December 26, 2005

Preview: WordPress 2.0

Thanks to Podz over at the WordPress forums, I got a look at the soon-to-be-released WordPress 2.0. It’s quite an upgrade: nice looking, with bells and whistles galore.

Themes: WordPress allows you to have different templates, which they call "themes". Go to Presentation/Themes, and WP2.0 displays thumbnails of the themes. Whoof!

Permalinks: rather than having numerical database URLs, one long-time WordPress feature is conversion of URLs based on post title (and other factors); it then automatically generates mod_rewrite rules for you. In 2.0, the most common choices are enabled by radio buttons. There’s still a text box for any other scenario you might like to input.

Images: I think my favorite new feature is the way WordPress 2.0 handles images. You can upload from the admin panel (I don’t recall as I use FTP, but I don’t think this is new). But now you can assign a title to the image, as well as a description; not sure where in the scheme of things (of HTML tags) the description might fit in. Next, you can view thumbnails of uploaded images (great feature) right from the admin panel. Even greater is that, instead of trying to figure out where on the server that image might be, you can simply class="bi">drag and drop the image into your text. Tell me that isn’t fancy … and ultra convenient. This will make it easier to keep track of and reuse images. Pretty snazzy. <Added:> I’m advised that the drag/drop feature works in Opera and FireFox, but not IE. ::are we surprised?::

Preview Saved Posts: maybe I haven’t upgraded in a while, but the preview of saved posts show the whole page (not just the text), logo, navigation and all. Tasty.

This is what I’ve seen from my admittedly short checking of WordPress 2.0. For an old code-junkie, 2.0 is yet compelling and, well, fun. I will probably upgrade my blogs once I’ve had a few weeks to see what issues 2.0 might have.

Vital Note: from what I’ve read in the WordPress forums, the 2.0 upgrade alters the database such that there’s essentially no going back. If you upgrade, make very sure you’ve backed up your database. Not just your files, but your database.

Thanks to Podz for the chance to take a look under the hood. By the way, he has a fantastic WordPress Guides page. Gotta like a guy whose instructions for blog comments are: "Think. Then type." <grin>

<Added several hours later:> I didn’t want to spill the beans earlier, but WordPress 2.0 has now been released. Not only that, but the WordPress.org sites have been redesigned. Here are links to get anyone started:

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