Chapter 18. The Developer Toolbox


  • Using the WordPress core as a reference

  • Understanding inline documentation

  • Exploring popular core files and functions

  • Using community resources and Web sites

  • Learning about external tool Web sites

  • Creating a developer toolbox

When developing plugins for WordPress, you must have a good list of resources to help guide you in the right direction. This list of resources is the developer's toolbox. In this chapter you cover the most popular and helpful resources available for plugin development. You also review tools that every developer should use to help optimize the process of plugin development.


The best reference when developing plugins for WordPress is the core WordPress code. What better way to learn functions, and discover new functions, than to explore the code that powers every plugin you develop. Understanding how to navigate through the core WordPress code is a valuable resource when developing professional plugins. Also, contrary to online resources and the Codex, the core is always up to date.

Inline Documentation

Many of the core WordPress files feature inline documentation. This documentation, in the form of a code comment, gives specific details on how functions and code work. All inline documentation is formatted using the PHPDoc standard for PHP commenting. The following comment sample is the standard PHPDoc template for documenting a WordPress function:

/** * Short Description * * Long Description * * ...

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