During WordCamp New York, I and many others had the chance to view a demo of the new P2 theme that will be released to WordPress.org users in due time. It’s already live for WordPress.com users in case you use that system. The New P2 improves on the first version by adding support for custom post types. For example, the theme has built in content types for a blog post, status updates, quotes, or links. These specific content types can be designed to give each an individual style. The first thing that comes to my mind when I saw this in action was Tumblr which does a great job styling the various types of content you have to choose from. Custom post types will be available in WordPress 2.9.
The new P2 has also been reworked from the ground up so that it can be used as a parent theme and then extended with child themes. Andy Peatling says:
This will allow theme designers to create awesome new theme designs without having to duplicate all of the existing P2 features. We’ve streamlined the HTML of the theme so that it is much more flexible for creating new designs using CSS.
Although it’s not shown in the screenshots, I was told that the new P2 will contain media uploading so that images can be added to posts. This is something that was heavily requested after the first version of P2 was released. For more screenshots and to read Andy’s write up, check out this post on the WordPress.com blog and keep an eye out for the release of the new P2 on the theme repository.