As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been having a play with the development releases of WordPress 3.0, which will be released on the quite sensible when it’s ready timescale. This will probably be next month, but that’s just a guess at this point.
Until now, it’s been in Alpha, which is like Beta only more likely to crash, burn, kick the cat and eat your biscuits. Actually, from my testing, there’s only one feature that’s giving me any problems, and I’ll get to that in a moment.
But while I was asleep, a major announcement was made and WordPress 3.0 Beta 1 is now available. If you’re interested in testing, please read that article, and I really wouldn’t use it on your live site just yet. Well, not if you want to be reasonably sure of your live site not breaking.
As it happens, the one feature that’s been giving me trouble is well-known to the developers, and comes labelled with a large friendly warning in this version. It’s the new navigational menu editor, a feature which (when it works) will make it wonderfully easy to add menus at the top of your WordPress site – not just links to pages, but links to anywhere else, links to categories on your site, and more.
Unfortunately, in its current form, it breaks on sites with lots of content, as for reasons I haven’t quite worked out, it’s pulling in not just the titles of every post in the site, but the actual content of the posts too. Now that works on sites with a very small number of posts, like my public test site, but breaks on my private test site, which runs on my iMac – the page doesn’t completely render, and the menu feature basically can’t work at all.
But as it’s just this one feature that is known to have serious borkage issues, it’s been decided to go ahead with the beta release now, and add a suitable warning to the menu editing page:
Beta Testers: This feature is still under construction. You can try it out, but expect it to change in layout and functionality in the second beta release.
There are indeed plans for a different layout, and the functionality will be made to work, presumably in time for the next beta release, which will also be out when it’s ready.
I’m looking forward to this new version – there’s a lot of things to enjoy, including the new default theme and the ability for users to add their own header and background images without having to edit anything or FTP anything. While I’ve always tended to do things the “hard way” in the past, I’m becoming much more inclined to let WordPress do the work, and just get on with the job of adding content.
 If you don’t have a cat, it may go out and get one for you. You have been warned
 I do that now and then, you know
 This in itself is a decision causing some debate – it’s fine if you have a small number of posts, but if you have thousands, as I do, that’s a lot of stuff to pull into a page
 Though the size of the rendered page is over 300kb of HTML, which is a lot. On a large site, if the server didn’t give up in disgust, that size would be hundreds of times as big, which basically is not going to work.