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WordPress News and Announcements on WordPress 2.7 and More

WordPress NewsI’ve just released the latest on WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress 2.7 Final Features, WTC Plugin Contest Winners, WordCamps, Surveys, and More, and there are some WordPress news tidbits I’d like to call your attention to.

WordPress 2.7 Feature List Set

Ryan Boren has announced the final WordPress 2.7 features to prepare us all for the upcoming release.

They include the new “crazyhorse” WordPress Administration Panels interface, a new Write Post Panel that allows dragging and dropping of meta boxes so you can rearrange your writing surface, the ability to hide columns on the content index pages, inline editing of posts and Pages on the new content index pages, comments XMLRPC API, sticky posts, automatic WordPress Plugin installation and integrated Plugin browser, HTTPOnly auth cookies, and much more.

After all the kvetching I’ve done about the Comments Panel in the WordPress Administration Panels (okay, I’m not the only one), they have finally overhauled it and have added the ability to automatically upgrade WordPress and the total revamping of the Comments Panel to include replying to comments, keyboard shortcuts (hot keys) for managing comments, and threaded comments to help you keep track of the conversation.

I’m waiting to try it out as it may soon be added to as part of the testing. I do hope it will be as user-friendly as WordPress Comment Ninja Greasemonkey Script by Engtech of Internet Duct Tape. I’ll hate to part with my favorite non-WordPress Plugin toy.

Tell WordPress How You Want the WordPress 2.7 Administration Panels to Look and Work

In announcements on the WordPress Development Blog and on WordPress.com, WordPress users are invited to participate in a survey to have your say on how the navigation options on the WordPress 2.7 Administration Panels interface (UI) should look and work.

At WordCamp 2008, Liz Danzico and Jane Wells presented Riding The Crazyhorse: Future Generation WordPress, an inside look at how the new interface was developed and the amazing technology they use to test the results and make improvements.

If you want your say in how it looks, you better speak up and take the survey.

Weblog Tools Collection Plugin Winners Announced

While WordPress 2.7 is rewiring the whole Comments Panel, it is telling that the grand prize winner of the Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Competition was WP Comment Remix WordPress Plugin by Pressography. It will be interesting how this incredible WordPress Plugin survives the next release of WordPress. I’m sure the creative Plugin author will come up with something even more interesting.

Second prize went to the author of the Manageable WordPress Plugin, followed by third prize, WP Easy Uploader. Consolation prize goes to Prelovac for his amazing work on WordPress Plugins recently.

All the Plugins in the contest are amazing. Check them out and see how creative the WordPress Community continues to be.

Smashing Overload of WordPress Development Resources

Smashing Magazine published the WordPress Developers’ Toolbox, a huge collection of tips, tricks, resources, WordPress Themes, WordPress Theme design help, documentation, and tutorials for WordPress users. It’s overwhelming but there is a ton of great information in there.

Please make sure that the article you are reading covers the version of WordPress you are using as some of the information is version-specific.

A Ton of WordCamp Information

I continue to report on the many WordCamps and WordPress Meetups that are popping up everywhere. If you want your event covered, make sure to email me so I can cover it on the and The WordCamp Report.

In case you didn’t hear, The WordCamp Report is looking for volunteers to live blog or report on WordCamp and WordPress events around the world. The site is covering WordCamp news, events, and WordPress events, and includes tips for those who want to bring a WordCamp to their area.

If you have been a part of a WordCamp event and would like to submit an article on your experience and lessons learned, just let me know.

And More WordPress and WordPress.com News

I also covered a lot of other WordPress news including these recent announcements on WordPress.com:

SSL Now Available for WordPress.com Bloggers: WordPress.com announced the ability for their bloggers to protect blogs with SSL. If you are blogging on a public access point, “blogjackers” can prey on security vulnerabilities and possibly collect sensitive information. By adding SSL protection, you will automatically be logged onto your blog with an HTTPS connection (secure). You’ve always had the option, but few WordPress.com bloggers understood how it worked.

To activate this new feature, go to My Account > Edit Profile in the WordPress Administration Panels and check of “Always use HTTPS when visiting Administration pages” under Browser Connection.

WordPress.com FAQ Gets Screencasts: The WordPress.com FAQ now has screencasts on their guide posts helping WordPress.com users learn more about how to use specific WordPress.com features.

WordPress.com August 2008 Stats: The August Wrap-Up for statistics on included 286,860 blogs created, 298,655 new users, 3,442,638 file uploads, 439 terabytes of content transferred from our datacenters, 6,750,960 comments, and 1,196,661 active blogs and 14,056,683 active posts. WordPress.com also crossed four million blogs this past week.

New Themes for WordPress.com Members: WordPress.com announced two new WordPress Themes recently. The Albeo Theme for WordPress.com bloggers is designed by Elena at Design Disease. The DePo Masthead WordPress Theme by Derek Powazek features a minimalist magazine design with dynamic features such as header font size changes depending upon the length of the blog title, column heights for front page articles will always be equal, interesting navigation options, and hidden, unfolding comments.



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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

11 Comments

  1. Posted September 18, 2008 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Re SSL Now Available for WordPress.com Bloggers: There’s no such checkbox for self-hosted WordPress; maybe they’ll add one in 2.7? But Ryan did post a echnique back in May that involves editing your wp-config.php file; I have reiterated this along with a howto for installing Google Gears on a Mac to accelerate SSL-secured admin sessions in Safari for anyone who’s interested.

  2. Posted September 18, 2008 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I waitting to see new wordpress 2.7, I hope to see new features in 2.7 Example. new navigation options in admin control panel

  3. Posted September 18, 2008 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I know there is somewhat off-topic, but WordPress-MU is still on version 2.6.1, which I understood to be somewhat unsecure. If I wanted to submit a feature request along the lines of “Try and make new version release of WP-MU closer to version release of WP,” where might I file that?

    It also irks me that WP-MU doesn’t tell the administrator what version they’re running, while WP does; makes it hard to remember your upgrade path when it’s been 6 months since your last upgrade. “Wait, did I install the last one? Which version am I on again?”

    Look forward to seeing if SSL will make it to WP-MU 2.7 (when we eventually get it).

  4. Posted September 18, 2008 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Personally, I think these upgrades are coming out a little too quickly. It seems like we just upgraded to 2.6, then there was a bug fix and then a security fix, not to mention all the people complaining about broken plugins. I don’t mind being informed about an upgrade, but I dislke the fact that the software is always prompting me to upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. Maybe I like what I have.

  5. Posted September 18, 2008 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, I have 2 questions about the descriptions of WP 2.7.

    First: “a new Write Post Panel that allows dragging and dropping of meta boxes so you can rearrange your writing surface”. Will this allow me (the ADMIN) to rearrange the boxes in a way that affects every Author’s and Contributor’s write page? I don’t want the Authors to have the option of rearranging the Write Page themselves. I want to arrange it for them, before they go there. I want to delete the areas that would confuse my Contributors, and leave only the areas that I want them to write-in.

    Second: “the ability to hide columns on the content index pages, inline editing of posts and Pages on the new content index pages.” What are Content Index Pages? I don’t know that terminology. Do you mean the index.php homepage of my theme? Or do you mean the Manage Posts page in my Admin area?

    Thanks for all the helpful info.

  6. Posted September 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    @ Bruce:

    There isn’t an option to force this. Just type in https as part of your address when you login, and install Google Gears to speed things up. The new feature for WordPress.com users just forces it in place.

    @Matthew: I’ve just heard from Donncha and WordPressMU is not impacted by the latest issue that brought out the security release of WordPress. It’s stable and fairly solid security-wise at this time. As for the version number, I thought that WordPressMU featured it in the Administration Panels. Be sure and bring that up in the WordPressMU forums. Good point.

    @askblackie: When I booted up my computer this morning, I had a number of “alerts” telling me to install the latest version of Windows, mouse drivers, and FireFox. Yesterday, I had other Windows, graphic programs, and computer updates to install. Couple days ago, it was printers and other stuff. It seems like every few days I’m hit with more updates on the software that I’m using. Compare this to WordPress and it’s very rare that they release new versions of update. Only when absolutely necessary. I prefer their schedule compared to the rest of the software world. Soon it will be easier.

    Don’t forget, the enemy is out there digging into things they have no business digging into working hard to find ways to break web programs, not just WordPress. When there is a security release, it is because there is something worth protecting your blog from. I’m really proud of the WordPress team for staying on the ball to help us protect our blogs.

    @Dgold: You’ll have to ask Ryan about those details. I’m not sure how the changes impact individual contributors, but I believe it is based upon the user, not system wide. For example, if you set your Profile settings to use the older HTML Write Panel, it doesn’t impact everyone else who continues to use the Visual Editor version.

    As for the strangely named “Content Index Pages”, I believe that those are multi-post pageviews such as categories, archives, tags, and pages that pull content in from different “sources” on your blog. Like you, this is a new term and I’m hoping to get some clarification in the next day or so.

    I love it when they make up words without definition or clear intent. But then, I thought that the first time I heard “Google”. :D

  7. Posted September 18, 2008 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    There isn’t an option to force this. Just type in https as part of your address when you login

    Lorelle, it’s all too easy to type http:// instead of https:// (especially if you just type mydomain.com into the address bar and let the browser handle the full URL syntax). By editing wp-config.php for self-hosted WordPress and adding define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true); you are indeed “forcing” admin sessions to be encrypted—even if you deliberately or inadvertently typed http://

  8. AriK
    Posted September 20, 2008 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Hi, do you know how the Automatic Upgrader feature will work with localized versions of WP? Or does it only support English version?

    Looking at the WordPress in Your Language page, it looks like most of the localized versions are not under wordpress.org, but “all over the place”.

  9. Posted September 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Bruce,

    For myself (using Firefox 3), I just bookmarked the https version of my login URL and removed the old http version so when I type the first few letters of my blog title into Firefox 3’s location bar the login URL is the first in the auto-suggest list. I believe this should also work with Opera 9.5+ and the new IE 8.0 (currently at beta 2).

    Just a suggestion.

  10. Posted September 22, 2008 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    @ AriK:

    The POT files for localization are mostly stored under a single directory, but many are hosting their own versions. WordPress is working to bring them all under a central directory and improving the localization features of WordPress.

    As for the Automatic Upgrade feature, it should work across platforms for the core programming, but I’m not sure if it will also upload localization POT files. I’ll look into that. Thanks!

  11. Posted October 1, 2008 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I quite agree with the winners of the plugin competition those are great and I use them on most of my blogs now. The only thing I don’t like is comment remixes inability to native thread comments or work with any existing threading plugins.


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