WordPress 2.6

Posted July 15, 2008 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Releases.

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.

Differences between two versions of posts.

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:

Screenshot of Press This interface.

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

Gears is an open source browser extension project started by Google that developers like us can use to give you features we wouldn’t normally be able to. There are a lot of things we can do with Gears in the future, but in this release we’ve stuck to using what’s called a “Local Server” to cache or keep a copy of commonly-used Javascript and CSS files on your computer, which can speed up the loading of some pages by several seconds (they just pop right up!). You can install Gears for Firefox or Internet Explorer, with support for Safari and Opera pending. WordPress works just fine without it, you just get a little extra juice when you have it installed.

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 mistakes development.

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-config file and wp-content directories 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.

Developer Notes

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. :))

Easter Egg

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!

P.S. If you’re a fan of WordPress, consider joining our fan page on Facebook.

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See Also:

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet.

There’s also a development P2 blog.

To see how active the project is check out our Trac timeline, it often has 20–30 updates per day.


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