Following the successful post-WordCamp San Francisco code sprint, we are now ready to release the second beta of WordPress 3.0.
Things to test:
- Revised menu user interface
- Changes to the WordPress exporter and importer to make it more flexible
Already have a test install that you want to switch over to the beta? Try the beta tester plugin.
Testers, don’t forget to use the wp-testers mailing list to discuss bugs you encounter.
We hope you like it! And if you don’t, well, check back when the release candidate is ready.
Download the WordPress 3.0 Beta 2 now!
Has it really been seven years since the first release of WordPress? It seems like just yesterday we were fresh to the world, a new entrant to a market everyone said was already saturated. (As a side note, if the common perception is that a market is finished and that everything interesting has been done already, it’s probably a really good time to enter it.)
The growth over the past year has blown me away. Since our last birthday we’ve doubled theme downloads to over 10 million, and doubled plugin downloads to 60 million. Most importantly, we continued to grow the development community to 1,528 people active on Trac and 13 committers, both numbers the highest in the history of WordPress.
That’s 1,528 people pouring their hearts and souls into GPL software we all own, we all build on, we can use as we please, we can all make better. We’ve evolved from a simple script to a web platform.
We’re on the cusp of version 3.0, with a release candidate coming out any minute now.
If you’d like to celebrate WordPress’s birthday with us — tell a friend! Help them upgrade their blog or find the perfect theme. Talk about how WordPress is built by and for a community. Drop in to help test 3.0, including all the plugins you use. Write something to take advantage of the new 3.0 features, or teach your friends how to. If you buy any themes or plugins, make sure they’re GPL or compatible just like WordPress. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, it’s important that we not forget that Open Source got us this far, and is the only way we’re going to get to the next level. The whole of what we can build together is far greater than the sum of our parts. Spread the good word.
When I was a kid my dad used to practice his typing skills (on a real typewriter no less) with the phrase:
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
For some reason that has stuck with me all these years. Today Iâ€™m going to rephrase and re-purpose that line:
Now is the time for great theme developers to come to the aid of their community.
The theme directory has been chugging along for more than a year now. During that time weâ€™ve tinkered with the review process and some of the management tools, but havenâ€™t really opened it up as much as weâ€™d like. It’s time to rip off the band-aid and take some action; to that end, we’re looking for community members to help with the process of reviewing themes for the directory.
Right now this is a bit like a New Yearâ€™s resolution to exercise every day: itâ€™s what we need to do, but weâ€™re still figuring out exactly how it will all work. Thatâ€™s part of the community involvement as well — we expect that those who pitch in will also help shape the process.
Whatâ€™s involved in reviewing themes for the directory? There are some obvious things, such as being familiar with PHP and WordPress theme code (and the theme development checklist), with an eye for security issues. You would also need to have the ability to set up a separate install of the latest version of WordPress for testing theme submissions.
Hopefully a few talented theme developers are reading this right now and saying to themselves, “Iâ€™d love to help! How do I get started?” Just join the new theme reviewers mailing list and we’ll get you up to speed on this new opportunity to come to the aid of your community.
As Matt teased earlier, the first release candidate (RC1) for WordPress 3.0 is now available. What’s an RC? An RC comes after beta and before the final launch. It means we think we’ve got everything done: all features finished, all bugs squashed, and all potential issues addressed. But, then, with over 20 million people using WordPress with a wide variety of configurations and hosting setups, it’s entirely possible that we’ve missed something. So! For the brave of heart, please download the RC and test it out (but not on your live site unless you’re extra adventurous). Some things to know:
- Custom menus are finished! Yay!
- Multi-site is all set.
- The look of the WordPress admin has been lightened up a little bit, so you can focus more on your content.
- There are a ton of changes, so plugin authors, please test your plugins now, so that if there is a compatibility issue, we can figure it out before the final release.
- Plugin and theme *users* are also encouraged to test things out. If you find problems, let your plugin/theme authors know so they can figure out the cause.
- There are a couple of known issues.
If you are testing the RC and come across a bug, you can:
- Report it on the wp-testers mailing list
- Join the dev chat and tell us live at irc.freenode.net #wordpress-dev
- File a bug ticket on the WordPress Trac
We hope you enjoy playing with the 3.0 RC as much as we’ve enjoyed making it for you. Enjoy!
A weekend present, in haiku:
Last call; final bugs
Itch, scratch, contort; calmly wait
For now: RC3
That’s right. What will hopefully be the final release candidate, RC3, is now available for download and testing.
Plugin developers: test your plugins!
The WordPress community’s growth over the years has been tremendous, and we want to reinvest in it. So we’re taking the next two months to concentrate on improving WordPress.org. A major part of that will be improving the infrastructure of the plugins directory. More than 10,000 plugins are in the directory, every one of them GPL compatible and free as in both beer and speech. Here’s what we have in mind:
We want to provide developers the tools they need to build the best possible plugins. We’re going to provide better integration with the forums so you can support your users. We’ll make more statistics available to you so you can analyze your user base, and over time we hope to make it easier for you to manage, build, and release localized plugins.
We want to improve how the core software works with your plugin and the plugin directory. We’re going to focus on ensuring seamless upgrades by making the best possible determinations about compatibility, and offer continual improvements to the plugin installer. And we also want to give you a better developer tool set like SVN notifications and improvements to the bug tracker.
We’re also going to experiment with other great ideas to help the community help plugin authors. We want it to be easy for you to offer comments to plugin authors and the community, including user reviews and better feedback. We may experiment with an adoption process for abandoned plugins as a way to revitalize hidden gems in the directory. I’m not sure there is a better way to show how extendable WordPress is and how awesome this community is at the same time.
As Matt said in the 3.0 release announcement, our goal isn’t to make everything perfect all at once. But we think incremental improvements can provide us with a great base for 3.1 and beyond, and for the tens of millions of users, and hundreds of millions of plugin downloads to come.