Pardon the stupid pun but I'm just traveling from the amazing #feelingrestfull conference and am really feeling that way (apart from being tired – don't ask me why they'd call it “A Day of REST” 🙂 ). Let me share a couple of thoughts.
The API thing is going to be huge
With some examples like fetching data from WordPress and using Ghost themes (!) to render the site one just cannot stop thinking what's going to happen in the next couple of years. Big players like The New York Times and Wired are already using “APIzed” WordPress installations as part of their platforms but the idea of small API endpoints everywhere personally excites me.
What core cannot fix, projects around it can
The REST API is going to be merged into the core soon but it started as an external project and I still feels to me that way (the team working on it, the infrastructure on GitHub etc.). WP-CLI is another external project, VersionPress another one etc. They all bring something different to the table but the problems they encounter, internally, are surprisingly similar or related.
For example, Daniel Bachhuber talked about how WP-CLI will auto-expose REST API endpoints as WP-CLI commands which is great. But to understand the data structures, there need to be some kind of description which currently the API project currently provides via a simple JSON schema which might or might not be enough. For our project, we've also created a format that describes WordPress data for the purposes of version control and will be adding descriptions for a lot of popular plugins so on a general level, the results could be shared. There are a lot of open questions but I think that API + WP-CLI + version control could be a very powerful combo.
This was probably the best WordPress event I have ever attended, trumping even the excellent WordCamp US last year. The event itself was packed with interesting people from all around the world, usually deeply technical but also with a good high-level understanding of the current challenges in WordPress. The talks were excellent and the atmosphere felt very family-like, with a British touch to it. Plus, one cannot deny that there's something about London.
Thank you Human Made, you nailed it!