37. Bits, the new [shortcodes]?


Having dynamic elements in the block editor was still possible thanks to shortcodes… but that will change with Bits.

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Program transcript

Hello, I’m Javier Casares, and you’re listening to WordPress Podcast, bringing the weekly news from the WordPress Community.

In this program, you’ll find the information from June 10th to 16th, 2024.

Bits is the name chosen for dynamic tokens, a system that will allow external content to be inserted within posts in a more flexible and efficient way. Although it’s not the same as a shortcode, which can include complete dynamic content, this system is designed to leverage small markers with semantic information coming from metadata, rendered dynamically.

Unlike shortcodes, Bits do not cause nesting issues and are easier to manage and replace without breaking the HTML structure.

The proposal highlights the use of funky comments in HTML, a technique that makes browsers interpret these markers as comments, removing them if not replaced correctly. This ensures that Bits do not negatively affect the page if there are rendering failures.

The idea is to allow users and developers to insert and manage these Bits without needing to alter the existing block code, improving flexibility and control.

Although we will not see this functionality in WordPress 6.6, it is planned that in future versions of Gutenberg and WordPress 6.7, this functionality will be integrated into the core.

And after the first beta, comes WordPress 6.6 beta 2, with over 50 updates in the editor and 40 core fixes. The release date is still set for July 16.

The Core team has presented Gutenberg 18.5, where we find the final work on some features that will come in WordPress 6.6, as well as other experiments. For example, more style variations for blocks, custom shadows, and a step further in Block Bindings.

And about Data Views, the new admin panel view screens, as part of phase 3 of the Gutenberg project, they will allow some work in WordPress 6.6, with improvements in page and template management, and future expansions planned to facilitate extensibility by developers.

In the Developers Blog, we find two very interesting technical posts.

The first refers to the complete use of Transients, those small cacheable pieces that allow WordPress to run a bit faster. The article shows how to save, retrieve, and delete them, as well as set their expiration, with several usage examples.

The second post is an example of a plugin that adds an animation to the timeline of posts, for example, on the homepage. The system is based on a series of blocks with HTML processing and filters, as well as the registration of patterns.

The Accessibility team has caught up with pending tickets to reach the pace of Core, meaning that, for the release candidate of WordPress 6.6, all applicable improvements are already available in Gutenberg, such as grid improvements, the publication flow, shadows, or Data Views.

Additionally, at the Contributor Day of WordCamp Europe, they have started reviewing the accessibility of the Twenty themes, improving documentation and standards. They will also add a tool to help check the accessibility of themes.

The Polyglots team has announced that starting in July, the Rosetta sites, meaning the localized editions, will feature the new design of WordPress.org. This transition is already available in some languages but will now be enforced for all.

Another improvement, this time in GlotPress, is in Translate Live, the alternative interface that allows using WordPress Playground. Among some of the changes, we have the ability to know which URL we are on, and even change it, and, visually, the translated or pending text has gone from changing color to being highlighted with a background under the text.

The Training team has decided to retire the Faculty Program in favor of the Guide Program, which is self-manageable for those who want to participate and simplifies the process, unlike the previous one, which required many administrative tasks.

Another project is the creation of featured images and thumbnails for each course, lesson, and tutorial, allowing all site content to be visually adapted and standardized to the current design.

The Community team has already opened the call for interest in the Mentorship Program for the last quarter of 2024, following the pilot in July 2023 and February 2024.

Whether you want to participate as a mentor or a student, you can now go to the Community blog post and fill out the forms. There is time until July 16.

The Sustainability team has launched the Sustainability Handbook for Events, a manual in which the team has collected ideas and experiences from various WordPress events with tips for organizers, information for attendees, and, above all, flexibility in the suggestions proposed.

The BuddyPress team has had some busy days, as they have released BuddyPress 12.5.1, a security update that fixes a potential XSS attack in the Members Block.

And this, while preparing the release of BuddyPress 14.0 in its first beta version, which will require WordPress 6.1 as a minimum and adds Site Health information, CLI options, better documentation and code quality, as well as compatibility with PHP 8.3.

And with the conclusion of WordCamp Europe 2024, we now know where WordCamp Europe 2025 will be held: Basel, Switzerland, is the chosen city for an event that will host 3,000 WordPressers in the largest global WordPress event.

And finally, this podcast is distributed under a Creative Commons license as a derivative version of the WordPress Podcast in Spanish; you can find all the links for more information at WordPress Podcast .org.

You can follow the content in CatalanGermanEsperantoSpanish, and French.

Thanks for listening, and until the next episode!


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