It has been only a couple of weeks since WordPress 2.6 has released and there is already talk about a much more feature rich version in the making. WordPress 2.7 has several exciting features planned/proposed as discussed in informal meetings on IRC and the feature votes being posted on the Codex. Though there are very few hints hint of a release date, I expect it to be released by the end of 2008.
[EDIT] Clarification: Mark Jaquith brings up a very good point that I believe requires re-iteration. The list of proposed features mentioned on weblogtoolscollection.com were just that, proposed features. All or none of them might actually show up in WordPress 2.7 Some things that have already started being worked on are the comments API and automated plugin installation. In hindsight, I realize that though they were represented as proposed, some of the other language in this post might have sounded a lot more definite. We apologize for any confusion that might have caused.
Here is a list of features that will be introduced into WordPress 2.7:
- Comments API – This according to me is the most exciting feature, it will allow developers to create offline integration of comments management, where users could use desktop clients to manage comments (moderate, edit, reply, delete, spam, unspam).
- Keyboard shortcuts for comment moderation – This feature will help users to quickly moderate comments using keyboard shortucts, so you can expect key combinations like Ctrl + S to spam a comment, Ctrl + A to approve and so on.
- Theme Update API – WordPress 2.5 and above have really made plugin management quite easy, you automatically receive notices when a new update to a plugin is available and can upgrade it without having to manually upload it to your FTP server. With this addition WordPress aims to bridge the gap between theme developers and the users for publishing updates to themes.
- One Click Plugin Installs – Installing a plugin will be much easier with One click plugin installs. A plugin with similar features called One Click Plugin was the winner of the Plugin Competition last year.
- WordPress core updates – This is a feature many users have been waiting for, with core updates you can easily upgrade your WordPress versions. The WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin performs the same task.
- Default Sitemaps – WordPress 2.7 will include a default sitemap creator, which will create Google XML sitemaps for your blog. Google Sitemaps Generator plugin is the best option available right now for creating XML sitemaps.
- Admin Panel Comment Replies – This plugin will help administrators to reply to comments using the admin panel. There are several plugins which allow you to do so right now, including WP AJax Edit Comments, Better Comments Manager and Absolute Comments.
- Comment Threading – This feature will allow users to reply to other commentators in a threaded manner, where replied comments will display below the actual comment, WordPress already has the ability to scale to accomodate threaded comments, without requiring database changes. Brian’s Threaded Comments is a does the job of allowing users to reply to comments.
- Subscribe to Comments – The WordPress team is also planning to include a option to allow commentators to subscribe to follow up comments, but this is marked as a question, so it may not actully make it into WordPress 2.7. The Subscribe to Comments plugin does the job to notify commentators on follow up comments.
- Widgets for Dashboard and Write Box – This feature will allow users to re-arrange the widgets on the dashboard and write page to suit their preferences.
- Batch Editing of Posts – This feature will allow users to batch edit their posts. Though there is not much information available about this right now, and I could not really find more from my research on the topic.
With WordPress 2.7, we may see many popular plugins retire because of direct integration into WordPress core but we should have better functionality and easier management of daily blogging tasks from within the vanilla WordPress install.
What features are you looking the WordPress team to integrate? Do let me know. It would be great to hear what your expectations are.
Dislaimer: WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin and Better Comments Manager plugin has been written by me.