It’s almost that time again, the next release of WordPress is almost out. WordPress 2.6 may be released on Monday. The new version will be packed with features, such as better management for your media library, Press This fixes, post revisions history, theme preview, category unions intersections, plugin update notification improvements, and more. Unfortunately for developers and users, many other things have changed which will provide more than a few potential headaches.
For WordPress Plugin Developers, we’ll have the headache of adjusting our plugins to fit the lightly modified directory convention. The vital wp-config.php and wp-content can now be moved anywhere the WordPress installation owner likes. Granted these are changes that I’ve insisted on for a while now (including moving/renaming wp-admin to whatever you want, though I doubt we’ll see that for a while), but I foresee many plugins that aren’t actively maintained breaking.
For WordPress users, you’ll have the headache of wondering which plugins will and won’t work right away. As always, it’s wise to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress ASAP, but you’ll want to have a programmer check over your plugins to see if they’re compatible and handle the upgrade for you. As always, please do a full backup of your files and database if you’re going to attempt to perform the upgrade yourself.
Reactions to the Beta and RC versions have been surprisingly good in the WP community thus far. Considering the bad initial reactions to the 2.5 admin theme overhaul, I half wondered if it would change again for this release. People like the new features, and are grateful for the fixes of the bugs and quirks in the 2.5x admin interface.
Taking a look at the 2.6 trac, I still see many issues that are unresolved. It seems there are numerous occasions where WordPress produces something less than valid XHTML. I’m not sure which concerns me more, the unaddressed security issues or the incorrectly generated XHTML code. Still, 2.6 is a step in the right direction, but one can only wonder how long we have to wait to have our major grievances (from both a developer’s and user’s standpoint) with WordPress addressed. Granted, the last few upgrades have had their share of major bug fixes and vital security patches, but we’ve also been loaded down with feature-loaded (read: full of bugs and bloated) a new admin interface, new media management functionality, etc. Does anyone even feel the new widgets interface is actually an improvement?
The fact remains, WordPress is by far the greatest blogging/CMS tool free or otherwise on the market.