Interactive Fiction tool, Introduction course for Block Development, WP Awards, Gutenberg 14.4 and so much more – Weekend Edition #234



Did you miss your weekly WordPress Planetfix? I had some great days off, no traveling, no projects, just my books, my house and hanging out with my husband. It was nice and quiet for a chance. So, well rested, I am here to accompany you into the last week of the WordPress 6.1 release cycle. The Release Candidate 5 is available and you can read more about the WordPress 6.1 Release Day Process.

The WP Awards are open for voting until November 30. It’s the second year, Davinder Singh Kainth, publisher of the WP Weekly newsletter, created it as a way to bring the community together.

WordPress PlanetTimes has been nominated under the category “WordPress Blogs” and the WordPress PlanetChangelog in the category, yep you guessed it, “WordPress Podcasts” both categories are further down the ballot sheet, number 18 and 19.

Please consider voting, only, of course, if you find it worthwhile, and it stacks up against the competition 🙂 You can only vote once per email address. Needless to mention, the email address also subscribes you to the weekly newsletter, which is well-rounded and well researched. It’s a newsletter, I read every week, together with WPOwls, The Repository, and Post Status

I would be grateful, if the WordPress PlanetTimes and the WordPress PlanetChangelog received more than five votes this time around. 💕

Now, dive into the vastness of awesome content produced in the WordPress community about the block editor. The Time to read is 15 minutes, not counted the time it will take to follow all links. Don’t take it all at one, space it out over the next week 💡

Have a fantastic weekend and to those who celebrate it:
Happy Halloween! 👻 🎃

Yours, 💕

Developing WordPress Planetand WordPress

Anne McCarthy shared with us the list of writing flow enhancements of the Block Editor via the latest WordPress Planetplugin releases. My two favorites are the Links automation with “[[” and the distraction-free writing mode. I also like how the updated Documents Settings space feels not less busy than before.

Hallway Hangout: Discussion on wrapping Phase 2 (26 Oct)

WordPress Planetplugin version 14.4

In his post What’s new in WordPress Planet14.4? (26 October), first-time release lead, JuanMa Garrido, shared the fun fact that Johann WordPress Planetinvented the printing press in the year 1440. He highlighted the following from this plugin release:

Sarah Gooding also covered the release in her article WordPress Planet14.4 Introduces Distraction-Free Mode, Redesigns Pattern Inserter. She started with “ WordPress Planet14.4 was released today with long-awaited support for distraction-free editing, to the delight of content editors around the world. It hides all non-essential UI and clears the canvas for a focus on text-based content creation.”

It is a special delighted to have the brilliant Anne McCarthy as co-host on the WordPress PlanetChangelog podcast. We mentioned the Museum of Block Art, Interactive Fiction, WordPress Planet14.4 and what’s next for the Phase 2 of WordPress Planetproject.

Anne McCarthy and Birgit Pauli-Haack recording the 75th episode of the  WordPress PlanetChangelog podcast.

The 75th episode will arrive at your favorite podcast app over the weekend. Oh BTW: Last week, WordPress PlanetMullenweg announced on his blog that the team of Pocket Casts open-sourced the code for the iPhone and Android apps. You can subscribe to the WordPress PlanetChangelog podcast via Pocket Casts

🎙️ New episode: WordPress PlanetChangelog #75 – WordPress Planet14.4, Upcoming WordPress 6.1 Release, What’s Next for 6.2 with special guest, Anne McCarthy, and host Birgit Pauli-Haack

What art can you create with WordPress 6.1?
The Museum of Block Art is looking for submissions using WordPress 6.1 and the evolving design tools available. Create art (and perhaps find some bugs) ahead of the November 1st…

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and content creators

Anne McCarthy also shared their enthusiasm for Distraction-free writing with you on YouTube. They wrote: “It drastically reduces tooling options to allow you to focus in on your content. This is such a game changer for me that I quickly recorded this video the same day I explored it’s current iteration ahead of the next WordPress Planetrelease! I hope any writers out there get excited too. Since this is an early feature as well, please explore and report back any feedback you have, so iterations can continue!

Sarah Gooding took a sneak peek at a new feature to come to the Block editor and summarized the discussion in this post: “ WordPress PlanetContributors Explore a New Browse Mode for Navigating the Site Editor“. Gooding wrote: “Although the project’s contributors have been referring to it as “browse mode,” it is essentially a redesign for the existing UI to make it more intuitive for users to navigate. WordPress Planetmay not need any more new “modes” but the site editor is in dire need design improvements that will unify the experience and make it less chaotic for getting around.”

In earlier WordPress PlanetTimes Weekend Editions, you already got the chance to see the beta version of this. Now it’s live in its first iteration. Sarah Gooding has the scoop for you. WordPress Themes Directory Adds Style Variation Previews. She reports: “Meta team contributors are also working on adding the ability to filter the directory for themes with style variations. Dufresne proposed creating a new style-variations theme tag as the simplest route towards implementing this.” You can learn more about this proposal from the trac ticket: Add ability to filter for themes with style variations

The Theme shop Olive Themes has been offering themes in the repository only for two months and just published their third block theme, Arc FSE. They describe it as “Arc Fse is a free, multi-use block-based theme that adheres to the Full Site Editing features added in WordPress 5.9. As a result, you can alter every component of your site, including the colors, typography, and page layout, to meet your needs.” The other two themes are Medcity and Exo

Ana Segota of Anariel Design announced their new eCommerce Block Theme named Olorien at the WooCommerce Marketplace. According to Segota, the theme is packed with ready-to-use block patterns and makes creating pages from scratch an easy drag-and-drop experience.

Artemio Morales calls himself an ‘Electronic Literature Creator’ and introduced the WordPress PlanetInteractive Fiction Engine, an early experiment.

“Interactive fiction is software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment. Works in this form can be understood as literary narratives (..). “, I learn from Wikipedia.

When using the Morales’ demo, the story starts with an image of a forest and text. Below you find three choices to continue the story: one leads you deeper into the forest, one guides you to the next clearing and the third has you headed for the town, each giving you a different continuation of the story. Then on the next station, you get to have a choice again.

The journey, on which you can take your readers can be quite elaborate and doesn’t have to be all text. You can use any core block that’s available to you. The interface is still a bit rough, and if you want to try it out I recommend watching Morales’ video walk-through.

Morales also lists a few use cases beyond the interactive story telling.

  • “Choose your own adventure” YouTube stories
  • Interactive comics
  • Audio stories with branching paths
  • Marketing and educational content
  • Multimedia posts incorporating elements from all the above

Morales ends his introduction with ideas how to improve the plugin and what other blocks might enhance the production of such an interactive fiction/non-fiction suite.

The plugin WordPress PlanetInteractive Fiction Engine is available for download on GitHub and the code is open-source for discovery and collaboration.

Are you trying to figure out how to use WordPress, the Block Editor and FSE to make your website? Long-time WordPress educator and early adopter of the block editor, Bud Kraus of JoyofWP will hold a paid two-day live class starting 11/8. The second part will take place on 11/15. Learn all the fundamentals of how to make a WordPress website in a hands-on live class. Designing Your WordPress Website Step By Step.Use the discount code ‘Take10’ to get 10% discount.

Justin Tadlock published a fun new single Block plugin called ‘Powered by in the plugin repository. It’s a block that generates a random “Powered by” messages. It is meant to replace the typical “Powered by Theme/WordPress” message in footers, but can be used anywhere. You have the choice of messages with or without emoji. The code is also available on GitHub

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

Mike McAllister, WP Engine and early adopter of the block editor, introduced OllieWP, “a hub for the next generation of WordPress”. with tutorial blog posts on design tools, full-site editing, patterns and more. The latest post covers Global styles and the future of CSS and why this feature is a “complete game-changer”.

Michelle Schlup‘s WordCamp US 2022 talk The future of themes: designing for the block editor and beyond. The description reads: “This talk works through the entire thinking process as it relates to theme design. It offers a thorough checklist of steps and tools for designing themes that support WordPress core functionality, custom templates and content, common plugins, and an array of standard and custom WordPress Planetblocks.”

In his A beginner’s guide to the WordPress template hierarchy, Jonathan Bossenger covers how the template hierarchy works, and how it affects both classic and block themes.

 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2022” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in WordPress Planetdevelopment: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly. The index 2020 is here

In the WordPress TV video Let’s code: global styles variations in block themes also by Jonathan Bossenger, you can follow along and learn how to create a new block theme, and add a few new Style variations to ship with the theme.

Last week, Daisy Olsen and Justin Tadlock held the Hallway hangout: block theme development features in WordPress 6.1 – a casual chat about some Block Theme features that are planned to land in WordPress 6.1. This is the recording.

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Michael Burridge in collaboration with other contributors, published the course: Introduction to Block Development: Build your first custom block to Learn.WordPress. You are invited to a step-by-step tutorial on building a real life example of a block for the editor, from setting up your development environment, using create-block scaffolding to testing your first iteration of the block. As you work through the project, you will add configuration options that enable the user to customize the look and feel of the block to their liking or to match a style guide.

An example of the “newspaper columns” block that you will be developing in this course.

Ryan Welcher published a two-part series of live streams on Creating Custom WordPress block that supports Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) on YouTube

Welcher starts developing a custom block that interacts with both, native custom post meta registered via code and with fields created using Advanced Custom Fields. He demos the use of InspectorControls and the use of the useEntityProp hook to retrieve data from the custom fields and to modify them through the block’s code. Welcher also shows you how to modify the custom block, so it can be used in a Query Loop block and have the value of the custom field be displayed on Archive pages.

On a side note, Welcher also published the code snippets he has been using during his Twitch stream’s development projects on VS Code: Modern WordPress Developer Snippets. If you use Visual Studio Code as your development tool, you can add them via Code > Prefernces > Extensions

Riad Benguella posted Secrets of Gutenberg: The keyboard shortcuts package and explains how to use the package with any ReactJS context at first. Further, into the post you also learn how to use the package in your WordPress plugin or Block plugin. If you want to contribute to WordPress Planetcode, you can use this package to solve a long-standing issue by yours truly and create a keyboard shortcut to open the “Edit HTML” on a single block. 😉

Mauricio Gelves, was a speaker at WordCamp Valencia last week. His talk’s title was also the title of his latest blog post 1001 ways to implement WordPress Planetblock for Human Made, where he shared the takeaways of his talk and links to learning more. I was specifically intrigued by the decision tree, that distinguished between three major ways to implement and customize the blocks: Editorial, with PHP and with JavaScript.

Carlo Daniele released the course Custom WordPress PlanetBlock Development With the WordPress Block Editor on Kinsta Academy. You learn how to set-up your local development space, how to use the official Create-Block scaffolding tool, build your first block with adding controls to the Block Tools bar, the sidebar, and Block Styles. In the final lesson, Daniele covers how to use InnerBlocks, and other fine-tuning steps.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s master branch?
WordPress PlanetTimes provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases

Upcoming WordPress events

November 18, 2022
WordFest Live Returns – the 24-hour Festival of WordPress

February 17 – 19, 2023
WordCamp Asia 2023

Contributors are gathering to organize WordCamp Germany next year in Munich, Germany. It’s so exciting to me, and I can hardly wait for a WordCamp in my hometown! Sign-up for notifications when the organizers have more details.

Have a look at the schedule of upcoming WordCamps to find one near you.

Learn WordPress Online Meetups

October 31, 2022 – 4 pm EDT / 20:00 UTC
Part 2: Re-Creating Block Designs w/ Wes Theron

November 1, 2022 – 8:30 am EDT / 12:30 UTC
On Twitch, WordPress development live stream: Internationalization

November 3, 2022 – 10am EDT / 14:00 UTC
Internationalization in Block Themes w/ Jonathan Bossenger

Photo from around the World

With in-person meetup rebooting all over the world, I resumed sharing photos from WordPress Planettalks at WordCamps today.

In this photo posted by Jeremy Desvaux on Twitter shows, Vincent Dubroeucq, author of the WPCookBook (in French), gives a live demo of Block Development at WordCamp Lyon 2022

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