Gutenberg 12.9 landed in the WordPress.org plugin directory today, and it is a beefy release, packed with a little something for everyone. Even after tinkering with new features over the last few days, I have yet to explore everything as much as I would like. Given the practical limitation of time, I will not be able to dive into everything in this post, but I will attempt to introduce you all to some of the highlights.
The following are some selected items that I was unable to dive into, but I still encourage readers to check out:
Block Locking UI
Gutenberg 12.9 introduces a new UI for locking blocks. Under the “more options” dropdown in the toolbar, users can select the lock option, which will bring up a screen with two options:
- Disable movement: Disallows moving the block itself. However, sibling blocks can be moved around it.
- Prevent removal: Prevents the block from being deleted.
Andrei Draganescu noted the following in the 12.9 announcement post:
When a block is locked, users are either unable to move it, remove it, or both. This is particularly useful with site level blocks like Post Content which many themes will want to lock down.
However, that definition does not entirely explain block-level locking. There is a caveat: this new UI hands end-users the key to the lock. Technically, they already had this capability via the code editor, but it is now available through the interface.
From a theme dev perspective, block-level locking merely requires additional steps of the user to move and/or remove blocks. It is not a “forced” or “permanent” lock. It is a welcome feature, but themers should understand its limits and that this new UI offers more power to users, not less.