Doc Pop’s News Drop: The WordPress REST API Roadmap

Doc’s WordPress News Drop is a weekly report on the most pressing WordPress news. When the news drops, I will pick it up and deliver it right to you.

Since the WP-REST API integration into WordPress 4.7, we haven’t heard much news from the API team. This week, Doc Pop talks about a recent update from Ryan McCue on the REST API roadmap and a call for volunteers.

“The REST API Roadmap”

Love WordPress News, but hate reading? This is Doc Pop’s News Drop!

The WordPress REST API has already had a long journey. It was first announced by Ryan McCue back in 2013 with the full REST API being merged into core with WordPress 4.7 in December of 2016.

Throughout 2015 and 2016, the REST API was being hyped as the future of WordPress, but since it’s release almost a year ago, I haven’t heard much about it’s progress or future. Which is why I was happy to see a new post by Ryan McCue titled “REST API Roadmap”.

“Since 4.7”

As I mentioned, it felt like we haven’t heard much about the REST API since it’s merge into core. According to Ryan, this is largely due to a developer fatigue and a lack of a forward roadmap. He states “The merge into core was a huge effort, and after shipping in 4.7 we saw a drop-off in contribution and overall momentum as many API contributors took a break to recover from the stress of the merge.”

“Renewing our focus”

In moving forward, Ryan states the future of API work falls into two main areas, “API in the Admin” and “Authentication”.

Getting the REST API used in the WordPress admin is the main focus for the REST API team. The goal is to focus on changes that improve user experience. This team has been working with members of the Design team to work on prototype projects, such as the New List Tables plugin, which aims to modernize the WordPress dashboard as well as prove the viability of using the REST API in the admin. The prototype looks great.

External authentication, the other main focus for the API team, is going to be a huge project as well. The team will be switching from using OAuth 1 to OAuth 2 as well as shipping HTTPS-only features moving forward.

The biggest Authentication challenge for the team is in simplifying the initial connection for users and developers. Eventually this could be as simple as a “Connect to WordPress” button that developers can use in their app, but this won’t be an easy problem to solve. As Ryan says “no similar software has to work on the same scale we have.”

“Help Us!”

There’s still lots of work to do on the WordPress REST API, but there just aren’t as many developers working on it as there was this time last year. With a new roadmap in place, the only thing that’s missing is getting more volunteers to jump in and help with the project. Of course this could mean documentation, design help, or development.

If you are interested in getting involved, the API team holds an open meeting every Wednesday on Slack. There are only a few people working regularly on the API, but they are always happy to spend time helping people get started contributing. I’ll include a link for more info in the description below.

That’s it for this week’s News Drop, thanks for watching. If you like what we are doing, please be sure to like the video and subscribe for more weekly WordPress updates.

We’ll see you next week.

Doctor Popular is an artist and musician living in San Francisco. As a full disclaimer, he is neither a doctor nor popular.

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