A Retrospective of Year 2022

As 2022 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect and start planning for the next year, 2023. Generally speaking, there was less talk of COVID-19 due to the success of its vaccine development but nonetheless, it made national headlines due to controversial vaccine mandates. We are learning that new variants are emerging that are gaining the upper hand and spreading faster, but vaccines have managed to suppress their symptoms and severity.

On the technical front, we heard about the controversial takeover of Twitter by young billionaire Elon Musk, who has been in the news lately. However, this site and my current interests lie in learning font end development through WordPress, powering above 40% of global websites.

Here are links to previous year-end review posts – 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

On WordPress Development

First, a few words on my new passion and part of my day-to-day life lately, WordPress, an open-source content management system (CMS). I was amazed to watch and learn about the open process of software development and its daily sausage-making process.

WordPress has been under structural restructuring since 2019. The new initiative has also created controversy among its user community. Over the past few years, developmental iterations have become so massive that even its first followers have felt its pain.

Although the block editor (post-writing) part seems to be more stabilized by now, this user interface section known as the “site editor” is currently undergoing significant development iterations. While the current user experience is a bit dreary, once completed, the updated release is expected to be a more robust and user-friendly design application, even for regular users.

Here is Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2022 keynote address for more about what’s coming next!

The year 2022 Goals: A Brief Overview

Despite the development of COVID-19 vaccination, the persistent effect of pandemic isolation remained through the fall of this year.

  • Learning and documenting block themes: Throughout the year, I continued to focus on learning block themes and keeping up to date with new features of the block themes. Last year this time, there were only 34 block times released, and at the time of writing this post, there are 203 block topics in the repertory. There was much to learn from these community block themes, but I was only able to benefit from a few. All my learning experiences are documented in the CSS-Tricks item listed in the next section.
  • Converting classic themes into block themes: I could not make much progress on this front, this subject has not received the necessary attention of the Gutenberg development team. Currently, there is not a great deal of documentation.
  • Content organizes on this site: I intended to organize the content of this site by merging the articles of my four other similar sites. Because of the heavy use of custom styles in my current classic theme, the block theme change makes it a little harder to display content properly. Despite my warning, under the pretext of other urgent projects, I have fallen behind again this year. Yes, sometimes we cannot be held accountable for our promises.

2022 Incomplete Project

  • Content organization: Although the plan is listed in my annual wish list goals for a few years already, nevertheless, it gets the least priority. Last year, even I wrote about it regarding a common practice in academia, where failed projects are listed regularly.
  • A new look of this site: This site is powered by a grid-layout-based custom WordPress theme. For a while, I had been planning to give a new look with a block-based theme. And finally, I am committed to doing it this year, which I have already begun. Only a few small tweaks need to be made, which are expected to be completed in mid-January.

Writing posts

Compared to previous years, my learning post writing on this site has taken a major hit this year. I only posted 46 articles: 38 were learning notes and others more general short notes and links. These figures do not please me, I need to pay attention next year to do better.

One of the things I’m going to experiment with this year is that I’m going to begin to publish short notes. For example, if I learned something during debugging, simply write a brief note and post it here.

Most of this year’s learning efforts were geared toward writing longer articles for the CSS-Tricks. I am delighted to have been compensated for my progress in this area.

Articles published on CSS-Tricks

Last year I contributed the following eight articles to the CSS-Tricks, whereas I had contributed only three the year before.

A multi-part series article for the CSS-Tricks on understanding Global Styles (theme.json) is in preparation and is expected to be published early next year.

Goals for 2023

Similar to the previous years, my goals for 2023 are similar with the same simple and modest vibes.

  • Continue learning, documenting, and sharing block themes: There are several ongoing discussions in GitHub on block themes, especially on the user interface. I would make attempts to follow each version of Gutenberg and GitHub internal discussions as much as possible, to keep abreast of the development. Additionally, I would like to try to learn how these new developments are implemented in the newly released community block themes.
  • Learning to use and document Create Block Theme plugin: The official Create Block Theme plugin is a very powerful tool for creating themes, their variations, or block child themes with minimal minimal code writing.
  • Continue to dig into block layouts: The block theme layout has been receiving considerable attention lately. Here is a link to GitHub tracking issues, which are being actively discussed.
  • Learning and documenting on converting classic themes into block themes: Although this topic is more important for the theme agencies and community theme developers, there is limited documentation. Adding block “parts” in the classic theme was introduced in WordPress version 6.1, and we hope to see more progress in upcoming versions. I intend to attempt to learn and document conversion from a simple classic theme into a block theme.

Notes: There are other project objectives in my mind that I deliberately kept out of my above list of goals above, but would pursue them as time and opportunity allow me to pursue them.

In Closing

Despite a personal illness with a non-covid respiratory virus for nearly a month and the following of the cure, I am proud of my progress on the article’s contribution to CSS-Tricks.

For the next year, I will keep striving to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle with my creative learning and sharing vibes. It is also my intention to write shorter, more informal content on the site.

Hoping for a better learning & coding year in 2023