Announced officially today, the latest version of the popular WordPress blogging tool hits the streets. The new release, focused on practical features, adds better comment management, themes, and even branches out to manage more than just blog content.WordPress is an open-source, software effort led by Matthew Mullenweg. It has attracted a strong following over the past year, bolstered in part by changes in Movable Type's licensing model and issues with blog comment spam. Version 1.5 includes the following enhancements: Improved Templating This release adds a flexible theme system that greatly improves the UI flexibility of WordPress. You can have your entire weblog run through a single file, as with previous releases, or you can have a different template for every category. Simplified Management Along with the new theme system WordPress now breaks down common site elements like headers, footers, and sidebars into their own files. This simplifies small, site-wide changes and allows developers to better organize their code and presentation assets. New Default Theme Showcasing the new theme flexibility, the WordPress team provided a new default theme as part of the release. This is meant both as a very usable out of the box UI and as a strong foundation for those who will build their own themes. Improved Comment Control For many comments are the best part of weblogging, they enable easy and transparent interaction to take place between the author and the audience. However comment spam has soured this experience and made comment management a significant burden. WordPress 1.5 targets this problem with a new option called "emergent registration". The first time someone comments they are automatically held in moderation. Once approved the first time, they are allowed to comment in an unmoderated fashion. This featured is enabled by default and applies for trackbacks and pingbacks too. Additional Moderation Tools This release includes a number of new tools and improvements that make the administration of your blog a more pleasant experience. The list includes streamlined comment management tools, a new comment blacklist option, and new logic that identifies and blocks insecure proxies. New Content Management Capabilities Going beyond blog post management version 1.5 adds the concept of "pages". This feature addresses the problem many bloggers encounter when attempting to manage different types of content (e.g., an about page) with their blogging tool. The Pages feature allows you to create and manage any number of pages, in a hierarchy, all through the WordPress interface. Admin Dashboard The new Dashboard feature keeps you up to date with the latest happenings on your blog and the most important news from around the WordPress world. WordPress 1.5 is available for download from