The Media Experience and Its Future in WordPress – WP Tavern

The FSE Outreach Program is again with one other spherical of testing. Anne McCarthy asks for volunteers to check and provide feedback on media-related features in WordPress. Anybody is welcome to contribute, and suggestions is open till February 23.

This spherical of this system contains two duties. The primary has customers discover as we speak’s media-related expertise. The second asks what they want to see sooner or later.

“Like final time, the main target of this exploration is to assume with a extra long run, ‘wishful pondering’ perspective so as to collect helpful insights that may assist inform the design of media associated experiences going ahead,” wrote McCarthy within the announcement.

As at all times, I dove proper in with the hope that any discovery would make its approach upstream to assist mildew the longer term expertise.

Job #1: Exploring the Prospects

I altered this process barely. The decision for testing asks that volunteers discover what’s at present potential with the core media-related blocks. Nonetheless, I work with these daily, so I do know many of the ins and outs of the system.

As an alternative, I explored the WordPress photo directory — my favourite place on the web proper now — and see what new photographs have landed. I go to Pexels, Pixabay, and Unsplash far much less typically lately, and I’m positive that I can get rid of them altogether because the listing will get extra CC0-licensed media.

I downloaded a picture of a giraffe by Marcus Burnette. Then, I tried so as to add a few completely different Scotch-tape/Polaroid results by way of customized block types. The next is a screenshot of one in every of them:

Photo of a giraffe in a Polaroid-style frame with Scotch tape holding it at the top corners.  This is presented in the WordPress block editor.
“Scotch tape” impact by way of a customized block model.

I’m pleased that I went off-path on this stage of the exploration. I realized rather a lot in regards to the internal workings of blocks within the editor and that styling the ::after pseudo-element is problematic. WordPress makes use of it so as to add a blue border round chosen parts. So, I simply wiped that out, no less than for my customized types. I’m 100% positive that may come again to chew me in some unspecified time in the future.

WordPress has come a great distance in balancing the block-editing expertise for customers and permitting theme authors to model a WYSIWYG canvas. Nonetheless, there’ll seemingly at all times be these edge instances the place the 2 can be at odds.

Since I used to be already there tinkering round within the editor, I examined varied combos of customized block types and duotone filters:

In the WordPress editor, photo of a giraffe in a Polaroid-style frame with Scotch tape holding it at the top. The image has a turquoise filter applied to it.
Duotone filter used with customized block model.

It’s laborious to do not forget that there was a time when this was unattainable in WordPress.

The second process of the exploration requires volunteers to consider the long-term image. What options do you need to see? How can the expertise be improved?

Rapidly shifting up the ranks of my want listing is WordPress Images integration. Now that the listing is nearing 1,000 photographs after lower than two months into its comfortable launch, it’s clear the group is backing the mission. Discovering photographs with out ambiguous licensing phrases goes hand in hand with WordPress’s imaginative and prescient of an open internet. Customers merely want easy accessibility to them.

When laying out an concept for a theme design earlier this week, I spotted how a lot I wished to see extra picture filters. One of many patterns I used to be engaged on included a comic book, watercolor-like background picture. I grabbed a photo by Patrick Boehner — sure, as soon as once more, it was from WordPress photographs. In a minute or so, I had imported it into GIMP and utilized the “waterpixels” filter to it.

Canvas area of the GIMP photo-editing software with hills in front of a mountainside in the image.  In the top left corner is a control box for controlling a "waterpixels" artistic filter.
Making use of a watercolor-like filter to picture.

There was a definite model I used to be going for with the design, however customers can not simply recreate it from inside WordPress. It might be potential to implement this filter by way of a customized block model, and I could very effectively try it if this specific theme concept ever involves fruition.

Nonetheless, I want to see a spread of filters accessible to customers. If that is an excessive amount of for core, maybe an ordinary filter-registration system for builders is perhaps so as. That is simply me pondering out loud for the time being. I have no idea what that system would seem like, however it’s on my thoughts. I’ve little doubt that some person out there may be pondering the identical.

The addition of present block design controls would additionally assist. Implementing the border choices throughout the vary of media-related blocks is low-hanging fruit. Captions needs to be a devoted block with a spread of typography and shade controls. Padding and background shade choices for the <determine> wrapper round photographs would permit customers to “body” their photographs:

In the WordPress editor, photo of a giraffe in a Polaroid-style frame with a blue background.
Picture block wrapper with padding and background shade.

Outdoors of the earlier concepts, there may be no less than one apparent wish-list merchandise. I need to use my put up’s featured picture in any image-related block. I’ve lengthy requested the flexibility to drop them inside a Cowl, for instance.

There are less-obvious concepts too. It might be time that we rethink the concept of a featured “image.” In my earlier life as a full-time theme designer, one of many scripts I had constructed and formed over time was a “media grabber.” Basically, it allowed theme authors to get audio or video from the put up content material and show it in varied locations, resembling alongside excerpts on the homepage.

There isn’t a longer a straightforward approach to make use of that PHP script in block-based HTML theme templates. It will require a third-party block plugin (none exist so far as I do know) or a core characteristic.

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