Gutenberg 5.0 Adds New RSS Block, Amazon Kindle Embed Block, and FocalPointPicker Component

Version 5.0 of the Gutenberg plugin was released yesterday with a new RSS block. Riad Benguella, the project’s technical lead for phase 2, published a demo of the block and its settings. Users can set the number of items displayed and also toggle on/off the author, date, and excerpt.

RSS is still relevant today as one of the linchpins of the open web and Gutenberg makes it possible to easily place a feed inside a post or page. (This feature was previously limited to widgetized areas.) The creation of this block is part of a larger effort to port all of WordPress’ existing core widgets over to blocks.

Version 5.0 also introduces a new Amazon Kindle embed block, providing an instant preview from an Amazon Kindle URL. WordPress already has oembed support of Amazon Kindle URLs but it was missing from the Embeds section of the accordion in the block inserter.

One of the most exciting additions in this release is a new FocalPointPicker for the Cover block. It allows users to visually select the ideal center point of an image and returns it as a pair of coordinates that are converted into ‘background-position’ attributes. The result is that the user has more control over how the image is cropped. This feature solves so many problems users have experienced in cropping and displaying images in their WordPress themes and content. The FocalPointPicker was created as a reusable component so that developers can use it to build other blocks with the same capabilities, providing an experience that is consistent with core.

Focal point picker

The changes included in Gutenberg 5.0 are immediately available for those running the plugin on their sites but only for WordPress 5.0+. This release drops support for earlier versions of WordPress. The updates in Gutenberg 5.0 are planned to be rolled into WordPress 5.2.

11 Comments


  1. The Focal point feature is very questionable – it promotes uploading uncropped and thus unoptimized images. Cover block still does not support responsive or adaptive images.

    You can even see the issue in gif that you posted in this post – end user will have to download very tall and heavy image just to see bottom 20%.

    Sure, it’s nice visually and it’s easy for site administrator to define focal point, but end user on low-end mobile network will suffer because of this.

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    1. Not necessarily. The photo could be “shortpixeled” and therefore optimized. I think it is an awesome feature.

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  2. Off topic, but I was wondering what plugin you were using on wptavern to have WordPress dot com style like button that displays gravatars?

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  3. Gutenberg 5.0 are planned to be rolled into WordPress 5.2

    That fact makes me feel somewhat confused … and arises 2 questions:
    Which GB version will be included in shortly coming WP 5.1 then?
    And when is WP 5.2 palnned to be released?

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    1. https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/02/08/wordpress-5-1-field-guide/

      WordPress 5.1 includes the equivalent of the Gutenberg 4.8 plugin, but with some of the packages updated to fix some important bugs:

      https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/46137

      Which version of Gutenberg will be included in 5.2 is dependent upon what the latest released version of the Gutenberg plugin is when the 5.2 beta starts. I think once the beta starts, the Gutenberg-related packages are not updated for the release unless a serious bug is found.

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      1. Well that means there are 3 different versions of GB:
        – One shipped in WP Core
        – Another in the plugin repo
        – and yet another at github
        (This is sounds a bit messy for me)

        What if someone is currently on WP 5.0.3 but they want to have the latest GB available in the plugin repo and install that? Is there a chance they would collide, or does a newer version of GB from the plugin repo completely disable/override the earlier version shipped in core?

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  4. Ability to change the focal point is a long asked-for feature, great news that something happens in that direction! Would be nice to have that not just for cover images.

    However Ted Magwell is right, it might lead to serving unnecessarily huge image files. So it would be a good idea to implement some suggestions to rather crop the original image if only just 50% (or so) of that will be displayed at the end-user.

    Would be even better to actually initialize WP’s image editor screen with a suggested cropping frame that is about 20% larger than the picture that will get rendered for the end-user. That way there is no need to serve vastly larger images than needed, but there would still remain some cropping flexibility for later or for parallax purposes.

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  5. Great news for us who talk a lot about Kindle books 😀 I can’t w8 to see it in action and check if I can build some of my affiliate entries based on it.

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  6. At first I kinda hate Gutenberg but after few weeks of forcing my self to use it it’s actually kinda nice.

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