The Gutenberg development team launched version 7.4 of the plugin yesterday. The update includes a few user-facing features: a text color control for the group block, background-color control for the columns block, and a new link UI for rich text components. For developers, the team introduced a script for launching a block plugin from the command line.
After a dramatic increase in speed in the last update, version 7.4 continues down the same path. When tested against a post with approximately 36,000 words and 1,000 blocks, page load speeds dropped from 5.461s to 5.037s and keypress events from 34.63ms to 34.54ms. This is not a significant reduction, but every improvement helps.
The update includes over two dozen bug fixes and several enhancements. Work toward the navigation block continues. The experience is slowly getting better, but it still doesn’t feel ready for production.
The team also launched an early, experimental mechanism for handling global styles, a feature that may be complete this year. Global styles would allow themes to set default colors, typographical settings, and potentially more. Theme authors should keep an eye on the development of this feature and offer feedback.
Group Block Gets Text Color Control
The Gutenberg team once again cleans up one of my biggest gripes. When using the group block in the past, end-users could not apply a text color to every sub-element of the group block. Instead, they had to add a text color to any blocks within the group. It was a painstaking process at times, particularly with groups of many blocks.
With this change in version 7.4, users can apply a text color to the entire group at once, and that color should trickle down to sub-blocks. Of course, users can still change the color of inner blocks if necessary.