The next version of WordPress (version 1.5) has moved from “alpha” to “beta” testing mode. Basically, the core features are in place, and the developers are in bug-fix mode. There are lots of exciting new features and improvements in this release, which I’ve been using here. The most notable new features are probably “pages” and the new theme system.
Pages allow you to manage stand-alone web pages. Examples on this site are my “about“, “donate“, and “weight goal” pages. Combined with the Run PHP Plugin, this brings WordPress another step closer to evolving from “blogging” software into a full CMS (Content Management System).
The new theme system busts the web design out from the core WP code. This means that you can radically modify your web design without editing the default WP files, which makes upgrades even more painless than ever. It also allows the site admin to easily switch back and forth between different site designs. My current design (such as it is), is implemented as a theme (named “rockem-sockem”).
For some more insights into the development, see Nuclear Moose’s interview with Matt and Ryan.