The beta version of WordPress 2.8 has been released. It doesn’t look like there are a lot of major changes, like threaded comments, but there are a number of updates that will enhance blogging with WordPress.
Here’s a list of the ones that I think will be most useful. I’ve also included a link to the changelog in the Codex – makes for some very exciting reading. ;-) I’ve also included links to videos from people who have tested the beta version of 2.8.
A new section has been added called Post Tags in the Posts section. It allows you to manage all of your tags, similar to the way categories are managed now. You will also be able to add a description for your tags. You might be thinking, “wow, descriptions”. And, so am I. I don’t know what I would do with these descriptions.
Themes can now be activated without first being previewed. This will save one or two steps/seconds. Actually, sometimes the preview would get stuck so we won’t have to deal with that annoyance anymore.
We will be able to search (by keyword) and install themes via the admin interface. This will be similar to the plugin installer introduced in 2.7 Apparently one click theme upgrades will also be included.
I think anyone who develops and customizes themes will be excited about this feature. The theme and plugin files will add syntax highlighting in the editors. I use this when I work in Notepad++ and I definitely miss it when I work directly in the WordPress editor.
Improved Widget Interface
The Widget interface has been redesigned. Apparently this has been a long awaited feature. For widget programmers multiple instances of the same widget will now be available. All widgets developers must update to this new system because the old method will be removed in version 2.8. The best part of this is that all sidebars will be available on the same screen. It will no longer be necessary to save and then switch between the different sidebar screens.
The theme and plugin editors will include a link to the documentation. I know I will appreciate this.
Date for Scheduled Posts
The date for scheduled posts will now be absolute rather than relative. Currently scheduled posts say something like 4 days from now. In 2.8 the actual date the post is scheduled for will be displayed. I frequently schedule a number of posts in advance and this will help me know exactly when I have scheduled it rather than constantly adding numbers to determine what date it is supposed to be on.
Category descriptions will now be included when importing via the WordPress admin.
Logins will be case insensitive. I don’t agree with this. I believe it takes a level of security away from the login. If someone can’t remember if their password has upper or lower case letters, then perhaps he shouldn’t be using WordPress or even a computer. ;-)
Apparently database upgrades will include better messages and explanations. This could be helpful when an upgrade continually fails.
As promised, a list of all the changes is available in the Codex.
WordPress 2.8 Changes
Widget Interface by Jeff Chandler
WordPress 2.8 is expected to be released in April or May or sometime soon. I’m not exactly sure …
photo credit: jim.rocco
photo credit: Søren Hugger Møller
photo credit: Søren Hugger Møller
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