WordPress 2.6 Released Early The battle of the open source CMS continues. Well some might not consider it a battle, but there is a definite push to stay at the top by the leaders of the pack. WordPress is no slouch where that is concerned. In the news again, WordPress announced the release of version 2.6 -- a month ahead of their original schedule no less. With Drupal, Plone, Movable Type and others in the news frequently, it’s no wonder that WordPress has pushed their release of 2.6 up from August (tentatively) to July. This is what keeps them at the top of the lists across the web. The new version promises some nice new features. With additions like an update to the TinyMCE (version 3.1), as well as support for Google Gears managed offline storage, WordPress 2.6 is a promising upgrade from the recent 2.5 release.

New Features of WordPress 2.6

There are new features for users and developers alike:

New User Features

* Version/revision saves a copy of a post every time you edit it, allows you to view (not edit) each of those copies (revisions). Shows forward (in time) diffs between any two revisions. * Display captions of images alongside them in posts and pages. * Add paging of Themes in Design panel * Word Count displayed when writing and editing posts and pages * Press This bookmarklet * Add sorting to gallery * Export/import post excerpts * Show when a term is both a tag and a category * TinyMCE 3.1 * Two categories can have sub-categories with the same name

New Developer Features

* The default meta boxes on the post, page and link edit page can be removed and replaced. They can be added via add_meta_box() * Support for Google Gears managed offline storage * Latest JQuery update * Allow wp-config.php to exist one level up from WordPress root directory. New file wp-load.php designates location of wp-config.php file. * Deprecated constants declared with limited backwards compatibility. * Add current_category option to wp_list_categories

Problems and Praise for WordPress 2.6

First, the Problems

Some developers are concerned with the change to the wp-config.php file. It was the file that loaded everything. Now, with the wp-load.php, there is a different php file that loads first. This creates some problems for plugin coders as plugin scripts sometimes have to guess the location of their own directory like wp-config.php. WordPress 2.6 also allows you to move your wp-config.php and wp-content/ outside of your WordPress root, making it difficult for plugins to find them. Suggested fixes to the problems that are created by the new wp-load.php file can be found at planetozh.com. While the fixes here are known to work they are not guaranteed. According to PlanetOzh.com, “…there is no way I can think of to guess the locations of both wp-config and wp-content. To be 100% foolproof, such a "standalone" file needing to include wp-config should be editable so that advanced users moving their wp-content directory could manually edit a location path…” Provided you are not moving these files for any reason, this issue should not plague you or your plugin developers, but it’s good to know that it can be done and what issues may arise.

Now the Praise for WordPress 2.6

With an issue like that, it’s a good thing other areas were addressed in depth. With many large software upgrades of any type, backwards compatibility is an issue that is sometimes not addressed during development. “Fortunately, WordPress 2.6 is fully backward compatible, including plug-ins, so the upgrade path should be straightforward,” says Peter Hogopian. All in all WordPress 2.6 seems to hit the mark like usual. Time will tell if this latest release will affect their standing in the Open Source CMS Awards.