On behalf of the entire WordPress team, I’m proud and excited to announce the immediate availability of version 2.2 “Getz” for download. This version includes a number of new features, most notably Widgets integration, and over two hundred bug fixes. It’s named in honor of tenor saxophonist Stan Getz.
- WordPress Widgets allow you to easily rearrange and customize areas of your weblog (usually sidebars) with drag-and-drop simplicity. This functionality was originally available as a plugin Widgets are now included by default in the core code, significantly cleaned up, and enabled for the default themes.
- Full Atom support, including updating our Atom feeds to use the 1.0 standard spec and including an implementation of the Atom Publishing API to complement our XML-RPC interface.
- A new Blogger importer that is able to handle the latest version of Google’s Blogger product and seamlessly import posts and comments without any user interaction beyond entering your login.
- Infinite comment stream, meaning that on your Edit Comments page when you delete or spam a comment using the AJAX links under each comment it will bring in another comment in the background so you always have 20 items on the page. (I know it sounds geeky, but try it!)
- We now protect you from activating a plugin or editing a file that will break your blog.
- Core plugin and filter speed optimizations should make everything feel a bit more snappy and lighter on your server.
- We’ve added a hook for WYSIWYG support in a future version of Safari.
In addition there were also dozens of UI and accessibility improvements, ranging from more concise wording around options and links to things like a view and preview link above the content box when you’re editing a post or page, as well as several important security fixes. We don’t plan to continue to support the 2.1 branch, so this is a required upgrade.
We also improved a great deal under the hood that hopefully you’ll never notice, but if you’re a developer for the WP platform it provides a lot to sink your teeth into. Here is a sampling:
- A new set of WordPress-specific XML-RPC APIs that allow for editing pages, setting categories, and much more.
- We now use jQuery for a number of internal functions, and hope to transition all of our JS to use it. (We still need volunteers for this.)
- Comment feeds now support multiple formats, including Atom.
- Our internal mail functions now use phpMailer, which allows for things like SMTP support.
- You can now set database collation and character set in your config file.
- You can also hardcode your site and WP URL in the config file, overriding the values in the DB.
- Finally we’ve increased the inline documentation of a number of functions inside of WP, which should help you navigate those parts of the code.
If you’d like an in-depth look at everything that changed, here is a list of all 244 closed tickets in our bug tracker and you can use this link to see what files and lines of code changed. (It was a lot!)
New Development Cycle
Most interesting about this release is that is our first under the new, experimental development cycle that we first talked about when we released version 2.1 fewer than 4 months ago. We delayed a few weeks from our target date in April, but ended up under our original goal of a 4 month major release cycle. My thanks and congratulations to the entire WordPress community for pulling together and making that happen. It wasn’t without its bumps, but the things we learned along the way will make our next release in September even better. You can now look forward to a fast but stable schedule of new features and goodies several times a year from WordPress.
Around the Community
There were 1.4 million downloads of WordPress 2.1 in the four months it was available.
I wrote a post that covers some of the media that WP has been getting lately and its history.
Come meet other WordPress users and developers at WordCamp, which is going to be taking place July 21-22 in San Francisco.
The most valuable thing you can give back to WordPress is your time — the time to help a friend discover the joy of blogging, the time to help a stranger (a friend you haven’t met yet) on the support forums, or the time to help make WordPress a better product.