First draft of plans for WordPress 3.2 begins to emerge


The first whispers of WordPress 3.2 have shown up on the WordPress development blog. A precise feature list is far from complete, but the first draft of ideas has been composed and discussed. The overall theme seems to be “faster and lighter”, with an emphasis on removing outdated technologies and speeding everything up. Bullet points discussed so far include:

  • PHP 5.2.4 will be required. Additional PHP 5 features won’t be added; this release is only about dropping the old version of PHP. MySQL 5 will also be required.
  • End of life for IE6 compatibility with the WordPress admin. Nothing will be removed at this point, but testing will stop happening for the admin and Internet Explorer 6.
  • A fresh implementation of distraction free writing will replace the current fullscreen implementation. Inspiration will be drawn from WriteRoom, OmmWriter, and others.
  • Upgrade improvements will be made, where only changed files will be upgraded.
  • Various speed improvements to make WordPress faster under the hood.

WordPress shaman Mark Jaquith is in charge of this release, in his words to “[make] sure people stay on target and [make] sure we don’t try to slip ‘one more thing’ in”. Jaquith says the plan is to complete this release cycle faster than 3.1, and that an improved focus will help.

Timelines and assignments will be decided during this week’s developer chat on Wednesday. We’ll keep you up to date with the course of 3.2 development, of course, but in the meantime: what do you think about the plan for 3.2, so far?

16 thoughts on “First draft of plans for WordPress 3.2 begins to emerge

  1. Cannot wait for new wp 3.2. The expected enhancements to speed it up even more are of course most welcome either for large sites or sites on shared servers. Removing the old php, database and ei6 supports are a good cleaning up finally. Great news after all.

  2. What I miss in WP today is easier handling of sites with a large number of pages. More and more people use WP as a CMS and not as a blog.
    Speed improvements sounds good. End of life for IE6 – yes finaly – lets all do our bit to help (what shal we call people usong IE6) IE6 users experience what the web actualy looks like.

  3. I’m less interested in new features (e.g., editor) than in stability, stability, stability and speed of the engine. The improved update is good. Making sure plugins keep functioning is critical. Don’t break things.

  4. Excluding the end of life for IE6 (which is about time) what was the mention about the WordPress Admin? Not sure I follow what’s being said there.

  5. End of WP Admin – please tell me that this means front-end editing and contextual management controls. PLEASE.

    • Nope, sorry. But I like the separation anyway. Systems that do have front-end editing (I’m thinking mainly of Drupal) inevitably make your site look cluttered, and it can be a pain to find content (esp pre-Drupal 7). Heck I don’t even like WordPress’s “edit this page” link function found in most themes. Generally, I want to see a site the way everybody else does.

      • Needs > likes/wants. The reason for being logged in as admin/content producer is to get things done, not admire the view, right? So what those users need is to be able to work with the content as easily and effectively as possible. The three essential things missing from WP are FE editing, FE management controls for content items, and preview for content items that include HTML.

        Throw in a few improvements to the rich text editor and you’re done. Only admins that need to do blog configuration will ever visit the WP admin panel again. And that’s as it should be.

  6. These ideas all sound good — especially the speed part — and I’m cheered to hear that Jaquith will be leading it up. To me, though, the most critical need for WordPress right now is improved search functionality.

  7. Every time a new wordpress version comes out I must fully-test 4 separate websites and make sure ALL features will work with the new features before rolling out the changes to our production websites. I would rather each point release take LONGER… but contiain more features… instead of minor tweaks that do very little… but cause so many of us soo much work.

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