Design and Development News for the Week of October 31

WordPress Design & Development Around the Web

Here’s a glimpse of what’s going on in the world of design and development in the WordPress space this past week.

Missing Menu Items • Farewell PHP 7.4 • I Didn’t Know You Could Do That in the Block Editor • Why is Your Computer Cosplaying as a PDP-11? • Effective Writing for Devs • The State of CSS • The Swiss Army Knife of Website Tools: Website Toolkit

Estimated reading time: 36 minutes

Where The Heck Is That Thingy?!@$

For the second week in a row, Post Status members Roy Sivan and James Tryon have appeared in our roundup, this time for a new plugin in the repo called Missing Menu Items. Sarah Gooding from WP Tavern did a great write-up on why this plugin is sorely needed and how it works. I feel that just by turning it on, it makes things so much more manageable, especially when you work with Reusable Blocks and Block Templates like I have for the past year.

Bon Farewell PHP 7.4

Post Status member Jessica Frick points out that PHP 7.4 is slated to go End-of-Life (EOL) on November 28th of this month. You may have seen a prompt from your host to upgrade to PHP 8.0, and from what I’ve seen that is perfectly fine in most cases. Some managed hosts like Pressable and Pantheon are not forcing sites to upgrade yet, but it’s still probably better to do so (if you can) or start testing now to ensure no hiccups down the road.

I Didn’t Know You Could Do That in the Block Editor

Jamie Marsland, best known as Pootlepress, has shared a trick for making overlapping blocks work painlessly in the Block Editor. Almost every site I build these days has some overlapping thing like this, so to be able to do it right in the editor is great! Also, I love his use of “old tech” in the intro of the video to explain.

Why is Your Computer Cosplaying as a PDP-11?

What if programming languages weren't caught in the dead legacies of teletype machines, VT100 terminals, and punch cards? What if they used text better and recognized the existence of the visual cortex? “Stop Writing Dead Programs!” was the title of Jack Rusher‘s talk at Strange Loop 2022. It's mind-opening, even mindbending, and deeply entertaining. Some WordPress devs definitely share Jack's interest in building new live programming environments that can help us solve the problems of the future. If you missed it, check out Adam Zielinski‘s Client-side WebAssembly WordPress with no server — a Cool Tool pick from September.

Writing Matters

Karl Sutt has some advice for communicating effectively as a developer. It should go without saying, “When what you write is read by your co-workers, your manager or your manager's manager, it helps everyone if your writing is clear, concise and empathic.” It also helps your career and is a great superpower to have. For a brilliant example, see Keanan Koppenhaver over at the Automatic Developer Resources blog with a Complete Guide to WordPress Transients.

The State of CSS

Adam Argyle presents The State of CSS 2022. This post goes with Adam's talk given at Google IO 2022. It's not an in-depth guide but an introduction to new features. Check the resource section at the end for links to more information. Adam starts with browser compatibility because “a primary reason so many CSS features are set to cooperatively release is due to the efforts of Interop 2022.”

Cool Tool

Each week we feature one cool tool that can help make your life easier as a WordPress builder.

Swiss Army Knife of Website Tools

Somehow this week I stumbled onto a post over at LayerWP about a giveaway of the Website Toolkit. The name sounds so generic, but as I looked further at what this toolkit does I found myself nodding my head and realizing how much I needed to try it out. This tool crawls your site for broken links or downloads, missing meta descriptions, bad redirects, broken SSL, non-cached content, and more. There’s also quite a list of improvements on the roadmap for the Toolkit that look promising.

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