Version 1.3.0 aims to improve the way you use Blox. Highlights include a new fullscreen mode and syntax highlighting for raw content, substantial UI and UX improvements to the builtin slideshow builder and new quick edit and bulk edit options for global blocks. A number of bug fixes and code tweaks were tackled as well.
Raw Content Enhancements
<textarea>. The old setup is depicted in the screenshot below.
When you are writing lots of raw content, managing this code in a small text box can be a nightmare. It is often easier to write your code in an external text editor, and then copy it in once finalized.
Massive improvements to this workflow have been made in 1.3.0!
The raw content text box now includes a toolbar. Currently there is just one “tool”, but more will come in future releases. Click on the fullscreen icon and your code will display in a popup modal for easy editing. In addition to the larger view, the fullscreen editor also includes syntax highlighting, which is a must when writing and editing large blocks of content.
Below is a quick peak at the new functionality. Note that errors in your markup will be highlighted!
We understand that users have a wide preference when it comes to the styling of syntax highlighting. Therefore, two alternative dark themes are currently available. These can be set in the Blox Settings under the Misc tab. You also have the option to turn off syntax highlighting all together. The inclusion of this feature, which is powered by CodeMirror, does require additional files to be loaded in the WordPress admin. If you are not going to be using the raw content option very often, you might want to disable highlighting. Below is a screenshot of the new settings.
Builtin Slideshow Enhancements
As of version 1.3.0, Blox comes with 4 default content types: raw, editor, static image and slideshow. The slideshow option is likely the least used due to its simplicity and the wealth of other slideshow plugins available out in the WordPress market. That said, we love this option as it allows you to quickly, and easily, add a simple image slideshow anywhere on your website.
So… in 1.3.0 we aimed to enhance the usability of the builtin slideshow and rebuild the underlying architecture. This will allow for additional features to be added in the future, such as different slide types and slider layouts. Think HTML, video and carousels? 😉
Improvements to the builtin slideshow include:
- New builder styling with an enhanced slide toolbar
- A brand new slide editing modal
- You can now toggle slide visibility
- You can now easily copy slides
- You can now set the image size
- You can now change the slide image without having to delete and re-add
- The builtin slideshow is now powered by Slick Slider as opposed to Flexslider
- Slide images can now be set as background images
The move to Slick Slider is an important one as it will allow for increased functionality in future releases. In 1.3.0, it allows for background images and mobile swipe navigation in additional to all of the previous control settings that were available with Flexslider. For those that need to continue using Flexslider, there is filter that can be applied but this is not recommended. More information is available on the slideshow documentation page.
Check out the new slideshow user interface in action:
A final feature of note is slideshow defaults. It can exhausting to continually set the same control settings for each slideshow that you create. Now slideshow defaults are available in the main Blox settings panel under the Defaults tab. This will make setting up new slideshows much easier and allow you to focus solely on your content.
Quick Edit & Bulk Edit
Sometimes you need to quickly disable a block or reposition it. Having to open up the block and adjust the settings can be a real pain, especially if you are trying to edit multiple blocks in quick succession. In 1.3.0, new quick edit and bulk edit options have been added for global blocks.
Currently the disable Visibility setting is available for both quick edit and bulk edit. The hook and priority Position settings are available for quick edit only. More settings will be added in future releases as needed or requested. If you have a specific setting you would really like to see added, please let us know.
Here is a quick overview of how these new settings work:
Maintenance & Bug Fixes
Version 1.3.0 also comes with a variety of code improvements and bug fixes, which include:
- Updated styling on caption and code textareas to allow for horizontal scrolling
- Updated custom image and slideshow default images with standardized dashicons picture icon.
- Fixed bug where global and local custom classes were not being applied