Easier Is Good
These relatively easy — though they were not very easy when I started — development tools got me to where I can pick up something like AngularJS very quickly when I needed it. If you leave a comment on this post you will see the comment appear on the page without a refresh. If someone else leaves a comment while you have this page open, it will appear on the screen within 15 seconds.
It works, but requires a lot of custom PHP to create the API for it and format the data as needed. At the time of writing this article, I am re-writing Epoch to use the WordPress REST API instead of my custom API, and I am also using AngularJS.
If WordPress is really entering an era of API-driven interfaces, tools like Angular and Backbone will make that even easier.
Let’s Stay Out Of The Framework Wars
Still, the focus on frameworks scares me. This is not just because I find the “my framework is better than yours” debate to be silly.
Learn PHP Deeply
Right now a lot of WordPress core, and popular WordPress plugins were not written in a way that is easily adaptable to being wrapped up in the REST API endpoints. It’s going to take a lot of work to change that. Work that will be written in PHP.
Moving forward, WordPress core as well as our plugins and maybe our themes are going to need to do a better job of decoupling logic and CRUD from display. The same low-level systems will need to serve both the traditional WordPress admin and theme interfaces, as well as REST API endpoints.
New plugins have an advantage in this department, but it requires discipline and more work to make a plugin that meets the requirements I listed above. Adapting an older plugin to meet these demands without breaking backwards compatibility is more challenging.