Wordpress - Introducing Javascript

WordPress.com Reveals a New JavaScript-Clad Look

WordPress.com the famous blogging site recently unveiled its brand new admin interface for handling content, blogs, and viewing other people’s site.  The new look will not go unnoticed by the regular users. And if you are one those code geeks, you will easily detect something glittering under the new skin – JavaScript in place of PHP.

If you are using the open source version of WordPress on your home or office server, you can activate this new interface for your site using the Jetpack plug-in. A WordPress application for Macintosh OS X has also been released by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and the commercial version of WordPress. They also made the code available as open source software for everyone.

Since its inception in 2003, cofounded by Matt Mullenweg, the WordPress project has come a long way. It’s available as open source software used for developing the obsolete blogging software b2/cafelog. As reported by the technology survey giant, W3Techs, about 25% of websites today are now being powered by this software. Automattic has been around for a decade now and has an employee count of more than 400 people. The age old software at WordPress obviously needed a change now. This was confirmed by the cofounder with his statement, “We realized that the tech wasn’t going to take us to the next decade.”

About a year-and-a-half ago, the Automattic team set down to vigorous work, bent upon changing the WordPress admin interface to make it more responsive and agile. Formerly, the new features were only introduced to selected users, but now it is available to general public without distinction.

When Mullengweg was approached to give his opinion about whether the new interface, known as Calypso, would become a part of the main WordPress project too, he commented it all depends on how the community responds to the new change and that he is optimistic in this regard. Integrating Calypso will require overcoming some technical challenges as it is not just a visual redesign but a complete technical revamp.

The Program for WordPress.com

PHP has always been a favorite among programmers who love it for its easy syntax; the code geeks at WordPress are no exception, using PHP as a major script of WordPress. Retaining some of the scripting in PHP, most of the new interface has been replaced by JavaScript.

Wordpress.com - React JS

JavaScript was originally developed to run software in web browsers only, but recently, developers all over the world use it for building more complex applications, all thanks to the numerous new technologies. They now have the ease to create both client and server side parts of their applications, enabling them to speed up and simplify the task of developing web applications.  For example, Google Docs or Gmail, written in JavaScript, are web applications but look more like desktop apps. The Automattic team has used React, a JavaScript framework produced by Facebook for its cross-platform interface, as a front-end or user-interface component of the new interface.

Wordpress.com - Node.js

The back-end code is written in Node.js, which is a popular server-side platform of JavaScript. To enable web hosts who do not support Node.js run their version of WordPress, Automattic will host Node.js component on their server and from here users will be able to access it through Jetpack.

To reduce the amount of work that is involved in adding new features to new platforms, Mullenweg has declared that the same set of technologies are being used to build both Mac desktop app as well as its mobile app. Welcome WordPress, the next generation.