Though WordPress 2.8 was just released, the team behind the ever-popular Web Content Management System has already thrown down another hand on the table. Over the weekend, the WordPress development blog announced that work on the first maintenance release of 2.8 has started. But you don’t have to wait for it.

WordPress 2.8.1 beta is already available for download, and addresses several hiccups. Notable issues that’ve been fixed in beta 1 include:

  • Certain themes were calling get_categories() in such a way that it would fail in 2.8. 2.8.1 works around this so these themes won’t have to change.
  • Dashboard memory usage is reduced. Some people were running out of memory when loading the dashboard, resulting in an incomplete page.
  • The automatic upgrade no longer accidentally deletes files when cleaning up from a failed upgrade.
  • A problem where the rich text editor wasn’t being loaded due to compression issues has been worked around.
  • Extra security has been put in place to better protect you from plugins that do not do explicit permission checks.
  • If you would like to automatically upgrade from 2.8 to 2.8.1 Beta 1, follow these instructions. Thanks for testing WordPress.

Shaking and Baking the Web CMS World

In case you’ve been living under a rock and totally missed the WordPress 2.8 release, we've got a wee bit of background information for you:

Baker” was released earlier this month and heavily focuses on the visual and usability side of things, specifically themes and widgets. The feature that grabs the most attention is arguably the Themes Browser, which allows users to browse, filter and install themes all from the WordPress dashboard. Such a feat no doubt raises the usability bar for many a Web CMS, including Drupal, whose themes are reportedly less than easy to install without a certain level of tech-savviness. 

Download it

In total, 2.8.1 includes 21 bug fixes (check the full list of bug fixes here), which isn't half bad for a beta. You can download the new version here, and instructions for automatic upgrade can be found here