WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.3.0 Adds Front-End Styles for Core Blocks, Notices Framework, and Text and Image Quick Inserts

Gutenberg development is marching ahead with version 0.3.0 released today. New releases are shipping out on a weekly basis, so testers will get to discover another round of new additions after updating to the latest. The changelog has a full list of the 50 additions and improvements included in this release, but here’s a quick visual tour of a few of the most interesting user-facing features added this week.

Gutenberg developers have added front-end styles for core blocks, which means that content like cover images will now appear the same as they look in the admin in the editor. The demo content in the plugin has also been updated to display a full-width cover image. Below is an example of a standard width cover image on the front-end.

Version 3.0 also includes new text and image quick inserts, which appear when hovering over the blank space beneath the post content. This makes it faster to add the types of content that are used most frequently.

This release adds a framework for notices, which provides developers with reusable notices components, showing how to trigger notices and where they will show up. Gutenberg now displays notices on post save, schedule, and update.

Version 0.3.0 adds a new block descriptions component to blocks with inspector controls. Several of the core blocks now display descriptions. These will be especially useful when plugin developers begin adding their own custom blocks, offering users a quick way to see the purpose of the block.

This release adds more placeholder text to various blocks, as “placeholders are key,” according to the newly added design blueprints and principles included in Gutenberg’s documentation:

If your block can have a neutral placeholder state, it should. An image placeholder block shows a button to open the media library, a text placeholder block shows a writing prompt. By embracing placeholders we can predefine editable layouts, so all you have to do is fill out the blanks.

Version 0.3.0 also adds several enhancements that make it easier to edit and customize the image-oriented blocks with more options and settings:

  • Added “edit image” button to image and cover image blocks
  • Added option to visually crop images in galleries for nicer alignment
  • Added option to disable dimming the background in cover images
  • Added option to display date and to configure number of posts in LatestPosts block
  • Added text formatting to CoverImage block
  • Added toggle option for fixed background in CoverImage
  • Added placeholder for all text blocks
  • Added placeholder text for headings, quotes, etc

Active installs for the Gutenberg plugin have nearly doubled since last week and are at more than 900 sites. This is roughly 1% of the goal Matt Mullenweg set for testing on 100,000 sites before replacing the edit screen. The plugin may also be advertised in the dashboard in a future release, possibly 4.8.1, which is slated for the end of July.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Popular WordPress Plugins Slow to Add Meta Box Support for Calypso

During the State of the Word at WordCamp US 2016, Matt Mullenweg announced that Calypso was plugin aware. Calypso is a REST API and React powered application for the desktop created by Automattic in 2015.

Developers with plugins active on 1M sites or more received an email invitation from Andy Peatling to begin building support for Calypso.

“Calypso is now plugin-aware,” Mullenweg said. “This pull request was merged today, and as a way to bootstrap this, we’re opening up for what I just described for plugins to create Calypso interfaces for what they’re doing.

“Basically saying, if you’re using Calypso on a site that has one of these plugins, let’s say WooCommerce, all of a sudden in the interface, there will be all the WooCommerce stuff. It’ll talk to the API, it will run on the desktop just like the rest of Calypso, and it will only be loaded if the plugin is active.”

One of the major differences between Calypso and WP-Admin is that custom meta boxes added by plugins are not accessible in Calypso.

Nearly seven months since the announcement, popular WordPress plugins have struggled to add meta box support, including those maintained by Automattic. WordPress SEO, active on more than 3M sites, is among the plugins that were selected to take part in the experiment.

When asked about the progress of making WordPress SEO Calypso aware, Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast.com, declined to comment.

Automattic has seen little progress on the initiative, “No news to report at this time, but hope to have some soon,” Automattic representative Mark Armstrong said. WooCommerce has yet to add meta box support and settings pages in Calypso.

Gutenberg, WordPress’ new editor, is also built using React. One of the chief concerns expressed by users and developers is how it will support custom meta boxes built using the current PHP framework.

“I miss a lot of the meta boxes I’m used to seeing on the screen,” Aaron Jorbin said. “Things like Yoast SEO (on some sites) and custom taxonomies are just not shown. If every meta box ever made for WordPress needs to be remade, it sure is going to make developers lives a living hell.”

I want to use Calypso as a replacement for WP-Admin because it’s fast and I like the interface. However, I can’t do that until it supports meta boxes for the plugins I rely on, such as Edit Flow. Is the lack of custom meta box support for Calypso a sign of what’s to come with Gutenberg?


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordCamp Netherlands Reinstated for 2018

At WordCamp Europe I had the opportunity to speak with WordCamp Netherlands organizers Marcel Bootsman and Luc Princen, along with WordPress Global Community Team members Josepha Haden and Andrea Middleton. The group has had several conversations about the future of WordCamp Netherlands, which was shut down earlier this year in favor of city-based WordCamps, and have decided to reinstate the camp with a few conditions.

WordCamp Netherlands organizers are now allowed to begin planning the event again based on the requirement that the country host three city-based WordCamps first. There are currently two local camps on the schedule and a few others in the pre-planning stage. Lead organizer Marcel Bootsman is aiming to have 500 attendees for the next WordCamp Netherlands in 2018.

In a recent interview with Torque, Matt Mullenweg indicated that the outlook is good for future regional WordCamps.

“I think we got to the point where we were too rules-based and now we’re starting to open up the process and be more agile in the approach to WordCamps,” Mullenweg said. “We can start to think about regional WordCamps and topic-focused WordCamp…we want to think about which WordCamps make sense to move the community forward.”

In our interview below, WordPress Global Community Team members said they plan to take similar country-based WordCamp proposals on a case-by-case basis. WordCamp Netherlands is pioneering the way for other countries with active local communities to continue to push the boundaries of the previously “one-size-fits-all” approach to WordPress events.


Source: planet

WPTavern: WPWeekly Episode 279 – The Future of Underscores with David A. Kennedy

In this episode, John James Jacoby and I are joined by David A. Kennedy. Kennedy is a Theminator at Automattic and an accessibility advocate. Kennedy joined us to talk about the future of Underscores, a starter theme created by Automattic in 2012.

We discussed how Gutenberg may impact theme development in general and some of the lessons learned from their Components project. Kennedy tells us what trends he’s noticing with WordPress themes today and what the state of accessibility looks like for the theme landscape.

After the interview, Jacoby and I have a candid conversation about Gutenberg, what it means for WordPress, our experience with it thus far, and how it’s being developed.

Stories Discussed:

WordPress 4.9 to Focus on Managing Plugins and Themes, Gutenberg Targeted for 5.0

Links Mentioned:

Accessibility Weekly – Kennedy’s hand-curated newsletter about web-accessibility delivered weekly.
WordPress Theme Review Team
Gutenberg
Underscores

WPWeekly Meta:

Next Episode: Wednesday, July 5th 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Itunes: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via RSS: Click here to subscribe

Subscribe To WPWeekly Via Stitcher Radio: Click here to subscribe

Listen To Episode #279:


Source: planet

Matt: Heroin or Aspirin

The company Bayer is famous for inventing aspirin in 1898, which is arguably one of the world’s most beloved brands, and for good reason. But I was surprised to learn that just two weeks earlier, the same three guys who gave the world aspirin also created Bayer’s other big brand, heroin, which was marketed for about eight years as the world’s best cough medicine.

From Andrew Essex on his book about the End of Advertising. Hat tip: John Maeda.


Source: planet

BuddyPress: BuddyPress 2.9.0 Beta 2

Today sees BP 2.9 move to Beta 2 ( Beta 1 skipped for technical reasons ) testing phase and we would request all plugin authors, theme developers and other interested parties test out this release and feedback any issues found to our trac ticket home , or raise on the support forum.

Amongst other improvements and fixes to look out for are:

  • Fixing display of older activity comments.
  • Correction of message when removing friends that are not friends.
  • Group invites – omit sending to previously invited members.
  • Profile image upload fix for IE Edge breaksIOS fix.
  • Correct issue with hidden group & CSS specificity.
  • URL compatibility for LightSpeed.
  • Fix inability resizing of member avatar for cyrillic character filenames.

For a full list of commits see 2.9 tickets A full changelog will be available when we release the final version.

You can download the plugin to test from the WP repo BP 2.9.0-beta2 or grab a copy from our SVN repo.

Template changes

In this release there are a number of improvements to templates that add a level of improved a11y performance and markup changes for better semantics & Standards.

Theme authors may want to pay particular attention to changes to profile field visibility links and the profile field descriptions where significant markup changes are made that effect positioning of these elements – changesets for these are r11617 & r11618

Nouveau – new template pack

While we were definitely aiming for release of this feature for 2.9, the necessary final fixes and feature enhancements along with the necessary code reviews were going to prove very tight to get finished in time and would have likely meant a degree of rushing. We have decided that as this is such a major new feature, the first new theme in many years and that expectations will be high for it that we should not rush to put out a product that might be even slightly sub optimal.

However fear not we are very concerned that the project is focussed on through the last stages of 2.9 and has primary focus during the next release cycle to ensure an early completion.

It is further proposed that we’ll actually release Nouveau in a much shorter release cycle as 3.0, this way we can get an early release and not have the project just sitting in trunk until the end of the year.


Source: planet

WPTavern: Gutenberg 0.2.0 Released, Adds New Custom HTML and Cover Image Blocks

The Gutenberg plugin is moving fast with version 0.2.0 now available. This is the first release since the plugin was added to the directory last week. It includes two new block types, along with other new features, improvements, and fixes for many bugs that previously severely impaired the editor’s usability.

A new Custom HTML block allows users to add HTML and click to see a fast preview within the editor.

The new Cover Image block lets users place an image in the content with the background image fixed by default. Users can also specify text to have overlaid. Gutenberg developers emphasized that this feature should not be confused with the “Featured Image” panel which is already working in a similar way to how it has in the past.

While testing the Cover Image block with Twenty Seventeen and Twenty Fifteen, I was unable to get it working correctly on the frontend. Within the editor it works beautifully but once I launched the preview I found that, regardless of which positioning option I chose, I could not get the full image to display. The size of the image’s output was only as tall as the overlay text. If there was a right way to position it, I was unable to discover it. I checked with the development team and Matías Ventura said they are not loading styles for blocks in the front-end yet. Blocks like Cover Image that need CSS to display properly will not look right at the moment, but the plan is to focus on adding CSS for these this coming week.

A few of the notable fixes and improvements include the following:

  • Added button to delete a block
  • Added button to open block settings in the inspector
  • Rename “Freeform” block to “Classic Text”
  • Added support for pages and custom post types
  • Added ability to select all blocks with ctrl/command+A
  • Automatically generate wrapper class for styling blocks
  • Avoid triggering multi-select on right click
  • Avoid being keyboard trapped on editor content

As of today, Gutenberg has more than 500 active installs. The development team is planning on shipping weekly releases to the WordPress.org plugin. If you want to keep up with the releases, subscribe to the make.wordpress.org/core blog. Feedback is welcome on Gutenberg’s GitHub repository as well as in the #core-editor channel on WordPress Slack.


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordPress 4.9 to Focus on Managing Plugins and Themes, Gutenberg Targeted for 5.0

photo credit: Oli Dale

Matt Mullenweg, the overall product lead for core releases in 2017, has published an overview for what users can expect in WordPress versions 4.9 and 5.0. After the success of 4.8 and the initial release of Gutenberg last week, Mullenweg is aiming to see the plugin installed on 100K+ sites during the next few months before merging it into core. He also suggested that WordPress could put a promo for the plugin in the upcoming 4.8.1 release.

“In the meantime I think we can do another user-focused 4.9 release with the theme of editing code and managing plugins and themes, doing v2s and polishing some features we brought into WP last year,” Mullenweg said. “Weston and Mel already have some good ideas there, and we can start to discuss and brainstorm at the Dev chat next week. This will also allow the Gutenberg-driven release to be 5.0, which is a nice-to-have but not the primary driver of this decision.”

Mullenweg elaborated on changes to the release process in a post on his personal blog. The original idea was for releases to be driven by improvements to the three focus areas (the editor, customizer, and REST API), but the radical changes that Gutenberg introduces to the editing experience means that customization improvements will need to wait until the editor is a little further along:

Mel and Weston took this as an opportunity to think about not just the “Customizer”, which is a screen and code base within WP, but really thinking in a user-centric way about what it means to customize a site and they identified a number of low-hanging fruits, areas like widgets where we could have a big user impact with relatively little effort.

WordPress is littered with little inconsistencies and gaps in the user experience that aren’t hard to fix, but are hard to notice the 500th time you’re looking at a screen.

I didn’t think we’d be able to sustain the effort on the editor and still do a meaningful user release in the meantime, but we did, and I think we can do it again.

During this week’s core development meeting, contributors brainstormed more specific items for inclusion in 4.9. The ability to schedule customizer changesets is one feature they discussed as a possibility. Customizer component co-maintainer Weston Ruter described the feature as “adding statuses for changesets: being able to draft a changeset to come back to later, and then to be able to schedule it to go live.”

The Customize Snapshots feature plugin contains the UI for this and Customize Changesets, the term for the underlying infrastructure required for saving a Customizer session as a draft, was added in WordPress 4.7. Adding the UI in WordPress 4.9 would allow users to share Customizer sessions, preview them outside of the iframe, and schedule them to publish at a future date.

Andrew Roberts, a contributor to TinyMCE, said they should have a new mobile-optimized UX, which would result in a responsive toolbar, that could land within the proposed 4.9 timeframe.

“I would wonder if we couldn’t tweak the UI to be closer to Gutenberg (e.g. white toolbars),” Roberts said. “I had raised this idea before and it was thought it was better to wait until Gutenberg, but I remain of the opinion we could iterate a little bit closer to get users used to it.”

Contributors also discussed the possibility of changing the default font in the editor to ease the transition to Gutenberg in the future. Currently, Gutenberg uses system fonts for UI and Noto Serif for the editor text.

Mel Choyce, who is heading the Customizer focus with Weston Ruter, said she hopes the team can finish the Gallery Widget for 4.9. Current progress on the widget can be found on GitHub.

WordPress 4.8.1 is tentatively planned for the last week in July, and contributors anticipate including a fix for some issues with the new Text Widget stripping out code.


Source: planet

WPTavern: WordPress’ New Gutenberg Editor Now Available as a Plugin for Testing

One of the featured sessions at WordCamp Europe 2017 was Om Malik’s interview with Matt Mullenweg, followed by a 20-minute Q&A from the audience. After showing a preview of the new Gutenberg editor with dynamic blocks replacing widgets, Mullenweg announced that it is now available as a plugin on WordPress.org.

Gutenberg has been in development for six months and is ready for testing, but its developers do not recommend using it on production sites. Anyone interested in the future of WordPress will want to take it for a test drive, as the new editor will revolutionize the way users think about creating and editing content. The demo video at WordCamp Europe also showed Gutenberg working smoothly in a mobile context.

At first glance, it may appear that WordPress is trying to copy its more recent competitors (Medium, Wix, and others) to keep pace, but the 14-year-old software has offered many of these content capabilities for years. Mullenweg explained how the new editor simply unifies the UI into blocks that can be placed anywhere. Gutenberg is set to replace widgets, the HTML UI of shortcodes, and blocks previously offered through the TinyMCE toolbar.

“We’ve taken stabs at this before, if you imagine our previous efforts with post formats – to make it easier to do certain types of media or quote posts or things like that,” Mullenweg said. “That whole concept can now flatten to just being a block. Working all that in, it’s bringing things we’ve been thinking about for a very long time in WordPress.”

If you’ve ever sat down with a new user to introduce them to WordPress, then you probably answered a long list of painful questions regarding the many varied and confusing ways of creating content. Gutenberg has the potential to make WordPress much easier to use.

“Right now WordPress makes you learn a lot of concepts – shortcodes, widgets, the stuff that exists inside TinyMCE as blocks today – and people rightly wonder why they can’t use those things everywhere,” Mullenweg said. “What we’re trying to do is shift it so that you only have to learn about blocks once and once you learn about the image block, that can be in a post, in a sidebar, in a page, in a custom post type, and it will work exactly the same way. Whatever is integrated with it, let’s say a plugin that brings in your Google Photos or your Dropbox, that will now work everywhere, too.”

Mullenweg said his previous attempt at replacing TinyMCE lasted approximately two years and they never ended up shipping it. Getting Gutenberg off the ground at this time allows WordPress to take the best of what competitors in both open source and commercial spaces have been doing, and improve upon it.

“Medium started five or six years ago,” Mullenweg said. “Browser technology, what you can do, has advanced quite a bit. I think this actually allows us to leapfrog past some of the really great visual editors, because we’re able to build on the shoulders of things like Medium, Wix, Squarespace, and others that have come before us.”

Gutenberg First Impressions and Concerns

The Gutenberg plugin is now active on more than 300 sites and first impressions are rolling in. This is the first time the new block editor has been easily accessible to any user who wants to try it. Gutenberg also offers a somewhat unique testing experience in that it creates its own menu inside WordPress, so users don’t have to choose between the old editor and the new one. Activating Gutenberg doesn’t make it an either/or experience and users can test at their own convenience.

From my initial testing, I found that Gutenberg provides a clean and enjoyable experience. Up until this point many of us couldn’t fully anticipate what Gutenberg would look like, but the interface is very similar to what one might imagine for an improved “distraction-free writing experience.” Gutenberg provides a more minimal UI for both the visual and text editors, although inserting blocks seems to be less functional when using the text editor.

There are still many bugs and rough edges, but this interface appears to be a natural evolution of WordPress’ content editing experience. It feels like WordPress. The editor pulls in many of the elements that have worked well historically and introduces a minimal UI that makes it possible for anyone to build a beautiful, feature-rich post without knowing any HTML. Gutenberg is the most exciting thing to happen to WordPress in a long time.

“The default state is likely my favorite ‘Distraction Free Writing’ implementation in WordPress yet,” WordPress core committer Aaron Jorbin said in a post listing his initial observations. I’m simultaneously able to focus on my content, and yet I have all the tools I need for writing. I don’t have all the tools I need for content creation.”

Matt Cromwell, co-author of GiveWP, also wrote up his first impressions of Gutenberg with high compliments for the new writing experience.

“In recent years we’ve seen Medium become the de facto elegant writing experience,” Cromwell said. “Medium is able to do that though by limiting the formatting and layout options dramatically. Gutenberg has the potential to allow writing to be as elegant as Medium or more so, plus deliver far more flexibility with layouts and content types.”

One area of uncertainty for WordPress developers is how Gutenberg will handle support for plugins and maintain a high level of performance with a large number of custom blocks added.

“I miss a lot of the meta boxes I’m used to seeing on the screen,” Aaron Jorbin said. “Things like Yoast SEO (on some sites) and custom taxonomies are just not shown. If every metabox ever made for WordPress needs to be remade, it sure is going to make developers’ lives a living hell.”

Matt Cromwell also detailed a nightmare scenario of having more custom blocks than the current UI can handle.

“What happens when you have 25 plugins that all want to load 25 custom blocks into that tiny ‘Insert’ dropdown?” Cromwell said. “Will there be a search? Or will it just scroll forever?”

Mullenweg specifically addressed some of these concerns in his Q&A session at WordCamp Europe.

“A lot of people have a lot of things built into the edit screen, so part of the reason we’re putting it out there as a plugin first and also pushing it so hard to get as many people to install it as possible, is so that everyone who has posting and editing screen adjustments can rethink them to be beautiful within this new framework,” Mullenweg said.

Mullenweg anticipates that WordPress will release version 4.9 before merging Gutenberg, because he wants to see it tested on more than 100,000 sites before replacing the edit screen. If all goes well, the new editor could land in WordPress 5.0.

“I think that some things that people did, like TinyMCE toolbar things, aren’t really needed any more,” Mullenweg said. “Stuff that people did in the past with custom post types might be better as blocks. It gives us a real opportunity to reimagine a lot of the user interactions and flows that today we’ve taken for granted on the edit screen for five or six years.”

Check out Mullenweg’s WCEU 2017 interview below to see the live demo of Gutenberg and make sure to take a few minutes to install the plugin to see it in action for yourself.


Source: planet

Matt: Peak Tea Demand

I found this funny anecdote from a CNET article about the future of power:

Power and utility companies must exactly balance supply with what people consume at any given moment. UK grid operators famously must cope with a demand surge after the TV soap opera “EastEnders” ends, when thousands of people start boiling water for tea.


Source: planet