‘Coming Up’ – Episode 2

We discussed the following topics:

We crib from Anne’s post called Roadmap to 6.3.

And get into the following areas:

  • How it’s easier for users to edit pages, manage navigation, and adjust styles all directly in the Site Editor.
  • How the UI provides detailed, relevant information when exploring different parts of the site, such as showing the number of posts per page when viewing relevant blog templates.
  • You can see how to access to revisions across post types (templates, template parts) and styles.
  • You have the ability to preview block themes.
  • A command tool to speed up workflows.
  • Lots of new curated patterns.
  • There’s font management options.
  • And a few new blocks.

There’s some additional link here as well:

Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: This episode of the WP Builds podcast is brought to you by GoDaddy Pro. The home of manage WordPress hosting that includes free domain SSL and 24 7 support. Bundle that with The Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30% of new purchases. Find out more at go dot me slash WP Builds.

Hey. Hello. Hi there. Hi, everybody. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Good. Whatever. Good. Just good. It's Anne. It's Anne McCarthy. Look, there's Anne. Yeah. Look. Woo. It's am from Automattic. She's here today to chat to us about WordPress. 6.3 or in fact anything which might be coming up in the future.

We threw this together at the last minute, so we'll see if anybody joins us live. If they do, that'd be great. If not, it'll become a piece of posterity. But Anne, how are you?

[00:01:08] Anne McCarthy: I'm doing well. I had coffee and it's only 9:00 AM so they Oh, so sorry. Days ahead of me.

[00:01:13] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, it's not 9:00 AM here.

It's, wow, you really are on the other side of the planet. It's five o'clock in the afternoon here. Anna and I hopefully are gonna be both setting off fairly soon for Word Camp Europe. It'd be nice to finally see you. Hopefully I'll see you. That'll be

[00:01:28] Anne McCarthy: lovely. Oh, for sure. Yeah, I'll be bouncing around. I'm a little bit introverted, but you'll catch me at some point.

[00:01:34] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. You are introvert. Oh, okay. Okay. That'll be interesting. Yeah. Yeah. So we're gonna talk about WordPress 6.3. If you fancy making some comments, please do just go for it. If you're on WP Builds.com four slash live, you have to be logged into a Google account because we've got YouTube comments and obviously if you're on Facebook, that's fine.

But you might need to click the little link in the top to let Restream, which is the platform that we use, know what we're doing. But let's crack on with it the whole point of this podcast and Anne's on a really strict deadline. So we've got about 40 minutes to go, so we'll just crack straight on with it.

The whole premise of this episode of this show is all about a piece that Anne wrote. On the 18th of May, which is a very nice day for me. That's my birthday, so I was Aw, I know. Thank you. I know it was ideal. 6.3 roadmap to 6.3, and in that piece, and just laid out a load of the different bits and pieces that are coming up in WordPress.

And as with all WordPress releases it every time, it just seems to get bigger. It felt like this was a really big one. We talked about it on the, this week weekend WordPress show, and there was just too much really to go into. So the endeavor here was to let Anne talk about what's coming up. If anybody wants to drop in a comment with concerns or thoughts or theories or whatever feel free to do that. I'm gonna share my screen in a moment with all the different articles and so on. But this piece you can find, it's on make.wordpress.org and just go search for pieces on the 18th and May, 2023, roadmap to 6.3. So I was hoping that Anne wouldn't mind if I clicked around on the screen a little bit and talked about some of the different components that we've got going on, why they've been pushed to 6.3, what it is that they're hoping to achieve, and so on and so forth.

So I thought we'd start here if that's all right. Anne, I'm showing a part of the screen. Here, which is this sort of like little design area. We've got a little bit of a new workflow for creating content in WordPress. We've seen this design before. We've got like the black panel down the left hand side, but things have changed considerably.

Do you want to just let us know what's going on?

[00:03:41] Anne McCarthy: Oh gosh, yeah. I can jump right into that. To start, there is work being done to introduce content editing. And so if you were part of the outreach program way back in the day before we're press 5.9, you would've known that there was a level of content editing in the site editor before.

But this actually is aiming to introduce that and introduce it with restriction. So you can see when you're editing the template, you can see when you're editing the content. This is going through that pages section now, and it's actually demoing some live poll requests. So this is not like a Figma prototype.

This is actually pulling together a couple different. Pull request and showing off what's possible. And so you'll see here this is what the content editing might look like, where you're editing the about us, the. Page Title S selecting a featured image. But as you're doing so you can see there's that edit template and if you click on anything that's in the template it'll actually switch you over and give you a little notification.

So there's some good friction there. Yeah. Which is a big thing of feedback that we've seen. I've actually been itching. The PR that's been working on this is not merged yet, and I have been waiting. To test it with the outreach program. So just a little shout out to the FSC outreach program where you can test some of the things that we'll be talking about today.

This one is not yet ready, but it's very exciting. And this is the command center that the name is T b D. We're actually having a huge discussion in GitHub about the name, but the command center, which we'll get into a better

[00:05:04] Nathan Wrigley: later. Yeah. We can get into that and allow you to jump around. So in this interface I think I'm right for the first time.

You're able to, you're able to create. You're able to edit, amend pages plus templates, all in the same interface. So how are you coping with that? Because to me that feels like quite a nice thing, but also it's quite possible that you will miss what you are doing and you'll actually be in the template as opposed to the page and you'll get confused and you'll update the template and you'll, it's easy to fix, right?

But it, the fact that they're all basically identical to look at is interesting.

[00:05:39] Anne McCarthy: Yeah, it is. And it touches on a problem that so I work for Automattic, which also obviously runs wordpress.com. And so something we hear a lot from press.com and that's one of the feedback sources that I'll sometimes tap into is around people adding homepage content to their template and then that being shared across everywhere that templates used.

So not understanding the distinction between the two. So this actually aims to help that problem by demarcating clearly where the post content is versus where the template is. I do think it also allows you to build your site out pretty extensively without ever leading the site editor, which is pretty cool.

So part of this is also looking into, if you were to add a new page in this experience, how you can incorporate patterns and make it easier to have a new page set up as well and just have a more visual. Visual way to see all the pieces of your site all within the site editor.

Now, are we getting rid of, Debbie admin posts and pages? No. That will, and so some. And which I think is necessary right now. Alongside the pages stuff, there's also work being done to add a navigation section. So right now there's a lot of work that I also wanna test around showing off the different menus.

And this was actually pulled in 6.2, which was another post from yours truly talking about why we made that decision to remove that. I just tend to announce all the fun stuff right now. So we had to make that decision to remove it because there, it just wasn't very, it was only showing one menu.

The functionality wasn't quite there and it was a lot of confusion around which menu was being shown. And now with this release, we've learned from that and are now trying to polish it. So it'll show both multiple menus if you have multiple menus. And then also if there's a single menu, being able to just see it and actually visually move it around.

Which also is another big point of feedback around navigation experience. Lemme just

[00:07:28] Nathan Wrigley: slide to a bit. There's also, oh, sorry. Oh, yes. Slide you carry. No. Please. You carry on.

[00:07:33] Anne McCarthy: Yeah. The other thing I wanted to mention, so we have this new pages section we also have the new navigation section that has a similar look and then there's styles, and then the styles just basically I don't think it actually shows it.

[00:07:45] Nathan Wrigley: No, it's not on this. Yeah, we can show that on another one in

[00:07:48] Anne McCarthy: a minute, can't we? Yeah, we can show it on another one. But it, this, you can see it's basically taking the 6.2 experience of this like dark gray sidebar, which a lot of people call like the site view. And then if you're editing the template, it's like the edit view, so this site view and the design section.

Goes from having basically a couple different items to having a lot. So you'll see like design, you'll see navigation you'll see pages, you'll see templates, and then there's gonna be a new thing that actually just landed at 15.9 called library. And that's part of pulling in template parts and reusable blocks and potentially in the future patterns.

So that concept of a library also hearkens to phase three, which is thinking about having a kind of a library of items so you can see little. Connection points between this release and potentially wants to come in the future. That's a lot of stuff, as you said.

[00:08:38] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, a really large amount. So try to pick it out. I think the, using this video is actually quite helpful to me, but I'm just wondering with this pages interface, we can obviously see, so we've got this black sidebar, which is becoming like the new normal, and we've got pages here so we can see that we're editing pages and there they are on this site.

Look, we've got eight or nine or something like that. I'm just wondering on. Sites, whether we've got like 150 pages, how that might look. So

[00:09:04] Anne McCarthy: it shows the top 10. Okay. And then if you wanna do more right now, if you click manage All Pages currently, it pops you back to WP Admin Got it in the pages section, which is a little bit jarring, but in the future there will be like a list view of that.

I will say one of the things to note about this is you'll see the page. It says Welcome, it says front page, and then blog. It says postage. One of the things that's also been done that It's hard to understand right now as like the postage template dynamic, like where you're having these like dynamic pages, so the 4 0 4 page is technically a template.

So like understanding how that works and how those relationships work. And then also like understanding when you've set. What you said as your homepage and where that is. And so those were the little icon

[00:09:48] Nathan Wrigley: changes. Yeah. So these little icons here, indicative of that. So this this has I don't re, it look, looks like a header and a sidebar.

And the same thing here for 4 0 4. So 4 0 4 search. But these are pages, they've got the same icon about to manifesto. Yeah. And then we've got your two standard WordPress homepage and welcome. They stand apart as slightly different. I'm just wondering if I was to, is do you know, is the future is the intention to make this interface, the interface for editing?

So you said, if you want to go to manage all pages, you can go back to the old WP admin, and then from there you'd click on edit. Would is the intention for that ultimately to end up back here? If you edit, it'll always end up in a UI like this.

[00:10:35] Anne McCarthy: I do think there needs to be, there's an issue that Mathias opened a while ago called like pathfinding that I'm increasingly like thinking about because in pathfinding, meaning imagine you go to the category section and JP admin and you click to edit a category like.

Is there a way that we could also connect that to the site editor? And edit the category template, for example. Like right now, those things are completely separate. I think there will be a future where there'll need to be different pathways in as well as like isolated experiences. So that's one thing that I find really interesting with the site editor is we've done a lot to unify and then also have distinct interfaces.

So things like. The isolated template, part editing mode. It's like where you're just looking at the template part and just editing the template part, like there's a need for both. I do think we will see more pathways in, and maybe it's like we keep DM and the poach pages section, but then the template that the page is using is a bit more surfaced and maybe there's a nice connection point between the two as you're switching between them.

I'm not really sure yet. I think that's. To be determined. No.

[00:11:35] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It feels like one ui the best, one UI would be the ultimate, but obviously that's a difficult place to get to. So we can edit these things. I'm just gonna slide around. Here we go. So if you were, for example, to click on the about page.

This is what you are gonna be looking at, and you can see there's some little detail on the left. I'm guessing this was for the featured image, but I'm not entirely sure what this, that's what this whole panel is for. You can obviously edit the title and so on, and then here's the interface for that.

It's fairly minimal. You've got the usual array of things that you can do, but you're missing. Quite a few of the bits in that interface and then we step out into this one. This is more familiar, but you can also in this exact same interface, edit the template. And the only indication that you've got that you're doing that at the moment, I think is the Breadcrumb trail at the top.

So you can see that you have, you've come from about us, it's governed by the this template. So if you fiddle with this template and save it, you're about us page. And all the other pages that might be attached to this template are gonna. Are gonna be updated as well, but I'm just wondering how easy that is to mess

[00:12:44] Anne McCarthy: up.

There's a notification too, but Yeah, I'm with you. I wanna test this as soon as possible. I think we need to get some, like real world feedback and get people in it and figure out if it actually is enough. I also think that point you mentioned at the very end of and any other page that's using this template, that is a key thing and like something that I'm hearing more and more about is Let's take a simple example.

Someone wants to update their header across the entire site, right? Which template part do you pick? How do you know which header template part is used across all the templates? Do you have to manually, and that? That's one of the things right now is a lot of times people, especially if they're creating a brand new one, they then have to manually make sure to insert it into each.

Template and it's that shouldn't be the case. There should be a way for us to streamline that. And so that's one of things that I'm thinking

about too. I'm guessing

[00:13:30] Nathan Wrigley: that somebody like you or somebody like me is fairly familiar that this, that there's a template which is bound to a variety of things, but it isn't showing there is it.

And and I guess. A novice might think, okay, this is the template for that page. I'm gonna modify it here, and the about USS page will be changed. So I'm gonna make the image nice and wide as they do in this example, and then go back and look at another page and be like, oh gosh, it did that. Oh, whoops.

Yeah. Yeah. Whoops. Very.

[00:13:57] Anne McCarthy: So I think you need to. Communicate that like potentially it's when you're saving, potentially it's when you're switching in. I don't know how we can surface it. It may be something for 6.4. So even though 6.3 is putting a wrap on phase two and is aiming to put a wrap on phase two, I think work will for sure continue to polish this experience in 6.4.

Yeah. Yeah, it's a great call out.

[00:14:17] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, it's nice. I do this interface. I'm just keen to get my hands on it and see what it is. I wanna find that command center bit again. See if I can sort, oh, it's at the very end. Was it right at the end? Okay. Okay. So this is another very big thing Anne mentioned that we don't know what the name is gonna be, but it's, if, I dunno what the equivalent is on a pc, on a Windows machine, but on the Mac we have this thing called Spotlight, which is built into.

Mac Os, but also there's commercial rivals like Alfred and things like that, which which allow you to do, you hit a keyboard shortcut and all of a sudden you, you've just got everything on the Mac. Available to you and I guess the enterprise here is the same thing. You hit a keyboard shortcut, you get this tiny little modal, which is text.

You start to type, and as you begin to type all of the different permutations of what that could be, start to come out. So in this case, you can see that W E L C O has led us to, okay, you've got a page called welcome, but presumably if you typed in, I don't know, new, it would give you options for new post, new page, new.

Whatever. And then you can get to where you're trying to go quickly. Is this a serious, is this, is this something which the team is serious about, do you think? Or is this just like we're trying out? Yeah,

[00:15:31] Anne McCarthy: I think it's pretty serious. There's actually I think it's a great extensibility point.

I actually included it as a point of discussion in a post about ai because it could be, you could imagine a plugin extending this and having a little prompt conversation in something like this. I don't know if there, yeah, I was gonna say, I think there's a video. This is like a good one.

There's actually a call for feedback right now from Riyad who created this feature to get feedback on. How the features landing, what people would wanna see, what they think of it, how they might use it. There's also, I will drop let's see. I'll drop to you, Nathan in the private chat.

Okay. There's actually like a GitHub issue on like contextual commands. So things like open styles or ad custom c s or open style book or clear customizations. There's a lot of interesting work being done to get this implemented. And I personally like deeply encourage folks to give feedback on it.

I have found it to be wonderful to use. I also have noticed that like the saving interface keeps up. I do think the key is gonna be getting the icons right and making it clear what you can and can't do where you are. Yeah. So making sure it kind of adapts depending upon what location you're in.

Cuz I think otherwise it could be. It does switch you immediately over, so it, there's no like double click to confirm, so it would be odd to be like, there's no way to be like, go back.

[00:16:59] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, I see. Yeah.

[00:17:01] Anne McCarthy: Yeah, so I had one situation where I was like, and then I was like, oh, whoops. Like how do I, where was I?

I forgot where I was like, there. I didn't have a sense of like the history. And so I think there might be actually meant to open an issue about that, of like somehow being able to see like search history almost or something. And I don't know if Spotlight has that, but,

[00:17:18] Nathan Wrigley: so what I'm seeing is, I'm so on, on the video, sorry if you're listening to this, but if you're watching it, you're seeing a video.

And so for example, somebody typed in footer and the template for the footer came up. And somebody's typing in single and the same thing pops up. Is that doing a full page refresher? Is there something a bit funky going on where you can't just click back in the browser? If,

[00:17:40] Anne McCarthy: I don't know if you could click back in the browser.

Okay. I actually don't know. You probably could. I imagine you could, cause I think it is a full page. Change. Yeah. Yeah. So you're probably right. You probably could just hit the back arrow a bunch and hope you don't lose changes.

[00:17:52] Nathan Wrigley: I think this is great. Personally, this is, yeah, it's amazing. For me, this is the most exciting thing.

I know. Hundred percent. But this is a real revolution in the. Honestly, like 10 years ago I was using Druple for my sins. Actually, I really enjoyed using Ruple. And this was a module that you could get for Dral and I had it on every Ruple site and it was just brilliant here. It allowed me to navigate and it.

It's not gonna save you like hours of time, but it'll save you a little bit here and a little bit there. And obviously once you get into the swing of things like we're typing in now Oh, that handled under post meta, then you're off to the races. Yeah I highly encourage everybody to, I

[00:18:38] Anne McCarthy: think it's really cool and I would take feedback on it.

Especially if you're like looking to extend it or if it that gets your attention. I think I am, I'm definitely hoping it makes it into 6.3 because I do think when you think about having a cohesive experience and some of the stuff that we're talking about right now of The gaps that still exist and the ways they exist.

I think this helps bridge it really nicely. It's like adding list view. It's just another tool in the toolbox to navigate the complexity with a little bit more ease.

[00:19:04] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. Le let's hope so. Let's hope so. And yeah, presumably it's toggle, toggle unable. So those that don't wish to be anywhere near it.

Can switch it off. There is, actually, I keep mentioning it Ross Wintel, who's a UK-based developer. He's got a Chrome extension called Turbo Admin, which does something similar to this. And because it's a Chrome extension it finds that you're on the WordPress admin of any WordPress site.

You don't need to install it as the plugin on each site. And it's really nice. So if you're, after, I feel like I

[00:19:35] Anne McCarthy: talked to them, I, there was someone I talked to who had built something like this. Yeah. And I reached out to them and I was like, you got a ch like, can you comment on this with your experience?

Cuz you've built something so similar. I wonder if that

[00:19:46] Nathan Wrigley: was him. Yeah. It's very good. And it's just fun that it's a. Chrome extension so that you don't have to install it, it just detects that you're on w forward slash WP and now it invokes itself and it's, yeah, it's great. And it hides away notices that you don't want as well, which is kinda nice.

Anyway the next thing that I wanted to talk about, the, maybe there's a video to show here. I don't know, I don't think there is. Is the navigation block. And I, yeah, I've gotta say Anne. I think navigation Is the one thing at the minute, which is keeping me thoroughly away from putting both feet into full site editing or site editing.

Tell me why. Is it the, it's that, it just doesn't, it doesn't yet do what? A load of themes that I'm used to from the olden days can do, like simple styling options, all of that. And it just, it, it just has limited capabilities for things like, if you're on a mobile, what the fly out modal.

Popup would look like. There's just less features basically. So more or less, every developer that I speak to and they're talking about ba baking creating a block of some kind, I say, make a navigation block, please make a brilliant navigation block. And yeah. And I just feel that's a big missing piece cuz it's one of the few bits that every single site.

Needs is navigation. And it feels like the navigation in core at the moment is totally functional and it works. And it's definitely got a lot better in the last release, doesn't it? With the, the way that you can do things in the sidebar and so on. But I still think there's a way to go.

So hopefully this will solve some of it. So what's up here? Yeah,

[00:21:28] Anne McCarthy: it'll solve some of it, but I will say some of the styling stuff, we this release has had an interesting dance of Needing to go back and go through the technical underpinning. So it's a lot of the stuff that we've talked about are like, being able to edit the navigation menu when it's mobile only, like those kinds of things.

You actually have to go back and deal with the technical infrastructure. So one of the things on here, and one of the main tasks is like nav block. You slugged to reference notification menu and that seems really. Technical and boring, but actually it allows you to do things like you'll know if you reference it as a slug rather than an ID number.

You can know which menu is like in the header, so you're able to reference it and actually pull it up intelligently. Does that make sense? So there's some interesting work being done there that will greatly improve the base experience without. A user having to do anything or to know. So it's a very hidden behind the scenes change that has like a cascading impact in terms of the user experience, which I think is pretty exciting.

And then of course, there's always improvements to the fallback mechanism. So fallback being like, what do we show first when someone's starting something new or like creating a new site? Cause you don't wanna have these like empty states basically. And then a lot of work, frankly, is being done around the link ui which I can't.

Yeah, I was gonna say, I think Rich. Yeah,

[00:22:46] Nathan Wrigley: rich, this is. This post gives me a real insight into what's going on. I love visual stuff. I'm, yes, I can easily understand that post much less so that post. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. This is really nice. So talk us through this. This is great. Yeah.

[00:23:01] Anne McCarthy: So one of the things is like when you're using the navigation block, you're using the same link control that you would use across any sort of, when you're adding a link.

In WordPress. So because of that, we have to think about how to actually curate the experience and kind of tailor what can be shown in the different links. And so Rich is taking a step back and looking at these different experiences, including what it looks like to create a page edit the link, edit the text, have it open in a new tab.

There's all these sorts of different things to figure out in different situations. So this is looking at the link control element basically, and trying to. Improve it across the board in all the different use cases, but also specifically to improve the navigation block experience. Because adding links right now is can be a pain.

And that's obviously the main thing you're doing with the navigation block. Yeah.

[00:23:50] Nathan Wrigley: You have to have some insight at this point, don't you? Into what it is that you want, because th this, yes, this bit here, I don't recall. I don't remember seeing this. Before, does it come up with like pre-populated? It could be this height.

It does come up. Does it? I can't remember that. Okay. Yeah.

[00:24:06] Anne McCarthy: But the thing is I can't remember what the logic is. I think it's like most recently edited. Yeah. It's I think it's most recently edited, but the problem is let's say you have a hundred pages, you not. You're gonna be searching a bunch of stuff and then having it.

So I had someone describe to me how he kept having to go back and look at his pages, find the page title he wanted, go back to navigation block and search that exact page title. Like it was a huge pain in the butt. And there's a bug actually right now around if you're adding like. Creating a new page and going through that experience.

If you just start typing, sometimes the typing doesn't keep up and it'll cut off. If you're typing inspiration, it'll do inspira and then it'll just die. So there's a bug there that needs to be fixed, but all of this is part of just. The link control and it kind, it seems weird for the navigation block to be focusing on this, but it actually is critical to how it

[00:24:54] Nathan Wrigley: functions.

Oh yeah. Completely. A lot easier experience. Yeah, it feels like to me this list could be unimaginably long, but that really wouldn't bother me so long as it fit, cuz I'm always on the desktop. When I'm editing, yeah. I'm not really doing any of this stuff in on a phone or a tablet. So I wouldn't care if this had 50 links in it so long as I could see them in the view port.

And I could just scroll through them, I'd be happy. But I realized that would consume a lot of resources and probably be a bit overkill from those people. But what else have we got? We've got thi now you've got, this is

[00:25:28] Anne McCarthy: the navigation. You'll see. This is like, How do we think about this in terms of navigation links?

So it gets really complex when you're going through different flows whether you're creating a new page, whether you're adding a custom link, whether you're adding a page link, like a lot of this stuff. And then you think about it, if you take an even further step back, it's do you wanna prioritize adding custom links or page links and navigation blocks?

So this gets very Technical right now, but the result is an improved ux. So the stuff, if you're looking at it, you're like, where are my styling options? Where is this? And it's not necessarily there. Another thing being worked on with the navigation block is improving something json support.

Including things like being able to style the home link differently, like having different icons and having different options to style that. So there's some like minor, but like pretty powerful. Quality of life improvements. And that's where some of the polish comes in too. Like part of the theme of this release in my mind is creating cohesiveness and then adding polish a bit.

So it's taking the base experience of building up, that dark gray sidebar having the different blocks, but then it's let's add some of polish and interconnectedness and cohesiveness between all of it.

[00:26:37] Nathan Wrigley: The the purpose of this show really is to just highlight these things and then you really, it's your job to go and find the links in the show notes and go and examine them in more detail.

Cause obviously we can't really show this in any great detail. Yeah. We're limited in time, but also limit in what can actually fit on the screen. Yeah, that's, I'll link. I will definitely link this because, yeah, it's an important part. This is a GitHub page, and then we've got media as well. There's a whole load.

All the different stuff. There's

[00:27:06] Anne McCarthy: so many things to think about.

[00:27:08] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. No kidding. Okay. The next thing I think we were gonna talk about is patterns. Lots. Yes. And lots of nice new curated patterns. If I'm understanding it, that's the job, right? Is curated, pre-made, ready to go, patterns built by somebody else that you can just see and put in your website, right?

[00:27:29] Anne McCarthy: Yeah, so part of what's being done for this release is actually upgrading and adding new patterns to the pattern directory and creating a curated featured section. And then there's also some work being done to explore having wire frame patterns, which is something folks have lost Oh.

Talked about. So there might be some interesting split between Curated versus community patterns and then like wire frames in each or something like that. So people can have that experience of I'm trying to just have a blank layout and I just wanna layout that looks like this Cool core provided it, I just add this in and it has three columns and looks like a testimonial.

Perfect. And it's not very opinionated. Whereas other work is being done to have like more opinionated patterns. And so I'm actually, and part of this is to allow for things like when you're adding a new page, having creation flows that prioritizes patterns. And there's also some work being done potentially around which I actually, I'm like on the fence about whether we'll see what progresses or what we can possibly get in. It would be awesome even to get in like the bare basics of it. But around improving the day pattern block, which is a very technical thing, but it allows for things like Full sync of a pattern and partial sync of a pattern, and then like an unsync pattern.

So it can have this spectrum of like patterns as they are today, all the way to something that's more like a reasonable block, right? And then an in between state, which is like you want the design to stay in sync, but you want the content to change. So maybe you have a call to action design and you want it to be the same across your entire site, but each call to action is different.

So you could have this pattern that you've made that's partially synced up. And you can make design changes maybe to the background color or whatever the button. But then the content will stay locked and like it can be totally separate when you're in each section. So on the about page you have a call to action that's contact us on the Contact us page.

It's like request a Invoice or something, whatever it might be. Yeah. So they're having different, but the design is exactly the same. So there, there's worth things done technically to unlock that, which I think is really cool for agencies and enterprise folks. It's more maybe a power user kind of feature, but that is also super technical.

How do you keep the sync states in place? What method do you use? How do you save the data? How do you make sure the data stays insane? Boil, like how does the same work kinda goes in a rabbit hole? But I

[00:29:53] Nathan Wrigley: feel there's also. I just feel this is, these u these core curated patterns. I just think this is such a nice enterprise because the difficulty in learning how to pull these designs off is not in, is not inconsiderable to somebody new to work with.

And, understanding. How to group things and which blocks to surround with what, so that the layout works and doesn't break. And it is mobile responsive and all that. And these are great, like little learning resources as much as anything else. You can just drop these into a site and then go figure how it was actually built.

Look at all of the, look in the inspector and see how many things you've got lined up and how it was all built. So I think just from a tutorial point of view, it'll be really useful to have.

[00:30:38] Anne McCarthy: Yeah, I think it's huge. I do think there is a need to. Have a strong set of curated patterns too.

Rich and I are actually tag teaming on that a little bit. And trying to get a plethora of a lot, imagine like a hundred or 200 yeah. New patterns coming in. So he's

[00:30:57] Nathan Wrigley: definitely got the chops for that, hasn't he hasn't. Yeah. He can do it in his sleep. Okay. So that's gonna be a whole load of curated patterns coming very soon.

The next thing that we've got here is The style book instead? The style section. Let me see if I can find that. There was a video somewhere. Was it this one? Where we can invoke, was it this video? That isn't even a video, is it? No, this is the one I was talking about. Lemme just play through this.

It's about 30 seconds and you can talk through what's going on here. And what's changed. So yeah,

[00:31:28] Anne McCarthy: so basically this is showing the style section. You'll see right now that it's, there's style variations that are emphasized. So similar to when you're in the style section, when you're editing a template you can basically switch to different styles here and then you can turn on the style book and also see the style book with the style variations, which is pretty

[00:31:47] Nathan Wrigley: neat, the style, but gone down.

Do you find that people are, Using it cuz I mean it in theory, it's a really great idea, isn't it? You can see on one canvas everything that may occur on your site that it, because it's disconnected from what is on your site. I wondered what the usage was like if it's being widely used. I think the

[00:32:06] Anne McCarthy: usage is high.

Once people connect the dots between is there anything that people don't realize is there's like deep linking? Yeah, so now only if you open up the Styles interface, you turn on Style book and then you click on quote, it'll open up the quote. Settings for styles. So I think there is some like neat I mainly think of like block thems as using this, but I also have once people realize that's what you can do I think it is used quite a fair amount.

I encourage people to use it when they're first setting up their site. And then, but honestly after that actually I will tell you one of my, I actually have an issue open. Cause I feel actually pretty strongly about this. Around the, what I've learned with the outreach program, people don't switch stall variations this much.

Like people don't have a standalone site and then they're opening styles and just being like da. That is not the average use case. Like maybe when you're onboarding someone Yeah.

[00:33:00] Nathan Wrigley: It's first, the first isn't the first on a website. Build fi, figure out which one you need and then stay. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. And I

[00:33:09] Anne McCarthy: obviously freaking people out where it's like they open up the style section of the site editor and this is surfaced as like the top priority thing. So I have an issue open in GitHub kind of discussing what else can we surface? How can we surface things that are maybe more commonly used?

Like potentially if there's like a font manager or maybe something like that can go in there I don't know, but I am worried about it being. This emphasized because I don't think it's a common action. I think it's switching between starvations can almost, especially right now, there are some bugs.

Or maybe, yeah, there are some bugs that like, let's say for example you have the canary starvation on, which is what's on right now, and you add some custom c s to it and you customize it and then you're like, ah. That looks okay, but let me switch to a different one and you switch to a different one.

It'll fully reset

[00:33:55] Nathan Wrigley: your csx. Oh, I see, okay. Yeah. Not great. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:33:59] Anne McCarthy: And that's not cool you know what I'm saying? And like we have, part of this release, which we can get into is like revisions, four styles, so that helps. But yeah, it's something I, I worry about where like maybe, yeah, you can use revisions, but how likely is it that someone's gonna know to go do that?

So I think as a base experience, which of doing ration has a couple bugs that concern me. I don't think we should be emphasizing it as an action as much. Okay.

[00:34:25] Nathan Wrigley: That's under discussion, but I think it's an interesting ui. You've got the style section with all of the different op.

Possibilities listed on the left with the tiny little eye icon indicating where the style book is gonna be living. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, I think it's good. It's good. Does feel like a one-time pass, doesn't it? So you mentioned you mentioned the ability to do revisions for, let me get this right templates, template, parts, styles and so on. I think we might have a video. Was it that one? Yes. Let's go through this

[00:34:57] Anne McCarthy: and you can, what's. Yeah, so this is showing basically a timeline of style changes. This is a. Crappy video from yours truly. And then you can kinda change, I know, had to do my own video for this one.

But yeah it's pretty neat. The only thing that I've seen feedback on is that sometimes it's hard to tell if the changes is really subtle or if it's not visual visualized on the screen itself that you're looking at rights

[00:35:25] Nathan Wrigley: hard to, so if the button's not there, You wouldn't have seen that button change.

The big dramatic green to blue everywhere is obvious to see. But yeah, where? Yeah. Okay. Got it. Sorry. Yeah.

[00:35:36] Anne McCarthy: Yeah. So that's one of the things that I'm a bit yeah, I'm a bit like not concerned about, but is interesting. So imagine if some of these style changes also impacted like a template that you're not looking at.


[00:35:50] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. How would you know?

[00:35:53] Anne McCarthy: So like revisions are great cuz you can switch back and forth between the two. And they are very visual, but that's something to figure out and consider and to, I think whenever you're hitting apply, maybe there's a way to say these are the changes impacting across these different things.

Yeah. Getting a bit more

[00:36:08] Nathan Wrigley: information. Yeah. Or even just I'm just talking of hot air, really, but the ability to add a note. To say what you did at that moment, altered button padding or something like that, yeah. Yeah,

[00:36:22] Anne McCarthy: and this ties into like right now, like the multi entity save, which is just the save and the site editor doesn't have a lot of information about style changes.

And this has been a longstanding issue is like how much information you could show. And so I think it's all connected to that, where it's like in theory you could click on one of the timeline items and actually see something a bit more because it's inherently visual and you're not seeing the changes.

I think we do need to expose a bit more information. But what that information is and all that sort of stuff T B D. And it's also honestly just great to have this exposed at all. Like I think that alone is a huge enhancement and then we can refine it a bit more.

[00:36:57] Nathan Wrigley: It's another spk 22nd of May.

I know. It'll be curious. You're prodigious, Sam. There's just no stopping it. I know. You sleep with the keyboard typing as you do. 22nd of May. I'll link to it in the show notes. I think the last thing that we wanted to preview, I. Was the, it should be on this one show was the preview block theme using the site editor.

Is it this one? I don't suppose there's a video for this. Maybe there is. Yes. No. Oh no.

[00:37:24] Anne McCarthy: This is the issue I was talking about of lowering the emphasis on starvations. If you go back to the smoothing out the post, you were just on the quarter. Yeah. If you scroll down. Oh yeah. So this


[00:37:35] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Missed that? Okay. Let me make it big and then click play. Come on, Mac. There we go. Talk us through this then. Yeah, so this,

[00:37:45] Anne McCarthy: I actually was in person working on this with some folks, which is really cool and a lot, it came together a lot faster. So it's using, right now, you can't preview block themes and it's basically allowing you to preview block themes using the site editor, which I love.

I think it's a very cool way to get someone into knowing it's a new experience, knowing it's a different experience, getting a taste of the site editor. And then making customizations. So you can make, same with if you're using the customizer, you can go around and make a bunch of different changes, and then when you're ready, you can just hit activate and save and switch your site over.

And once you hit activate and save, you're just basically left within the site editor. And you can see this is very much just like feature it's boom, this works. But maybe we need to add some Onboarding, maybe we need to add something like if it's a child theme. So that's one of the things we actually just tested in the outreach program and a number of number of items of feedback came up, which was great.

So for example, previewing 2023 design looks really janky. Like how can we very quickly design wise Show that you're previewing and then show like the theme a bit separated out. But it's very exciting. This has been a long standing pain point in the block theme experience as people being unable to preview.

So that alone I'm stoked about. I think it'll help a lot with adoption. I think it'll help a lot with people like getting a taste of things.

[00:39:06] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, you may have missed that. At the beginning, right at the beginning of the video for about a quarter of a second. We were in the old admin, which we haven't seen one at all during, which now looks a bit weird actually, now that I look at it.

Yeah. And you go to a theme and you click preview, customized, what have you. And so that's what's happening here. There's a button hidden below the timeline of the video there, which allows you to hop in so familiar old interface, and here you are having a. Having a fiddle and looking at what your block theme can do and seeing what the different options are.

That's great. That's really

[00:39:41] Anne McCarthy: cool. Another thing we need to add in is like being able to, so like in the, with classic themes, when you are using the customizer to preview a classic theme, you can then switch between different themes from within the customizer experience. And so that's another thing to consider is like, how could you preview other block themes?

I do think we need to add some. Some kind of, maybe it's like a welcome guide that's very brief, that's hey, not like a warning, but Hey, this is a block theme. You're using the site editor to preview this Go forth,

[00:40:10] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. Yeah there's al there's always work to do.

There's always work. Lemme tell you, I know this smart people. Why haven't you done this now so much? It's a, it is a work in pro progress. I know that you are on a very strict time, so I am gonna just call it a day there. We'll, hopefully we'll do this again. We'll have a bit more time to Yeah. Get into the weeds of it.

But Anne, thank you so much. I really appreciate joining us today. Giving us quick whistle stop tour of. WordPress 6.3 and what might caveat emptor, what might be, and we didn't even, we didn't even get to some of this stuff. I know. Potentially for another

[00:40:47] Anne McCarthy: interactivity api. Yeah. We'll have to jump in again before maybe 6.3 beta one or

[00:40:52] Nathan Wrigley: something.

Yeah, I think that's, you know me, I'm always here. Yeah, I'm, I know. I will see you. I'll see you in Europe hopefully in a few days' time, but for now, Anne, fully appreciate it. Thanks so much. Yeah, thank you Nathan. Cheerio.

Filter Deals

Filter Deals


  • Plugin (2)
  • Lifetime Deal (1)
  • SaaS (1)

% discounted

% discounted

Filter Deals

Filter Deals


  • WordPress (37)
  • Plugin (34)
  • Admin (29)
  • Content (18)
  • Design (11)
  • Blocks (6)
  • Maintenance (6)
  • Security (5)
  • Hosting (3)
  • Theme (3)
  • SaaS app (2)
  • WooCommerce (2)
  • Lifetime Deal (1)
  • Not WordPress (1)
  • Training (1)

% discounted

% discounted



WP Builds WordPress Podcast



WP Builds WordPress Podcast
%d bloggers like this: