React All the Things on All the Platforms

Throughout 2017, the WordPress team has been building key new features using React, a Javascript framework developed by Facebook.

However, React has suffered from licensing complications. In mid-September, Matt Mullenweg announced that the WordPress team, and Automattic, were dropping the React framework:

the Gutenberg team is going to take a step back and rewrite Gutenberg using a different library. It will likely delay Gutenberg at least a few weeks, and may push the release into next year

This was big news, and a notable set-back for WordPress's development.

Then everything changed again.

A timeline of recent developments around React

  • Mid-September: Magento announces that it will turn itself into a Progressive Web Application platform, using React.
  • September 23: Facebook reverses their licensing decision, leaving WordPress free to use React again (whether they will or not is still undecided).
  • October 2: Dries announces that Drupal will start adopting React, after a 2 year decision-making process.

Are these projects making a good decision to standardize on React? That's much a topic for a much longer blog post.

But it's clear that a new technical consensus has emerged, rapidly and surprisingly. In the space of less than a month, the open source community has rapidly coalesced around a single Javascript platform.

Things could still change again, but it looks likely that three of the web's biggest platforms, WordPress, Drupal, and Magento, are all going to standardize on React.

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.