Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress 2.5 RC1

The first release candidate for WordPress 2.5 was announced last night. The adventurous among you can download it for testing. New features include:

  • Faster load times.
  • Multi-file uploads.
  • New “Media Manager” for images, audio, video, etc.
  • Built-in gallery function.
  • Built-in (and pluggable) Gravatars support.
  • New backend design.
  • One-click auto-update for plugins.
  • Reactivate plugins after a ‘Deactivate All Plugins’ action. (my feature! :) )

As a long-time WordPress user and developer, the new design for the back-end admin screens threw me at first. I had the same questions that I saw many others post to the mailing lists. “Why did they clump these links together, and move these other ones to a different spot on the page?” But the more I’ve used it, it became obvious that the new menu layout made sense. The most frequently used items are prominent. The less-often needed ones are moved out of the way, but still easily accessible. I’m still not totally thrilled with the color choices (some elements don’t have enough contrast, to my eyes), but it turns out the the admin screen colors are pluggable, as well.

One of the more exciting features (IMO) is the one-click plugin updater. When you see a notification that a new version of a plugin is available, you’ll also see an ‘upgrade automatically’ link. If your server supports all the functions needed, clicking the link will download and install the new version for you. I will note that on my server, this feature does not always work flawlessly, and I’ve sometimes had to quickly download and install a plugin manually to fix a broken plugin. I’ve shared my observations on this, and I hope that they’ll be able to make this feature more robust before final release. My advice is to use this feature with caution for now. But I’m hoping that my problems with it are due to my server, and that I’ll have better luck when I get things moved to my new host.

Overall, I’m liking the new release. I haven’t had a chance to play with the media management and gallery features yet, but I’m looking forward to giving them a try. I think the new admin arrangement will be easier for new users, and I think most established users will come to appreciate it, too (and for those looking for something even more different, there’s the Fluency Admin theme).

As always, when toying with pre-release code, don’t forget to back up your database and files before you upgrade! Give it a spin, kick the tires, and let us know what you think.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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39 Responses to WordPress 2.5 RC1

  1. Admittedly, I was thrown by “It’ll be out March 10th!” then “No, next Monday!” then “Hey, Release Candidate!” Seems like a more formal release planning is needed to me.

    I’d kick the tires if they’d tell me what they wanted tested and what I should be telling them about my environment.

  2. Dougal says:

    Yeah, I was expecting a couple of betas before a release candidate. It’s all semantics, really. And they should probably be more careful about noting that target release dates are not always set-in-stone.

    I imagine (and hope) that those things will become more formal over time. There should probably be some firm policies in place regarding beta and release candidate builds. Stuff like, “Once the first beta is available, testing will continue for a minimum of two weeks before moving to release candidate status. Testing will continue for a minimum of one-week from first release candidate. Test periods may be longer depending on community feedback.” Or something to that basic effect.

    And yes, some testing guidelines might be useful, as well.

  3. What’s the difference between the “Built-in gallery function” and old “upload file” thing? Don’t want to install RC to figure this one out.

  4. Robert says:

    Generally speaking, I like a lot of the changes to WP2.5. But I really believe they missed the boat, in terms of efficiency, by moving commonly used options from the sidebar, in particular categories, and burying them in concealed divs underneath the post area.

    Where one could quickly assign the category and edit post specific options relating to that post, in an area adjacent to the actual post, now the user must learn to scroll — a LOT.

    I just can’t figure out these guys were thinking or what the thought processes were when deciding to replace non-scrolling efficiency with [excessive] scrolling.

  5. XIII says:

    I like the sound of those new features, easier plugin management is a joy. I’m curious what the Media Manager will look like, any screenshots anywhere? Time will tell, I don’t want to risk exploding my blog just yet.

  6. Hussein says:

    it’s cool..

    actually i installed it in a test blog.. and its cool/

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  9. I installed the RC-version on a testblog, and I liked the shiny new, cleaner, interface.
    What I didn’t like though was the fact the editor on the ‘write’ page is slimmer than the one right now. Also, the overlaying media-library annoys me as it hinders the view of what you’re in the process of writing. Perhaps I’m sodding over the changes, but these are my two cents.

  10. Robert says:

    We now have image alignment! (now if they will just get the image uploader fixed)

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  13. James says:

    I love the new admin area of WP2.5… And the best part is probably the multi-file upload.

    @vlad: It pops up a window and lets you browse a directory, selecting multiple files to upload (ever had to upload just 4 photos before? on a slow network??).

    And the colors are a little more “mod”

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  23. @james: So it basically does same thing as IImage plugin I’ve been using for last three years ;)

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  25. I’ve complained about this off and on for a while … maybe I should just put some ideas out there, Dougal?

  26. Dougal says:

    Geof: The wp-testers mailing list is probably the best place to start a discussion on release procedures. Right now, discussions are dominated by last-minute bug reports, so you might want to wait until after the release furor dies down. But feel free to go ahead and blog about it, too. Probably good to get people thinking about it.

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  30. Neil says:

    Just changed over, seems things are working ok, the things that i dont like though are small. The one main thing that gets on my nerves is “visit site” button, i.e. it opens in a new window/tab, gets on my nerves but apart from that its all good!

    Rock on WordPress!

  31. irish says:

    i am really excited for wordpress 2.5 version because i heard i loads faster.. i wanna try this up

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  33. MissDanni says:

    Off topic but you may want to know this page is showing errors at the bottom.

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  35. CarpetGuy says:

    Wow! That is all I can say, because I am in shock! WordPress was already redundant, but now, look out! I just checked out the demo site, and I am sorry to say that I don’t like it, why you may ask? Headaches! I have like 9 blogs to maintain, and due to being familiar with the old version, I can’t see myself switching. What happens to to 40+ plugins I now use, will most of them be unusable? I never did find the options page, maybe I gave up to soon. Just please tell me this won’t be a mandatory upgrade!

  36. Adam Hyman says:

    Wow, I didn’t even realize that WordPress 2.5 was out.
    Thanks for the update Doug!

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