1 year with Roots and now this

So, it’s been a good year since i started using Roots for WP and i must say it was amazing! Lot’s of changes in a good way and i need to thank the Roots theme and the community for it!

I’ve been a graphic designer that specialised in branding/web design but also did 2D and 3D animation, built websites, paper art, …) but since i love nerdy stuff i’m now at some kind of weird front end developer level also.

It seems i like to have control over things and know how they should be but when other people do it they never are :smiley: But that control does torn me to different directions career wise as being a jack of all trades and good at lot of different fields isn’t really easy. I like offline design etc. but i did have lots of love for digital as well.

I’ve also started learning PHP (need to learn more backend things i think), Ajax, wordpress development more in depth and am probably going to jump in to jQuery, nodeJS, maybe angular or some similar thing. But just reading through articles makes my head hurt (Rest API, react, meteor, angular, backbone, ember, nodejs,…). Would be great if i could just PHP/Ajax/Jquery and wouldn’t need to worry about things.

  • How will WP REST API relate to theme development and what’s all the fuzz really?
  • People are talking about front end JS frameworks for wp themes (jQuery, backbone, angular,…). Will the JS front end with the rest api connection make any sense? For me if the core changed from PHP to JS that would makes sense, but why do most people want to have WP as a backend etc.? Is it for apps and saas,… why god, why? Hype maybe? I feel it’s like mixing apples and oranges but it still makes some sense if you look at it from a point of view? :smiley:
  • Should i forget WP and go straight to a js cms like PencilBlue and have js for everything?

For me reading all these things makes my head explode (strange reading article unending loops) as i’m on a bit of a crossroad, i wanted to get more into PHP but it seems everything is going to the JS direction (nodejs, express etc.). I want to be prepared for when things do change and make a growth path for next couple of years.

Should i just stop reading all these rest api articles? Or is there a sane way of explaining all this mess and getting a short you just need to learn X and Y and you will be doing great.

I think crazy times in 2016 :smiley: Anyone else has similar thoughts/problems? Would be nice to have a podcast on some of the things above :wink:


I definitely want to do an episode about this.

There has been an incredible amount of fud being spread about how the WP-API will change everything via the themes being implemented as a single page app. I really would like to put that to bed.

In short: WP folks need a reality check from those who are working with these technologies as their full-time job. You have to basically throw out every single reason to use WordPress in the first place to implement these SPA+REST API ideas people are having. At the end of it, if you are successful, you just reimplemented the entirety of the WordPress templating system and more. Now that you have essentially accomplished nothing, you have a SPA with an extremely shitty backend. I wasn’t strapped for time this week I would explain myself further.

Here are some examples of how a typical React SPA looks:

Notice how there is basically no standardization. This ecosystem is currently highly unstable. That’s not a bad thing, we are currently seeing lots of innovation. However for the WP use cases: you are insane if you think it is a good idea to jump in.


Those seem interesting :slight_smile: But as you said i think it’s innovation and experimentation with a lot of these things today. And yeah there are many things to consider when pairing things with Wordpress as each of the things you add to it, either js MVC or anything else, you will need to always update/support/debug/security updates to all those things as well.

If it can be done with WP that still doesn’t mean it should be done as you probably have better, safer, more solid ways of doing it.

@darjanpanic - I feel your pain! Ignoring all the noise, jumping in, and doing it a little bit yourself is a good way to at least wrap your head around it, but who has time for that these days!?

@austin has some interesting thoughts, but on a few points I’d like to add that I’ve used WP as a JSON backend for a few projects and it’s been really cool (coming from a WP theme developer’s perspective) - and it’s not the last time I’ll be doing it either.

Would love to discuss this on a podcast episode too… We’ll try and get that together.

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I think this is definitely true on the front-end/theme side, but I think there’s a real opportunity to make some very cool admin/dashboard themes.

For what it’s worth, I like the potential of reading JSON data and using it to do quick DOM manipulations in the browser, that’s exciting and new. However, I am not a fan of 100% client-side rendering like many prominent front-end JS MVC frameworks listed above. It completely goes against one of the big principles behind progressive enhancement of server-side + client-side rendering.

I can see there coming a day where WP theming and templating will feature HTML + CSS + ECMAScript (plain old javascript, no need for jQuery) + WP REST API (Json data) + a Twig-like language where more processing and rendering will happen in the browser. But I seriously hope WordPress follows in the footsteps of a framework like React or Ember where isomorphic javascript is possible to balance client-side and server-side rendering of data.