Why It’s a Big Deal That WordPress is Getting New APIs
API Evangelist Kin Lane is back from API Craft in Detroit with the news that WordPress is getting new APIs. Lane shares the lament that developers might have about a WordPress API. WordPress can be a bear to work with and it is built on PHP. Both factors give developers a bit of a twitch.
But just consider the size of the WordPress platform and the development is noteworthy for what it can open up and how it will help educate people about what APIs are all about.
It’s the scale of the WordPress platform that adds to the significance of the news. Consider what Lane point out in his post:
- Used by more than 22.0% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013
- Most popular blogging system in use on the Web, used in more than 60 million websites
- Over 409 million people view more than 15.5 billion pages each month
- Users produce about 41.7 million new posts and 60.5 million new comments each month
Opening a platform of such scope and size to APIs puts considerable restraints on WordPress, just in terms of what it has to be mindful of when taking on such a massive project. For example, Lane points out how WordPress has to be thinking of the lowest common denominator:
WordPress is an open source blogging platform built using PHP and MySQL, something that enables it to be installed on just about any hosting platform, which has contributed to the platform’s growth. However, many of these platforms restrict common aspects of the Internet like the ability to use all of your HTTP verbs, like PUT or DELETE, or simply do not offer essentials like SSL, which is needed for oAuth. The bar for developing an API that will be used by 60 M+ providers has to be set pretty low, ensuring it will work across the entire ecosystem—something WordPress is already pretty damn good at.
There are lots of reasons why the WordPress news is so significant. Lane nails it when he talks about the implications of Docker and the way it may be used with the world’s largest blogging platform:
Considering the innovation we’ve seen around the core WordPress platform, from the community, I imagine we’ll see similar when it comes to just raw API deployment, and when you start considering the potential when bundled with the latest containerization movement, led by Docker.io, and being driven by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Red Hat, your head will start to spin.
WordPress API + Virtual Containers = API Deployment As Part Of The Fabric Of The Cloud
That pretty much says it all.
Feature image via Flickr Creative Commons