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Gutenberg is Slowly Rolling Out to WordPress.com Users

As part of the roadmap unveiled at WordCamp EU earlier this year, WordPress.com has started rolling out Gutenberg to a subset of users.

Try Gutenberg Call-out on WordPress.com

According to a WordPress.com Happiness Engineer, the team is testing the implementation to determine the best way and time to enable it. Users will not be able to use Gutenberg unless their theme is updated to support blocks and the various alignment options.

Theme Wranglers are already in the process of adding support to WordPress.com’s nearly 100 free themes.

A quick search of the WordPress.com support forums for Gutenberg provides some insight into what users think about the new editor. For example, this user provided feedback on the use of so many icons without displaying their textual equivalent.

For now, Gutenberg is opt-in but eventually will be opt-out. Once Gutenberg is made available to a wider audience, support documents and official blog posts will be published to inform users about the new editor.

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New WP Glossary Site Translates WordPress Techspeak into Plain English

Anders Norén has launched a new website called WP Glossary that contains definitions for terms that people encounter when using WordPress. The resource was born out of a need to provide documentation for client projects.

“The last time I updated the glossary for a new client documentation, in the middle of May this year, it hit me that there must be a website for this,” Norén said. “A list of WordPress definitions written not for WordPress developers, but for those who manage WordPress websites either as part of their work or in their spare time.”

Norén said he found resources written for developers but nothing satisfactory for regular WordPress users. Inspired to fill this gap, he bought a domain name and built the site over the next couple weeks. WP Glossary contains definitions for nearly a hundred WordPress-specific and industry-related terms, with more than 25,000 total words.

image credit: Anders Norén

Norén, who has recently jumped into client work with a new agency, is better known for his popular minimalist themes on WordPress.org. His 17 themes have a cumulative rating of 4.97 out of 5 stars and more than 2.1 million downloads. He designed the WP Glossary site, wrote all the definitions, and credits Thord Hedengren for feedback on the design and editorial assistance.

Each glossary term includes a plain English definition and common use cases with a bit of WordPress history sprinkled in. The terms also link to related documentation and some also have related WordPress.tv links. The Default Themes term is the longest article on the site with 1,744 words. Each term has a “Send Corrections” link that visitors can use if they see a term that could be improved.

WP Glossary was enthusiastically received when Norén announced it on Twitter. Many commented that the site will be useful for meetups with members who are new to WordPress and need a quick way to look up some of the jargon they encounter.

Norén’s glossary project overlaps with a glossary the WordPress Marketing team published earlier this year. WP Glossary is more in-depth and contains less techspeak than the marketing team’s copy. It is also targeted at people who use WordPress as part of their job or as a hobby.

The sheer volume of terms on this site reveals how much insider language one encounters while managing a WordPress site. If you’re working in the WordPress world every day, it’s easy to forget how unfamiliar these terms are to new users. WP Glossary is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0) so freelancers and agencies that want to duplicate, modify, and share the material have permission to do so with attribution.

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Gutenberg Block Library Provides a Searchable Index of Individual Blocks

An avalanche of blocks is pouring into the WordPress ecosystem ahead of Gutenberg’s inclusion in core. A few block collections, such as Atomic Blocks, Stackable, and CoBlocks, can be found on WordPress.org, but it’s not easy to search the individual blocks they contain. Other collections and standalone blocks are spread across the web. WordPress theme developer Danny Cooper has built a centralized library of Gutenberg blocks that are currently available to extend the new editor.

The library loads blocks into a grid with infinite scroll. It is searchable, so visitors can easily find individual blocks that are part of a collection. Blocks are also tagged, which makes it possible to compare a group of similar blocks. Individual listings display screenshots of the block in action and its settings panel, as well as a link to the author and a link to download.

The Gutenberg Block Library currently has more than four dozen blocks. Visitors and block creators can submit a block that is missing from the library.

Cooper is the owner of Olympus Themes, a small collection of free and commercial niche-focused WordPress themes. He has also created his own blocks collection called Editor Blocks, which focuses on blocks for business sites. His corresponding Editor Blocks theme is available for free on WordPress.org with support for all the business blocks.

“As a theme developer I’d been waiting for a way to build themes in a way where what you see on the backend matches what you will see on the frontend,” Cooper said. “That can be achieved to some extent using the Customizer, but it’s hard to craft more than one complex page using that method.”

Cooper comes from a PHP/jQuery background and said he didn’t have a strong enough understanding of ES6, Webpack, Babel, React to create Gutenberg blocks right away. The learning curve was a little steep but after getting a handle on the basics he is now able to make small contributions to the Gutenberg project.

“It felt like I was hitting a brick wall every five minutes when I started,” he said. “Zac Gordon’s course helped me get past that stage. The #core-editor slack channel was a big help too. Other than that I just studied the code of the core blocks and used Google. As my knowledge increased I’ve tried to reach out by submitting bug reports to other Block Libraries and making minor contributions to the Gutenberg project on Github.”

WordPress.org may be able to benefit from a centralized block library in the future, as people will be frequently searching for blocks after Gutenberg lands in core. Cooper said if WordPress.org had a library like this it might even be possible to find and install blocks from inside Gutenberg.

“I could build a block that searches my library but it wouldn’t be able to install them as most are part of a ‘collection,’” Cooper said. “I’m not sure if in the future the ‘collections’ will continue to grow or people will move towards releasing individual blocks.”

In the meantime, the Gutenberg Block Library provides a helpful resource for early adopters. Browsing through the listings, it’s exciting to see the variety of block functionality that the community is creating. Users who fully embrace Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0 will find dozens of blocks (and perhaps hundreds by that time) available for the new editor, if they know where to look.