Fields API: Request for review of direction

Over the past many months this year, I have been working with guidance from @helen on the new Fields APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. with the intention of inclusion into WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.. It’s based on the CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings. API, so those who have experience with it will see a lot of similarities. The goal isn’t to create a duplicate API though, and in our proposal we would be implementing the Fields API within the Customizer API.

What does that bring to core as a whole? It gives core a very real and far reaching API to add fields to any type of object in a standard interface. Given the growth of the Customizer API and its inclusion of fields, @helen and I both agreed it’d be great to leverage everything it can do in our efforts here. The goal isn’t focused on the actual Customizer UIUI User interface or editing on the front-end, it’s all data-oriented.

We would create implementations behind the scenes in the various existing APIs such as the Customizer API (now) and Settings API (later) while maintaining backwards compatibility. We’re also hoping to implement the Fields API within the User profile screen. This would give core more flexibility towards revamping the User profile screen in the future, without having to tackle even more than just a UI refresh. That’s also not mentioning the fact that pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party and theme authors could leverage this API to extend WordPress with their own fields in the various areas. Future places we’d look at integrating Fields API with would be the Post editor, which I’ve pegged as our third focus, behind User profile fields and the Customizer API.

Anyways, that leads us to the point we’re at now, we have an API but we don’t have all of the built-in Field Types (control types) yet or the latest Customizer API changes from 4.3 merged upstream into the Fields API. There are unit tests that are running (and passing!) so that is going to help us on our road towards core for sure.

We need developers to give their feedback on the direction we’re heading. Here are the relevant links for those reviewing:

I’d love more feedback from anyone contributing to WordPress, or the *countless* plugin and theme developers who would use the Fields API. Please comment on this post, or if you’d like to discuss further, you can hop into our weekly meetings on Mondays (Monday 20:00 UTC 2015) in the WP SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at #core-fields channel, or pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” me there anytime.

Update – 08/10/2015:

We now also have a growing list of developers who are behind this project and would implement it in their projects if it were merged into core.

#fields-api, #options-meta