Roughly 2,000 WordPress developers, designers, bloggers, and enthusiasts flooded the streets of downtown Philadelphia last week to attend the inaugural WordCamp US. The two-day event was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on December 4-5 and featured more than 100 different sessions. For some, WordCamp US started early with The Community Summit on December 2-3 and ended late with the contributor day on December 6.
Everyone at WCUS was buzzing about APIs — and, with the inclusion of the WP REST API infrastructure in WordPress 4.4, APIs will remain at the forefront in the conversation around the future of WordPress.
APIs Are The Future Of WordPress
Several sessions at WordCamp US focused on APIs, from the WordPress HTTP API to the WordPress.com API, and, of course, the WP REST API. Even co-founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg emphasized their significance throughout The State of the Word.
“I truly believe that APIs are the key to an open web.” — @photomatt
— george ﬆephanis (@daljo628) December 5, 2015
Let’s take a look at some of the unique uses of the REST API mentioned at WordCamp US.
New York Times developer and WordPress 4.4 release lead Scott Taylor discussed how the Times leverages the WP REST API in production as “the de facto Breaking News platform.” He explained how The New York Times has been using the WP REST API for more than a year and how it became the obvious choice to power Live Coverage because of its interaction with WordPress, Backbone, and React.
Slack-Powered Live Blog
We interviewed Wired.com’s Jake Spurlock at WordCamp US and he explained how Wired is leveraging the REST API internally. “We’re using the REST API to power internal things. We use it for testing and different publishing methods,” Spurlock said.
“We’re going to have a Slack-powered live blog… everything typed in Slack will be published live on Wired.com,” he said.
The REST API will be used in conjunction with internal WordPress to power this for users. This is one of the most interesting and awesome use-cases. After all, WordPress loves Slack. A fact that was reaffirmed during the State of the Word when Mullenweg stated that WordPress is one of the largest Slack channels.
During The State of the Word address, Mullenweg highlighted three unique uses of the REST API.
Microsoft Dynamics AX
Microsoft Dynamics, in collaboration with WebDevStudios, leverages the REST API as an interface for displaying WordPress content inside its application. People from all over the world create content in WordPress, which is then translated, managed, and displayed.
StoryCorps worked with 10up to create StoryCorps.me, a downloadable application to easily interview, record, and share stories with the world. It uses the JSON REST API to allow the website front end and the iOS application to talk to each other, without even being online. “This democratizes the idea of StoryCorp,” Mullenweg said.
Over Thanksgiving, StoryCorps.me was featured on the homepage of Google.
“So for those who are wondering if the REST API and WordPress can scale, only high enough to be linked from the homepage of Google,” Mullenweg said.
The web where you click a link and then wait for the next page to load isn’t going anywhere, but it will become less prevalent as developers work on creating these dynamic experiences.