Task: What I'm trying to do

I'm fetching data via the WP Http API from a remote server. The data I'm getting back is JSON encoded. In one of my methods, I'm converting them back and then push it into a class variable, so I can use it later in some scripts.

Example: How I'm trying to do it

// Simplified... please note, that all names/vars/etc. in my class got unique names.
// ...the same goes for the script handler.
class http_api_example
    public $remote_data;
    public $response;

    public function __construct()

    public function request()
        $request = wp_remote_request( 'http://example.com/HereYouGetSomeJSON' );
        $this->response = json_decode( wp_remote_retrieve_body( $request ) );

    public function deliver_to_javascript()
        wp_enqueue_script( 'json_handler', null, array(), null, true );

        // ...then I'm trying to localize it
        wp_localize_script( 'json_handler, 'json_object', array(
             'ajaxurl'    => admin_url( 'admin-ajax.php' )
            ,'ajax_nonce' => wp_create_nonce( 'json_handler_nonce' )
            ,'action'     => 'json-handler-action'
            ,'data'       => $this->response


Problem: What's not working

For some reason, I can't access the json_object from the console (it works for other objects in other classes just fine).

Debug so far

Is it registered and queued?

I tried to take a look if the script is registered:

// 'registered': TRUE
var_dump( wp_script_is( 'json_object' ) );

// 'queue': TRUE
var_dump( wp_script_is( 'json_object', 'queue' ) );

to be sure, I've also taken a look into the global $wp_scripts and can confirm, that it's there.

Is it localized?

// Data shows up, JSON encoded
var_dump( $GLOBALS['wp_scripts']->registered['json_object']->extra;

Where in core does it stop?

I went into core and backtraced it the following way:

  1. wp_localize_script()
  2. » $wp_scripts->localize()
  3. »» WP_Dependencies: add_data()
  4. »»» WP_Dependencies: add_data() FIN!

The FIN! notes a call to itself. As you can see from the Link to the WP repo on GitHub, inside ->add_data(), there's another call to ->add_data() (to itself). I dumped the result and got TRUE back.

I'm currently out of "what can I try else?"-options. Maybe someone got an idea, how this is supposed to work or maybe just where I could try to look further.


2 Answers 2


How does core do it?

After thinking again about it, I thought there might be a case where WP does the same thing internally. And right: It does it.

Example ~/wp-admin/load-scripts.php

$wp_scripts = new WP_Scripts();

// inside wp_default_scripts( &$scripts )
$scripts->add( $handle, $src, $dependencies, $version, $args ); // from WP_Dependencies
$scripts->localize( $handle, $object_name, $data ); // from WP_Scripts

This means, that there is a way, but only with using the internals directly.

So, to add & localize a non-existing file, you just do add false instead of $src:

        'ajaxurl'    => admin_url( 'admin-ajax.php' ),
        'ajax_nonce' => wp_create_nonce( "your_handle-nonce" ),
        'action'     => "your_handle-action",
        'data'       => array(), // Whatever data you need to transport

Disclaimer: This doesn't answer my question completely.

I just found out, that the problem is, that I was using no name.

Half of a solution…

If you're adding some random string, then WP_Scripts/WP_Dependencies/_WP_Dependencies will give you the desired javascript object.

Drawback: If the file doesn't exist, it will still be registered and end in a failed GET, which may be responsible for slowing your site down (depending on the timeout).

Temporary work around: You can add an empty(!) file, that will load pretty fast and ... do nothing.


This doesn't answer my question fully, as I'd be pleased to know where to look furhter. WP 3.5 development just started and it is enough time to write a patch/ticket for this... at least if I know where the actual problem is. I just can't see a reason, why this only works with a file, when the actual javascript object will be pushed into the global namespace.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.