WordPress 2.6 released
We've been playing around with 2.6 on our local installs since the first beta was released, and we think this is a very, very solid release.
The WordPress team posted video showing off some of the new features:
Read on for our take on the new WordPress!
What's the same
First things first, the new admin interface introduced in 2.5 is here to stay. While we think the new interface is an improvement, there are alternative design schemes for those that are unhappy with the layout (note: not all of these themes have been updated to 2.6). There have been some minor UI changes and plugin management has been vastly improved (we'll get to that later), but for the most part, the "look" of 2.6 is identical to that of 2.5.
For us, one of the biggest improvements included with WordPress 2.6 is better plugin management.
In WordPress 2.5, when you selected the "Plugins" tab, this is what you saw:
WordPress 2.5 plugin screen
Both of these situations have changed in WordPress 2.6. You can now selectively activate and deactivate plugins (using a check box system) and deactivated plugins can be selected and deleted. WordPress also automatically sorts your plugins into "active" "inactive" and "recently active" groupings for easier management.
WordPress 2.6 plugin screen
As we said, in the past, this was enabled by default. In 2.6, the feature is disabled for new intallations (upgraded installs are grandfathered in). This was purportedly done to limit potential security holes, and while most users probably won't even notice a change, we want to point it out, so that anyone doing a fresh-install won't be alarmed when their blog client can't connect to WordPress.
To enable or disable remote blogging, a new setting exists under "Writing" called, you guessed it -- "Remote Publishing."
The new Remote Publishing setting for WordPress 2.6
The bulk of the front-end changes to WordPress 2.6 come in the form of new features. One of the most useful features for blogs with multiple authors is the introduction of post-revisioning. Now, you can have a record of each version of a post (kind of like a Wiki) and can compare the differences between versions so that information can be added, removed or reverted. So if you edit a post you originally wrote on Thursday, Friday night after a few too many drinks, you can revert your drunk-blogging with the click of a button, minimizing embarassment.
WordPress 2.6 has also reintroduced the posting bookmarklet, but this time it is improved. Press This! brings some of Tumblr's functionality of easy posting to WordPress. Click the bookmarklet and a window pops up:
Press This! bookmarklet
Press This! photo insertion
WordPress 2.6 has also started integrating Google Gears into WordPress, for Firefox and Internet Explorer users. Right now the support is basic -- just integrating some caches so that pages on the backend load faster -- but there is a lot of potential for the future.
WordPress 2.6 is available now, as as always, is free.