Theme Way station

When travelling, way stations are great to pause, refuel, check your gear, and even observe the incredible scenery around you. I am taking a moment to do just that as I’ve been busy the past few weeks getting to know the current space of themes.

Never travel alone

As I have journeyed through this, I have realised the connections between the theme, patterns, and blocks are where things come alive. I think of them as the perfect travelling companions. This has opened up a spiral of discovery for me, which I welcome and has led me into block development. A long while ago, I explored this, but with @wordpress/create-block, things have come on so rapidly it is a lot more refreshing. I am loving greatly block.json and find it incredibly powerful with the recent additions.

Levels of companionship

There are levels of companionship between the theme, blocks and patterns. You don’t have to work with all 3 – although things come alive if you do. You might have a theme with just some patterns or adventure into block styles. I’ll add here that block styles have become a tried and trusted practice I lean into more and more.

You have a few more options now you aren’t tangled in the theme. I find this refreshing and have significantly enjoyed being able to switch modes.

Sometimes, there are dragons

Things are early in some areas. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it works in ways you stare at the screen wondering why it worked that way. I found many of the issues I came against already logged or that others were also hitting them and had workarounds. I want to share my own knowledge; because if you see a dragon, report it.

Working processes need learning

I plan on writing a post that goes in-depth into my process of creating themes this way. However, it’s worth noting I kept across a few areas finding resources either fragmented or a little lacking. This happened less for theme.json and recent documentation.

More significant issues came as I ventured into even working out how to create a plugin that compiled. It reminded me we sometimes presume the paths are known, but often a new traveller or even ourselves in the future might now know. 5.0 was a long time ago; we shouldn’t presume knowledge is held yet.

What have I created so far

If I have linked a repo, know it’s very early, and anything could change; I am experimenting right now, so consider the contents in that mindset.

✔️ Updated Lithosphere as a FSE theme to roll not only onto this site but across my site and blog. There are things to do across sites, but I am working through them.

✔️ Begun working on Sender, a theme that focuses on writing.

✔️ Initiated work on the blocks for Sender: signature (a block that allows you to sign content), stamp (a stamp for site logo).

✔️ Started a random quote block.

I have quite a few ideas, but for now, these are the works in progress. I am starting to see this space a little more like a journal for myself as I go on these adventures – anyone is welcome to join me.

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