This is a lot of change. But it goes deeper than just the entire technology stack we’re working on now. This was a complete culture-shift for Automattic, a now-400-person company traditionally made up of approximately 100% PHP developers. To get here, we at Automattic took a step back and asked ourselves;
What would WordPress.com look like if we were to start building it today?
As part of answering that question, we made a lot of changes internally:
- Switched to a completely GitHub-based workflow.
- Every commit is now peer-reviewed.
- Shifted to a very component-minded architecture.
- Moved our WordPress codebase to be entirely API-driven. New features are now only launched as a new/modified API endpoint + data layer + UI layer.
- Change in thinking from being very “plugin-oriented” (similar to WP-core) to a much more integrated and cohesive way of thinking of things across the web and mobile apps.
So today, in keeping with the DNA of Automattic, which shares the DNA of WordPress, we’re releasing what we’ve been working on as open source. It’s code-named “Calypso” (long story), and we’re extremely proud of what we’ve built over the last ~18 months. I truly hope that this can help guide or influence WordPress.org‘s future.
I wrote this post in the Calypso/WordPress.com Desktop app, and published it via Jetpack. That feels pretty darned good.
Easiest Development Environment
As much as native mobile app developers would have you believe that apps are the future, I still think that open web technologies are the key to the future. Give it a little time, and we’ll mostly be writing all of our mobile apps in HTML/JS, and deploying them in wrapper-apps to our phones. I consider this basically inevitable. Learning to develop for the web is super important. You’ll need to know it basically regardless of what main language you’re working with, because despite our best efforts, you will still end up manipulating CSS, tweaking some HTML tags, etc. That’s not going to go away any time soon I don’t think.