I’m happy to announce that version 2.6 of WordPress.org is now available, almost a month ahead schedule. Version 2.6 “Tyner,” named for jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, contains a number of new features that make WordPress a more powerful CMS: you can now track changes to every post and page and easily post from wherever you are on the web, plus there are dozens of incremental improvements to the features introduced in version 2.5.
We’ve prepared a brief video tour of 2.6, if you have 3 minutes and 29 seconds to spare, it’s worth a watch:
If you’d like to embed the tour video in your blog, copy and paste this code for the high quality version:
And here’s a smaller version, 400 pixels wide:
Here’s a more textual overview of what’s hawt in 2.6:
Post Revisions: Wiki-like tracking of edits
With the power of modern computers, it’s silly that we still use save and editing metaphors from the time when the most common method of storage was floppy disks. WordPress has always respected the importance of your writing with auto-save, and now we’re taking that to another level by allowing you to view who made what changes when to any post or page through a super-easy interface, much like Wikipedia or a version control system.
This is handy on any blog in case you make a mistake and want to go back to an older version of a post, and it’s super handy for multi-author blogs where you can see every change tracked by person.
Press This!: Post from wherever you are on the web
A few months ago on my blog we started a conversation about the posting bookmarklet in WordPress and which systems we should look to for inspiration, like Flock, FriendFeed, Facebook, Tumblr, and Delicious. From these suggestions and the Quick Post plugin by Josh Kenzer, we developed a Press This bookmark you can add to your toolbar that provides a fast and smart popup to do posts to your WordPress blog:
For example, if you click “Press This” from a Youtube page it’ll magically extract the video embed code, and if you do it from a Flickr page it’ll make it easy for you to put the image in your post. On my blog I’ve been experimenting with using different categories and the
in_category() function — such as video, quote, aside, et cetera — to create a more tumblelog-like format.
Shift Gears: Turbo-speed your blogging
Theme Previews: See it before your audience does
Now when you select a theme it pops up a window that shows the theme live with all your content, instead of immediately making it active on your site. This is great for just test driving themes before making a switch over publicly, and it is also helpful when you are developing a theme and need to test it but don’t want everybody to see your ongoing
Here are some of the smaller features and improvements in 2.6:
- Word count! Never guess how many words are in your post anymore.
- Image captions, so you can add sweet captions like Political Ticker does under your images.
- Bulk management of plugins.
- A completely revamped image control to allow for easier inserting, floating, and resizing. It’s now fully integrated with the WYSIWYG.
- Drag-and-drop reordering of Galleries.
- Plugin update notification bubble.
- Customizable default avatars.
- You can now upload media when in full-screen mode.
- Remote publishing via XML-RPC and APP is now secure (off) by default, but you can turn it on easily through the options screen.
- Full SSL support in the core, and the ability to force SSL for security.
- You can now have many thousands of pages or categories with no interface issues.
- Ability to move your
wp-contentdirectories to a custom location, for “clean” SVN checkouts.
- Select a range of checkboxes with “shift-click.”
- You can toggle between the Flash uploader and the classic one.
- A number of proactive security enhancements, including cookies and database interactions.
- Stronger better faster versions of TinyMCE, jQuery, and jQuery UI.
- Version 2.6 fixes approximately 194 bugs.
WordPress.org had over 75 people contributing code to WordPress 2.6. In addition to the core commit team we had contributions from Dion Hulse, Austin Matzko, Otto42, Benedict Eastaugh, and pishmishy. AaronCampbell and Marco Zehe provided more than a few patches. Back among the top code contributors is Jacob Santos. Alex Concha continues to have WordPress’ back. Joining bug reporting and gardening elite are hakre, Simon Wheatley, mtekk, and Matty Rob. Finally, congratulations to our Peter Westwood on your recent wedding! I’m also proud to announce we’re adding a new core committer to the team: Andrew Ozz (azaozz) has been a huge help to the core team this year, particularly around TinyMCE and making the WYSIWYG something that works for you, not against you.
Because of the new capabilities to make WordPress a clean SVN checkout, plugin and theme authors should do their best to handle forms and posts through WP rather than trying to post to their files directly, here’s a quick Codex article about how to do it using our forward-compatible APIs.
2.6 is pretty much identical to 2.5 from a plugin and theme compatibility point of view, so upgrades from 2.5 should be pretty painless. The 2.5 branch will no longer be maintain so everyone is encouraged to upgrade. Our standard 3-step upgrade instructions apply to this release. There were at least 1,984,047 downloads of the 2.5 series, the fastest growing release we’ve ever had, and I think all of those people will find 2.6 adds a level of polish that really makes WP a pleasure to use every day. (At least I do. )
There have been rumors and allegations that there was a so-called “easter egg” added to 2.6 early in its development. These rumors and allegations are completely false!
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