Headless WP Podcast

The Future of Faust with Chris Wiegman

October 20, 2022 Season 3 Episode 7
Headless WP Podcast
The Future of Faust with Chris Wiegman
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Fran and Jeff talk with Chris Wiegman, the Engineering Manager of the team working on WP Engine's Faust framework. During this quarter, the Faust framework has undergone a massive overhaul and Chris spends some time sharing details on those updates:

  • Moving from GQty to Apollo for data fetching 
  • Implementing WP routing and template hierarchy
  • Adding plugin functionality to Faust with hooks/actions
  • Q4 actions towards Gutenberg support

If you're interested in the development of Faust, keep an eye on this space over the coming months.

After teasing the possibility of renaming Faust, the current name will stick for this release, but this episode was recorded while that decision was still in flux, so please excuse any artifacts of that conversation that didn't get edited out : )

Faust Website
Chris' Website
Apollo GraphQL Client

Jeff Everhart: all right. Welcome to the headless Wp. Podcast. I am Jeff Eberhardt and I'm. Joined today by Chris Wigman and Fran Igalto, both of Wp. Engine. So y'all know Fran. My Co. Host. Chris is an engineering manager
Jeff Everhart: on a team that is developing our false framework in the next iteration of that framework. So we're super excited to have him on today to discuss some of those changes and just sort of talk about the the state of headless frameworks in general. So, Chris, how's it going?
Chris Wiegman: Good. Glad to be here?
Jeff Everhart: Awesome. And this is a question we like to ask all of our guests. So if you wouldn't mind, it's not on the list we sent you. But if you could just give us a little bit of background about yourself, how you got into wordpress, what what your experience looks like in that space, and maybe what you've been doing at done at the end for the past couple of years.
Chris Wiegman: Sure Got it to wordpress. Well, probably around two thousand and ten, I think, is when I opened my org account because I was working for a university where wordpress just happened to be the best fit faculty in everybody. One of their own sites so multi-site was just urged the core.
Chris Wiegman: That was kind of my forway, and then I kind of grew with it. I had a plug-in, which is now called i-themed, security, which is better. Wp. Security at the time they started building off of Oh, well, I need all these features, and you know kind of scratching your own itch type of thing that really just took off, and
Fran Agulto: I couldn't. After that I just couldn't escape around for a few hours. Been here. Saturday was four years here,
Jeff Everhart: and It's really interesting, too, because I think you and I have a little bit of a shared background coming from the higher Ed space. Ah, my previous job was you also a university where we had a really big multi-site that we did a lot of stuff with. So that's always kind of a cool and interesting to space to see what what those people are doing. Absolutely
Fran Agulto: It's interesting, too, just to add on what Chris said Jeff. And I always say this on every podcast, every time php and wordpress comes up it's unescapable it.
Fran Agulto: Yeah, you could try to like spray it with raid smash it.
Fran Agulto: That's good,
Fran Agulto: you know.
Jeff Everhart: Ah, well, so cool, so a lot of our listeners might be surprised to know that Wp. Engine is developing an open source. Javascript framework, So could you describe kind of the motive motivation behind that move?
Chris Wiegman: Sure, it's been out there for a while, and quite honestly, I refer to it
Chris Wiegman: to people who know of it as kind of Schrodinger's: Js: We've had it out there. I took over this team as engineering manager, December the first,
Chris Wiegman: and at that point we'd already already realized. Our initial use case was for javascript developers who really wanted to. Simple simplify word for us data. So we built it with a framework called Gqd. Which is this whole crazy syntax, You you know
Chris Wiegman: the idea was folks didn't have to learn Graphql.
Chris Wiegman: It turned out that didn't scale real well. So by the time I took over the team I already was like, Yeah, that needs to be pulled out of there. We're pulling it out of there, because it is such a simple syntax means
Chris Wiegman: really rewriting the whole thing. So since I take it over, it's been kind of Schrodinger's. Js: and we're getting close to releasing a new version hopefully in the next few weeks. But um! The reason being is, it's very There's a lot going on in wordpress. How do you handle where you know next has its own router?
Chris Wiegman: How do you play nice with wordpress? Has its own router word process, authentication, word process preview, you know. Content previews There's so many things going on in the wordpress. How do you bring that magic of of making wordpress work over to a headless site,
Jeff Everhart: and that's been the motivation for this from day one, I mean. Yes, anybody can. And a lot of existing sites are everybody's reinventing the wheel for their own site. Let's start with Apollo, which is what we're moving to instead of Gqd. Let's start with. Maybe it's next to view whichever framework you pick there, and then
Chris Wiegman: reinvent the wheel where you have some of those features. Maybe you don't have all of them. It all depends on your budget. How much time you want to invest. But that's
Jeff Everhart: and that's great. If you have a large team, and you're you're working with the ten-ups of the world and companies like that where you have a very high budget. But how about everybody else, or even how do companies like ten up reduce their development costs and things like that,
Chris Wiegman: and that's exactly what our motivation, our I the idea, since I've come on it's the way I like to say this, for you know first our our person has changed. We used to want to target javascript developers who had to develop with wordpress. Now we're targeting very much wordpress developers who want to go into Javascript, and of course javascript developers will
Jeff Everhart: from a lot of these changes, too. But I've been referring to it oftentimes, as we want it to be the genesis of headless, whereas Genesis was a framework that you could get started with very quickly. You could build very advanced sites and it and offer a lot of tools to make theme development easier. That's exactly what we're building for a headless market.
Jeff Everhart: That's really cool and coming from the outside. So I think like right around that time. When was that version of pouse launch? Maybe like October of
Jeff Everhart: twenty, twenty-two, I I I could tell you the day. Okay, I want to say it was like somewhere like mid to late, twenty, twenty one, and watching that from the outside, like those were all of my pain points as a developer who was interested in doing headless wordpress stuff, but was on a really small team, Right? I'm working in this higher ed environment. And we realized the utility of this pattern that okay? Well, if we can just get data from the Api like, we can pass off this site on our multi-site instance to somebody with
Jeff Everhart: custom post types, custom fields, they can fill it out. And then that data at goes out to all these other places, but so many of the problems we're like, like you, said we already. I wanted to do authentication, or I wanted to have somebody like do like a protective mutation or something like that. I had to figure out all of those problems before we even got to like the bigger kind of hosting problem where I think like the at this platform solves so it's really cool. And that was when when I saw this drop I was like, Oh, wow! You know what I got.
Jeff Everhart: Come, be a part of this, and like applied for this job, and and here I am. But it was, you know, like
Jeff Everhart: coming from the outside. All of that stuff is true. I think we're great motivations for that initial sort of, I guess beta maybe is their own word. But that's sort of pre-release launch or fast.
Chris Wiegman: i'll call it, you know. I'll call it faust the launch your files.
Jeff Everhart: That was what we wanted to hope to do. But we made some decisions that just didn't work out reality. So. And I think that's a very normal thing, too, for where we are at the cycle. So much of it is still exploratory work that has to be done to figure out what works and what doesn't
Jeff Everhart: that I think a lot of that makes sense. You know that, hey? This this wasn't didn't pan out in the way we thought it.
Jeff Everhart: Um, but so I I do think there is an interesting, so there's something interesting. I want to dive into here. So like, you know, Wp. Engine is a company. Obviously, we all work for them. You know, they've got really really great intentions as a company really fantastic.
Jeff Everhart: Um, but they're They're also a company. They make money. They sell hosting. They sell other add on paid premium products, obviously just acquired all the delicious brain stuff so. But Wp. Engine. When they decided to make files, they did it intentionally as an open source project instead of some sort of paid or premium theme. So what what are your thoughts on on
Jeff Everhart: on that decision?
Chris Wiegman: Well, sticking with you. I came over to Atlas from previously the Ecom team. I was actually hired for Dev Kit. The dev kit was our own development environment, which I mean that we bought local. It was actually my birthday that they announced that they bought flywheel. So, of course, Dev Kit's not gonna win a market share. We've barely launched it.
Chris Wiegman: So I've come through a couple different teams that didn't always that often fought the release of open source.
Chris Wiegman: The Atlas, as a whole has an open source.
Jeff Everhart: Memo. I don't know if that's the right word, an open source mission. So everything we try to build is open source first, whether it's Graphql Acm: Now, Acf. Mouse, whatever it is we want to build in the open first. There's no
Jeff Everhart: code such as Faust codes, such as Acm. They they're limit insights, Anyway, if somebody wants to code and we trying to put weird gates on code, isn't going to work yeah to be a better partner with the community as we launch the new version of the framework. This gives us the opportunity to
Chris Wiegman: take in. You know, work with the community, not just work
Jeff Everhart: against the commuter. Not just tell the community how to do things. But you know, why did we? Why are we pivoting away from Sheqdi? This community went. Ah, I needed something bigger than a blog. What the heck do I do with this? So let's go back to the drawing board and do something
Chris Wiegman: right, and that allows us to build that trust that allows us to build that collaboration which we couldn't do otherwise. We,
Jeff Everhart: yeah, it is really neat to see those products then get used in a bunch of different environments. So for me, like when I support users in our discord, or using Faust in the current iteration, right? Some of them will come, and some that be on our platform. Some will be on our cell. Some will be on thatilify. So it's really interesting to see that sort of echo out. People get to really like. Use the tool that you know this team is making, but in their own way. And however they need you to kind of get their job
Jeff Everhart: to that strategy of just helping the headless wordpress developer kind of regardless of where you are, or who you're hosting, which which I think is need.
Chris Wiegman: It also continues to enable that whole ability to do headless word for it. It's no secret. That wordpress is core Maintainer. That's just not a forehead list, but they're hostile to it. So, the tools
Chris Wiegman: not being built elsewhere. You know what we kind of are reinventing the wheel, which is, wait, you know. Okay, we'll pivot There's no shame in that.
Jeff Everhart: But we're enabling you all those folks agencies don't want to use fse for everything they're building. There's plenty of reasons why
Chris Wiegman: fse is not the right tool for the more complex sites, and for better or bigger sites and agency sites re-enabling that ability to really code for the future of themes with headlines is going to be a big deal
Jeff Everhart: for sure. Yeah,
Jeff Everhart: for sure.
Fran Agulto: So you want to pick up that next question, Fran: Oh, okay,
Fran Agulto: yeah, it was. It was interesting because I was like, which ones are. And I didn't like it when I was like, which ones are Jeffs and the which ones um so on the so like. Essentially for our like listeners who who Don't. Know, Chris, what what Faust is. Could you give us like a
Fran Agulto: five thousand high-level overview and describe what it kind of does for developers people using headless wordpress.
Chris Wiegman: Faust, as it stands today, is is a framework that works with X. Js. And works in conjunction with it, with a wordpress plugin on the back end to enable a lot of the basic wordpress features, authentication, post previews and and really abstracts a lot of the simple content types. So you can
Chris Wiegman: Ah! Access them easily, and build templates for the front end. That that's what Faust is today. It's feature set is a little bit limited as of today, but it still enables all that back-end magic of wordpress that wouldn't be there otherwise.
Fran Agulto: Yeah, it's interesting because like
Fran Agulto: with with my experience here when it first launched. In fact, I
Fran Agulto: was within the first iteration of the bust framework and what its core functionality it was really kind of, I thought, as a back. Then, Chris and Jeff. I was still in my react boot camp. I didn't graduate yet, so I was kind of like fumbling around with still like
Fran Agulto: aquarium stuff. But um! Our old ah head of Debrell. Um Will Johnston? Ah! Says Hey, friend, just quickly try this and see how quickly you have a time to first. Hello, world, I like to call it
Fran Agulto: when I, Chris, when I spun this thing up and pull down the package, and then just put my endpoint in my inb file, and I was like
Fran Agulto: Oh, wow!
Fran Agulto: Literally it's Oh, big! The front ends obeying what the back end is wanting with the post-post details, and I was like, Oh, and I literally wrote like just had to drop an E and V file within the actual, the boilerplate of the framework. So yeah it was that. That is,
Fran Agulto: It's It's sweet to me, man. I it got it so it's hard, my stoke on this. But yeah,
Jeff Everhart: and the other thing like to, because we've set the the term reinventing the wheel a lot, and I think that's kind of important, because, like in some ways, you know we are.
Jeff Everhart: But I think the other thing that Faust does for people who aren't even using Faust is, it provides you like blueprints for a wheel. So like, for example, like the authentication stuff that that has been built into Faust right there's this interaction with the plugin and the framework
Jeff Everhart: where you all have kind of like rolled your own authentication solution to help. Tell us where Grants developers do that.
Jeff Everhart: And there are obviously lots of other ways. You can do it, too. But what I've been able to do with that is, say, like, okay, like here's the diagram here's kind of what's going on. And so somebody's like. Well, I want to do this in nuts, or I want to do this in this other framework. I'm able to. Then say, Well, you know, like. Take a look at how bust does it? You sort of see how that would translate to whatever you're trying to do, and whatever you are trying to do it. So it's like, I think, even even though people aren't using it like a lot of the patterns and stuff that have been created as a part of this development
Fran Agulto: like become these blueprints that get the developer who's not using the tech like a little bit further, faster either way. So I think it's really it's really cool. And the other thing, too, out of the box that was
Fran Agulto: pretty sweet. Ah, Chris, thanks to you and your team shout out to my boy Blake Wilson by the way me out with it. Um site. Maps site maps are a P. I T. A. Y. All listeners know the acronym to set up Standalone with the next Js.
Fran Agulto: But in Faust, within one file you pull in your next pages and pass, and your wordpress urls, and literally all. Set. So that's that's another power of using a framework like this within a back-end. Cms like wordpress. So yeah,
Chris Wiegman: Lake is so fundamental to this the team really wanted to call the new version of Blake Js: I can say that
Jeff Everhart: he wasn't too happy with
Jeff Everhart: Well, we do it here.
Fran Agulto: Yeah, we could keep in like the esoteric literature world. There's William Blake. So if we wanted to stay in there, we could, I don't know, spin it that way.
Jeff Everhart: Oh, there's this whole
Fran Agulto: Yeah, But maybe yeah, maybe maybe that that would be a cool name.
Jeff Everhart: Um. So okay, we've we've talked a little bit about what Faust does now? Um! Could you talk us through like some of the tech choices that you made like? I know you mentioned starting with tic beauty, and then realizing that this should be Apollo, it's also built on top of next Js: and so like I'm. Also interested,
Jeff Everhart: and just some background, and like, maybe. Why, that's the best framework for Faust or future iterations of it to live on top of
Chris Wiegman: our next
Jeff Everhart: I'll be honest. I don't have a good answer on next. That's one of the few things we've carried over.
Jeff Everhart: Nobody's complained about it. We have gotten questions like, can we use it with other frameworks currently, and the answer is, No, we we needed to pick something. We can't develop for everything right out of the box, so we've stuck next and largely in the transition. It's because we Haven't had a reason not to other things. We have had a reason not to are like moving off of Apollo
Jeff Everhart: or moving toward Apollo and off of Gqd. Because there was a very good reason. Gqd: just doesn't scale, not to mention It's not quite as well supported or anything as a problem. There's nothing against the containers. They're doing a great job as what they have it. Just wasn't the right fit for this.
Chris Wiegman: Some of the things that Why, we've had a change in general. That wasn't just because I mean Gqd. To Apollo is a very different syntax, right? You're writing something very different,
Chris Wiegman: but also this initial version was very ah static in what it and how it was designed to be. You will build this type of site. You will follow this pattern. This new version is going to allow things to be opened up. If you want to plug in, you can build a plugin for faults just like you built a plug-in for wordpress.
Jeff Everhart: It's gonna open up a lot More opportunity for you you don't like this functionality in here. Okay, code your own. You couldn't do that with the initial Faust, and you can't just abstract things to the point where you can without breaking sites. So that's
Chris Wiegman: you know, as you can see now, we're didn't have enough big enough change. Well, why call it Faust at all? We don't. We want to continue to support pows that we will. So if you're using fafs today, as the next version comes out in the next few weeks, there's nothing says you have to change right now. If it works for you, keep using it for a while. That's fine.
Chris Wiegman: We, as
Chris Wiegman: Ah user user numbers drop. Yeah. Eventually we'll probably sunset. We're not going to keep adding new features to that sign of things We're going to add the new features to compass. But we're not going to say. You know, it's not like we're going to disable downloads or anything else. So separating the names
Chris Wiegman: allow us to, hey? This is a really big change. You're gonna have to do some code.
Jeff Everhart: I'd love to say we can make a migration tool, but you can't, because there's just too many ways to do things right, especially as I mean, we don't have that many users. We have approximately one hundred users of the plugin, which is kind of required to use Faust and most of those seem to be sandbox and test accounts.
Chris Wiegman: So it was Schrodinger's. Js. It existed, but we quickly realized it wasn't what the future needed to be so. We haven't pressed it. That's
Chris Wiegman: it means there's not a lot of people that are going to be affected, but there are still people using it production. We we want to support those folks, and we will, and separating the names, and that it gives us a much easier opportunity to do that.
Fran Agulto: Yeah, that does make sense, because you get to leave the old thing as it was, and without needing to force this migration path on on people which I think is really good, and, you know,
Jeff Everhart: regard, you know, like, even though there may not be thousands or tens of thousands of people using it. You know we want to take good care of those people.
Fran Agulto: Yeah, I'm interested in still put, you know. Pack in your dependencies. Asterisk is your version
Jeff Everhart: just because you did it quick, or whatever else. Let's not break anything for anybody, just because their version limits are proper.
Fran Agulto: It's it's funny, because in from a choice standpoint building on top of a medical framework like next Js. Chris and Jeff. I just feel like
Fran Agulto: this was just my opinion when they first chose. Next to built on top of number one because of reacts,
Fran Agulto: huge community and it's support, and, like you,
Fran Agulto: every front-end developer nowadays even full stack you. You look at any job, description or anything, I would probably fact-check me on this, both of you. But maybe eighty percent of the job requirements out there react developer. There's some views sprinkled in there, but
Fran Agulto: from a standpoint of this shows and framework, I think, like not only is it pretty, but I think that's one of the main
Fran Agulto: ah key elements that it was initially built and stays on next. Yes, it'll be interesting to see as this thing pivots, and and Chris being the manager of this,
Fran Agulto: and and again I mean this could take, I don't know, because we had Fred a from Astro, and he he dms me sometimes on on Twitter, and goes, Hey, Fran, jokingly. I kind of want to like, try to match, or even beat next to us as far as the most.
Fran Agulto: And who knows it? Might it might not? But the thing is, it's with open source, and the decisions you've made it. It allows that ability to pivot, if if so needed. But I think we, I think here y'all, and we at W have made the best choice on what to build on top. That's my opinion.
Jeff Everhart: Yeah, I mean, certainly from a numbers game. I think you're right,
Jeff Everhart: all right.
Jeff Everhart: And if you're looking at jobs or people using it like that's the biggest biggest player in the game. So I think if you're looking to capture the most people's attention like that was
Jeff Everhart: that was the way to go um and like, you know, I So I come from like I I didn't really get involved in react or next, until I actually got this job where I spend a lot of time working in view and nuts and and using those tools. Um, without really knowing that ducks had sort of copied next Js, anyway, so like, you know, like there are parts of nuts that I like, and I really like that for this reason. And then kind of got her I was like, Oh, well,
Fran Agulto: turns out like ducks next. Did it first? Um! So I think that's kind of kind of interesting. Um, and it is, it is likely the best, you know the best, I think, target for for us to build on top of it. If you look at, I think a lot. There are a number of sort of community supported attempts at like
Fran Agulto: Have this wordpress starters right, I know. Call me on. I think the maybe the ten out people do turn up on our web. Yeah, exactly. And they're they're all yeah, Maybe Webds is who i'm thinking of right. But those are all sort of next Js space. So it's like, you know. This is where the people are building, so I think, going where the people are building is always always a good bet
Jeff Everhart: It's a close to this one.
Fran Agulto: Oh, is it really the right word for us? They have an apollo frame we don't win? Oh, Wow! That's a hush-house thing, i'm sure.
Fran Agulto: And I think you know It's funny it's like
Fran Agulto: um, I think Chris kind of address this as far as from a transitional standpoint. You know the key functions that are being added and extracted like you mentioned Chris like the that we decided to ship to to your point, Chris, I mean
Fran Agulto: you nailed it on that. The hammer mailed on the head when you said, Hey, like at the beginning, you were saying the key was, Hey, you didn't have to really write any
Fran Agulto: um queries because it it does it. E s six proxy. I haven't read the docs in a while, but then you just Npm. Run generated, and it'll it'll put that in the schema within your front end. Right. Um, unfortunately to your point, Chris again doesn't scale, and it's not really supported. Well,
Fran Agulto: so you get all these bugs and these intricacies when um word, or Jeff and I are this code i'm like man. I, Jeff. I don't know how to answer that one, because i'm trying to search for Docs, and there's It's not so. Um. So let me ask you about your opinion on on Apollo. Chris like
Fran Agulto: um, cause I believe
Fran Agulto: Jeff and my wasn't it wasn't that the original I can't. I'm getting old Y'all was the original version of fast on Apollo, Gqd: Now back to Paul. Is that right? Am I right, Timeline? Wise? Yeah, I have no idea.
Fran Agulto: I I understand it is that's correct. Now. That was well before my time, but I've been told that a few times
Fran Agulto: now, and I think, Oh, I was just gonna say, yeah, like, I think, like the initial.
Jeff Everhart: And and we'll leave some links to Gqd. And Apollo docs in the shows for for those of you listening. If you haven't used the framework um, and experience what i'm about to say, but like I think Chris described it earlier as like Gqd. Is this really high level abstraction for getting data. It's almost like you write code, and that's kind of all you need to do, and you don't really need to know, raft you out?
Jeff Everhart: Um, but it's also very confusing to use right like, is it? Do I call this thing like a function or a property of an object, and, like you don't really know until it gives you an error.
Fran Agulto: Um. So I found myself like stumbling to do even sort of basic things in in Gqd. I? Better than that, a lot to the whole use of Gqd.
Chris Wiegman: It's safe to say that the original intention of this framework, when I took it over. Folks wanted to get a one point, help push to move on to something other than the framework,
Chris Wiegman: and I didn't
Jeff Everhart: it was a starter. It wasn't a full framework,
Chris Wiegman: and G. Kitty was fine for a starter, but that we already see in people in discord that want to use it as a framework that's a very different use case.
Fran Agulto: Yeah,
Fran Agulto: yeah, that's exactly right.
Jeff Everhart: And to me there was also this disconnect between, like Wp. Graphql and Gqd: like, I know. Obviously they worked together in one way, but it was like I would be in my wordpress back end, using graphical to like, figure out what data I wanted. But then there was no way
Jeff Everhart: i'd have this nice graphql queer, and it'd be like man. I wish I could just really copy and paste this into my code, or like even have some way to translate this query back into.
Fran Agulto: She cutie Syntax to get the data that I wanted, and there was just like there was, you know there was just. They were just missing each other. Where, you know, I feel like right that that that is going to be a lot tighter of an integration in this newer version, Right, Chris. Not only will it be a tighter integration, but it'll enable all kinds of things. Yeah, one of the things we're working on
Chris Wiegman: Initially, this launched the ideas to bring over the features that we had with really two major improvements, the first being a plug-in system. So if you want to do something different, you can do whatever you need.
Chris Wiegman: The second is a template hierarchy system. We want to bring over. Really, rely on word for us routing. That's not to say you can't override it, but we want wordpress routing to work and work like it should. If you want the single post template, you can write single Js, and it'll handle all that routing for you. Now
Fran Agulto: there's not just like wordpress did with single that Php. Or you know all the different variations that you can do on those templates. But then the next thing is, and the bigger thing with apology, Cutie is. Then what do you do about blocks?
Fran Agulto: Blocks of the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room, right? It's all stored. It's an entire data scheme of stored in Html Html comments that Doesn't: translate well at all from the back to the front.
Chris Wiegman: Our goal is, you write a component in the front end. You can very easily import it as a wordpress block if it's something new. But more than that is, how do you make use of all that
Chris Wiegman: stuff, all that meta information, all those data points around any given block on the front end. Gqd. Makes that almost impossible. We've already got proof of concept. Now, where we can deconstruct a block,
Fran Agulto: pass it through as a Json object, and you can reconstruct it with all of that very easily, So we can build our own front-end block library now, and we're going to That's what we're going to be starting after this launch, and after everything comes out so we'll start with core blocks. Of course.
Fran Agulto: Great it makes sense, but full implementations of each block on the front end without playing all these games when something changes. Wow! A new data point pops in.
Chris Wiegman: You're not playing these parsing games, trying to figure out what it is, what broke or why, everything's just there. You can't do that easily. It just wasn't designed for them at all. But this new one, and then our our tentative ideas will probably fork to create block script by
Fran Agulto: an in the wordpress core and use it to take a react component or a next component from front end, to create a block out of it, so we can go the reverse way. That's
Fran Agulto: honestly. Oh, man, this is Whoa That's Whoa! That? We used to call it the reactor bridge. And this is actually something that Jason Cohen, or one of the co-founders had proved a concept about a year and a half ago, and we got to do it. This last quarter we're like. This is really cool,
Fran Agulto: except for we bought a Cf. Who doesn't even use react for blocks. How the hell do we use any of this?
Fran Agulto: It's still. We had a
Chris Wiegman: think of a new way of doing it, which
Chris Wiegman: I mean, it makes sense. Yeah, the go. The original vision was, You write one block, and you can use it on both on either end. But
Chris Wiegman: it doesn't work quite that way. But we're going to have very easy ways in order to yeah. Everything can be deconstructed and used on the front end and everything on the front end. You can take that block, template
Fran Agulto: and move it right back into a block if it's something new, and that's going to really open up. But that's a big part of why Apollo has to be there. So we talk about the data construction. How do you deconstruct that data? If Gq. And's got syntax all over the
Jeff Everhart: It's just that simple.
Fran Agulto: Wow. So
Fran Agulto: you just dropped like, Are you to up like ten mics? Yeah, if you were like a rapper in his prime man. You just drop the
Jeff Everhart: yeah. We got it. We got it. So let's circle back and start unpacked. So I definitely want to talk about the reactive and bird thing. But I also want to go back to the Wp. Template hierarchy, because I feel like that's going to be a really really cool feature for a lot of different people, especially the ones who've done
Jeff Everhart: traditional theme development in the past, like I think there's a lot of people would be comforted by that sort of construct
Jeff Everhart: on its own. But I also just know, like, yeah, I mean working with wordpress routing instead of like sort of having your own routing rule separate in next. Js is just going to be be super magical,
Jeff Everhart: and I've actually seen it for javascript developers. It's not just wordpress developers. If you're coming from a chops group, you
Chris Wiegman: back end, and you want to pull out the
Fran Agulto: you have a post-type in there, called Fran. Sorry for out your Your has pictures there. But how do you get a single What the heck do I gotta do to get my templates in the right spot
Jeff Everhart: done. Yes,
Fran Agulto: that's so cool, and and we we can use the same like i'm comforted by knowing that i'll be able to go to the same like Wp. Template hierarchy, visualization that I've been using for eight years and, like, do this Be able to apply that sort of same knowledge to this.
Chris Wiegman: That's how we're doing site maps in that. We're bypassing certain pieces of Why
Chris Wiegman: try to pull a Graphq out? If wordpress is already doing it, There are certain things where that makes sense, and we want to enable that ability that you know What if you're pulling in now, wordpress, the whole purpose of headless right is you can have. You can have your one word for a site. Just be one data source with all this on the plugins and everything else we can still do that.
Chris Wiegman: But we can also allow to make use of the power of wordpress
Fran Agulto: awesome. So with the with the plugins feature of this next version of Faust. Could you give me like an example of like a type of plugin that somebody might be able to make? That's okay. Yeah, I have a team of five that is building this product right now,
Fran Agulto: and they're deep in the weeds quite honestly with the release approach you. I haven't asked him for anything other than
Jeff Everhart: Yeah. There, there's a good number of hooks that they're diagramming um a very similar hook ability kind of like what we're impressed in this syntax to me looked very like between template hierarchy wallet. You know this actually, with some cases easier than making an old php template in the wordpress. Yeah. And then the other side of it, which
Fran Agulto: some of the hooks watching them use that and the plugins I want. Yeah, i'm not a javascript that I never was. My current side projects all on Golding.
Fran Agulto: Yes, you take the love. Go, Thanks, and you can actually see
Chris Wiegman: how things work. It's it's up. It's
Fran Agulto: as somebody who isn't all that familiar with with javascript. I I could see it like I won a demo from Phil, who's one of our more senior dads. This guy He is brilliant. His demos of this stuff is like,
Chris Wiegman: Yeah, we got this. This, is it? I wasn't a full confession. I wasn't one hundred percent sold on headless when I first came over, but I could brought me back to a word. Brushland Acm. Is what I came over to Atlas with
Chris Wiegman: where it was structured data.
Fran Agulto: That's one of my big issues, especially on the flocks in Gutenberg. Yeah, actual data structures are important as far as i'm concerned, Fsc. And Gutenberg
Jeff Everhart: completely abandoned Good data, miss the mark. But acm I I got involved with that, but I wasn't entirely sold on headless's future. Now I am, and I could honestly say that it's really so. I
Chris Wiegman: I might move my own site over to Atlas, with the exception of My whole front page is fifteen K. And I don't know if anybody no friends to anybody. But it does it make sense to take up
Fran Agulto: thing that's more than fifteen. You're not. It's just how it works.
Jeff Everhart: Okay? No? Oh, wow, that's so cool. And there's so many.
Jeff Everhart: There's so many cool nuggets. I want to pull in it. Pull out of there.
Fran Agulto: Um! Well, let's talk about the react. Gutenberg Bridge thing I know there are.
Jeff Everhart: You'll You'll produce, you know, like I know you do some blog posts and stuff about the progress of the Faust project and the rewrite, and all that stuff, and like. There are people who are literally like
Fran Agulto: Jeff. Do you have any more information on this like, How's it going to work? When's it going to be out like they they want that so bad. Yeah, me, it's it's palpable
Jeff Everhart: and like, I think I was under ah like a different assumption about what it was going to be. And so I think you just sort of blew my mind a little bit more right, because I sort of
Jeff Everhart: you know I've been spending a lot over the last a lot of time in the last couple of weeks parsing block data. Right? So like like you said, using those html comment. Delimiters like getting that back in a structured way. And then, like thinking about our well, how would we use that in a component like? So that's kind of one thing, and I think, like
Jeff Everhart: the block Types registry there. There have been a couple additions, I think, that have made that a little bit easier over the last year or so to do.
Fran Agulto: But then you, I think you said right y'all are working on a way to do that almost at first as well, where you create some on the next? Yeah, and then push it back through a wordpress. And that is dude. Amazing how that's gonna work. I'm: sure. That sounds like the coolest thing. I'm so stoked right now.
Fran Agulto: Yes, because that would say that that's the big. That's, I think, to the big push is like right. There are a couple of way like happy ways to get the data out, and then, like, pump it into your own components, not with Gqd. Like, but with just Apollo or Graphql:
Jeff Everhart: Yeah, to be able to do that same thing in reverse. I'm: just going to write one component here and push it to wordpress, and then use it in a block.
Fran Agulto: Whoa,
Fran Agulto: wow! Whoa!
Chris Wiegman: As they've got
Fran Agulto: demos they they they've got. They've been able to prove it. It'll work and pretty darn impressed. You know this all enables the full power of wordpress and headless, which nothing that there's nothing on the market that really enables the power of wordpress.
Jeff Everhart: The new version of Faust will very much do that. Wow! And then we can expand on that. So how do you take
Jeff Everhart: a word, cross, headless site and make the full power of headless one Back-end Powers multiple front-ends, multiple Back-ends power. One front. End. Those are things later down in the timeline. But we're even start to do. Come up with some ideas around. How does that all start looking? And that's
Fran Agulto: why this pivot is so important? That's why plugins are so important. That's why really getting wordpress down first is so important. Because then we can take all this, you know, getting blocks down. If we could share blocks to wordpress. What else can we share them to later? Ooh: One:
Fran Agulto: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Our Ecom teams internally are looking very hard at headless wordpress, and these types of conversations we have. I don't know how much they get My, My My teams talked with them yet about some of this, but this can enable a lot of things for them
Jeff Everhart: so many opportunities to decouple that data. In other words, it's funny because we're trying to get tighter with wordpress. But we're really just trying to empower what wordpress can do.
Chris Wiegman: Then we want to start in power and what everything else can do with this technology on top of it.
Jeff Everhart: And I think that's an important milestone, because, like a lot of the some of the objection I here to going headless is like, I don't want to disempower my content. Creators like this is a developer-centric model. The developers do the components. But then it's, you know you're almost
Fran Agulto: I don't want to say at the expense of. But unless you're doing like a really full build, you're pretty much limited to rendering the html that you get back in the That's what most people do on smaller scale sites. But in a way, yeah, that does disempower the content in it, because, like they can't do some of the things in the block editor
Fran Agulto: and have and expect that to echo out to the like the display on a front end. So like we can solve that problem, Then that's a huge objection for a lot of marketing folks where they're like, You know. This is what i'm hearing from agencies from large enterprises like they don't want to disempower the Content Editor. And so
Fran Agulto: if we can make that more seamless and like, okay, our dev team, they just made this new react component to them. It's all already available in your wordpress wordpress registered in your block block Template. It's like, Wow, Wow, Wow! Jeff and Chris. I'm sorry my mind's been very excited. I'm excited. I'm so exciting.
Fran Agulto: Ah, wow! This and the other thing, too, like just from a perspective of how this is all tying in together, and I'm just going to like kind of
Fran Agulto: um. Drop a little bit of um
Fran Agulto: a
Fran Agulto: plugging our own stuff here, because at the end of the day. I think
Fran Agulto: once you have like an open source framework
Fran Agulto: as fast,
Fran Agulto: which will be named something else in the future. Yeah tune, but with the Alice platform that you were saying earlier, Jeff and Chris um encompassing all these things with the Wp engine, especially with iterating on like the features that
Fran Agulto: as want empowering the marketer. Okay, that is something that you just said Jeff, that we here are trying to essentially stay on. Course, as far as one of our missions with headless wordpress, and it just shows with the web hooks feature we we just actually released,
Fran Agulto: because
Fran Agulto: who doesn't? Who doesn't want a marketing team that can like literally trigger action out of wordpress with like updating a post or something. And then it just triggers a build on your front end. You know what i'm saying So it's these kind of things, especially with thinking about the content or marketing team that I I feel like
Fran Agulto: so like,
Fran Agulto: so excited, stoked all the things ran. But you could say to be a part of what's what's going on here. So yeah, I I'm: I'm: Yeah, I'm: so glad you came on this podcast to get me dumped up like it. It's pretty amazing, and like I don't want to say that's the last battlefield. But like
Jeff Everhart: if that that is the eight hundred pound gorilla. And so if you all have, I don't know, tame the eight hundred pound gorilla that's that's just going to be so cool to see in that. And then our content into enabling,
Fran Agulto: you know it's powering up the back end beyond that, right? Yeah,
Jeff Everhart: yeah, you'll pump whatever data you need into that and then pull it back out with the same Api: Is It's: Graph: Ql: or W. Graph: Ql: Yeah. The two together, I think, are going to really
Chris Wiegman: make a powerful offering,
Fran Agulto: and it's going to allow agencies hopefully to be comfortable with wordpress again. I understand why so many. You know I I've seen stats in the last week that searches for wordpress, help or down, or how do you do this with wordpress or down something like thirty percent in the last year. Some of that is, no doubt, because we're past the boom of
Jeff Everhart: Yeah, Covid. But I think a big part of that, too, is. People are looking at this from fse and everything else, and the complexity, and I see it all the time just disenfranchised with the direction wordpress cores going. This is going to enable all the types of development
Chris Wiegman: without having to without using that. If it's not the right fit for you, and that let's face it. It's not the right fit for an awful lot of sites.
Jeff Everhart: Yeah, and I think that's what that's part of what I think is cool about wordpress in itself is like, regardless of what direction core takes like. You can always be building it and extending it in other ways that suit your needs,
Fran Agulto: and so like I from for me, like I kept the class together to plug in on for you know, years before really switching over the block editor like, now that I've done it, and i'm kind of happy with it, and it supports my workflow now. Um! But for a while. It didn't, and I wasn't ready to make that transition, you know, like this was a business critical thing for me that like I didn't want to be sucked into an update cycle.
Jeff Everhart: So yeah, I agree with you that it'll empower a lot of people to continue building. And there was one other technical detail I wanted to dive in. I know we're kind of running short on time, but when you said web hooks fran, it reminded me of
Fran Agulto: the the sort of hooks that you talked about being baked into the next spouse version. And I really think that's that's a cool idea, too. I mean, because there's so many so much useful stuff you could do in wordpress using like hooks and filters, and
Jeff Everhart: you know, having some some mechanism to do that in Javascript is is just super cool, and I can see that being really helpful, it's like all right. I've got this response back. I want you to, you know. Replace these couple of things like, find this string replace it like
Fran Agulto: I don't know, you know, inject this mark up here like There's so many cool ways that that can be used. Um, let's actually pull that in as a as a marketplace type product. Oh, as others can do it, we can at least direct folks to find it. So they don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Jeff Everhart: Yeah. And I mean, I long term I do think that is, that's a part of this equation. I mean, because that's really part of what made wordpress so successful is like, Yeah, the themes and plugins marketplace. So you know, we and we just published an episode with Uh Alexis Pallado, who co-founded Wp Gatsby teams, and they were gatsby themes that were built to work
Fran Agulto: with have this wordpress. And so it'll be really cool, I think, to see like what what comes in that space and like, can we plug into the next version of spouse, and, like you create, add ons or integrations and people building their own theme, you know, like here's the most popular view nuts-based theme, or something like that. I think that that's at least once
Jeff Everhart: probably one, you know, like that. I think we're probably still a few years off from. But like going back to the metaphor I used earlier like, But you you all sort of reinvented this wheel right? And you built all this awesome stuff. And as a part of this next version of fast Um. But then people will be able to use that and say, Okay, well, how do they do it?
Jeff Everhart: And then let me do it in my my framework of choice, and so like I think it'll just do a lot to grow the ecosystem and sort of to advance all the tools, which I think is
Fran Agulto: one really cool thing about like the open source. Ah, philosophy behind all this is, if you make it open, and we just want to advance headless wordpress as a thing. This is the quickest way to do that, because we get it in the hands of people used it, give us feedback, iterate on it,
Jeff Everhart: and then take those ideas and apply them to their own place. Where then, you know us as a company doesn't have to invest in money and doing it in all the frameworks, because we sort of let the community Ah do those pieces.
Fran Agulto: God awesome! So i'll go ahead train. No, I was Just One thing is we we won one time down here, and we want to respect your time, Chris. But ah! When is the I wonder, will our listeners, by the time this podcast is released and published by by Jeff.
Fran Agulto: Will the new version be ready readily available for public consumption. Or are you thinking late? Q. Four like, What's the
Chris Wiegman: What do you publish the podcast?
Fran Agulto: It's a good. That's a good question. That Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, we've got some flexibility in the schedule. I know. I know the guy who makes the schedule. So um, maybe let's start with. Ah, what can our listeners anticipate in terms of like a launch date for the next version?
Chris Wiegman: Our internal goal is, and this I can say, I don't think there's anything where i'm going to say that is, next week, Friday. The thirtieth.
Chris Wiegman: Okay? Ah, the catch is, and the reason I can't say the name is, we're still going through a legal review. His third. It's Javascript. Somebody always. Ah use the name somewhere, right? So is
Chris Wiegman: what Pmk: and our marketing teams decided as a name? Is it usable? Will we have that? Then
Jeff Everhart: that's the question. I don't know. So if there's anything that delays us, it's, and why I can't say the name. It's. Maybe it's a
Chris Wiegman: let's face it.
Jeff Everhart: Yeah,
Jeff Everhart: but I want in naming things.
Chris Wiegman: You know. It's funny. Faust, the Faust dame. But I wasn't around when they picked it. One of the issues we've had one of the reasons we decided to rename it, too, is
Fran Agulto: it has religious connotations for an awful lot to the point where I had to ask them our marketer. Can you write a story on why we picked foul, and nobody thinks it's associated with the devil.
Fran Agulto: So just things like that.
Jeff Everhart: Yes,
Fran Agulto: i'm over here. I'm like i'd sell my soul to the devil,
Fran Agulto: you know I don't want to think that's fine in folk surfing we it wasn't anybody's intention to do so.
Chris Wiegman: If there's a risk for not launch, and on the thirtieth of September, it's it's because that name's going to be a little bit slower.
Jeff Everhart: Okay, Okay,
Jeff Everhart: Cool. Well, and so maybe one one one question that we'll wrap up so like after the launch. What? What's kind of next for your team after that? Yeah.
Chris Wiegman: First thing, of course, is, you know, this is an Mvp. Launch. It's zero point one. This is not considered a one like enterprise level stable,
Chris Wiegman: you know, legacy product. So we're going to spend the next few weeks writing better documentation.
Fran Agulto: Okay, you know, seeing what questions are. We have a fourth quarter, all of ten agency interviews. So if you're an agency owner and have an interest reach out to us. We'd love to get your feedback and show it to you directly. But writing all that documentation that's going to be a a good a couple of weeks at least, little bugs.
Fran Agulto: There's no such thing as bug-free software. I'm not going to try to say Then this will be, You know we're as close as we can be, and of course somebody's going to try it, and something in a way that we couldn't.
Chris Wiegman: We'll find things that way, and then we really want to start on strengthening that black library feature and actually building out the ability. That's a two-sided thing There's a lot of Php work in that because our plugin is going to have to do, you can't,
Jeff Everhart: because where you can be constructed on the front end. But that seems that's really inefficient to pass another couple hundred K. Of parsing code,
Fran Agulto: and then redo everything there. No, let's let's do that before we send the data for the sake of everybody's sanity. So that's that library. And then the libraries to use it on the front and it'll be. That's really going to be our next feature folks.
Jeff Everhart: Okay, Okay,
Jeff Everhart: awesome.
Jeff Everhart: Well, cool, brand. You want to wrap up with our our fun Question:
Fran Agulto: Yeah. Last last question, Chris. I always end the uh podcast with a quick friends fun question. It's about that time in the podcast. So, Chris, I know you're, you know. Super nerd like us started in wordpress. You're still in Tech.
Fran Agulto: But we all have to step away from the computer to be compressed. Man. It's just not healthy if we're like staring at it twenty, four over seven and lines of syntax, and managing all these developers. But when you do do that, Chris, what do you? What do you do for fun, man? Do you go rock climbing?
Fran Agulto: Be a marathon Run! What do you do, man? What do you like to do for fun?
Fran Agulto: I'd like to say, i'm super athletic, but I i'm not especially in Florida, because I ate the heat with a passion. So a lot of it lately. It's. We're looking at movements somewhere where we can be outside more. We used to ride a lot of motorcycles, and we've given those up since we moved here.
Fran Agulto: Try to get back into that back into fly. And in the meantime just a lot of reading I like to write.
Fran Agulto: So yeah, the tech ethics type stuff I've been doing this year.
Jeff Everhart: Sure you're not want, for you know, like examples of bad tech ethics.
Fran Agulto: It's sad. The The other thing I want to commend you on Chris, because You're a better man than I am, because I'm not even married, and I I cannot commit congratulations on your anniversary. Thank you. Yeah, because that itself is Yeah, that's a
Fran Agulto: fifteen years last Thursday. Thank you very much. Also. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Fran Agulto: All right. Well, very cool. Chris: coming on. Yeah, Thanks for coming on. I'm sure our our listeners are going to be super excited to hear about all this, and more excited to see it and play with it whenever it's live.
Chris Wiegman: Yeah, Thanks for having me love
Fran Agulto: love Chat about this stuff looking forward to getting the product out there and getting feedback. Too awesome.
Fran Agulto: All right, Cheers, you're all gonna stop record. And yeah,