by Kevin on July 7, 2009
WordPress wants to know, from the community, what you are looking for in the next release of WordPress. It is currently entering the development stage, still a few months away from release. However, it takes time to develop many of the more advanced features, and even more time to ensure the best experience can be had by all users.
At this time, the main focus will be around media and management, primarily along the lines of video and images, which are the two main forms of media uploaded to users’ sites. I’ve never had a hard time managing files in the current state of WordPress, and with the release of WordPress 2.8, it brought forth a number of features that I realized I did need, like the ability to change the number of posts/files listed per page.
What makes the most sense at this time is to make the entire platform seamless. In lieu of recent discussions about a “stripped down” WordPress.com, the team should make sure that everyone on the service is able to get the most out of the system, but will remain using WordPress, upgrading to their own site. Deviating from the course of the post, the team should work on making WordPress.com more like Blogger in how you can edit and freely transform templates. The smallest changes are what the community ultimately wants. After all, not everyone wants to go from Blogger (or any other free service) directly to WordPress.org and have to manage their whole site.
Back to the main topic, some of the changes that may make their way into WordPress 2.9 on the media side include:
- Additional Media Filters – This would add the ability to filter images to those that have been used most recently, most often, or marked as a favorite. Currently, there are only a few options when you want to insert an image, and you are essentially on your own to manage all your files through the naming and attachment of them to posts.
- Basic Image Editing – Currently, you can only resize images on a percent basis, but cropping, resizing, and 90-degree rotation may become available.
- Better Media Settings – The creation of more default media settings and the overriding of settings will become available.
- Bulk Media Import API – This may allow plugins and importers to better manage importing of large groups of files, say videos or pictures that you have taken.
- Custom Image Sizes – A problem with WordPress’ image settings right now is that all images aren’t created to your specifications, so new hard-coded thumbnail, medium, large, etc. image sizes may be instituted.
- Easier Embeds – It will become easier to embed third-party content such as YouTube videos. In my opinion, this would be good, as switching between the visual and HTML editor often results in editing problems when inserting images and video.
- Media Albums – Photostream functionality, plus stand-alone galleries may be created, allowing you to create media albums that aren’t tied to posts.
- Media Metadata – Categories and tags will be added to media files.
- Photostream – Create a Flickr-like photostream that displays images in a chronological stream, compared to a grouping in a post/gallery.
- Post Thumbnails – You will be able to choose an image to appear as a thumbnail with your post/article/excerpt.
- Revised Media Interface – The media uploader will be simplified and more user-friendly.
I am a huge fan of WordPress and the flexibility and scale that it can be developed upon. However, I am not a fan of the complexity of performing simple tasks – media for one. You shouldn’t have to halt your work just to insert an image. The buttons at the top of the page should link directly to your computer to insert images, and a separate button should be available for previously-uploaded content. Or, create another way of inserting images that doesn’t want to make you put off inserting images into posts.
Please note that these features may not all make it in, so you are given the opportunity now to take a poll and decide which of the features are most important. The poll closes this Friday, July 10, 2009. Rank the features in a priority from highest to lowest in terms of importance to you.