by Kevin on April 26, 2008
Yesterday, WordPress 2.5.1 was released. It is an important security update, so it is in your best interest to update as soon as possible. I am a strong advocate of the WordPress Automatic Update plugin as it provides an easy, five click automatic update of WordPress and alleviates any problems you might get if you do a manual install.
The update specifically addresses bug fixes, performance enhancements, and one important security fix. Over seventy other fixes have been included, with the most significant fixes focused on:
- Performance improvements for the Dashboard, Write Post, and Edit Comments pages.
- Better performance for those who have many categories.
- Media Uploader fixes.
- TinyMCE updated to version 3.0.7
- Fixes in the Widget Administration.
- Usability improvements.
- Fixes for layout errors in IE.
Additional Security Features
Since 2.5 your
wp-config.phpfile allows a new constant called
SECRET_KEYwhich basically is meant to introduce a little permanent randomness into the cryptographic functions used for cookies in WordPress. You can visit this link we set up to get a unique secret key for your config file. (It’s unique and random on every page load.) Having this line in your config file helps secure your blog.
It looks as though a new update will be coming out within the few weeks, along the lines of 1-5 weeks, which addresses password resetting issues with the release of 2.5.1. No date has been officially set, although there are 91 active tickets, so if you haven’t upgraded to the version released on April 25, there won’t be a long period between updates.
In a little more than three months, August 7th, (if on schedule) WordPress 2.6 will include several features that bloggers requested, which were not incorporated to their liking in the current version of WordPress.
John Lamansky has compiled a list of features that will be included in WordPress 2.6, and will continue updating the post until the release date is reached.
- The Meta Bookmarklet — Okay, so that’s not the official name, but that’s what I’m calling it until there is one. Matt talked about this at WordCamp Dallas — the idea is to have a bookmarklet that would pre-fill information from sites like YouTube, etc. For example, imagine clicking the bookmarklet when you’re watching a YouTube video and then having a new blog post setup for you with the video already embedded. Cool, huh?
- Shift-Click Checkbox Selection — In WordPress 2.6, you should be able to select a range of checkboxes in the category, comment, tag, post, page, and media administration sections by checking the “start” checkbox, holding the Shift key, and then checking the “end” checkbox… Gmail style.
- Post Word Count — A WordPress.com feature that might be making its way into WordPress 2.6.
It is great to see new features, and while WordPress is built around its wide array of plugins available, it would be even better to see some more features/plugins that are built into the system. WordPress 2.5/2.6 look to improve this with tag integration and stats shown in the Dashboard, as well as Post Word Count in version 2.6.
In my opinion, however, WordPress should be kept fairly open and not restrict users to using a specific type of plugin for each feature that a user wants to have. While a few should be included, a user should have the option of not including it in the install.
Finally, the Sandbox Theme may make its way into WordPress 2.6 as either the default theme, a revision of the current default theme, or as an additional default theme. The Sandbox Theme will allow more people using WordPress to develop custom themes based off their default theme, instead of having to work around building their own theme.