The Road Ahead

This is a story about multiple blogs, bugs, enhancements, tables, chairs, and servers.

Everyone wants to know about multiple blogs. We all want it yesterday. To clear up a common misconception, you can already run multiple wordpress blogs just fine, they can even be in the same database. Just give the installations a different table prefix in your wp-config.php file. The goal with multiple blogs is to take the process of setting up a new weblog from 5 minutes to 30 seconds or less. There has been a lot of developer discussion about the best way to go about this and I have a working prototype of the functionality. However to implement this with the elegance you all have come to expect from WordPress is going to take a lot of work. (Code is easy, interface is hard.)

Which brings us to our next release. To satisfy the hype we could say “the very next version of WordPress will have full multi-blog capabilities” and just hold off the next release until that was done, or we could continue to release progressive enhancements while multi-blog work carried on concurrently. The latter is what I’d rather do. There are already enhancements in the CVS that could benefit 1.2 users immediately, and the community at large shouldn’t need to wait for these new features. (Not to mention bug fixes.) An intermediate release would also allow us to lay the framework for multi-blogs and test it thoroughly. That’s the plan. There will definitely be a 1.3 release within the short-term that will feature an improved plugin API, a better administration interface, a few nifty features, and a backend that lays the foundation for the Big Release coming up. There will possibly be a 1.2.1 release if enough issues come up to warrant it.

As a quick note to plugin writers, in 1.3 the table variable names have changed somewhat, for example $tableposts is now $wpdb->posts. This means a lot less globals, and is also one of the framework things for the multi-blog release. Read more about it on the wiki.

Finally, the server. With the up and down of the last few days it would be criminal not to say what’s going on there. To make a very long and frustrating story short: there were problems due in part to the recent popularity of WordPress. They should be fixed for now, but a long-term solution is needed. This will probably come in the form of a Server Drive, where we all drive out to the server and kick it until it works.

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