In The Next Few Years, 90% Of WordPress Development Could Be JavaScript Based

In March of 2013, Matt Mullenweg stopped by the Memeburn office to talk about how WordPress went from being just another blogging platform to becoming the CMS of choice for the majority of the web. The author of the article infers that Mullenweg thinks 90% of WordPress development will be JavaScript based in the next few years.

In the future, the platform will also feature a lot more JavaScript. In fact, he reckons that 90% of WordPress will be JavaScript-based within the next few years.

When Eric Lewis recently asked Mullenweg on Twitter if he said the quote, his response clarified that he thinks the majority of PHP will be used for infrastructure such as updates, API’s, and the database layer. Meanwhile, user-facing improvements will be JavaScript driven. Most already are such as the editor, media, customizer and menus.

Spurred on by the discussion, Jordi Cabot of dove into the WordPress source code. Using graphs, Cabot shows how many JavaScript files and lines of code have been added to WordPress since 0.7 was released. He then compares the number of PHP and JavaScript lines within the source code.

PHP vs JavaScript Lines Of Code in WordPress
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The numbers show that JavaScript is only 16.6% of the total source code of WordPress with PHP representing 83.4%. So while JavaScript isn’t taking over WordPress development any time soon, it’s definitely a valuable skill worth knowing.

Like Greg Rickaby, I find it fascinating that JavaScript has seen a resurgence. At one point, JavaScript seemed to be one of those poisonous things on the web that caused nothing but problems for browsers.

I think various libraries like MooTools, jQuery, and Node.js are largely responsible for the renewed interest in the language. I also think the introduction of Ajax played a role as well, going back to 2004 when Google used it for Gmail and then Google Maps. Neil Taylor of has a great article covering the brief history of the JavaScript language.

What factors can you come up with that explain the renewed interest in JavaScript? What advice would you give people wanting to learn JavaScript?

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