WP Briefing: Episode 53: A Look at WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy”

Named after the multi-instrumentalist Eric Allan Dolphy Jr., WordPress 6.2 “Dolphy”‘s high notes are riffed on by WordPress’s Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, in this 53rd episode of the WordPress Briefing.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Chloé Bringmann
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

Transcript

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:00]

Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress Open Source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks.

I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[00:00:28]

The latest version of WordPress has shipped. WordPress 6.2, which was named after Eric Dolphy, was released on March 29th. And as is the way with software, there’s already a minor release underway to catch a few errant issues that folks like you have reported to us.

It’s a big release that refines a lot of our design tools, but some of the most important changes are actually to the inserter. If you haven’t had a chance to get in there and play with it yet, here are the three things that I think you should know.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:01:08]

First, the pattern browser. We’re all aware of the block inserter by now, and a lot of us probably use the quick options, the keyboard shortcuts, or that kind of inline inserter, that little black box that’s in the middle of your post.

If you use the main inserter, that’s a blue square in the top left of the screen. If you use that to add a block, you can still add individual blocks as usual. But there’s a new way to browse patterns, and in my opinion, it is so much better. It now brings out this drawer that has like thumbnails of patterns that will work with your theme.

And if you, like me, know what you want your site to look like, but could not in a million years figure out how to build it from scratch out of individual blocks, then this is the area for you. It was like shopping, but you don’t have to go through a checkout process at the end, and you still have what you want. It’s great. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:00] 

That’s also available when you’re working on templates or template parts, so you can make changes everywhere instead of going page by page. The second thing that I think you should know is about the media browser in that same area where you browse your patterns; you can also now browse for media.

It lets you look through the images you’ve already added to your site, but it also lets you search for openly licensed images from Openverse. And if you choose one of those images from Openverse, it inserts the proper attribution for you. You still have to add your own alt text, but that’s the fun part anyway, right?

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:35] 

And number three, a Style Book. So this thing is available in the template editing area, specifically, as is appropriate, given what it actually does. So if you’re in the template area, toward the top right of the screen is like a half moon day mode, night mode looking icon. If you click on that, you can make changes to things inside your blocks.

But if you click on the little eyeball icon that’s just underneath it, it pulls up a style book where you can also see and edit the styles globally. If that didn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. I’ve got you. I’m about to tell you a bunch of things you can do in here. You can edit the way headings and lists and tables, quotes, and code looks all across the site. You can edit the way images, galleries, files, and videos look using custom CSS.

Yes. Also, all across the site. And you can edit buttons, separators, and individual blocks. Say it with me — all across the site. That is not a comprehensive list. There is a ton of stuff. You can see the styles that you have applied across the whole site. You can see them in context, and you can make any changes that you need globally, which means all across the site.

Yeah. Style Books. What will we think of next?

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:03:54] 

So those are my three things I think you should know about WordPress right now. As a former WordPress builder who was never really super great with the code, this stuff makes me feel powerful. I just love these changes, and I hope you do too.

 [00:04:07]

Which brings us now to our small list of big things. First, we just launched the Developer Blog. It’s over at developer.wordpress.org/news. It has a bunch of content on it that not only is geared specifically toward developers that are using WordPress but especially the folks who are extending WordPress. It gives you kind of an in-depth look at various changes and projects, and implementations and what goes into each one of them.

So it gives you a bit of like this aspirational overview of stuff that you could do with WordPress and then also gives you an inside look at how you would accomplish it yourself. It’s very cool. I like it a lot. Head on over there, but we’ll have a link to the show notes below.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:00] 

The second thing is that we have an MVP of our new mentorship program that is underway.

It should be debuting for essentially testing any day now, a link to the posts detailing that work, just in case you want to join that important initiative. But it is an important thing for me. I think that mentorship is a key element of many of our successful contributors’ onboarding journeys, a part of their story of coming to us.

And so, creating a mentorship program that is a bit sustainable and looks toward the health of the overall project, I think, is an excellent plan. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:38] 

The third thing on our small list of big things is that Matt put out a nice little post about kind of the history of why jazz has this strong background in the WordPress project. It’s a brief read. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well. But suffice it to say that he’s saying that jazz has a little bit of learned processes and rules but that the primary expectation is that you’re able to make of the jazz what you want. Like you get to make your own thing out of it. You get to be extemporaneous. You get to be very measured, whatever it is, that expresses what you are trying to do and what you are trying to say with it.

That’s why he feels like jazz is such an important part of the DNA of the WordPress project. Like I said, it’s a short read. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:06:30] 

And finally, there are a few working groups that folks can contribute to right now. We don’t always have working groups. We generally just kind of do stuff inside individual teams. But right now, we’ve got like the kids camp group, the sustainability group, and of course, that mentorship working group that I mentioned earlier in our list.

So if you’re wanting a little change of pace, I’d drop by their areas in the Making WordPress Slack to see if they have anything that’s up your alley.

And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thank you for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

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