Exciting Tech Times

WP-3.0There are a couple of major things underway in the very near future with technology… While I realize not everyone reads Mephistos for technology, some do. Ubuntu’s new LTS release is due out and we are just a bit away from WordPress 3.0 also! So read on for some information about those releases, included dates, links, and what to maybe expect in them… I will cover WordPress 3.0 (Note: that this is one word, no space, with a capital P in the middle – as that was a point of contention of late with some coverage)today and catch the new Ubuntu release this evening for tomorrow.

The WordPress 3.0 release was originally scheduled to be out by now having a hard date of April fifteenth in the original schedule. Due some issues with one of the major new updates to the system though, everything was pushed back by two weeks in February and an expected release is April thirtieth now. For those interested, there is a beta one test version out at current time, though a beta two that is more complete should be available sometime today if I understand things. If you decide to pursue playing with the beta do NOT do this with an active copy of your site, but rather make a backup else where and use a copy of your database as well.

There are three major features that are included in this seeming major release, but really only one of them gives me much to talk about. Quickly, this release will see a merging of the WordPress core code with the WordPress Multi-User (MU) code into one platform – this is a good change and something that I have kind of wondered why it was ever split to begin. I think from a regular single user standpoint, this will have little no impact, but if you are currently maintaining a MU site it will make options more open going forward over the current setup. Custom post is the second one and if I understand this correctly, instead of having a generic post page, you can through some tags and such create a specific set of options for say a movie posting and another for say photo posting, which gives only the options you want on the post page and pre-fills some options based on your typical usage. Read more about it on the lead developers site. I will suggest that most average bloggers will not be to interested in these options, or especially in the late case, willing to take the time to set it up on the back-end.

However, the third major new feature and the one that has me excited and worried at the same time is the custom menu system. Basically, right now you have the option with in a theme of dropping a Widgets in place and maybe giving it a title, depending on the Widgets options of course. Your options are generally very limited though to what you can and can not do. With this new system though, you have complete control, or so it would seem based on what I have seen as a demo, to make your side bar menus look exactly how you would like them to look with all the functional capabilities you could desire. Keep in mind though, that this is the piece that has delayed things for two weeks and offered very limited use in Beta 1 of 3.0. I suspect, though I have not confirmed, that this may not be backwardly compatible with all themes – maybe not any? Does it require new or updated themes? I raise this question, because the release will include a new default theme and I can see where the expanded functional abilities would be beyond a lot of themes just as Widgets once were many moons ago.

One of my plans this afternoon is to install the beta version and play around with a bit using a copy of the Mephistos database. Hopefully after we get the second beta I will be able to follow-up on a few of the questions above.

PS: Anyone going to the WordCamps? One in Nashville this week and early summer in Columbus. The one in Nashville looks to have a good lineup, but no way I can swing it. Columbus did not have a schedule/speaker lineup that I could find as of yet.

PSS: I had just last week decided KB-Countdown had issues and replaced it, now KB-Linker is picking up words already in links and causing code spew on posts, but to go back and redo those links or leave them off?

PSSS: I installed the WP 3.0 Beta 1 Release at test.ray-cornish.com. The admin is a bit cleaner, but so far I am less than impressed with the menu feature. First, it is noted to still be a work in progress, so hopefully it will improve in the way it works and what it has to offer. Also, they do have native support in themes or a work around by using a widget in older (pre-version 3.0) themes.