Do you know about the WordPress “Data Layer”? If you’re anything like me, you’ve maybe heard the term or have a vague idea of it. OK- if you’re really anything like me, you’ll admit you have not actually heard the term and have no idea what it is. To remedy this issue, I took the new Using the WordPress Data Layer course on Learn WordPress. Impressive stuff.
The result is that the last five or so years of WordPress core development have really flown over my head. While there’s been visible “end-user” progress happening inside the block editor, it feels like only recently that a ton of developer-friendly stuff is just starting to surface as well.
I say “starting to surface” because the entire paradigm of WordPress- from how project leadership communicates, where code is written and discussed, to how well new features are being documented- has shifted. Most of this stuff is just beginning to look stable enough to use and much of it isn’t really “documented” in the way that we think about classical documentation. Instead, there’s been a focus on the “Block Editor Handbook” as the new location for much of this information, including packages like @wordpress/env that should really be presented to the community outside the context of the block editor. Your mileage attempting to navigate through the handbook’s narrowly-columned, weirdly laid-out content may vary.
This course (the content of which has already been hidden inside the handbook) is a great first step in breaking down the walls between block editing and the rest of the WordPress admin.
React.js is a framework that very clearly comes out of Facebook: you can tell it was designed by engineers with no concern for beauty or aesthetics. It’s ugly but it’s extremely functional. Disagree? Just compare the landing pages for reactjs.org and vuejs.org. Dip your toes into JSX but shield your eyes. God forbid we enjoy looking at something. (This seems to be the motto for most of the Gutenberg UI components.)