WordPress 2.5 was just released a few months ago and WordPress 2.6 has been in development for some time to be released very soon. Not only does WordPress 2.6 add more zing to a platform that has already won hearts and made blogging a wonderful experience, there are few features in WordPress 2.6 that many have requested and some that caused a little controversy.
Let’s get to know a few things about WordPress 2.6 that will definitely raise few eyebrows albeit a few of them in the wrong way.
I have been a Software developer for quite long now and know how important CVS or SVN is to maintaining different versions of a file. WordPress 2.6 brings the same functionality to posts where you can have different revisions for posts.
In lay terms this means that no matter how many times you make changes to the post, you will never have the “Oops, I did something wrong to the post” effect since you can always go back to a older revision of the post, and, let me add you have a cool feature where you can actually differentiate between your revisions to see what changes you made. (think wiki-like post revisions)
Tumble Your Posts
The one thing I have loved about Tumblr is the simplicity and ease of access. I simply select a link or a image and tumble it to my micro blog at Tumblr without having to go through a series of steps to actually post my content.
WordPress 2.6 is taking a new approach and adds in bookmarklets that will allow you to quickly post links and image ala Tumblr. (think “Press This”)
Speed Up of Admin Interface
There has never been a reason not to use the admin interface but that said with the versatility and flexibility of WordPress many people have taken advantage and built softwares that resist you from doing so.
To be quite frank, I hardly use the Admin interface except for approving and replying to comments and managing plugins and themes, but in doing that, I am definitely missing so many of the features that WordPress posting interface provides me with.
WordPress 2.6 makes use of Google Gears when available to speedup and cache static files that are loaded every time you visit your WordPress admin panel.
XML-RPC access now requires Admin Permission
XML-RPC for WordPress can be used by many software applications that allow you to post content to your blog without having to visit the admin panel. The most notable one I can point out to you is Windows Live Writer.
With WordPress 2.6, in new installations, the access to XML-RPC will be unavailable by default. This in short means that every user will have to go and manually enable XML-RPC to allow external applications to post to your blog. Dougal wrote a post about this recently. From his post on the APIs:
- The APIs will not be automatically disabled for sites upgrading from older versions. Since the APIs have previously been ‘on’ by default, they will continue to function.
For new installs of WordPress 2.6 and later, there will be an option presented at install-time to enable the APIs.
- There will be options in the
Writesettings to enable or disable XML-RPC posting and Atom API posting individually.
Though this might appear to be a problem to som, personally I do not think that it is a inconvenience. Since users who want to use external applications will be able to do so with just a minor change in the settings and for the millions others who do not require it would never even bother with it. I definitely see this as a move to allow users the flexibility to do what they want to with their blogs without forcing them.
Activate Multiple Plugins at Once and Delete Plugins in Bulk
The one thing that went over my head with the earlier revisions of WordPress was that they allowed you to deactivate all the plugins but never allowed you to activate them at once.
Also deleting plugins was never a piece of cake as users had to manually login to their FTP to delete them. I did get around to writing a plugin that would allowed users to delete plugins they no longer used from the admin panel but never released it. With WordPress 2.6 both of the concerns are answered as it will not only allow you to activate bulk plugins but also provide you with the ability to delete plugins you no longer use.
I would love to see a feature where they allow users to deactivate plugins and keep a history of it and then allow users to reactivate the same plugins once again. I did end up writing a plugin for myself that kept a history of the the plugins it deactivated and then activated them while skipping those that caused a problem due to a newer version of WordPress version.
Move Your Config File to a Different Directory
Your WordPress config file contains information about things that are critical to your blog including access to your WordPress database. Though there are no known security issues with having your wp-config file in your root directory, WordPress 2.6 does allow you to move it to another directory.
There are several other features to grab your attention and the few I talked about does not end the features you will get in the next major revision, here are some of the other things you should know about too;
- You can move your content directory from wp-content to any other place you want it to be. (This definitely will mean there are shorter links to your downloadable content or images)
- Better Theme Previewing.
- Customizable default avatars.
Well hopefully this should be the best ever version yet of WordPress, though I still look forward to getting more. Let me know your views and opinions about the latest and probably greatest version of WordPress.
Afterthought: Aaron Brazell over at Technosailor goes into greater details on some of items on the WordPress 2.6 list of changes and updates, including
- Shift Click selection of multiple checkboxes in the wp-admin
- More avatar options
- Page Templates of XML-RPC
- More “Press This” features
- Integrated Theme Preview
- Many other illustrated examples