October 1, 2008
For those of you who have been downloading the nightly builds or contributing code to 2.7, youve noticed how quickly features are being added, small layout changes are gradually being implemented, and the application is morphing before your very eyes. For the most part, the response has been extremely positive, but even the people who love 2.7 have been wondering what its going to end up looking like. Though 2.7 is still a work in progress, weve put together a set of wireframes to illustrate how we think it will all turn out, so you can take a look under the hood of the design process, so to speak.
The PDF attached to this post outlines the navigation model, header elements, and important screens such as the dashboard, the new post screen, and list screens for posts, comments, and media.
Some things to bear in mind if youre not used to looking at wireframes:
1. These are a guide, not a dictate. Changes may be made by developers and designers as needed for technical, aesthetic and/or usability reasons. When you have a team of superfast developers like we do, sometimes wireframes can become out of date quickly. In the two hours since these wireframes were approved, for example, already there are a few things that have moved and a menu change or two. Tweaks will continue to be made over the next week or two before freeze. This is Alpha software, not Beta, and its not static. Thats part of what makes it exciting, that every time its updated theres something new.
2. These are all black/grey/white. Thats because we have a designer hard at work on visual styles for the new admin panel, including color palette, fonts, graphic elements, etc. When we have a new look to show off, we will. For now, the wireframes are lookless on purpose.
3. Not every screen is wireframed. We focused on creating wireframes for those screens that are undergoing the most change. For screens retaining largely the same functionality and layout, we have not included wireframes. In some cases, well be updating screens but havent decided how to do it yet, so those arent included either.
4. Some elements apply directly to wordpress.com or wordpress.org, so dont be alarmed if you see something that doesnt seem to apply (like multiple dashboards).
One of the things I love best about WordPress is the vibrant community full of talented developers and designers who care about the application and want it to be the best it can be. Despite the overwhelmingly positive response weve gotten when showing 2.7 at WordCamps and from the majority of the community, there will always be people who would prefer it to be structured another way, which is why we love plugins! The decisions that went into 2.7 were based on a combination of usability testing results from 2.5 and Crazyhorse (both including laser eye tracking, official report to be released soon, but slides from WordCamp SF available in meantime), community feedback, personal and professional opinions, and some thinking about where the next couple of versions will be going in terms of new features, so that we will have a design that scales to accommodate some the features we hope to incorporate in the future.
So, I hope you enjoy getting an inside look at how weve been organizing our thoughts around 2.7, and that when the community feedback starts flowing everyone remembers that we all want the same thing: the best WordPress possible.
September 28, 2008
October 1, 2008 Update: The survey is now closed. Thanks to all those who participated.
Another round of mini-mockups and multiple choice questions awaits the first 5000 respondents. WordPress 2.7 UI Survey #2 is now available to take your opinions regarding:
The survey (hosted by the good guys over at PollDaddy.com) will automatically close after receiving 5000 responses, which only took about two days for the navigation survey, so hurry over and cast your votes.
Note: when the survey has closed, these links will be disabled and this post will be updated.
September 15, 2008
Note: Survey is closed as of 9/18/08. Thanks for the feedback!
WordPress 2.7 is currently in development and as some people already know, it features a revised layout with a left-hand navigation column that was designed in response to user feedback regarding the use of screen real estate. Because the navigation came straight from the Crazyhorse prototype that was developed quickly for usability testing, it is still a work in progress.
Navigation sections and labels are being decided now, and as usual there are lots of good ideas floating around. As part of the mission to increase user involvement in design decisions, weve created a survey intended to give WordPress users the ability to play a part in deciding how the navigation options should be grouped and labeled. If you use WordPress and want to add your opinion, take the survey.
WordPress 2.7 Navigation Options Survey
September 8, 2008
Stefan Esser recently warned developers of the dangers of SQL Column Truncation and the weakness of mt_rand(). With his help we worked around these problems and are now releasing WordPress 2.6.2. If you allow open registration on your blog, you should definitely upgrade. With open registration enabled, it is possible in WordPress versions 2.6.1 and earlier to craft a username such that it will allow resetting another users password to a randomly generated password. The randomly generated password is not disclosed to the attacker, so this problem by itself is annoying but not a security exploit. However, this attack coupled with a weakness in the random number seeding in mt_rand() could be used to predict the randomly generated password. Stefan Esser will release details of the complete attack shortly. The attack is difficult to accomplish, but its mere possibility means we recommend upgrading to 2.6.2.
Other PHP apps are susceptibleto this class of attack. To protect all of your apps, grab the latest version of Suhosin. If youve already updated Suhosin, your existing WordPress install is already protected from the full exploit. You should still upgrade to 2.6.2 if you allow open user registration so as to prevent the possibility of passwords being randomized.
2.6.2 also contains a handful of bug fixes. Check out the full changeset and list of changed files.
August 15, 2008
With 2.6.1, were continuing our trend of releasing a maintenance release shortly after a major release in order to get fixes for the inevitable dot zero bugs into your hands without a long wait. If youre happy with 2.6, however, keep on using it. You need not upgrade to 2.6.1 if 2.6 is getting the job done.
2.6.1 offers several improvements for international users. Styling of the admin for right-to-left languages is much improved thanks to the efforts of the Farsi and Hebrew translation teams, and a mysterious gettext bug caused by certain PHP configurations is now fixed. For IIS users, 2.6.1 fixes several permalink problems. Image insertion problems in the Press This feature experienced by IE users are also fixed. Of note to everyone is a fix for a performance bug in the admin where those with a lot of plugins would experience slowness on some pages.
Check out the full list of over 60 fixes to see if 2.6.1 has something to offer you. A full diff and list of changed files is also available. Download 2.6.1 and enjoy.
July 18, 2008
Its been a long time since themes.wordpress.net stopped accepting new themes.
Since then most theme authors have been distributing their themes from their own sites, without a good centralized place for people to browse, search, comment on, and rate themes.
With the success of the plugins directory, weve wanted to have those same benefits in a theme directory.
Today is the day we start making that happen, with the introduction of wordpress.org/extend/themes/.
Bringing the new theme directory under the WordPress extend umbrella allowed us to take advantage of all the infrastructure that has already been built up to support WordPress.org.
If youve browsed through the plugin directory, youll feel right at home in the new theme directory.
Weve gone through great lengths to make this as painless as possible for theme authors.
You dont need to know anything about Subversion (our back end magic takes care of all that for you), just login with your WordPress.org username and password and go to the upload page.
From there you upload your regular theme zip file and we take care of the rest.
Once you upload your new theme we do a few automated checks for some of the requirements for each theme.
If we find one that you missed well provide you an error and description of what needs to be fixed.
When a theme upload has been accepted well send you an email and put it in the queue to be reviewed, to make sure we didnt miss anything.
After the theme has been approved youll get another email letting you know that the theme is now live.
That catches you up to where were at today.
When you finish that theme youve been slaving over, upload it to the new directory and let us know what you think. Since so much has changed since the old theme directory were starting fresh from zero. If youve got specific questions or suggestions contact us and well do our best to get them answered.
July 15, 2008
Im happy to announce that version 2.6 of WordPress.org is now available, almost a month ahead schedule. Version 2.6 Tyner, named for jazz pianist McCoy Tyner, contains a number of new features that make WordPress a more powerful CMS: you can now track changes to every post and page and easily post from wherever you are on the web, plus there are dozens of incremental improvements to the features introduced in version 2.5.
Weve prepared a brief video tour of 2.6, if you have 3 minutes and 29 seconds to spare, its worth a watch:
If youd like to embed the tour video in your blog, copy and paste this code for the high quality version:
And heres a smaller version, 400 pixels wide:
Heres a more textual overview of whats hawt in 2.6:
Post Revisions: Wiki-like tracking of edits
With the power of modern computers, its silly that we still use save and editing metaphors from the time when the most common method of storage was floppy disks. WordPress has always respected the importance of your writing with auto-save, and now were taking that to another level by allowing you to view who made what changes when to any post or page through a super-easy interface, much like Wikipedia or a version control system.
This is handy on any blog in case you make a mistake and want to go back to an older version of a post, and its super handy for multi-author blogs where you can see every change tracked by person.
Press This!: Post from wherever you are on the web
A few months ago on my blog we started a conversation about the posting bookmarklet in WordPress and which systems we should look to for inspiration, like Flock, FriendFeed, Facebook, Tumblr, and Delicious. From these suggestions and the Quick Post plugin by Josh Kenzer, we developed a Press This bookmark you can add to your toolbar that provides a fast and smart popup to do posts to your WordPress blog:
For example, if you click Press This from a Youtube page itll magically extract the video embed code, and if you do it from a Flickr page itll make it easy for you to put the image in your post. On my blog Ive been experimenting with using different categories and the in_category() function such as video, quote, aside, et cetera to create a more tumblelog-like format.
Shift Gears: Turbo-speed your blogging
Theme Previews: See it before your audience does
Now when you select a theme it pops up a window that shows the theme live with all your content, instead of immediately making it active on your site. This is great for just test driving themes before making a switch over publicly, and it is also helpful when you are developing a theme and need to test it but dont want everybody to see your ongoing mistakes development.
Here are some of the smaller features and improvements in 2.6:
WordPress.org had over 75 people contributing code to WordPress 2.6. In addition to the core commit team we had contributions from Dion Hulse, Austin Matzko, Otto42, Benedict Eastaugh, and pishmishy. AaronCampbell and Marco Zehe provided more than a few patches. Back among the top code contributors is Jacob Santos. Alex Concha continues to have WordPress back. Joining bug reporting and gardening elite are hakre, Simon Wheatley, mtekk, and Matty Rob. Finally, congratulations to our Peter Westwood on your recent wedding! Im also proud to announce were adding a new core committer to the team: Andrew Ozz (azaozz) has been a huge help to the core team this year, particularly around TinyMCE and making the WYSIWYG something that works for you, not against you.
Because of the new capabilities to make WordPress a clean SVN checkout, plugin and theme authors should do their best to handle forms and posts through WP rather than trying to post to their files directly, heres a quick Codex article about how to do it using our forward-compatible APIs.
2.6 is pretty much identical to 2.5 from a plugin and theme compatibility point of view, so upgrades from 2.5 should be pretty painless. The 2.5 branch will no longer be maintain so everyone is encouraged to upgrade. Our standard 3-step upgrade instructions apply to this release. There were at least 1,984,047 downloads of the 2.5 series, the fastest growing release weve ever had, and I think all of those people will find 2.6 adds a level of polish that really makes WP a pleasure to use every day. (At least I do. :))
There have been rumors and allegations that there was a so-called easter egg added to 2.6 early in its development. These rumors and allegations are completely false!
P.S. If youre a fan of WordPress, consider joining our fan page on Facebook.
May 25, 2008
On Tuesday, May 27th, WordPress will turn 5 years old. Weve come a long way from that original 0.7 release.
To celebrate were throwing a party in San Francisco at 111 Minna, starting at 9PM. You can get the full details and RSVP on Upcoming.org or on Facebook.
I hope you see some of you there, should be a fun time.
If you host a party in your area for WordPress 5th, let us know and well post it here.
Update: Party in Sydney! Blog post, Facebook.
May 20, 2008
April 30, 2008
WordCamps are my favorite events to go to because theres something about the core WordPress community that attracts smart folks with good philosophies that are fun to hang out with. In this post Ive collated the upcoming WordCamps we know about, including the one in San Francisco. Hopefully there will be one nearby so you can meet other WordPressers in your area.
WordCamp San Francisco will be August 16 at the Mission Bay Conference Center.
WordCamp Paris will be on May 3rd. Heres their official site.
WordCamp Italy in Milan will be May 10th. (And I believe Ill be there.)
WordCamp Birmingham UK will be July 19-20.
WordCamp Toronto will be October 4th.
There are people in the planning stages in Australia, Philippines, Beijing, Utah, Hawaii, UK, NYC, and possibly others, so if you live in one of those areas and would like to help set up a WordCamp in your area Google around or connect with bloggers in your area.
You can always find out more at WordCamp Central.
October 1, 2008