WordPress 2.7 – Coming Soon!

You might recall that I got a wee bit annoyed with the changes made to the admin interface in WordPress 2.5 and which remain in version 2.6[1]. In fact, it wasn’t until I got hold of the Fluency Admin plugin that normal levels of usability returned.

At the time I mentioned Fluency, I referred to a test version of WordPress that used similar concepts. At that time, the Crazyhorse branch of development looked a bit of a mess, but did feel like something more useful. Well, those ideas have made their way into the main line of development, only more so. Yes, version 2.7, due out next month, is looking a lot better. It has the side navigation of Fluency, with the added benefit that the sidebar can be collapsed to a column of icons. This is great – once you know what lives where, you don’t need to have the fill text taking up more width of your screen. And the menus do a nifty opening and collapsing thing, which looks good, and is more friendly than the way Fluency does it.

My other big objection was the removal of the option to customise the post page (my complaints were answered by claims that the new interface was “better”, even though it was a pain in the nether regions). Well, all that is back. With knobs on. There’s a nice little clicky link on the post page that lets you select exactly which blocks you actually need[2] and, oh joy, you can once again put things in the order you want. Things you use for every post can be higher up, or on the sidebar, and things you only use occasionally can be shoved below the fold.

I’ve been playing with the test code[3] on a test site, and so far, it’s looking good. I’ll be testing more, and possibly giving the site a general overhaul before I go live with the new version, so I can take advantage of some new features. More about that in another post…

Not only that, but I’ve even been – shock! – using the WYSIWYG editor. I’ve shunned this in the past partly because the habit of typing HTML tags rather than clicking buttons is deeply ingrained, and partly because earlier versions tended to suffer from screen lag and flicker. The latest version seems a lot better, with none of that at all.

Overall, I’m once again looking forward to a new WordPress version, which is getting me back where I want to be!

[1] See various posts
[2] This used to be doable with a plugin, but you had to go to another page, make your changes, then go back and refresh the posting page. The new version does that fancy modern AJAXy stuff to make things come and go on demand. Excellent.
[3] Seems to work. No nasty surprises with it so far, but I haven’t tested everything yet…