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The "WordPress and JavaScript Overview" Lesson is part of the full, JavaScript for WordPress course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

While a stable development platform already, WordPress is embracing JavaScript by adding an API. Showcasing some of the JavaScript features in WordPress, Zac reviews the history of WordPress' development past and future.

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Transcript from the "WordPress and JavaScript Overview" Lesson

[00:00:00]
>> Zac: This is shifting in big part, because I got talk about WordPress recently added API to its core. That now the WordPress bubble is kind of intercepting with this much larger JavaScript bubble and there is a lot more that you can do with JavaScript and server side that might not work with WordPress and just a sheer number of people developing JavaScript apps, I don't know the actual peer numbers.

[00:00:24] WordPress powers a huge portion of the Internet, but the JavaScript development world is a huge one. So WordPress developers are coming out of this. In the past, they could know just a little bit of jQuery and get by for years with everything that they needed to. But now we're needing to learn things like frameworks, like view, and react, and tools like Web Pack and run and command line and NPM and yarn and all that.

[00:00:47] So this is shifting for them and for those people who already know these skills in the JavaScript world like I said, it's a great way to come into the WordPress space both for work and for leveraging what WordPress can do for you. So WordPress was forked from another free version of blogging software in the early 2000s, and it has had a very interesting history of JavaScript in it.

[00:01:14] So there's this talk that I'll share link out later, in fact, should I just throw this in the, well, no. Search for his name and then JavaScript past, present, and future. This is a 15 minute flash talk, and he starts off at the very beginning talking about the 300 lines of JavaScript that were in one file when they started.

[00:01:36] And now, 30% or somewhere around there, of WordPress is built in JavaScript. So over that time, we've seen a lot of different little admin features added, making this a little bit easier, starting off with adding some buttons, and then TMCE eventually, which is JavaScript driven, and then some bigger things were implemented.

[00:01:58] We have things like the customizer, which is the first single page web app experience built inside WordPress and it let's you change all these features like menus and widgets. It doesn't add the content directly but your site name and you could swap out themes and things like that, and see all of it live and preview.

[00:02:19] So this is a single web page experience, and it's not using any major frameworks behind the scenes. It has its own JavaScript API, and it's pretty powerful. This was added in a time, we have other features like,
>> Zac: Wait for it, it's so worth it.
>> Zac: The media library, so, a pretty robust media library where you can drag and drop images, you can move stuff around easily.

[00:02:49] You can just drag stuff on into the browser and it will load. And not just images, but videos, other things as well. It has some embed technology, so you can just paste a YouTube link in there and it will automatically reform it into a embedded URL. This was built in backbone and at the time, a lot of thinking went into making that decision of what framework should be used, and it allowed a lot of things to be done that weren't able to be done before.

[00:03:22] Also, because it's in core, it was used for other projects, so we also have things like post revisions, which is a way to basically scroll along a bar and see left and right differences between different posts. So if you have an about page and you've edited over the course of a year and changed things, you could just drag something and see the two previews side-by-side of the differences.

[00:03:46] Again, moving more into that single page web app experience. So there is stuff in WordPress core that uses JavaScript and it's increasing more and more.