AngularJS, Meet WordPress

Having coded my first web pages almost half a lifetime ago in 1995, I’ve seen my share of server side development patterns and frameworks: CGI scripts, NSAPI, ISAPI, Apache API, ASP(.NET), PHP, JSP, Rails, Grails, et al. Although the idea of server side javascript (SSJS) is not new (I think Netscape Enterprise Server first enabled its use), the node.js community and its offshoots that has evolved javascript (JS) into a full stack development is by far the fasting moving development community that I’ve seen. It seems that there are new frameworks clamoring for attention weekly, if not daily. The pace of innovation seems to be increasing exponentially compared to the pre-node.js web.

The innovation in SSJS triggered a new wave of innovation in clients-side JS (CSJS). For greenfield projects, the purist JS community advocates using JS on the client and server sides for Single Page Apps (SPAs). There are many existing capable server-side frameworks with large, established communities, so why has SSJS taken the development community by storm? The most compelling argument for me is the ability to code my app logic in one language. HTML and CSS are a given and logic often leaks into them, so we’re still talking about at least 3 languages to build an app, but the point is being able to use one less language to build my app.

Despite the incredible momentum of the purist camp, there’s still a huge base of applications out there written in PHP, ASP.NET, JSP. Old guys like me can’t compete with the purists’ pace of innovation. We can still add value though, by linking the old world pre-SSJS with the new SSJS world.

For example, PHP and CMS’s built on top of it like WordPress and Drupal with installations and communities in the millions aren’t going away soon. Out of the box they don’t yet leverage the new CSJS frameworks. Angular.js was developed by Google and is probably the hottest CSJS framework. How can WordPress leverage the power of Angular.js?

As with many of us in the Internet-connected world, I read far too much of my email on my phone. Tonight as I read the daily deals from one of my favorite WordPress blogs Dan’s Deals, I was frustrated by how slow the pages loaded as I progressed sequentially from pages 1 to 4 in a multi-page post. I noticed that the entire page reloads every time I advance to the next page of the article. Why does my browser need to reload the page header, footer, and sidebar just to read the next page of a long article? Dan’s Deals has a mobile theme which does a good job of rendering the site on my phone, but it doesn’t seem to address the performance limitations of the mobile experience.


About jmjpro

Software Development Manager java, networking, xml
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