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WordPress 1.5 Gamma – Wow!

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February 3rd, 2005
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I am incredibly impressed with the latest Gamma of WordPress 1.5 in spite of being very biased. I started a new blog today with it and it was a very satisfying experience, much like I had felt the first time I started a blog on b2 (Thanks Michel). I was so impressed, that I would like to share some of my pleasures with my readers.

I am not new to WordPress, nor am I new to WordPress 1.5 but I had not started a new blog with the intention of making it public for sometime now. I had forgotten how much fun it can be. With the dazzling array of eye catching templates and themes to choose from, I was in heaven. I downloaded one that I liked, uploaded it to the themes folder, switched designs, changed permissions to allow me to modify templates on the fly, modified the header to my liking and I was off. Mmmmmm, blogging! (Anyone have a t-shirt with that on it yet?)

New stuff in WordPress 1.5 that I like a lot:

  • The Dashboard: Everytime you log into your blog to post, you are greeted with the dashboard which gives you a quick glance into some small stats for your blog and recent WordPress news. I am quite proud since WordPress Planet made its way into the code. I like having a short summary of recent posts, comments and total numbers. I think Jesuit (Chris Davis) was the first to come up with this idea and I think it is very useful and very elegant.
  • Write Post, Write Page: If you are not aware already, WordPress 1.5 allows you to build static pages such as a Colophon and link them directly from within your blog which is very nice. Write Page is quite flexible. You can create a page with any of the usable templates to make it suit the page you are creating. I will probably end up building a “Links” page for the new blog. Easy, usable, friendly and quite enticing.
  • The Link Manager: Is evermore versatile. Each user can have their own set of links and ownership of links can now be transferred to another user.
  • The Options: Now thats gotten quite a few new features. I like the default post category dropdown, the ability to control postings from new users by forcing them to be drafts.
  • Spam prevention: 1.5 incorporates a very clever set of rules to reduce spam. Simply put, not only do you have a list of words that can trigger a comment moderation, certain words can be made to kill spam on contact. I know this is going to be a bad example, but it reminds me of marine Lionfish. Certain varieties of Lionfish can seriously injure and kill a human being on contact with their dorsal spines while others will produce just a mild sting. So if a word appears in the blacklist and is seen in a comment, the comment is history. Works for Photomatt.
  • Plugin Editor: If you set the right permissions, you can edit your plugins online. Simple extension of an existing feature that is quite useful in my opinion.
  • Themes: Wow. This is where WordPress has really surprised and impressed me. I am a coder and not a designer. However, CSS and XHTML can be daunting. Michael and Kubrick are incredibly easy to work with on the contrary. Installation of themes are a breeze. Just upload to the right folder and select the theme! Set the right permissions and you can even edit the text online.
  • A whole lotta code under the hood: The code gets cleaner with every release. A lot of new functions, hooks, features and reshaping has been done with this release. Too many to effectively list here. That is a post for another day (or a book).

I would like to see:

  • Press It Quicktags reduced in size. They fill up the whole posting page. Not all of those quicktags are useful in Press It and I suggest reducing the number for better usability.
  • A theme uploader would be nice. Let users browse for a zip file containing the theme, upload to server, unzip into a new folder and enable the new theme.
  • The lower end of the dashboard looks weird to me, but it looks like it is a work in progress so not much to be said there.
  • The overlap in the menu functions are a little confusing. My users tell me that too many links to the same part of an application if confusing and intimidating.

Seeing that 1.5 is in Gamma, I would have to say that there is a feature freeze. The new WordPress 1.5 will be a very nice application to use. There are bugs to be fixed and more tests to be performed, but in the meantime, I would like to congratulate all WordPress people on a job well done.

WordPress 1.5 is a cool blogging tool, way cooler than 1.2.

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27
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Comments

  1. Randy Peterman (3 comments.) says:

    What elements in QuickTags don’t you use? I’ve updated them and put them in mosquito to be DOM compliant and I actually ADDED the acronym tag because I was tired of typing it in at times. It would be easy to remove the tags that you don’t want.

  2. poonam (3 comments.) says:

    so in fact you think its worth upgrading to? i am on wp 1.3 alpha..

  3. Adam M. (8 comments.) says:

    In ExpressionEngine there’s a place in the admin control panel where you can customize their version of QuickTags to your heart’s content, without having to mess with the code. Any chance of this kind of flexibility showing up in WP 1.5?

  4. wp says:

    the code gets cleaner. I looked at the code. Scary…

  5. ro (3 comments.) says:

    spam prevention: if you think a good way to stop spam is by writing all the keywords that spammers use is fun. if you dont, try something else like requiring a field like ‘type “ooga” to post’, its 3 lines of code and i cant see why a randomized thing like this in conjunction with javascript is not offered with 1.5-gamma. RIDICULOUS. or what about captchas? more code but come on people! i am using the first method of requiring a word on my site and it works fantastic.

    themes: if you think requiring a style.css with the metadata as embedded comments is cool, then sure. to everyone else: what the????

  6. Tom Raftery (1 comments.) says:

    Thanks Mark,

    this review was instrumental in my decision to upgrade and I’m delighted I did,

    Tom

  7. Jens (1 comments.) says:

    Regarding comment 17: does it support properly internationalized trackbacks now?

  8. edwin (1 comments.) says:

    I like wordpress a lot. But a need to leran more on how ti use it.

  9. satish says:

    how to create themes for my nokia 6600 mobile.Please mail me about the product(*.exe) with which i cam generate themes

  10. CMS Articles, CMS Reviews, CMS Demos (1 comments.) says:

    I have written a WordPress 2.1.3 review, feel free to read it.



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