Pretty bold step for WordPress. Totally new UI. Totally new technologies. No more PHP and MySQL, it’s Node.js, React, Flux, Babel, Webpack… the fanciest of fancy modern tooling. Still completely open source.
On one hand it seems risky. How much of WordPress’ success is based on the epic backwards compatibility and ability to run on nearly any server? Will this ever become the self-hosted WordPress.org variant? At the moment, they are saying “Install JetPack and you can manage your self-install from WordPress.com” – but that doesn’t feel like an answer. If we can never self-install, maybe the backwards compatibility doesn’t matter? Can you keep developers interested in working on “the old thing” when the new shiny open source thing that powers the core business is right there?
On the other hand it seems to stifle risk. If you stay stuck in old tech, how long can you retain talent? How long until using it feels awkwardly antiquated?
This chart really drives home the before/after benefits.