Reading List #49


This week felt a bit all over the place, as I had to deal with some personal stuff in my family (nothing serious-serious, but still emotionally exhausting) all the while getting things done to be ready for next weeks trip to Murten for the upcoming WordCamp Switzerland 2023. We’ll be there from Thursday to Sunday, which will be the first time we meet in person since about 1.5 years. I wasn’t in the organizing team this time, but will be volunteering during the conference as a photographer. Very much looking forward to meet all the people in person again (or some for the first time).

Frontend Development

🀩 Some simple ways to make content look good

Andy Bell from Set Studios goes over ways to make long form text look good using CSS. He covers a lot, from properly using custom CSS variables and fluid sizes for fonts and spacing using clamp() all the way to flow and rhythm on a page. It’s an understatement to put this post in a category named “Little Design Tips”.

Set Studio – Some simple ways to make content look good


🎨 Intrinsic Design in WordPress

While digging into block themes more and more over the last few weeks I was truly impressed how much modern CSS I encountered along the way. There’s still things I dislike or don’t understand, but I would honestly have expected much more sloppy “page-buildery” stuff in there, especially on the CSS side, and was pleasantly surprised. This post by Justin Tadlock shows how much thought and care goes into all those decisions and that it’s not just a given that the UI of the block editor is not completely bloated with every single setting possible.

WordPress Developer Blog – Intrinsic design, theming, and rethinking how to design with WordPress

πŸ€“ What’s coming in WordPress 6.2

WordPress 6.2 is coming next week, on march 28th. Time to get yourself up to date on what’s coming. – Miscellaneous Editor changes in WordPress 6.2

πŸ¦ΈπŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ Can Matt Mullenweg save the internet?

I very much enjoyed this interview with Matt Mullenweg from 2021. It’s a bold title of course, but if you look at his vision and the track record of Automattic, maybe it’s not that far off. There’s a lot of people with bad intentions in what’s called the tech-industry. I don’t think Matt is one of them.

Protocol – Can Matt Mullenweg save the internet?

πŸ‘Œ ActivityPub Plugin acquired by Automattic

More often than not, news of an acquisition – especially of a plugin or service I like – leave a bit of a bitter aftertaste and feel more like the end, rather than a beginning of something great. In this case, though, it looks like a good fit both for Automattic and for Matthias Pfefferle, who now will be working full time on the plugin. The only “bad turn” I could see this take, is if they would make it part of Jetpack.

WPTavern – Automattic Acquires ActivityPub Plugin for WordPress

🧐 Inline Critical CSS automatically

Including all your styles in one huge CSS file can make your site load slower, which is also why tools like Lighthouse or Page Speed Insights will report this as a warning. TinyBit created a tool, to automatically generate the critical CSS for a given page and then inlining it in the page’s head. Would be interested to test how big a difference this makes, if your theme only loads (and inlines) the styles of the blocks that are actually included on a given page. Depending on the site, I’m guessing the difference will be much smaller or even negligible. But still, it’s a very interesting idea and I would be keen to try this out on some real world project.

TinyBit – DIY inline critical CSS for WordPress

🩺 Hooking into the Site Health Screens

If you are a plugin developer with a public plugin, chances are you need to get some debug information from your customers if they encounter a problem. The “old” way of doing this, was to include this info somewhere in your settings page or wherever, and tell customers to copy & paste it, when they come to you with a support request. At least that’s what we were doing in picu, up until last week when I found this post on how to hook into the Site Health screen to add your custom debug information. It’s pretty straight forward and took me only about an hour or two to experiment and integrate our old debug info into the site health screens.

Koen Reus – Hooking into the WordPress Site Health screen


❀️ Have something nice to say? Say it!

If you think something nice about someone, tell them. Solid advice.

Derek Sivers – Thinking something nice about someone? Tell them.

✈️ The Aeroplane

This song is still stuck in my head since I first heard it last week. Unbelievably beautiful.

Tim Minchin – Aeroplane (feat. Asmara Feik)


Made with ❀️ in Switzerland