Wordpress Planet

Subscribe to Wordpress Planet feed
WordPress Planet - http://planet.wordpress.org/
Updated: 1 week 5 days ago

WPTavern: Major Revamp Coming to GitHub Issues

Sat, 06/26/2021 - 03:49

This week GitHub unveiled new features that will be included in a total revamp of GitHub Issues, including project tables that are similar to spreadsheets, custom fields, a keyboard driven command palette, improved task lists, and issue forms. The new project table view is an alternative to project boards, allowing users to filter, sort, and group issues and pull requests. Project managers can customize the table with custom fields and saved views.

GitHub is also making it easier to manage issues that include subtasks. Users can now add lists and the issue will automatically track the status with a progress indicator.

Issues forms are now in beta for public repositories. Many open source projects currently use Markdown issue templates and encourage contributors to provide more details by removing the placeholder text and replacing it with their own. Maintainers can now set up YAML configured forms with required fields and instructions to better guide the process.

The revamped Issues feature is being updated to provide a bridge between the planning tools and the problems the tools were created to solve. Mario Rodriguez, Head of Product for GitHub Enterprise, explained why they are evolving GitHub Issues in the beta announcement:

As teams and projects grow, the way you work evolves. Tools that hard-code a specific methodology are too rigid and complex to flex to whatever the moment demands. Often, we find ourselves creating a spreadsheet or pulling out a notepad, just to have the freedom to think. But then our planning is disconnected from where the work happens and quickly goes stale.

The WordPress project hasn’t yet moved away from Trac but most of Gutenberg development happens on GitHub. It’s also the most popular repository hosting site for WordPress theme and plugin authors. Contributors to these projects may soon see some of these features in action for personal accounts and organizations that opt into the beta.

The new GitHub Issues is expected to be out of beta later this year. GitHub plans to bundle it for free, along with the new project planning capabilities, with its Free, Pro, Team, and Enterprise plans.

WPTavern: Major Revamp Coming to GitHub Issues

Sat, 06/26/2021 - 03:49

This week GitHub unveiled new features that will be included in a total revamp of GitHub Issues, including project tables that are similar to spreadsheets, custom fields, a keyboard driven command palette, improved task lists, and issue forms. The new project table view is an alternative to project boards, allowing users to filter, sort, and group issues and pull requests. Project managers can customize the table with custom fields and saved views.

GitHub is also making it easier to manage issues that include subtasks. Users can now add lists and the issue will automatically track the status with a progress indicator.

Issues forms are now in beta for public repositories. Many open source projects currently use Markdown issue templates and encourage contributors to provide more details by removing the placeholder text and replacing it with their own. Maintainers can now set up YAML configured forms with required fields and instructions to better guide the process.

The revamped Issues feature is being updated to provide a bridge between the planning tools and the problems the tools were created to solve. Mario Rodriguez, Head of Product for GitHub Enterprise, explained why they are evolving GitHub Issues in the beta announcement:

As teams and projects grow, the way you work evolves. Tools that hard-code a specific methodology are too rigid and complex to flex to whatever the moment demands. Often, we find ourselves creating a spreadsheet or pulling out a notepad, just to have the freedom to think. But then our planning is disconnected from where the work happens and quickly goes stale.

The WordPress project hasn’t yet moved away from Trac but most of Gutenberg development happens on GitHub. It’s also the most popular repository hosting site for WordPress theme and plugin authors. Contributors to these projects may soon see some of these features in action for personal accounts and organizations that opt into the beta.

The new GitHub Issues is expected to be out of beta later this year. GitHub plans to bundle it for free, along with the new project planning capabilities, with its Free, Pro, Team, and Enterprise plans.

WPTavern: Major Revamp Coming to GitHub Issues

Sat, 06/26/2021 - 03:49

This week GitHub unveiled new features that will be included in a total revamp of GitHub Issues, including project tables that are similar to spreadsheets, custom fields, a keyboard driven command palette, improved task lists, and issue forms. The new project table view is an alternative to project boards, allowing users to filter, sort, and group issues and pull requests. Project managers can customize the table with custom fields and saved views.

GitHub is also making it easier to manage issues that include subtasks. Users can now add lists and the issue will automatically track the status with a progress indicator.

Issues forms are now in beta for public repositories. Many open source projects currently use Markdown issue templates and encourage contributors to provide more details by removing the placeholder text and replacing it with their own. Maintainers can now set up YAML configured forms with required fields and instructions to better guide the process.

The revamped Issues feature is being updated to provide a bridge between the planning tools and the problems the tools were created to solve. Mario Rodriguez, Head of Product for GitHub Enterprise, explained why they are evolving GitHub Issues in the beta announcement:

As teams and projects grow, the way you work evolves. Tools that hard-code a specific methodology are too rigid and complex to flex to whatever the moment demands. Often, we find ourselves creating a spreadsheet or pulling out a notepad, just to have the freedom to think. But then our planning is disconnected from where the work happens and quickly goes stale.

The WordPress project hasn’t yet moved away from Trac but most of Gutenberg development happens on GitHub. It’s also the most popular repository hosting site for WordPress theme and plugin authors. Contributors to these projects may soon see some of these features in action for personal accounts and organizations that opt into the beta.

The new GitHub Issues is expected to be out of beta later this year. GitHub plans to bundle it for free, along with the new project planning capabilities, with its Free, Pro, Team, and Enterprise plans.

WPTavern: FSE Outreach Round #8: A Developer-Centric Call for Testing Theme JSON Configuration

Sat, 06/26/2021 - 03:30

Round #8 of the Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach Program began yesterday. Instead of the user-centric call for testing features from the UI, program lead Anne McCarthy asks that volunteers dive into code. The new adventure is all about testing theme.json files.

The twist is likely to limit the pool of usual volunteers. However, it could open it up to an audience that may have been sitting on the sideline for the previous tests: theme developers.

Before jumping headfirst theme JSON files, we should probably all get on the same page.

I have been calling theme.json the tipping point between the old WordPress and the new WordPress. When version 5.0 of the core platform launched in late 2018, it was a revolutionary step forward, but not on the surface. A new editor is just a new editor. Some will love it; others will hate it. And, it was more often clunky than not. For the most part, WordPress was still WordPress.

The core software was due for an upending. Newer technologies were not only democratizing publishing in their own ways, but they were also bringing that same concept to design.

The introduction of blocks was merely foundational. The new editor was an imperfect tool, often feeling like the proverbial round peg being shoved into a square hole.

The only way to live out the early vision of the Gutenberg project was to continue bridging the gap between what the user sees in the admin and what gets output on the front end. That is what the theme.json file is all about. It is a translator that allows users, themes, and WordPress to all speak the same language.

What does this mean exactly?

From a user’s viewpoint, they see all sorts of controls for changing their blocks. Color, font size, alignment, and other options are tools that allow them to customize their content.

Customizing a profile card for my cat using block options.

There are severe limitations with what is possible in the current system. Theme authors can register a handful of options. Outside of that, the theme and block systems can feel like they are pitted against each other for control.

That is where the theme.json file comes in. It allows themes and WordPress to get on the same page, creating a standardized system that improves the user experience.

This file that lives a theme’s root folder hands over the power to configure dozens of presets (e.g., color and font options), custom CSS properties, and default styles for blocks and HTML elements.

It also gives themers the power to enable or disable specific features. For example, developers can turn off the ability for users to set a custom font size but provide access to their perfect scale of choices that fit into the design’s vertical rhythm.

However, it will move beyond the simple configuration of blocks in the content editor. When the global styles system launches alongside the site editor in the future, users will customize many of the presets and overwrite the default block styles. Because everyone is speaking that same language, fewer conflicts arise.

As designer Tammie Lister pointed out in her piece for Ephermeral Themes, Theme.json inspires, themes have been stuck. The software, the community, has put too much responsibility on the shoulders of themers over the years. They have had to innovate and build the systems that should have been coming from WordPress. Not only did the core platform need to be turned on its head, but the design system deserved an overhaul.

“I am very aware that saying ‘first major theme process to core’ in years is quite a statement,” wrote Lister. “Theme.json to me is that though. I don’t say this ignoring iterations and improvements, WordPress is a project flowing with the energy of those. However, themes were on life support stuck in a land when the rest of front end development was moving on. It wasn’t for some trying to change that, mostly when they did the time wasn’t right and as it didn’t come from core it was always a harder change.”

It is time for a new front-end design era. But, first, we must test.

Testing Theme JSON Real-world theme.json file.

The more I journeyed into this call for testing, the more I realized it did not feel right for me. Over the past couple of months, I have already been in the thick of working from the theme.json file. I know most of the little quirks and see the gaps. The tricks for working with it feel second nature to me.

I have performed all of the beginner and intermediate steps dozens upon dozens of times. I have already filed tickets for any issues I have run into. Or, someone else has already beat me to the punch.

Those stages of this testing round need fresh eyes. The best feedback will be from theme authors who will be viewing the problems through a different pair of lenses. If you are in this group, there is no time like the present to test and provide feedback.

The advanced stage calls for recreating a classic theme using theme.json. It is best to stick with something simple. Otherwise, you could be looking at a weeks-long experiment. McCarthy recommends Twenty Twenty or Storefront. I have already been performing this song and dance too. My test project was an old theme that I gutted and turned into a block theme.

There is one overarching issue that I keep coming back to. It is that theme authors must work from a JSON file at all.

I understand the “why” behind using JSON. It is a universal format that we can pass around from JavaScript to PHP. Third-party APIs can understand it.

However, I am currently sitting on top of 900+ lines of code in my theme.json. I have heard from a couple of other theme authors who have been doing deep work with similar numbers. I expect it to only grow.

“Number of lines” is not necessarily some metric where a specific total is a dividing point between “good” or “bad.” The problem is that comments are not allowed in JSON files. One of the cornerstones of sound development is documenting code. Skipping out on documentation of a few dozen lines is not so bad. However, when you speed past 900, things can get out of hand.

Plus, at a certain point, you start wanting to split pieces into their own groups. This much code is begging for better organization.

The thing that is currently missing is a PHP layer for theme authors to use. Remember, JSON is a universal format. It is easy to convert PHP to JSON and vice-versa. Building in this layer for theme authors would accomplish two things:

  1. They can organize what will likely be 1,000s of lines of code.
  2. It will be easier to transition to the new system.

The latter point is likely the most salient. PHP has been the language of theming since the theming has been around. Developers know it and are comfortable using it, and WordPress should meet them in the middle. If we are closing gaps, this is the one that needs filling before more configuration possibilities are added and theme.json files balloon into unwieldy, 5,000-line behemoths.

WPTavern: FSE Outreach Round #8: A Developer-Centric Call for Testing Theme JSON Configuration

Sat, 06/26/2021 - 03:30

Round #8 of the Full Site Editing (FSE) Outreach Program began yesterday. Instead of the user-centric call for testing features from the UI, program lead Anne McCarthy asks that volunteers dive into code. The new adventure is all about testing theme.json files.

The twist is likely to limit the pool of usual volunteers. However, it could open it up to an audience that may have been sitting on the sideline for the previous tests: theme developers.

Before jumping headfirst theme JSON files, we should probably all get on the same page.

I have been calling theme.json the tipping point between the old WordPress and the new WordPress. When version 5.0 of the core platform launched in late 2018, it was a revolutionary step forward, but not on the surface. A new editor is just a new editor. Some will love it; others will hate it. And, it was more often clunky than not. For the most part, WordPress was still WordPress.

The core software was due for an upending. Newer technologies were not only democratizing publishing in their own ways, but they were also bringing that same concept to design.

The introduction of blocks was merely foundational. The new editor was an imperfect tool, often feeling like the proverbial round peg being shoved into a square hole.

The only way to live out the early vision of the Gutenberg project was to continue bridging the gap between what the user sees in the admin and what gets output on the front end. That is what the theme.json file is all about. It is a translator that allows users, themes, and WordPress to all speak the same language.

What does this mean exactly?

From a user’s viewpoint, they see all sorts of controls for changing their blocks. Color, font size, alignment, and other options are tools that allow them to customize their content.

Customizing a profile card for my cat using block options.

There are severe limitations with what is possible in the current system. Theme authors can register a handful of options. Outside of that, the theme and block systems can feel like they are pitted against each other for control.

That is where the theme.json file comes in. It allows themes and WordPress to get on the same page, creating a standardized system that improves the user experience.

This file that lives a theme’s root folder hands over the power to configure dozens of presets (e.g., color and font options), custom CSS properties, and default styles for blocks and HTML elements.

It also gives themers the power to enable or disable specific features. For example, developers can turn off the ability for users to set a custom font size but provide access to their perfect scale of choices that fit into the design’s vertical rhythm.

However, it will move beyond the simple configuration of blocks in the content editor. When the global styles system launches alongside the site editor in the future, users will customize many of the presets and overwrite the default block styles. Because everyone is speaking that same language, fewer conflicts arise.

As designer Tammie Lister pointed out in her piece for Ephermeral Themes, Theme.json inspires, themes have been stuck. The software, the community, has put too much responsibility on the shoulders of themers over the years. They have had to innovate and build the systems that should have been coming from WordPress. Not only did the core platform need to be turned on its head, but the design system deserved an overhaul.

“I am very aware that saying ‘first major theme process to core’ in years is quite a statement,” wrote Lister. “Theme.json to me is that though. I don’t say this ignoring iterations and improvements, WordPress is a project flowing with the energy of those. However, themes were on life support stuck in a land when the rest of front end development was moving on. It wasn’t for some trying to change that, mostly when they did the time wasn’t right and as it didn’t come from core it was always a harder change.”

It is time for a new front-end design era. But, first, we must test.

Testing Theme JSON Real-world theme.json file.

The more I journeyed into this call for testing, the more I realized it did not feel right for me. Over the past couple of months, I have already been in the thick of working from the theme.json file. I know most of the little quirks and see the gaps. The tricks for working with it feel second nature to me.

I have performed all of the beginner and intermediate steps dozens upon dozens of times. I have already filed tickets for any issues I have run into. Or, someone else has already beat me to the punch.

Those stages of this testing round need fresh eyes. The best feedback will be from theme authors who will be viewing the problems through a different pair of lenses. If you are in this group, there is no time like the present to test and provide feedback.

The advanced stage calls for recreating a classic theme using theme.json. It is best to stick with something simple. Otherwise, you could be looking at a weeks-long experiment. McCarthy recommends Twenty Twenty or Storefront. I have already been performing this song and dance too. My test project was an old theme that I gutted and turned into a block theme.

There is one overarching issue that I keep coming back to. It is that theme authors must work from a JSON file at all.

I understand the “why” behind using JSON. It is a universal format that we can pass around from JavaScript to PHP. Third-party APIs can understand it.

However, I am currently sitting on top of 900+ lines of code in my theme.json. I have heard from a couple of other theme authors who have been doing deep work with similar numbers. I expect it to only grow.

“Number of lines” is not necessarily some metric where a specific total is a dividing point between “good” or “bad.” The problem is that comments are not allowed in JSON files. One of the cornerstones of sound development is documenting code. Skipping out on documentation of a few dozen lines is not so bad. However, when you speed past 900, things can get out of hand.

Plus, at a certain point, you start wanting to split pieces into their own groups. This much code is begging for better organization.

The thing that is currently missing is a PHP layer for theme authors to use. Remember, JSON is a universal format. It is easy to convert PHP to JSON and vice-versa. Building in this layer for theme authors would accomplish two things:

  1. They can organize what will likely be 1,000s of lines of code.
  2. It will be easier to transition to the new system.

The latter point is likely the most salient. PHP has been the language of theming since the theming has been around. Developers know it and are comfortable using it, and WordPress should meet them in the middle. If we are closing gaps, this is the one that needs filling before more configuration possibilities are added and theme.json files balloon into unwieldy, 5,000-line behemoths.

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8 Beta 4

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 17:14

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 in three ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream).
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).
  • Using WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-beta4

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. That’s less than four weeks away, so we need your help to make sure the final release is as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 18 bugs have been fixed. Most tickets focused on polishing existing default themes, fixing bugs in the new block Widget screen, and squashing Editor bugs collected during beta.

How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 254 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 91 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute.

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Props to @desrosj @clorith for reviews and @chanthaboune for final edits!

Releasing software
Is complex when open source
Yet WordPressers do

WordPress.org blog: WordPress 5.8 Beta 4

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 17:14

WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 is now available for testing!

This software is still in development, so it is not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with it.

You can test the WordPress 5.8 Beta 4 in three ways:

  • Install/activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta/RC Only stream).
  • Direct download the beta version here (zip).
  • Using WP-CLI to test: wp core update --version=5.8-beta4

The current target for the final release is July 20, 2021. That’s less than four weeks away, so we need your help to make sure the final release is as good as it can be.

Some Highlights

Since Beta 3, 18 bugs have been fixed. Most tickets focused on polishing existing default themes, fixing bugs in the new block Widget screen, and squashing Editor bugs collected during beta.

How You Can Help

Watch the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.8-related developer notes in the coming weeks, which will break down these and other changes in greater detail.

So far, contributors have fixed 254 tickets in WordPress 5.8, including 91 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

Do some testing!

Testing for bugs is a vital part of polishing the release during the beta stage and a great way to contribute.

If you think you’ve found a bug, please post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. We would love to hear from you! If you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on WordPress Trac. That’s also where you can find a list of known bugs.

Props to @desrosj @clorith for reviews and @chanthaboune for final edits!

Releasing software
Is complex when open source
Yet WordPressers do

WPTavern: Gutenberg 10.9 Renames the Query Block, Adds Collapsible List View Items, and Rolls Out Rich URL Previews

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 02:34

Yesterday, Gutenberg 10.9 landed in the WordPress plugin directory. The update overhauls the Query and Query Loop blocks, allows users to expand or collapse items in the editor list view, and introduces rich URL preview cards for links. The new version also packs in an updated template-mode creation modal and moves the blocks manager.

This update ships several enhancements, particularly to the user experience. One of my favorite low-key upgrades is a new set of add-card, bug, key, post author, and security icons by Filipe Varela, a product designer at Automattic.

Another small-but-packs-a-punch UI change is the inclusion of the post type in the editor breadcrumb trail. The type’s singular name label now replaces the root “Document” item.

For the past several cycles, the new template editor slated to launch with WordPress 5.8 has been enabled by default. The goal was always to allow everyone the chance to experience it, regardless of whether they were on a classic or block theme. The development team has now scaled this back to only be auto-enabled for block themes. Classic themes must opt-in to support it. Theme authors should read the recent template editor overview by Riad Benguella for the complete details.

Query and Query Loop Blocks Renamed Query Loop block in the editor.

Query? Query Loop? What the heck is all this? If you are unfamiliar with those terms, you are not alone. Even on the developer end, the early implementation of the Query and its inner Query Loop block could be a little confusing. For the average user, it probably makes even less sense.

Gutenberg 10.9 takes one step toward clearing up this confusion for end-users. The former Query Loop block is now named Post Template. This is a far more accurate description of what it does. It is the “template” that outputs individual posts. It contains all the things you see, such as the post content or excerpt, the featured image, tags, categories, and more. This template is, of course, customizable via the block editor.

While this is a step toward a less complex user experience, it is not quite where it needs to be yet. The Query block has been renamed to Query Loop. Therein lies the remaining issue. The terminology might still be confusing.

The goal is to expose a variation of this block named Posts List to users. It already exists, but the query-related terminology still appears when using it. There is an open ticket to address this.

The primary win with this update is the overhauled text in the Query Loop block sidebar. “The query block is a powerful and complex block,” said lead Gutenberg developer Matias Ventura in a GitHub ticket. “It can be intimidated to users without proper guidance. We can use this block as an opportunity to explain some of the underlying concepts of the WordPress software in a more didactic manner.”

The more advanced options, such as whether to inherit from the URL and which post types to include, now have longer descriptions. Each should guide the user through features that have long existed in the developer world.

If you are a theme author and have already been building with these two blocks, do not worry about everything breaking when updating. The Query block has simply been renamed to “Query Loop” in user-facing text. Under the hood, it is still the same. The former Query Loop block has literally been renamed to Post Template (core/post-template block name). It is backward compatible. However, you should update any past calls to the wp:query-loop block to wp:post-template.

Expand and Collapse Nested List View Blocks List view with collapsed nested blocks.

The development team introduced an expand/collapse feature for the editor’s list view. Once opening the panel, users should now see arrow icons next to each item with nested blocks. Closing one or more of them makes it easier to see all or many top-level blocks at once.

The downside is that the open/close state is lost once the list view is closed. If I had one request, it would be to store this data while editing the post. That would improve the user experience with longer documents, particularly when switching between navigating and editing.

This update, along with the persistent behavior of the list view in Gutenberg 10.7, has made for a much more well-rounded document navigation experience.

Rich URL Previews

The editor will now show a website preview in the link editor popup. This feature only works for links in a Rich Text context, such as in the Paragraph, Heading, and List blocks. The preview also only appears after the link has been set and clicked on, not when initially typing it.

If available, the popup preview displays the site icon, title, image, and description.

“In the near future however, we expect to extend this to provide previews of internal URLs and to roll out support to more areas of the software,” wrote George Mamadashvili in the Gutenberg 10.9 announcement post.

Admittedly, I was not keen on the idea of adding this feature. It felt like unnecessary bloat when more pressing issues were lying on the table. However, in the past day, I have enjoyed the quick previews when double-checking links in posts.

WPTavern: Gutenberg 10.9 Renames the Query Block, Adds Collapsible List View Items, and Rolls Out Rich URL Previews

Fri, 06/25/2021 - 02:34

Yesterday, Gutenberg 10.9 landed in the WordPress plugin directory. The update overhauls the Query and Query Loop blocks, allows users to expand or collapse items in the editor list view, and introduces rich URL preview cards for links. The new version also packs in an updated template-mode creation modal and moves the blocks manager.

This update ships several enhancements, particularly to the user experience. One of my favorite low-key upgrades is a new set of add-card, bug, key, post author, and security icons by Filipe Varela, a product designer at Automattic.

Another small-but-packs-a-punch UI change is the inclusion of the post type in the editor breadcrumb trail. The type’s singular name label now replaces the root “Document” item.

For the past several cycles, the new template editor slated to launch with WordPress 5.8 has been enabled by default. The goal was always to allow everyone the chance to experience it, regardless of whether they were on a classic or block theme. The development team has now scaled this back to only be auto-enabled for block themes. Classic themes must opt-in to support it. Theme authors should read the recent template editor overview by Riad Benguella for the complete details.

Query and Query Loop Blocks Renamed Query Loop block in the editor.

Query? Query Loop? What the heck is all this? If you are unfamiliar with those terms, you are not alone. Even on the developer end, the early implementation of the Query and its inner Query Loop block could be a little confusing. For the average user, it probably makes even less sense.

Gutenberg 10.9 takes one step toward clearing up this confusion for end-users. The former Query Loop block is now named Post Template. This is a far more accurate description of what it does. It is the “template” that outputs individual posts. It contains all the things you see, such as the post content or excerpt, the featured image, tags, categories, and more. This template is, of course, customizable via the block editor.

While this is a step toward a less complex user experience, it is not quite where it needs to be yet. The Query block has been renamed to Query Loop. Therein lies the remaining issue. The terminology might still be confusing.

The goal is to expose a variation of this block named Posts List to users. It already exists, but the query-related terminology still appears when using it. There is an open ticket to address this.

The primary win with this update is the overhauled text in the Query Loop block sidebar. “The query block is a powerful and complex block,” said lead Gutenberg developer Matias Ventura in a GitHub ticket. “It can be intimidated to users without proper guidance. We can use this block as an opportunity to explain some of the underlying concepts of the WordPress software in a more didactic manner.”

The more advanced options, such as whether to inherit from the URL and which post types to include, now have longer descriptions. Each should guide the user through features that have long existed in the developer world.

If you are a theme author and have already been building with these two blocks, do not worry about everything breaking when updating. The Query block has simply been renamed to “Query Loop” in user-facing text. Under the hood, it is still the same. The former Query Loop block has literally been renamed to Post Template (core/post-template block name). It is backward compatible. However, you should update any past calls to the wp:query-loop block to wp:post-template.

Expand and Collapse Nested List View Blocks List view with collapsed nested blocks.

The development team introduced an expand/collapse feature for the editor’s list view. Once opening the panel, users should now see arrow icons next to each item with nested blocks. Closing one or more of them makes it easier to see all or many top-level blocks at once.

The downside is that the open/close state is lost once the list view is closed. If I had one request, it would be to store this data while editing the post. That would improve the user experience with longer documents, particularly when switching between navigating and editing.

This update, along with the persistent behavior of the list view in Gutenberg 10.7, has made for a much more well-rounded document navigation experience.

Rich URL Previews

The editor will now show a website preview in the link editor popup. This feature only works for links in a Rich Text context, such as in the Paragraph, Heading, and List blocks. The preview also only appears after the link has been set and clicked on, not when initially typing it.

If available, the popup preview displays the site icon, title, image, and description.

“In the near future however, we expect to extend this to provide previews of internal URLs and to roll out support to more areas of the software,” wrote George Mamadashvili in the Gutenberg 10.9 announcement post.

Admittedly, I was not keen on the idea of adding this feature. It felt like unnecessary bloat when more pressing issues were lying on the table. However, in the past day, I have enjoyed the quick previews when double-checking links in posts.

WPTavern: Jetpack Launches New Mobile App

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:59

Automattic has launched a new mobile app for Jetpack, available on iOS and Android. The app features an array of Jetpack-specific features, as well as those applicable to users on paid plans, along with core WordPress features.

Inside it looks nearly identical to the official WordPress mobile apps, but it is noticeably missing WordPress.com specific features like the Reader. The bottom menu links to “My Site” and “Notifications.”

Those who are on paid Jetpack plans will have access to features like backups, restores, and security scanning for use inside the app when on the go. It also includes the same Activity Log and Stats features found in the main WordPress app. In its current state, it doesn’t look like the app offers anything more than what you are used to on the standard mobile apps unless you are a paid Jetpack customer. So far, the app doesn’t include any upgrade paths for free users or to jump from plan to plan. If Automattic decides to add in-app purchases, it will have to share the revenue with the app stores. Having a separate app from the official mobile apps gives the company the option to build in more direct paths for monetization in the future.

You may want to stick with the official WordPress apps if you manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites, to keep everything conveniently in the same place. If you decide to use both apps, you will want to remove your Jetpack sites from the main WordPress app so that you aren’t getting double notifications from having the site accessible through both apps.

Automattic’s integrated products remain controversial features of the official WordPress apps. It is a good move to separate self-hosted Jetpack sites from the clutter of having WordPress.com-specific features in the app, but it does little for improving the official app’s experience for self-hosted users who are not using Jetpack. Clicking on Stats in the app still prompts users to install Jetpack when managing self-hosted sites. The Reader menu item is ever-present at the bottom of the page. These products take up screen real estate regardless of whether they are being used.

A toggle to turn off these features in the app’s settings might be a good stop-gap measure towards disentanglement, but ultimately the official mobile apps should not promote any commercial interests.

If Automattic moved WordPress.com features into the Jetpack app, then anyone using the company’s products could be directed to this app for managing their sites. The official WordPress app could then be kept free of any products that the user doesn’t choose to install. If the vanilla state of the app is not enough, users can be prompted to add themes and plugins to enhance the WordPress experience.

The Jetpack app is aimed at people who have sites using Jetpack but don’t need the WordPress.com features that are built into the official WordPress apps. It brings more value to those who are on paid plans and want access to those features on the go. More than 500 people have already downloaded the Android app. It will be interesting to see if Jetpack users will gravitate towards the new app or remain on the standard WordPress app for more centralized management of Jetpack and non-Jetpack enabled websites.

WPTavern: Jetpack Launches New Mobile App

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:59

Automattic has launched a new mobile app for Jetpack, available on iOS and Android. The app features an array of Jetpack-specific features, as well as those applicable to users on paid plans, along with core WordPress features.

Inside it looks nearly identical to the official WordPress mobile apps, but it is noticeably missing WordPress.com specific features like the Reader. The bottom menu links to “My Site” and “Notifications.”

Those who are on paid Jetpack plans will have access to features like backups, restores, and security scanning for use inside the app when on the go. It also includes the same Activity Log and Stats features found in the main WordPress app. In its current state, it doesn’t look like the app offers anything more than what you are used to on the standard mobile apps unless you are a paid Jetpack customer. So far, the app doesn’t include any upgrade paths for free users or to jump from plan to plan. If Automattic decides to add in-app purchases, it will have to share the revenue with the app stores. Having a separate app from the official mobile apps gives the company the option to build in more direct paths for monetization in the future.

You may want to stick with the official WordPress apps if you manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites, to keep everything conveniently in the same place. If you decide to use both apps, you will want to remove your Jetpack sites from the main WordPress app so that you aren’t getting double notifications from having the site accessible through both apps.

Automattic’s integrated products remain controversial features of the official WordPress apps. It is a good move to separate self-hosted Jetpack sites from the clutter of having WordPress.com-specific features in the app, but it does little for improving the official app’s experience for self-hosted users who are not using Jetpack. Clicking on Stats in the app still prompts users to install Jetpack when managing self-hosted sites. The Reader menu item is ever-present at the bottom of the page. These products take up screen real estate regardless of whether they are being used.

A toggle to turn off these features in the app’s settings might be a good stop-gap measure towards disentanglement, but ultimately the official mobile apps should not promote any commercial interests.

If Automattic moved WordPress.com features into the Jetpack app, then anyone using the company’s products could be directed to this app for managing their sites. The official WordPress app could then be kept free of any products that the user doesn’t choose to install. If the vanilla state of the app is not enough, users can be prompted to add themes and plugins to enhance the WordPress experience.

The Jetpack app is aimed at people who have sites using Jetpack but don’t need the WordPress.com features that are built into the official WordPress apps. It brings more value to those who are on paid plans and want access to those features on the go. More than 500 people have already downloaded the Android app. It will be interesting to see if Jetpack users will gravitate towards the new app or remain on the standard WordPress app for more centralized management of Jetpack and non-Jetpack enabled websites.

WPTavern: Jetpack Launches New Mobile App

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 17:59

Automattic has launched a new mobile app for Jetpack, available on iOS and Android. The app features an array of Jetpack-specific features, as well as those applicable to users on paid plans, along with core WordPress features.

Inside it looks nearly identical to the official WordPress mobile apps, but it is noticeably missing WordPress.com specific features like the Reader. The bottom menu links to “My Site” and “Notifications.”

Those who are on paid Jetpack plans will have access to features like backups, restores, and security scanning for use inside the app when on the go. It also includes the same Activity Log and Stats features found in the main WordPress app. In its current state, it doesn’t look like the app offers anything more than what you are used to on the standard mobile apps unless you are a paid Jetpack customer. So far, the app doesn’t include any upgrade paths for free users or to jump from plan to plan. If Automattic decides to add in-app purchases, it will have to share the revenue with the app stores. Having a separate app from the official mobile apps gives the company the option to build in more direct paths for monetization in the future.

You may want to stick with the official WordPress apps if you manage both WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites, to keep everything conveniently in the same place. If you decide to use both apps, you will want to remove your Jetpack sites from the main WordPress app so that you aren’t getting double notifications from having the site accessible through both apps.

Automattic’s integrated products remain controversial features of the official WordPress apps. It is a good move to separate self-hosted Jetpack sites from the clutter of having WordPress.com-specific features in the app, but it does little for improving the official app’s experience for self-hosted users who are not using Jetpack. Clicking on Stats in the app still prompts users to install Jetpack when managing self-hosted sites. The Reader menu item is ever-present at the bottom of the page. These products take up screen real estate regardless of whether they are being used.

A toggle to turn off these features in the app’s settings might be a good stop-gap measure towards disentanglement, but ultimately the official mobile apps should not promote any commercial interests.

If Automattic moved WordPress.com features into the Jetpack app, then anyone using the company’s products could be directed to this app for managing their sites. The official WordPress app could then be kept free of any products that the user doesn’t choose to install. If the vanilla state of the app is not enough, users can be prompted to add themes and plugins to enhance the WordPress experience.

The Jetpack app is aimed at people who have sites using Jetpack but don’t need the WordPress.com features that are built into the official WordPress apps. It brings more value to those who are on paid plans and want access to those features on the go. More than 500 people have already downloaded the Android app. It will be interesting to see if Jetpack users will gravitate towards the new app or remain on the standard WordPress app for more centralized management of Jetpack and non-Jetpack enabled websites.

WPTavern: Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 01:23
Clove theme homepage.

Earlier today, Ana Segota tweeted and announced via the Anariel Design blog that her company had submitted its second block-based theme to WordPress.org. Clove is a more well-rounded follow-up to her first such theme, Naledi. It is currently under review for inclusion in the official directory, but anyone can give it a test run by snagging the ZIP file from its ticket. Or, just peruse the live demo.

This should officially be the 10th block-based theme to go live in the WordPress.org theme directory (note that a couple by Automattic are not tagged). That is assuming all goes well during the review process.

It has been a long road thus far, but 10 themes with the Full Site Editing tag is a notable milestone. The Q theme by Ari Stathopoulos was the first to land in the directory back in October 2020. Now, eight months later, there is still room for other theme authors to become pioneers in the space. With almost no competition, who will design that first block theme that squeezes its way into the most popular list?

If “practice makes perfect,” Segota is now ahead of the curve by pushing her second theme to the directory. This makes her theme company only one of two with multiple block themes.

Clove is experimental, as all block themes are. It relies on the ever-shifting parts of the Gutenberg plugin, but it all comes together into a floral, nature-themed design. There are hints of inspiration from Twenty Twenty-One, but it feels more structured, less chaotic.

The design is less of a theme and more of a showcase of block patterns and styles. Even on the template level, it reuses those same elements across each of its seven templates, providing multiple entryways for users to tinker with its features.

Clove even includes pricing columns. I seem to recall writing about how theme authors could implement them via patterns just over a month ago. Maybe the Anariel Design team came to the same conclusion. Maybe they took my message and ran with it. I like to think the latter is true. Either way, the result is a beautiful, theme-specific pattern — the sort of artistry that is tough to achieve from a plugin.

Customizing the Pricing Columns pattern in the WordPress editor.

I am less of the fan of the overlapping and uneven columns in some of the designs designs, preferring some of the more-structured patterns, such as Three Quotes Images:

Three-column pattern that showcases images along with quotes.

Despite my general dislike of the uneven column style, my favorite piece of the entire theme is the Illustrations page template, which leans into that design method.

The page intro section is an announcement to the world, “Hey, check out my work.”

Illustrations template intro section.

I also like the Illustrations page template’s widgets-like area in the footer. It manages to stuff several blocks in without feeling too crowded. It even showcases a box for artists to highlight their next exhibition.

Illustrations page template footer “widget” area.

The Clove theme also registers 10 block styles for users to choose from. Most of them add different types of borders or frames to various elements. Plus, there is the fun-but-kind-of-an-oddball blob “Shape” for images.

Segota was one of several people to submit custom designs to the upcoming block pattern directory. There is some noticeable crossover between her current theme work and submissions, such as the Playful Gallery pattern that did not quite make the cut. Others, like her Recipe design, did. There is still an open invitation for people to contribute.

I am always like a kid in a toy store when a new block theme comes along, reaching out to grab the latest gadget. I want to see more experiments like Clove. Keep them coming, theme authors.

Side note: For people interested in the background-clipped text design used in Clove’s site logo, I opened a ticket to take us one step closer to doing it in the editor. Currently, users must create an off-site image and upload it.

WPTavern: Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 01:23
Clove theme homepage.

Earlier today, Ana Segota tweeted and announced via the Anariel Design blog that her company had submitted its second block-based theme to WordPress.org. Clove is a more well-rounded follow-up to her first such theme, Naledi. It is currently under review for inclusion in the official directory, but anyone can give it a test run by snagging the ZIP file from its ticket. Or, just peruse the live demo.

This should officially be the 10th block-based theme to go live in the WordPress.org theme directory (note that a couple by Automattic are not tagged). That is assuming all goes well during the review process.

It has been a long road thus far, but 10 themes with the Full Site Editing tag is a notable milestone. The Q theme by Ari Stathopoulos was the first to land in the directory back in October 2020. Now, eight months later, there is still room for other theme authors to become pioneers in the space. With almost no competition, who will design that first block theme that squeezes its way into the most popular list?

If “practice makes perfect,” Segota is now ahead of the curve by pushing her second theme to the directory. This makes her theme company only one of two with multiple block themes.

Clove is experimental, as all block themes are. It relies on the ever-shifting parts of the Gutenberg plugin, but it all comes together into a floral, nature-themed design. There are hints of inspiration from Twenty Twenty-One, but it feels more structured, less chaotic.

The design is less of a theme and more of a showcase of block patterns and styles. Even on the template level, it reuses those same elements across each of its seven templates, providing multiple entryways for users to tinker with its features.

Clove even includes pricing columns. I seem to recall writing about how theme authors could implement them via patterns just over a month ago. Maybe the Anariel Design team came to the same conclusion. Maybe they took my message and ran with it. I like to think the latter is true. Either way, the result is a beautiful, theme-specific pattern — the sort of artistry that is tough to achieve from a plugin.

Customizing the Pricing Columns pattern in the WordPress editor.

I am less of the fan of the overlapping and uneven columns in some of the designs designs, preferring some of the more-structured patterns, such as Three Quotes Images:

Three-column pattern that showcases images along with quotes.

Despite my general dislike of the uneven column style, my favorite piece of the entire theme is the Illustrations page template, which leans into that design method.

The page intro section is an announcement to the world, “Hey, check out my work.”

Illustrations template intro section.

I also like the Illustrations page template’s widgets-like area in the footer. It manages to stuff several blocks in without feeling too crowded. It even showcases a box for artists to highlight their next exhibition.

Illustrations page template footer “widget” area.

The Clove theme also registers 10 block styles for users to choose from. Most of them add different types of borders or frames to various elements. Plus, there is the fun-but-kind-of-an-oddball blob “Shape” for images.

Segota was one of several people to submit custom designs to the upcoming block pattern directory. There is some noticeable crossover between her current theme work and submissions, such as the Playful Gallery pattern that did not quite make the cut. Others, like her Recipe design, did. There is still an open invitation for people to contribute.

I am always like a kid in a toy store when a new block theme comes along, reaching out to grab the latest gadget. I want to see more experiments like Clove. Keep them coming, theme authors.

Side note: For people interested in the background-clipped text design used in Clove’s site logo, I opened a ticket to take us one step closer to doing it in the editor. Currently, users must create an off-site image and upload it.

WPTavern: Clove: A Showcase of Block Patterns by Anariel Design

Thu, 06/24/2021 - 01:23
Clove theme homepage.

Earlier today, Ana Segota tweeted and announced via the Anariel Design blog that her company had submitted its second block-based theme to WordPress.org. Clove is a more well-rounded follow-up to her first such theme, Naledi. It is currently under review for inclusion in the official directory, but anyone can give it a test run by snagging the ZIP file from its ticket. Or, just peruse the live demo.

This should officially be the 10th block-based theme to go live in the WordPress.org theme directory (note that a couple by Automattic are not tagged). That is assuming all goes well during the review process.

It has been a long road thus far, but 10 themes with the Full Site Editing tag is a notable milestone. The Q theme by Ari Stathopoulos was the first to land in the directory back in October 2020. Now, eight months later, there is still room for other theme authors to become pioneers in the space. With almost no competition, who will design that first block theme that squeezes its way into the most popular list?

If “practice makes perfect,” Segota is now ahead of the curve by pushing her second theme to the directory. This makes her theme company only one of two with multiple block themes.

Clove is experimental, as all block themes are. It relies on the ever-shifting parts of the Gutenberg plugin, but it all comes together into a floral, nature-themed design. There are hints of inspiration from Twenty Twenty-One, but it feels more structured, less chaotic.

The design is less of a theme and more of a showcase of block patterns and styles. Even on the template level, it reuses those same elements across each of its seven templates, providing multiple entryways for users to tinker with its features.

Clove even includes pricing columns. I seem to recall writing about how theme authors could implement them via patterns just over a month ago. Maybe the Anariel Design team came to the same conclusion. Maybe they took my message and ran with it. I like to think the latter is true. Either way, the result is a beautiful, theme-specific pattern — the sort of artistry that is tough to achieve from a plugin.

Customizing the Pricing Columns pattern in the WordPress editor.

I am less of the fan of the overlapping and uneven columns in some of the designs designs, preferring some of the more-structured patterns, such as Three Quotes Images:

Three-column pattern that showcases images along with quotes.

Despite my general dislike of the uneven column style, my favorite piece of the entire theme is the Illustrations page template, which leans into that design method.

The page intro section is an announcement to the world, “Hey, check out my work.”

Illustrations template intro section.

I also like the Illustrations page template’s widgets-like area in the footer. It manages to stuff several blocks in without feeling too crowded. It even showcases a box for artists to highlight their next exhibition.

Illustrations page template footer “widget” area.

The Clove theme also registers 10 block styles for users to choose from. Most of them add different types of borders or frames to various elements. Plus, there is the fun-but-kind-of-an-oddball blob “Shape” for images.

Segota was one of several people to submit custom designs to the upcoming block pattern directory. There is some noticeable crossover between her current theme work and submissions, such as the Playful Gallery pattern that did not quite make the cut. Others, like her Recipe design, did. There is still an open invitation for people to contribute.

I am always like a kid in a toy store when a new block theme comes along, reaching out to grab the latest gadget. I want to see more experiments like Clove. Keep them coming, theme authors.

Side note: For people interested in the background-clipped text design used in Clove’s site logo, I opened a ticket to take us one step closer to doing it in the editor. Currently, users must create an off-site image and upload it.

Pages