It is just before 3:00am in the morning as I begin composing this post but I am actually inspired and feel very compelled to write. Just a bit ago I finished up some work stuff and noticed a page load to my blogs had hung way back when on this machine. I set them to reload and noticed an update available on one the dashboards after logging into it. I was excited and checked, and sure enough yesterday (the 4th) WordPress 3.2, the latest major release, is now available. As I had done some testing with the release candidates I felt pretty comfortable with installing the update and have not been disappointed so far.
Things that are new in this update are very noticeable, especially on the back-end when working as an admin. The biggest thing you will notice immediately after the update is the more streamlined, better looking and better organized dashboard and admin pages. It does take a little bit to get used to the new look, but really most things are in the same place or at least very nearly so. It does, after you get a bit used to it, seem cleaner. Oddly, one place claimed part of this was to make things faster and I believe it actually is, but then again, maybe I bought into the hype.
That fits right in where most of the rest of the changes have occurred in this major release as well. I have not played with the option as of yet but will at some point in the near future is a the feature that turns the composing screen into full screen, to limit the ‘distractions’ while writing. Now you can go full screen for writing and with just a move of the mouse cursor go right back to having all the buttons and bells and such. For me personally, I am not so sure that I will use it on regular basis, as the buttons and such in WordPress for formatting and such are not that much of a distraction to me (though lock my computer to the composing screen until I am done and we have something that would be useful).
Other items of note in this version is just a faster running WordPress in general. Part of this has been accomplished by cleaning up and streamlining some code. I have not seen or ran benchmarks myself, but I know a bit about coding and optimizing and certainly can believe that this is possible. Another big place for speed improvements is dropping support for some older systems. This includes dropping IE 6.0 and like kind browsers. I have to admit I am happy to see this support go, even though I see those occasionally show up on my reports. Support is has also been dropped for PHP 4.x and MySQL 4.x as well, though I don’t recall the exact versions 5.x of each that are required. Getting rid of the old code for those support levels will definitely streamline execution and make things faster.
Another big place touted for improvement in this new version is fully HTML 5 compliant. It is the way of the future. I have to admit to only really reading about this thing called HTML 5 though and not really having used it that much. I was unclear even in regards to WordPress and wither this compliance is achieved with just the WordPress upgrade to 3.2 or if it also requires the 2011 Theme to be fully compliant.
Speaking of which, 2011 is the new theme. I have not had the chance to explore that aspect of things at all at this point. I have nice looking themes that I am pleased with on most of my blogs, though there are a couple that are still not completely customized and looking exactly right. I may have to revisit this aspect of things with those blogs, as what it really brings to the table is the extreme customization options hand in hand with ease of use to set those options. Guess I have another post awaiting me after I do that testing.
All in all, after only a couple of hours of using the new upgrade to 3.2, I have nothing bad to say about it and only good thoughts. Go ahead and give it a whirl and see how it works for you.
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