REST Development Console — now open source!

For developers working with the REST API, the browser-based API console is an essential debugging tool. It allows you to test your API queries and interactively explore the results (or errors) that the API returns.

REST API console - exploring results

It also puts the documentation at your fingertips and allows you to build a custom query right from any method’s description.

REST API console - building a query

Like the REST API itself, this tool works for any blog on WordPress.com and for any self-hosted WordPress install using Jetpack.

With the addition of implicit OAuth, we’ve released an open-source version of the API console that you can run yourself.

First, you’ll want to create a WordPress.com application (or modify an existing one) and make sure to set the Javascript Origins option. This should be the fully-qualified URL (including http:// or https:// ) of the site you’ll be running the API console on. To run it locally, just use “http://localhost”.

REST API console - JS origins setting

Then, just head on over to the GitHub repository, clone your own copy, and put your application’s info in the file config.json.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 5.23.59 PM

When you’re running the console locally, you can authenticate by clicking on the box in the lower-right corner.

dev console - auth button

Once you’re linked to a blog, the blog’s ID will be shown in the lower right. You can click on it to change which blog you’re working with.

Important note: When you’ve connected to a blog, the console is hooked up to the live database — any changes you make will be reflected on that blog! You might want to create a test blog if you’re planning to make any requests that will modify content.

The REST API console is located at https://developer.wordpress.com/console/.

If you’re using the API, we’d love to hear what you think! Have you used the development console? What’s great (or not so great) about it?

Introducing WordPress.com Insights

We love stats at Automattic. They’re key to understanding our users, and a driving force behind a lot of what we do.

When we make a change, we measure its impact and use the metrics to make data-informed decisions. For example, we recently improved how our Publicized posts look on other services. Using our own data as well as data provided by our partners, we made further improvements and tweaks to increase click throughs to your posts.

Our partners and those building on our platform should have the same ability. That’s why we spent the past few weeks creating tool to support them: WordPress.com Insights.

Check it out in the short video below:

Music Credit: Anthony Vitale

Insights provides data and graphs for a variety of metrics: Connections/authorizations, API calls, API errors, posts published, WordPress.com Connect Logins, and the reach of posts published from your app. By exposing this data, developers can measure the impact of their integrations over time.

In addition to graphs, we’ve also built in export functionality allowing you to get your data in CSV format. Since Insights is built using the REST API, you can pull data out in JSON format as well.

To accompany Insights, we also added the ability to allow other users and developers access to your app. To edit your permissions, head to the Apps Manager, select an application, and click “manage users.” If you want to provide temporary access you can also generate sharable URLs.

For more information and a walkthrough of Insights, check out our documentation.

Developer plugin 1.2 released: UI Improvements and New Plugins

Version 1.2 of the Developer plugin is hot off the press!

1.2 includes a host of UI improvements as well as two new plugins, Log Viewer by Markus Fischbacher, and Jetpack by Automattic, plus a new Jetpack constant,  JETPACK_DEV_DEBUG. This release aims to improve the usability of Developer by adding:

  • Detailed messages in case of an error while installing or activating a plugin
  • Plugin descriptions on installation steps, so it’s more clear what you’re installing actually does
  • A link to the plugin details page on installation steps
  • A more obvious button to close the post-install modal window

Also included are some behind the scenes improvements to make recommended plugins and constants more flexible down the road as we continue to add to the plugin.

If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest on Developer, please join us on Github where all feedback, plugin suggestions, bug reports, and pull requests are always welcome!

Developer plugin v1.1: Themers are developers too!

UPDATE: we regularly push updates to the developer plugin, make sure you grab the latest version here: https://github.com/Automattic/developer.

We’ve pushed out v1.1 of the Developer plugin, which is packed full of goodies for WordPress theme developers.

You can now indicate that you’re working on a theme for a self-hosted WordPress install to get recommendations on a number of must-have plugins as suggested by the WordPress.com Theme Team.

We also cleaned up a few things, fixed some bugs, added some new plugins (User Switching by John Blackbourn and Pig Latin by Nikolay Bachiyski) and some other useful resources (like the _s starter theme).

(Note: we also pushed out v1.1.1 shortly after to fix an issue with the plugin slug for the Pig Latin plugin. Thanks bobbingwide for the fix.)

As always, if you’d like to check out the code and contribute, join us on Github; pull requests, bug reports, and plugin recommendations are more than welcome.