WordPress 6.6 Watch List

Note: This post of understanding newly added WordPress Site Editor features including using blocks. This learning post is still in active development and updated regularly.

WordPress 6.6 is anticipated to introduce many new features, such as new theme.json  Section Styling, Colorways, and Typesets. Several of mine topics of interest and those of numerous others were discussed in this hallway hangout.

Through extended block style variations, theme authors will be able to more effectively style sections of pages and templates that differ from that block’s global styles without having to repeat the same configurations over and over e.g. styling darker sections on a page. This will include the ability to style elements and inner block types within the block style variation.GitHub PR #57537

Out of the features discussed in the hallway hangout, I have the following list for further in-depth learning.

Section Styles / Block styles variation

Currently, a block can be styled in theme.json (eg. group block), which affects only the applied block but not its descendants. This Section specific feature in theme.json allow us to style the entire section of a page without having to apply the same styles over and over again using block style variation.
This WP 6.6 Roadmap post summarizes current progress block styles variation API that allows theme authors ability to theme authors to define style options for sections of multiple blocks, including inner blocks. “With just a few clicks, folks using block themes that add this functionality could quickly change just a section of a page or template to predefined styles that an author provided, like a light or dark version of a section“.

The post outlines a possible approach to how this functionality can be achieved:

  • Programmatically via gutenberg_register_block_style
  • By standalone theme.json partials within a theme’s /block-styles subdirectory
  • Via theme style variations, define block style variations under styles.blocks.variations.

Theme.json / Style objects:

Section styles are also known by block style variation. The following is the code example for block style variation from this GitHub ticket:

	"styles": {
		"blocks": {
			"core/group": {
				"variations": {
					"dark": {
						"elements": { ... },
						"blocks": { ... },

More detailed discussion on Sections styles is discussed in this GitHub PR #57908.

Related resource links

  • A detailed discussion on the concept of Section specific theme.json is discussed in this GitHub issues.
  • This summary update contains the most recent updates and the associated discussions.

A very early look of example use case, can be found out in this “Section Styles” demo from a recent hallway hangout.

Colorways and typesets

The concept of mixing and matching typography and color palettes from styles variations is discussed in this GitHub PR #56622. “These color and typography settings are extracted from the style variations, and exposed in the Global Styles UI”.
This features allows theme authors to design a wider range of color and typography variations in their themes. “This extracts all of the typography/color rules, not just those under “settings”, but all of the rules in the style variation”.
Related resource links

Mix and match style variation

The WP 6.6 is expected to launch a new mix and match style variation feature that would help, such as mix and match colors and fonts easily akin to the current style variation feature.
This feature has been available since Gutenberg 17.9. The color and typography presets that are defined in theme variations are now exposed within the color and typography sections of Global Styles, now allow theme authors to mix and match color and typography presets to create different variations in a given theme.

This GitHub PR discusses the concepts and ongoing discussion on this issue.

In the Gutenberg Times, Birgit has put together the following watch list for WP 6.6, which I think relates with my interest too, though I am more interested in editor and design improvements discussed by Ann McCarthy.

The WP 6.6 Beta 1 is expected to be released by June 4, after which the release team would start working on Devnotes, providing additional information on these topics. I would then start preparing for a more detailed and in depth posts.

Additional Resource Links