Upgraded to WordPress 2.9

This morning I updated the eight blogs that I administrate to WordPress 2.9 and the most noticeable new features right off the bat are the following:

  1. Global undo/”trash” feature, which means that if you accidentally delete a post or comment you can bring it back from the grave (i.e., the Trash). This also eliminates those annoying “are you sure” messages we used to have on every delete.
  2. Built-in image editor allows you to crop, edit, rotate, flip, and scale your images to show them who’s boss. This is the first wave of our many planned media-handling improvements.
  3. Batch plugin update and compatibility checking, which means you can update 10 plugins at once, versus having to do multiple clicks for each one, and we’re using the new compatibility data from the plugins directory to give you a better idea of whether your plugins are compatible with new releases of WordPress. This should take the fear and hassle out of upgrading.
  4. Easier video embeds that allow you to just paste a URL on its own line and have it magically turn it into the proper embed code, with Oembed support for YouTube, Daily Motion, Blip.tv, Flickr, Hulu, Viddler, Qik, Revision3, Scribd, Google Video, Photobucket, PollDaddy, and WordPress.tv (and more in the next release).

I noticed that when you mark comments as spam or delete comments, right off the bat now you will see your action and the “undo” button which is vital for helping people recover mistakes.  This is ideal for when you delete a post or a page and maybe didn’t want to or wish you hadn’t.

Image Editor is useful for cropping, rotating, flipping an image, but does not allow you to resize an image inside the editor, you have to do this by manually changing the width/height tags of your image after you insert it into your post.  Now whenever you upload an image you will see the “Edit Image” button.

After you select the Edit Image button, you are taken to the image editor where you can perform a variety of edits to help your image fit better into your post.

My conclusion is though that if you need to manipulate or change your image, it is better to use a free paint or image editing program like Paint.NET than using the WordPress image editor. You have much more control and it doesn’t cost you a thing. However, if you are posting a blog from a guest computer, public computer or mobile device, the image editor in wordpress gives you the extra tools you need to make the image fit right the way you want it in your post.

In addition to the above major noticeable features there are quite a few features behind the scenes that aid developers and theme makers for wordpress, some of the top that interested me include:

  • A new commentmeta table that allows arbitrary key/value pairs to be attached to comments, just like posts, so you can now expand greatly what you can do in the comment framework.
  • Custom post types have been upgraded with better API support so you can juggle more types than just post, page, and attachment. (More of this planned for 3.0.)
  • You can set custom theme directories, so a plugin can register a theme to be bundled with it or you can have multiple shared theme directories on your server.
  • We’ve upgraded TinyMCE WYSIWYG editing and Simplepie.
  • Sidebars can now have descriptions so it’s more obvious what and where they do what they do.
  • Specify category templates not just by ID, like before, but by slug, which will make it easier for theme developers to do custom things with categories — like post types!
  • Registration and profiles are now extensible to allow you to collect things more easily, like a user’s Twitter account or any other fields you can imagine.

I recommend you upgrade to WordPress 2.9 right away, I found no problems with any of my 8 blogs themes or plug-ins after the upgrade, so it appears very stable. As always, take a backup of your blog before upgrading. I recommend the old fashioned way where you log into your hosting provider and tar or zip up the entire blog directory.

-Dragon Blogger

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