wordpress_logo_2009.jpgWell boys and girls, you voted and the results are in. WordPress (news, site) promised to release some semi-solid details on the features that made the 2.9 cut at some point in July, and so they came, skidding into home at the last possible minute.

Over 3,500 WordPress enthusiasts responded to the survey posted a few weeks ago, asking participants to choose which multimedia features sounded like winners among those that had been suggested (Flickr-like photo stream, a revised media UI, bulk media input API, media albums, easier embeds, etc.). The exact features for 2.9 are still being worked out, but the results of the survey provide a pretty good idea of how things are going to go down in the coming months. Et voilà:

Q1. What single media feature you would choose to include in version 2.9?

  • Standalone editable photo albums = 17.5%
  • Easier embeds for videos and other third-party content = 16.5%.
  • Basic image editing = 13.7%,
  • Post thumbnails = 12.9%.

(The rest of the features each took less than ten percent of the vote)

Q2. Rate each feature on a scale going from Top Priority down to Definitely Not

It would make sense if the features that scored the highest in Q1 earned higher votes in the Top Priority column in Q2, but WordPress says no feature was ranked as a Top Priority more often than it was ranked as a Nice to Have (though Media Albums, Easier Embeds and Post Thumbnails came close).

Q3. Rank the eleven features in order of priority to you

The overall rankings were pretty reflective of the results from Q1. Basic Image Editing took the lead while Additional Media Features and Revised Media UI followed close behind.

Q4. Do you think these types of media features should be built into the core code of WordPress, or bundled as “advanced media” canonical plugins?

  • Put ‘em in core! = 56.2%
  • Canonical plugins, included with core download = 38.1%
  • Canonical plugins, leave ‘em in the repo = 5.7%

If you combine the two plugin options, the results are pretty neck and neck. Because the development community voted before the user community, this question in particular gave WordPress insight to one of the key differences between developer and user perspectives. While developers prefer to keep the core code clean and tidy, relying on plugins for advanced functionality, most users would prefer features to be built in.

We presume you can expect the concept of how WordPress will move toward a system of canonical plugins and/or core “packages” to be one of the most talked about 2.9 subjects as the team moves forward.

The Road Ahead

Aside from the light vs. heavy core code debate, the development team certainly has their work cut out for them. The Standalone Photo Albums feature is being worked on as a Google Summer of Code project, which has a “pencils down” closing date in less than two weeks. Work on Easier Embeds has reportedly already begun and WordPress is hopeful that they’ll be able to include basic editing functions like rotation, cropping and resizing very soon.

For a more detailed list on all the goings on, including graphical representations of the voting results, head on over here.

As always, you're invited keep up with WordPress' progress as we do. Other options include refreshing the development blog religiously, keeping track of WordPress Trac here, or joining the dev chat which is now held every Thursday at 21:00 UTC (changed to accommodates European schedules).