During the State of the Word at WordCamp US 2016, Matt Mullenweg announced that Calypso was plugin aware. Calypso is a REST API and React powered application for the desktop created by Automattic in 2015.
Developers with plugins active on 1M sites or more received an email invitation from Andy Peatling to begin building support for Calypso.
“Calypso is now plugin-aware,” Mullenweg said. “This pull request was merged today, and as a way to bootstrap this, we’re opening up for what I just described for plugins to create Calypso interfaces for what they’re doing.
“Basically saying, if you’re using Calypso on a site that has one of these plugins, let’s say WooCommerce, all of a sudden in the interface, there will be all the WooCommerce stuff. It’ll talk to the API, it will run on the desktop just like the rest of Calypso, and it will only be loaded if the plugin is active.”
One of the major differences between Calypso and WP-Admin is that custom meta boxes added by plugins are not accessible in Calypso.
Nearly seven months since the announcement, popular WordPress plugins have struggled to add meta box support, including those maintained by Automattic. WordPress SEO, active on more than 3M sites, is among the plugins that were selected to take part in the experiment.
When asked about the progress of making WordPress SEO Calypso aware, Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast.com, declined to comment.
Automattic has seen little progress on the initiative, “No news to report at this time, but hope to have some soon,” Automattic representative Mark Armstrong said. WooCommerce has yet to add meta box support and settings pages in Calypso.
Gutenberg, WordPress’ new editor, is also built using React. One of the chief concerns expressed by users and developers is how it will support custom meta boxes built using the current PHP framework.
“I miss a lot of the meta boxes I’m used to seeing on the screen,” Aaron Jorbin said. “Things like Yoast SEO (on some sites) and custom taxonomies are just not shown. If every meta box ever made for WordPress needs to be remade, it sure is going to make developers lives a living hell.”
I want to use Calypso as a replacement for WP-Admin because it’s fast and I like the interface. However, I can’t do that until it supports meta boxes for the plugins I rely on, such as Edit Flow. Is the lack of custom meta box support for Calypso a sign of what’s to come with Gutenberg?