back to article WordPress has adverse reaction to Facebook's React.js licence

Automattic, the company behind hosting service, has decided to stop using Facebook's React.js library, citing legal concerns. WordPress' founding developer Matt Mullenweg – who also founded – explains the decision by noting that Automattic has used React since 2015, when it put the code to work in …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Good decision

    I applaud two things here : first, that a provider doesn't just blindly bend over without caring when a change in terms happens and second, that someone actually puts in the work when conditions are deemed unsatisfactory instead of just shrugging and listening to the beancounters.

    That said, I have no idea what the consequences can actually bem but given that we're talking about Facebook, my gut reaction would be to not trust them. Then again, I wouldn't have used React in the first place.

    1. Lysenko

      Re: Good decision

      They'll probably port to VueJS. Shouldn't be that much work. They can even reuse most of the JSX.

  3. WibbleMe

    There are so many .js platforms out there that it wont take them long to migrate to something very similar, like Angulars MIT licence as opposed to Apache License 2.0 for React.js

    1. rfrovarp

      React.js isn't AL2.0

      React.js isn't Apache License 2.0. It's a modified BSD with an extra patent clause. Normally BSD is just fine, until you screw with it using a patent clause. Kind of like the JSON license being a MIT license that has a "don't be evil" clause to screw with it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very odd decision I think...

    Note that I don't oppose the decision but I don't understand why it's being taken. Because I seriously doubt that the Apache ban will affect WordPress in any way. Thing is: Apache banned use of the library for all their new projects. But WordPress isn't a project hosted by Apache last time I checked.

    The Apache decision also doesn't concern end users. After all: you pick up the software based on a license (an Apache license in this case) which doesn't forbid you to use any kind of library if you want to. That's also not the point, from what I understand the point is to forbid inclusion of the library in any of the Apache projects. So any new software project hosted on Apache can't have this library included. But that's all there is to it.

    Like I said, I don't oppose the decision but I do think it's odd that WordPress thinks that this could ever affect their end users.

    1. KjetilS

      Re: Very odd decision I think...

      The Apache ban and the decision from Wordpress are two separate things, except they were done for the same reason.

  5. Tim 11

    "...the popular content management system"

    I would prefer the word "widespread"; "popular" implies people actually like it

    1. Pomgolian

      Re: "...the popular content management system"

      ...and another thing: Wordpress is *not* a content management system. It's a blogging tool. The fact that lots of people build all kinds of crazy shit on top of it does not make it a content management system. I can pound in a screw with a pipe wrench, but that does not make the pipe wrench into a screwdriver.

      1. IsJustabloke

        Re: "...the popular content management system"

        "but that does not make the pipe wrench into a screwdriver."

        Actually it does, literally in fact; you are using the pipe to "drive" in the "screw" ;-)

        Ah.. thank you, mines the one with the hammer in the pocket...

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Re: "...the popular content management system"

          Whats that old saying? "If all you have is a hammer, suddenly everything starts to look like a nail..."

          Or i guess in your case, a pipe wrench! :P

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: "...the popular content management system"

            "Whats that old saying? "If all you have is a hammer,"

            I wish I had a hammer....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "...the popular content management system"

        Exactly ;)

  6. wyatt

    Anyone else see the picture at the top and think it's the gear stick from an Italian tank?

    1. JulieM

      No -- Italian tanks would need at least one forward gear, in case they get attacked from behind.

  7. Spudley

    I have pretty much zero respect for WordPress as a product.

    This news has at least given me a small amount of respect for the developers. It takes quite a bit of guts to make a call like that when you are already well into the development process.

    It won't change my mind about WordPress as a product, but I'm willing to give credit where it's due.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re zero respect for WordPress as a product

      And why do you have zero respect for a free, open source product that transformed the web development business and over the course prevented scores of dodgy website salesmen from ripping and locking off unsuspecting business owners who just wanted a simple website and cms?

      I maintain that Wordpress is one of the best things that happened to the internet. I still remember the business that almost paid 5000 Euro to an Indian developer for an article cms because the work was oh-so-amazingly-advanced. I am honoured to have put such scammers out of business.

      1. Blitheringeejit

        Re: re zero respect for WordPress as a product

        "...ENABLED scores of dodgy website salesmen to rip off unsuspecting business owners who just wanted a simple website and cms?"


        1. airdrummer

          Re: re zero respect for WordPress as a product

          the same can be said of _any_ website builder...

      2. andy 103

        Re: re zero respect for WordPress as a product

        The issue is not with Wordpress itself. The issue is with developers who think "you can make anything with Wordpress". Be it an ecommerce site, a web application... Sure, it has its uses. But it's not a PHP framework (like Laravel, CakePHP, etc) but some stupid developers think it is.

  8. andy 103

    Wordpress doesn't use React

    Sorry, please can someone clarify this... Wordpress itself doesn't use React, unless I'm mistaken?

    Or are they talking about some other tools that the developers use? The headline is misleading.

    1. WibbleMe

      Re: Wordpress doesn't use React

      Wordpress spits out post as JSON with WP REST ( and also uses .js for updates/plugins interaction

      1. andy 103

        Re: Wordpress doesn't use React

        "Wordpress spits out post as JSON"

        A JSON feed and React are two totally different things.

        I thought this was a tech website?!

    2. Zyzle

      Re: Wordpress doesn't use React

      Wordpress was planning to (or may have already) add the Gutenberg content editor plugin as its default editor which is written in React, plus the ground-up rewrite project Calypso would have been built with React

    3. Jon 37

      Re: Wordpress doesn't use React

      Apparently the current version of Wordpress doesn't use React, but they were planning on using React in a major update to Wordpress, and they were going to recommend that all Wordpress plugins move to React.

  9. RubySea

    React is Unappealing

    I think the main reason they made this decision is a lot of companies are not willing to agree to the patents clause, therefor would choose to not use Wordpress.

  10. LeeH

    To Address a Few of the Misconceptions about WordPress

    React is not used throughout the WordPress world. uses React for its backend admin (Calypso) but the self-hosted version of WordPress provided by does not use React in its admin area except where a plugin developer specifically adds React to his/her own plugin or theme.

    Gutenberg is a re-imagining of the WordPress content editor. This is written in React. Gutenberg is not a core component of WordPress and will not be until at least WP 5.x is released. As we know, Gutenberg will soon be rewritten to use something other than React.

    Many of us in the WordPress community are happy Gutenberg has been delayed. Although it is evolving into a nice product to use, Gutenberg is a big shift from a straightforward TinyMCE editor whereby an author creates content as he/she would with a word processor toward a blocky lego brick wall style editor whereby an author needs to add different content blocks to add different types of content. Additionally, Gutenberg lacks many features of the current editor framework that plugin and theme developers rely on, though this is being addressed by the Gutenberg team. Both Vue and Preact are in the running to replace React. I think Vue will win the competition.

    The WordPress REST API allows developers to build apps on top of WordPress. It can be used in both the frontend and the backend to interact with WordPress. does not use the REST API by default i.e/e.g. the display of posts in the frontend of the website is not generally created via interaction with the REST API.

    Regards WordPress is not a framework like 'Laravel, CakePHP etc...'. That's correct. It is not supposed to be. WordPress is a content management system that facilitates database management, interaction with a database and presentation of data stored within a database. There are hooks and filters built into WordPress that allow developers to interact with WordPress code execution. Additionally there is the REST API.

    There are lots of content management systems available, few of which are as adaptable, as well supported and as well liked as WordPress but then there are some that are better suited to specific tasks for which WordPress is overkill. For example, if you want a blog and only a blog then choose a flat file CMS that is built for bloggers.

    I've used and supported WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Simple Machines Forum, CMS Made Simple, custom built CMSs, Business Catalyst and many other CMSs and I can say with experience that WordPress is popular and widespread for good reasons: namely, it works, it is extensible, it is inexpensive and it is easy for authors and site admins to learn to use.

    For those like to talk badly about WordPress because they think they know something they do not, if you're going to slag something off you should at least get up-to-date first hand experience of what you are gossiping about.

    1. uptoeleven

      Re: To Address a Few of the Misconceptions about WordPress

      I have also used and supported WordPress, Joomla (and Mambo back in the day), Drupal including Drupal 8, Magento, CMSMS and custom CMSes and yes - WP is easy for authors and site admins to learn to use.

      I am also a PHP developer, mostly in Symfony but other frameworks exist. And, because I am a PHP developer, I use a good IDE (PHPStorm, but other IDEs exist) and with xdebug I can see the hundreds and hundreds of globals that Wordpress creates and uses. As someone who has written WP themes and plugins I've had to fight with these many and varied globals not least because they prevent me from easily creating unit tests for the code I've written. And this is because although WP may be very widely used, and very easy for admins and editors to use, under the hood it's a bag of bolts.

      Worse than that - a dreadfully insecure, difficult to lock-down, poorly engineered bag of bolts that has myriad built-in vulns and exploits.

      And while we're at it anything that needs to make 100 db calls to generate a page is doing something wrong.

      And any system with such a poor separation of concerns does not deserve to have the kind of support WP has (sql code inside php code with html and js all in the same file? That is poor separation of concerns).

      Wordpress is a blogging platform that has been repurposed as a CMS without any of the functionality or organisation or security that a CMS should have. It's a liability and I try to avoid it at all costs.

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