This week we continue to work through the heatwave that has hit Europe. Read about how Andrea is sharing his accessibility knowledge by adding a section to the block editor handbook, while Ari experiments with the new Style Engine.
Yoast Contributor day
We also want to let you know that there will be a Yoast contributor day on September 14, 2022!
When: September 14, from 10:00 AM till 4:30 PM (UTC+2).
Where: Online or at the Yoast HQ in Wijchen, Netherlands.
Read more about the contributor day and sign up.
Our weekly updates
For the past two weeks I continued triaging and reviewing tickets for the next major release, WordPress 6.1, as part of my duties as a Core Committer.
I made forty commits to WordPress core, mostly various bug fixes and enhancements. I also led a meeting for new core contributors and triaged new tickets incoming into Trac (the bug tracking system that WordPress uses).
Some notable changes include:
- Checking if the post type exists in
wp_insert_post()to avoid a PHP warning. See ticket #55877 for more details.
- Making some enhancements to
get_custom_logo()tests. See ticket #55652 for more details.
- Bringing some consistency to parameter names of post and comment functions. See tickets #56243, #56244, #56261 for more details.
get_post_permalink()for non-existing posts. See ticket #45329 for more details.
- Adding a guiding paragraph on the Permalink Settings screen. See ticket #55947 for more details.
I continued exploring how to improve accessibility across the new features landed in the Editor. It’s a task that requires a considerable amount of time to be spent in research and testing. Based on that, I created a series of accessibility-related issues on the Gutenberg repository. Any contributions and thoughts are very welcome.
In the meantime, I had the opportunity to spend some time submitting pull requests to fix issues and propose improvements, mostly related to semantics, labelling, and keyboard accessibility.
I also started drafting a new section for the accessibility ‘How-to’ section in the Gutenberg documentation, in the context of #42224. The first topic I’d like to add there is about labelling form controls, as it appears to be one of the areas where contributors ask more questions.
I am starting to get back into the routine of submitting regular pull requests to Gutenberg. I’m still going through the list of the oldest Gutenberg issues that are labeled as bugs, checking if they can be reproduced and if it is something I could work on.
Several of the pull requests I wrote about on the last blog are still open. I have also worked on theme.json documentation and improvements for the drop cap, query title and separator block.
In the past couple of weeks, I continued working on the Style Engine in Gutenberg. It presents a unique opportunity to improve the way we use styles in WordPress. In some tests I performed, it reduced the total amount of CSS on a page by approximately 40%, which is a huge accomplishment for web sustainability and performance!
The Style Engine now has a proper architecture, including PHP implementations for CSS
Store for the rules, and a
Processor which can optimize and compile the CSS.
The next step will be to implement this newly introduced Style Engine to
block-supports in the Gutenberg plugin. Eventually, we’re hoping to run all styles (including Core block styles) through this engine, further improving the impact it has on sustainability and performance.
Other than the Style Engine, as always I did a lot of code reviews trying to help other contributors move the project forward, and also ran some extra tests for PHP 8.x in WordPress and Gutenberg.