The WordPress.org Plugin API is not the same as the WordPress Plugin API, though the latter utilizes the former. The WordPress.org Plugin API provides programmatic access to the WordPress Plugin Directory hosted at http://www.wordpress.org/plugins/. It is utilized by WordPress to display plugins in the Admin section, on the Plugins –> Add New screen.
The base URL to access the API is: http://api.wordpress.org/plugins/info/1.0/
For example, you could request the details of a plugin by entering http://api.wordpress.org/plugins/info/1.0/name-of-plugin/ in your browser.
Bibliography / Additional Resources
There is only limited information available on the WordPress.org Plugins API. If you are aware of resources other than those listed below, please let me know!
- Dione Hulse. WordPress.org Plugin Information API Docs. January, 2009. – Dione appears to have been involved in the development of the API and has provided some rough documentation.
- Harish Chouhan. Communicating With the WordPress.org Plugin API. envatotuts+, September, 2013. – Chouhan has provided the easiest understood and most comprehensive guide to the API thus far.
- WordPress Codex. WordPress.org API. – This page covers the WordPress.org API generally but has very little information on the WordPress.org Plugin API. It directs to Hulse and Chouhan’s articles for further info.