg

Here’s a quick example:

register_pattern(
    'my-plugin/hello-world',
    array(
        'title'   => __( 'Hello World', 'my-plugin' ),
        'content' => "<!-- wp:paragraph -->\n<p>Hello world</p>\n<!-- /wp:paragraph -->",
    )
);

What is a Block Pattern?

The broader topic for discussion was the introduction of Block Patterns. By definition Block Patterns are related to smaller sections of a page/post. Templates and template parts are the pieces that are tied to the layout of an entire page (ie. header, sidebar, etc) while Block Patterns create the layouts within those sections.

Now that this 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. exists, it’s possible for themes to ship their own recommended block patterns. For instance, if your theme targets a restaurant, you could ship a set of menu layouts as block patterns. opening up a whole new way for themes to share layout/content suggestions with their users. Possible block patterns are listed on GitHub.

Meeting discussion centered around:

  • How do you envision using Block Patterns in your themes?
  • What sorts of Block Patterns would you like to see included with WordPress by default?

How Can Block Patterns Be Used in Themes?

  • They can provide layouts for FSE.
  • Themes could bundle reusable patterns for the sorts of things seen in the theme demo. So using 2020 as an example, it could bundle a pattern for this group of blocks, as seen on the demo’s about page.
  • It was suggested and agreed that only minimal patterns should be added to coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. and only patterns that are very common and used by the 90%.

What Patterns Would You Like to See Available?

  • A menu example for restaurant themes
  • About or Team patterns for a business theme — a team pattern could be 3 columns, each column containing image/header/paragraph, for example
  • Services Provide Pattern but will need option for selectable SVGs
  • Testimonial
  • Card (title + photo + text + link)
  • Features
  • Text layouts with quotes, pull quotes, and media integrated for themes whose primary purpose is for displaying content

HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. Validation

The Custom tag for group blocks that don’t use “block markup” doesn’t need HTML validation.  For right now the tag entered as the tagName just needs to be one of the elements listed in GitHub.

Contributors are encouraged to continue testing Block Patterns, Templates, Block-Based Themes and Full Site Editing using the follow Issues and PRs discussed in this meeting. Block-Based Theme Experiments can be submitted at https://github.com/wordpress/theme-experiements and there is a call out for experimental theme submissions.

Call for experimental themes

Experimental themes are themes that may not fit under the current theme requirements but have exceptional code quality and a unique idea and / or niche.

The theme directory has always welcomed special case themes, but the process has not been well known.

The team would now like to officially call for experimental themes. So show us your best, funniest and weirdest!

Communication is key:

To be able to submit a special case theme, you need to present your idea and the theme itself to the Themes team before you submit your theme.

You can leave a comment on this post or reach out in the #themereview 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/. channel.

If we love our idea, you will be allowed to submit a blank theme (that passes the checks made by the uploader). The moderators will perform some magic in the admin area of the directory, and will let you know when you can submit the experimental theme.

The theme will be placed in the same review queue as the other themes but will be reviewed by the moderators.

Examples of special case themes:

Themes using the WordPress REST APIREST API The REST API is an acronym for the RESTful Application Program Interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is how the front end of an application (think “phone app” or “website”) can communicate with the data store (think “database” or “file system”) https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/..

JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/. based themes.

Exceptional 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 themes (full site editing).

Exceptional niche themes.

Something hilarious.

What is not a special case theme:

Themes that only include a custom post typeCustom Post Type WordPress can hold and display many different types of content. A single item of such a content is generally called a post, although post is also a specific post type. Custom Post Types gives your site the ability to have templated posts, to simplify the concept. like portfolio, testimonials and similar that are already well covered by plugins.

Basic one page themes or basic multipurpose themes without a particular niche.

A theme submitted only to avoid specific requirements, but without a real purpose.

Requirements

Be 100% GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing https://wordpress.org/about/license/. The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html. This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. compatible, be secure, no PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. or JS errors, no obtrusive upsell. Only one theme by the same author can be submitted to the queue at the time.

Meeting notes, Tuesday 25th February 2020

Last Tuesday, we held a meeting with the proposed agenda. The recap of the meeting is below and you can read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives (a 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/. account is required).

Weekly updates

In the past seven days

  • 265 tickets were opened
  • 288 tickets were closed:
  • 261 tickets were made live.
    • 20 new Themes were made live.
    • 241 Theme updates were made live.
  • 9 more were approved but are waiting to be made live.
  • 24 tickets were not-approved.
  • 3 tickets were closed-newer-version-uploaded.

Recap of the online contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.

As we announced in this post, we tried to replace the contributor day in the cancelled WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Asia with an online contribution day. Therefore, @poena and @kafleg conducted an online workshop on theme review for the Bangladeshi developers. It was very fruitful. Even though participation was less than expected, we managed to review together around 25 themes. Some of the themes reviewed could not be approved and we had a couple of suspensions, but we could nevertheless set live several themes. All in all, we are rather content with the results of the day. We ran the online contribution day with Zoom and the session lasted more than 6 hours.

We would like to have feedback about this type of exercise, so if you were one of the participants, please feel free to leave your opinion in the comments. Also, if there is a group of people interested in contributing online to other events like this, we can repeat the exercise in the future. We would love to share ideas to improve the reviews. PingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” us if interested, here in the comments or in the Slack #themereview channel.

Removal of the Featured themes tab in the theme directory

The Featured themes tab in the themes directory page has been removed on the 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/ site. The metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. ticket associated with this removal is here. Besides, there is a core ticket to remove the Featured tab in the Add themes screen of the administration menu. There has also been a discussion to improve the Featured themes tab in this ticket, but it never reached an operable conclusion.

Full Site Editing Road map: Requirements for 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 themes

Next, we shared some information about the roadmap for the block-based themes.

Block-based themes can still not be submitted for review. Neither we have a date for when they can start to be submitted. However, you can experiment and try to develop your owns and also you can contribute to Full Site Editing (FSE) in 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/.

Remember that we do not allow custom blocks in themes and that will continue to be so. Block-based themes do not have to register blocks.

A list of the proposed requirements for block-based themes can be found here, but it is work in progress. The new requirements are based on the fact that block-based themes will use HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. templates instead of PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. templates. HTML templates musk work without errors in Gutenberg. We will adapt the requirements, deleting those we don’t need anymore and adding new ones as we move along.

Next meeting is planned for Tuesday 10th March.

#meeting, #meeting-notes, #trt

Theme Review Day – The theme review team is planning for an online contributors day

As we all know that, WC Asia 2020 is canceled due to fear of the spread of the disease caused by the new coronavirus COVID-19. 

Contributors’ day for the WC Asia 2020 was scheduled for Friday, February 21. The theme review team did lots of preparation to make it awesome. Unfortunately, we are not able to apply those ideas this time.

The theme review team is planning for an online contributors day for themes on the same day. In the online presence of Moderators and Reps, reviewers from all around the globe can join the theme review channel on 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/. and start contributing.

Time: Friday, 21st February 2020, 05:00 UTC

Channel: #themereview 

For more information, you can ask in #themereview channel on slack.

We encourage all members and anyone interested to attend.

#WCASIA #wcasia #themes

Block-Based Themes Chat Summary: 5 Feb 2020

This post summarizes the latest bi-weekly 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 Theme meeting, held in the #themereview 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/., on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 16:00 UTC. These meetings coordinate collaboration in the development evolution of the 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/ project as related to development of Block-Based Themes geared to support Full Site Editing.

Overview

This meeting is the first of its kind and serves to introduce topics around block-based theme engineering to the wider community. It was moderated by @kjellr, @jffng presented an overview on Block-Based Themes and Full Site Editing and @karmatosed presented an overview on Global Styles. There was a lengthy Question and Answer period to discuss issues and concerns from theme authors and reviewers.

@kjellr As most of you probably know, Gutenberg is in the process of expanding beyond the editor. As we’ve already seen, Gutenberg allows for a great deal of user-customization inside of post & page content. It allows any user to create custom layouts all by themselves, and style adjustments too. These will all usually be retained even after a user switches themes. With full-site editing on the horizon, Gutenberg is aiming to do something similar with the rest of the site. By turning elements like 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. and footer into block areas, users will have the flexibility to place any sort of content wherever they want. It allows for a lot of creativity! They’ll theoretically be able to click and edit their header in place, or change their sites entire color scheme without needing to jump into an entirely separate interface. Themes have to figure out the role they play in this future, and that’s why we’re here today. This meeting should be a place for us to sort out that role together by learning, discussing, and experimenting.

What is a Block-Based Theme?

At the moment, it’s a theme made up of htmlHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. templates, which are composed of blocks.

@jffng provided an overview of Block-Based Themes and Full Site Editing:

  • The early draft spec for block-based themes is in the Handbook with an overview which at the moment is a theme made up of html templates, which are composed of blocks.
  • You’ll notice two “new” directories in that folder structure: block templates and block template parts. Block templates function similar to how existing php templates we’re used to in themes.
  • Block template parts define an area of the site that would be reused across multiple block templates.
  • The WordPress theme-experiments repo on GitHub contains a few examples of this implementation. These examples are not intended for production. They are experiments to try and break how this works, ultimately identifying how block theme development should work and could be improved.
  • To try out these demos, install the latest version of the Gutenberg 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, and enable the “Full Site Editing” option under the plugin’s “Experiments” section.
  • A video demo of Full Site Editing is available by @epiqueras on Gutenberg Times.
  • A good place to see the work-in-progress (both design and dev) related to full-site editing is on GitHub.
  • New blocks are being added to make full-site editing possible on GitHub.
  • This is all very early so your feedback, testing, and iteration is so important. In general, a good way to provide feedback is to open an issue in Gutenberg. That will provide necessary visibility so theme authors voices are heard.

What are Global Styles?

@karmatosed shared an overview and some tools that are going to be available as part of Global Styles and also gives some links to start following as this is explored. This is all still in very early stages (imagine we’re still at the ‘what goes in cake’ stage of baking) and as you’ll see from some tickets lots of early sketch and map sharing.

What are global styles? In short, it’s style you can apply across your site right there in the browser. Pretty neat! Think of it as a kit full of component tools you can activate and take advantage of. Tried, tested and ready to go. It’s your decorating kit to get your site space just the way you want it.

In the kit comes:

  • Colours: text, background and primary (themes can set defaults)
  • Typography: change font size, scale (including line height) and alignment.

However, is that enough? This is currently a big question being questioned. There needs to be exploration on what are common things needed and what needs to be available.

Currently on issues, I will share there is some exploration as to what really we need as baselines to create those layouts users have dreamed of.

These are tools available in the editor, so addressing what is needed or not is key, over allowing everything and creating a complicated experience. A personal point I’m thinking about here is how when I had a crowded art box I could never find that ‘one pencil’ I wanted, we want to avoid that.

There is a project board you can follow along as this work happens over in GitHub.

Open Floor Questions

Is it possible we can discuss a sort of middle ground that doesn’t jump us completely over into block-based themes? I think a lot of theme authors were excited about the idea of defining custom block areas within the scope of their themes, sort of like how sidebars work. Right now, there’s certainly some valid concern that by making the entire theme based on blocks, which can be moved around and changed, that it could take away some of the artistry of designing themes. This calls into question whether there is a real need for themes in the future. Assuming everything can be customized by the end-user, themes seem to be little more than styles for individual blocks. While that can be a good thing for some people, not all overall designs can be broken down to the block level.

@greenshady

@kjellr (responded) not all overall designs can be broken down to the block level: I think this is the sort of thing that is best answered by some experimentation. The best plan of action at the moment is to try making our best theme-design wishes into blocks, and see where they fall apart and when those holes present themselves, let the Gutenberg team know.

@allancole I’ve been thinking about this too @greenshady but the craft and artistry that themers are used to doesn’t go away with Block-Based Themes in my view. Instead that craft appears in how we design, organize and layout blocks on a given page or set of templates. You end up using Gutenberg itself to express that same creativity, rather than doing it with PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. and JS and theme options where it’s harder for users to change and modify.

@karmatosed One thing I wanted to answer about artistry. A frame of thinking about it for me is art direction. In many respects a lot of this is bringing more artistry, allowing a tone to be set. Think of it as creating a theme that has a style boundary.

Are any of the experimental block themes magazine-style themes?

@Carike

@kjellr not yet, but there are only a few of them. The main thing holding back a magazine-style theme so far is a posts/query block (which is in the works!)

Global styles sound great. Are there plans on how to handle font-sizes on smaller devices/screens? Currently if you add a large font-size in the editor, it is added inline, thus it is nearly impossible to make it smaller using media queries, unless of course you add a special class for each use-case.

@ianbelanger

@itsjonq Are there plans on how to handle font-sizes on smaller devices/screens? The technology for Global Styles that we’re exploring is CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. Variables (if not that, than something that works very similarly.) This would make it possible to do media query targeted adjustments in CSS without a lot of forced overrides.

The issue brought up, that being inlined style values, makes it very difficult to customize after the fact, the CSS specificity is way too high. The variable system’s specificity is way lower, giving blocks/theme CSS more flexibility/control when it comes to adjustments.

Style conflicts (theme vs plugins) has existed in WP for a long time. Adding Gutenberg editor along with custom 3rd party blocks makes the problem worse. The reason is, there was never an underlying style system that connects all of them together. We’re hoping to help solve that with Global Styles. At least from a Gutenberg x Blocks x Theme x User Customization perspective.

Is there a coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. releaseRelease A release is the distribution of the final version of an application. A software release may be either public or private and generally constitutes the initial or new generation of a new or upgraded application. A release is preceded by the distribution of alpha and then beta versions of the software. target for either block-based themes or global styles at the moment?

@modernnerd

@karmatosed Global Styles likely will be this year but there is no release date set yet. There will be plenty of notice of these fun tools coming in to a release. So that information should be clear as time goes and they are worked on.

How far in the future do you think block based themes would be working in a normal installation?

@acalfieri

@kjellr the rough timeline at the moment is experimental through mid-year, with something basic in place by the end of the year.

How does theme switching work? HTML is preserved in content but what about styles? When the theme switches are the custom styles of the author lost? I am trying to understand the role of the existing theme author here, and how they differentiate their design philosophies from other authors.

@kevinhaig

@karmatosed The styles can be limited by providing solid defaults that’s a setting for someone to use. A good example is the colour palettes in paragraph block. A crucial bit is this has to make sense to the user on switch, nobody likes surprising things done by their theme or by their editor.

@kjellr There’s some discussion around hierarchy of styles happening in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/. Essentially, there are tiers of styles, and some are retained during switches.

Providing support for the users own templates may become difficult for theme authors… it is already difficult for users to explain the problem they are experiencing.

@poena

@kjellr That’s a great point. It would be great to come up with a way to make support/troubleshooting easier.

Global styles: Are they theme-specific, or site-specific? If site-specific, will/should themes be able to set the global style on activation so they can guarantee the theme matches the demo?

@modernnerd

@Carike Most users want to pick a picture and have their site look like that – with only small colour / font size / etc. adjustments that can be done by overriding the CSS.

@aristath Right now they are site-specific, and the theme can set the defaults. Right now the discussion is to set them using a 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. file, but that is not yet a decision set in stone.

@melchoyce That’s going to be the beauty of Gutenberg patterns, you activate a theme and it can actually look like the demo

It sounds like the scope of design will be narrowed for theme authors.

@kevinhaig

@karmatosed With the new space I get to set the tone of things, create the experience and unlock the power of blocks. I also get to set boundaries for how things could look and guide users with theme palettes.

@melchoyce I’m not personally concerned about this decreasing creativity — I think we’ll actually be able to be more creative because we won’t have to stress about “is this a 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., is it an option, etc.” For example, here’s an experimental theme @jffng, @allancole and I are working on now Portfolio: Nwaneri

@kjellr It depends on how you look at it. A large part of this is actually just changing the tools — giving theme authors a different place to define things they’re currently defining in many different ways. Themes will still provide those color/size combos by default.

@Carike I think this demo looks really cool. I just don’t think the average user is going to easily find a colour / size combo that is actually going to create a cohesive feel.

@karmatosed An early example of that is our a11yAccessibility 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) color check right now and theme palettes. What if a theme could offer a pairing of fonts or preset color combinations? There is also a future of plugins extending this to create full art direction.

Block templates: Is the plan still to allow users to override theme templates and template parts via the admin area? If so, doesn’t this mean theme developers can no longer assume their theme templates/parts will be used when their theme is activated? (Users could be overriding a named template in their old theme that the new theme also uses.)

@modernnerd

Will it be possible for theme authors to lock certain block templates / template parts? e.g. users are allowed to change navigation and site title with Gutenberg, but not the overall header layout (parent column blocks)?

@themezee

@kjellr Will it be possible for theme authors to lock certain block templates / template parts? e.g. users are allowed to change navigation and site title with Gutenberg, but not the overall header layout (parent column blocks): I’m not sure, but that sounds like it’s worth a new GitHub ticket to discuss. There have been prior discussions and tickets about locking templates and everyone is invited to contribute in GitHub Issue 6993 or open a new ticket.

@greenshady On themes being able to lock certain parts of templates: A good example problem with “no lock” is the nav menu. Nav menus can be complicated to style. Theme authors have to be meticulous in their nav menu design so that it works perfectly across browsers and screen sizes. But, if users can move the nav menu anywhere, it throws a wrench into this perfectly-aligned design the author built. But, if authors can lock, for example, the header layout in place, they can make sure the nav menu in the header is just right. This is not the case with every theme; it just depends on the specific design. I think this has some theme authors worried. FWIW, I think this gets down to the question I originally asked; if themes can lock certain things in place, it gives the theme author back some control. If that happens, we could get more theme authors on board.

@bridgetwes For people creating custom themes for one client — like agencies — I don’t want editors to be able to change the design/general layout of a theme that a design team has crafted for a client.

@allancole If locking things in place means a customer can’t make an edit, i’m not so sure it’s a good thing. But if customers always have the option to roll things back to a Block’s original state then we might get the best of both worlds.

When working with Block-Based Themes are the block-templates and block-template-parts mandatory?

@benlumia007

@aristath The template-parts as far as I’ve seen are mostly used as defaults, so not mandatory. Same thing applies to the block-templates.

Is the long-term goal here to turn a ‘theme’ into a globally consistent collection of config files containing default styles, templates, and starter content?

@modernnerd

@melchoyce I think themes will still be able to provide color palettes, default fonts, even font combos and based on what I’m seeing in GitHub, I think yes, we’re heading this way.

If we’re moving toward Block-Based Themes, is there a need for 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.? Or, will these things play together in some way?

@greenshady

@kjellr I’m not sure anyone knows the full answer to that question yet. Personally, I don’t think the customizer will disappear immediately, but I do think it’s clear that many of its current duties won’t be necessary in this gutenbergy-future.

@andraganescu it’s unlikely to disappear since all the non-block themes will still use it.

Are there demo sites for the new experimental themes that would make the barriers to contributing / testing quite a bit lower than needing to install the experimental features of GB and each theme. I would like to see that for the future — an easier way to contribute when time is limited.

@Carike

How Can This Meeting Be Most Useful?

@kjellr One idea I have is to have a sort of show & tell with folks who are adopting block-friendly tools and practices in themes today. To help share knowledge and spark more ideas that could come in handy for full-site editing.

@karmatosed I’d love to see what is being built and also what couldn’t be, what are the hitches people found whilst exploring in their experiments?

@melchoyce The shortcomings people are discovering as they experiment are going to be super super important. We need to figure out where this works and where it doesn’t work.

@jffng Would it be worthwhile to have a short section of this meeting where we point out issues / PRs in Gutenberg relevant to the the theme audience? The discussion can remain in github and #core-editor, but kind of a run down of the latest and greatest design and dev happening in this space?

Wrapping up the very active meeting and exchange of ideas @aristath stated: The conclusion I have come to is this: Themes are not going away. They may change, completely transform in many ways. The tools we’re currently using and the way we’re currently building themes is not the way themes will be built next year. But they will still exist, and the new way is neither better nor worse. It’s just different. If we embrace that and open up our imagination, there’s lots of amazing things we — as theme authors — can build.

The next meeting is on Feb 19th at 16:00 UTC. Thank you everyone for attending and sharing so openly and in such a receptive manner.

#block-based-meeting