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Apr/10

12

WordPress 3.0 in beta

Just a quickie – if you are a WordPress developer you shouldn’t miss out downloading the beta of WordPress 3.0 (if you haven’t been playing with the nightly releases!). It’s a great way to get up-to-speed with the new functionality like custom post types and the new template code ready for when WordPress 3.0 RC1 gets released sometime end of May 2010 (I think).

Remember – this is the beta – I would strongly advise you don’t use this on a live production site (of any importance!) as it is really just for developers and bug hunters! You should only be using beta releases on local or testing servers.

I’m please to announce that WordPress 2.8 beta is available to download. A-lot of elements are getting updated and plenty of general tidying is being done. I’m really happy the team have concentrated on this for WordPress 2.8, rather than a load of new features – don’t get me wrong, there is some exciting new stuff but it’s not like the huge step forward of WordPress 2.7… and I’m glad!

Beta releases are pre-release versions that should only be used in ‘test’ environments as there may still be some bugs to squish. In-fact, users are encouraged to download the Beta versions to help catch those bugs – you should create a new ticket if you find an issue with the beta. Think of this as your little bit of help for the whole WordPress community!

There does seem to be a whole lot of tweaking going on – things that theme and plugin developers should be interested in include:

  • Add CodePress syntax highlighting to  Theme and Plugin editors
  • Add Documentation(function) lookup to Theme and Plugin editors
  • Add column “Rating” in Administration > Links > Edit
  • Allow the dashboard widgets to be arranged in up to four columns as set via the Screen Options tab
  • Improved Widget user interface
  • Support more than one gallery on the same page
  • Add description field for tags

Beyond the surface level stuff, there is a whole bunch of new stuff for WordPress plugin and theme developers to play around with:

  • Add Sticky to list of post states
  • Introduction and widespread use of transient and related filters
  • Add hooks for the Users, Categories, Link Categories, Tags and Comments table columns
  • Cron spawning improvements
  • Add “style” and “html” arguments to wp_list_authors
  • Add WP_Widget class and move native widgets into WP_Widget
  • Allow other taxonomies (e.g. post categories) to be used with wp_tag_cloud (Changeset 10554)
  • Add “exclude_tree” argument to wp_list_categories and make exclude behave like exclude_tree when hierarchical is specified–this was actually a 2.7.1 change (Ticket 8614)
  • New Template Tag, the_modified_author (Ticket 9154)
  • Enhanced support for custom taxonomies Add echo argument to wp_tag_cloud()
  • Make authentication more pluggable
  • Fixes to query_posts (obey post_type, drop orderby=category, use group by for meta key queries, remove meta_value from selected fields)
  • Allow a plugin to filter the classes applied in wp_list_pages()
  • Store field types in wpdb object
  • Add tag description functions tag_description and term_description
  • Allow menu reordering via plugin
  • Add hook for updating user profile
  • Add hook for adding info to plugin update message
  • Allow plugin to replace just the default help while preserving the contextual help
  • New escaping naming convention Ticket 9650

Big changes for developers to watch out for include:

  • Drop post_category column from wp_posts table, and link_category column from wp_links schemas
  • Deprecate get_catname()
  • Deprecate wp_specialchars() in favor of esc_html(). Encode quotes for esc_html() as in esc_attr(), to improve plugin security
  • Deprecate sanitize_url() and clean_url() in favor of esc_url_raw() and esc_url()

This is by no-means everything – I’ve just picked out some of the highlights! You can read the full list on the official WordPress announcement page, or read the blog announcement.

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Great news for people that own iPhones – the WordPress application has been updated!

I have been using this iPhone application almost from day 1 – and although it had some major shortcomings I was fairly happy with it. I often used it to jot down ideas for posts which I would save as drafts. It was limited in a number of ways though – which I’m glad to say have now been addressed!

The new features include:

  • Comment moderation (my no.1 wishlist feature – finally I’m able to edit comments on the move!!)
  • Landscape editing mode for posts (VERY welcome!)
  • Link creation help – for those of us that don’t like to write code!
  • Page creation and editing
  • Photo resizing and optimisation

It’s great to see development of this application – and it’s sure to help the popularity of WordPress grow! To update, just visit the Apple App Store and update through iTunes and best of all it’s FREE!

It is wonderful that WordPress plugin developers are given a place to host their plugins in the form of the official WordPress plugin repository, but the only thing that has annoyed me about this is how bad the search is… or was until now!

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Jan/09

21

WordPress TV goes live!

The guys at Automattic have been busy – just noticed that WordPress.tv has just gone live!

Loads of good stuff from WordCamps around the world and other good stuff to watch, I’m going to enjoy looking through this site and seeing it grow, good work guys!

I have noticed a couple of places that a hacking group have released a version of WordPress version number v2.6.4 – this is NOT an official release and you should not download it! They have even created a fake website to trick people into downloading the files. This will make your site vulnerable to exploit by hackers and potentially put your visitors at risk.

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WordPress 2.7 has been out for a little while now and after having used it a-lot over the holiday period I’m 99% over the moon about the new admin interface!

WordPress 2.7 is a real leap forward in usability – I was surprised when I saw the ‘Crazy Horse’ interface just a few months previous in a proposal document and later at WordCamp UK 2008 that it was being integrated into the main release version so quickly. It’s a huge change, but once you get used to it I have found it much quicker to work with.

The slick new collapsible menu moved to the left makes total sense with todays screen resolutions and the minimised/flyout view is genius! It has freed up much needed vertical space along with the header made much smaller.

There’s a-lot more going on – my latest favorite discovery is threaded comments – more on that in a later post!

Other great additions crammed into WordPress 2.7 include a new post/page mini-editor in the ‘manage’ views, core WordPress file updates (yet to be tested, but could be the holy grail of site admins!!) and ‘sticky posts’ – introducing forum type category listings with posts that stay at the top in-front of latest chronological posts.

One other thing grabbed my attention and I’ll be investigating this soon – a new ‘page menu API’. I’ve had trouble with deep nestled child/parent page listings in the past, so this could be pretty good!!

WordPress 2.7 is a huge upgrade and is recommended for everyone!

Sep/08

10

WordPress 2.6.2 released

WordPress 2.6.2 is now available for download, and is recommended for all users.

WordPress 2.6.2 plugs a potential vulnerability effecting all PHP applications – SQL Column Truncation (not just WordPress!), but is especially relevant to systems (like WordPress) if you have registration open to any user – so this update is pretty much essential if you are running a blog or website with a configuration such as this.

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Aug/08

19

WordPress 2.6.1 released

The release candidate for WordPress 2.6.1 is now available. Although not a critical update (quote from official blog ‘If you’re happy with 2.6, however, keep on using it.  You need not upgrade to 2.6.1 if 2.6 is getting the job done.‘), it certainly addresses a few bugs that crept in – as you can see on WordPress Trac.

Importantly – it fixes the permalink issue that has been mentioned on this site for those WordPress users based on Windows servers.

There are some international improvements, along with some IE fixes to the upgraded ‘Press It’ browser integration for quick content blogging.

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