As Matt Mullenweg announced in the 2016 State of the Word, WordPress core development is making it’s way to 2017 carrying the focus-based development process. So now we will be seeing a break in the periodic releases and expect for a more project based release.
Mullenweg, who is the product lead for 2017, announced focus tech and design leads for the three focus areas of the year: the REST API, the editor, and the customizer.
Mullenweg said, “For the REST API we’re going to work on getting first party wp-admin usage of the new endpoints, and hopefully replace all of the core places where we still use admin-ajax.” Ryan McCue and KAdam White will be taking the leads in the REST API on the objectives that Mullenweg outlined.
“The editor will endeavour to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery,” said Mullenweg. Matias Ventura and Joen Asmussen will lead the Editor.
“The customizer will help out the editor at first, then shift to bring those fundamental building blocks into something that could allow customization “outside of the box” of post_content, including sidebars and possibly even an entire theme,” said Mullenweg. The leads for the Customizer will be Weston Ruter and Mel Choyce.
The responsibilities that Mullenweg outlined for the focus tech and design leads are as follows:
Tech Lead responsibilities:
- identify and ensure implementation of first-class REST API usage within WP-Admin,
- replacing/refactoring admin-ajax use.
- overall REST API architecture
- infrastructure and endpoint performance
- security at an infrastructure and endpoint (data-exposure) level
- improving authentication options and documentation
- working with the Design Lead to build new, or expand on existing, endpoints
- working with the Design Lead to address usability feedback for the infrastructure and endpoints
Design Lead responsibilities:
- usability of endpoints for internal or external clients
- usability of the infrastructure from the perspective of a API client
- working with the Editor and Customizer focus teams to collect requirements and gather feedback
- identifying ways to improve the overall experience for folks building clients or consuming endpoints (like documentation)
Since so many things are new, it will be exciting to see how Mullenweg and the focus tech and design leads make their way to architecting the new editing experience. In the State of the Word address, Mullenweg clarified that he would like to see Calypso or a similar interface replace wp-admin in the future.
There are, obviously, so many things that need changing. However, feature plugins or other improvements to WordPress outside of the three focus areas would, for the time being, need to continue as they are. However, performance improvements may be included in minor releases. As Mullenweg puts it, “the first half of the year will be focused on more foundational things”.
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