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Gennady Kovshenin is a freelance web-applications consultant and developer from Russia. Finds WordPress as one of the most remarkable PHP frameworks and a fantastic CMS. Drinks lots of tea, has a degree in Linguistics, adores Linux, information security and everything programming. Runs a humble blog, sharing thoughts on application development and WordPress, and is at home on Twitter.
Gone are the days when WordPress developers, wanting to extend the functionality, had to alter and hack the WordPress core source code directly, resulting in headaches when upgrading and sharing modifications. When WordPress 1.2 rolled out back in 2004 a new plugin architecture was introduced; an architecture that is now commonly referred to as Actions and Filters, Hooks and the WordPress Plugin API.
The WordPress core has been carefully "sprinkled" with actions and filters that external code (in the form of themes and plugins) can hook into, injecting new functionality into the standard flow. The Plugin API provides a neat interface to work with actions and filters. This article aims to gather insight into the inner-workings, elegancy and all the beauty of the Plugin API, allowing WordPress plugin and theme developers to gain a more profound understanding of what happens behind the scenes, why some things work but others won't, and where to look when they unexpectedly don't.