Today’s Sweet Plugin directly relates to the newly released WordPress 3.2. It’s called Health Check, and makes sure that your host is prepared for the new version, which requires PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5. If you aren’t sure that your host (or your friend’s) is ready for the change, this plugin will set your mind at ease.
The video is embedded at the top of this post’s page, with more about the plugin below.
After four months of development on WordPress 3.2, nicknamed Gershwin, it is now ready to be downloaded. Have at it!
We’ve been covering the development of WordPress 3.2 pretty closely, so it shouldn’t be much of a mystery to you by now. Just to recap, the mile-high features for 3.2 are:
- Speed enhancements throughout: “faster and lighter”
- User interface redesign
- Distraction Free Writing
- Twenty Eleven, the new default theme
- End of support for Internet Explorer 6 and the launch of the Browse Happy initiative
- New requirement for PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5
Be sure to check out the version release video just after the jump as well.
Peering into my crystal ball this morning, I divined a couple of truths about the current state of WordPress 3.2 development. Since you’re all very close, personal, and intimate friends of mine, I’ll share with you my findings:
- There are no longer any remaining tickets tied to the 3.2 milestone on the WordPress Trac.
- When I concentrate very hard, this Monday the 4th seems like the most likely day for a release.
You might have guessed by now that I’m not a magic gypsy. Fair point. In reality core developer Andrew Nacin mentioned both of these items on Twitter last evening. Regarding Monday, specifically, he said:
In the USA that could mean fireworks and open source goodness may coincide on Monday. So for just the Americans reading: don’t go blowing off that upgrading finger!
Is everyone ready for the next release of WordPress? What feature(s) are you most excited for?
Once those core updates show up there’s only really one way to get rid of them, once and for all: update. Today we have something for the whole family: a security release in 3.1.4 and another release candidate for the upcoming 3.2.
Ryan Boren posted the news this afternoon, along with a bit of background on the security release in 3.1.4:
This release fixes an issue that could allow a malicious Editor-level user to gain further access to the site. Thanks K. Gudinavicius of SEC Consult for bringing this to our attention. Version 3.1.4 also incorporates several other security fixes and hardening measures thanks to the work of WordPress developers Alexander Concha and Jon Cave of our security team. Consult the change log for more details.
Hit those eager upgrade buttons for 3.1.4, and bring your testing sites up to speed with 3.2 RC3. If you aren’t sure whether you’re ready for 3.2 yet (your plugins as well as your hosting requirements), then, well, what have you been doing?
WordPress 3.2 Release Candidate 2 is now ready for testing. Andrew Nacin posted the update to the WordPress news blog, along with an update on what has happened since Release Candidate 1. In the last ten days tweaks have been made to Twenty Eleven (the new default theme) and various RTL fixes.
Nacin recommends that theme and plugin authors should be testing their work by now so that compatibility issues can be caught before the public release.
The features to test and work with are the same as the ones listed during the first beta, so keep those in mind while you work with the new version..
This marks another step toward the full release of 3.2, which we’ve been closely documenting as it progresses. You can help prepare the software for a full public release by either update your test install via SVN or by downloading it directly. See Nacin’s blog post for more information regarding testing WordPress and reporting any bugs you might find.
Andrew Nacin announced WordPress 3.2 RC1 earlier on today, which can only mean one thing: we’re nearing the final release of WordPress 3.2.
Just as a reminder: RC stands for release candidate, which comes after the betas (which we’ve seen two of). The release candidate is the last step for WordPress before the final public-ready versions is released.
Like with any other release candidate Nacin explained that anything is still possible, and the contributors would like to make sure they’ve caught everything:
We think we’re done, but with tens of millions of users, a variety of configurations, and thousands of plugins, it’s possible we’ve missed something. So if you haven’t tested WordPress 3.2 yet, now is the time!
Nacin goes on to mention a few things you might want to remember:
- With more than 350 tickets closed, there are plenty of changes. Plugin and theme authors, please test your plugins and themes now, so that if there is a compatibility issue, we can figure it out before the final release.
- 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.
- Twenty Eleven isn’t quite at the release candidate stage. Contents may settle.
- If any known issues crop up, you’ll be able to find them here.
It looks to be running pretty much on schedule, so here’s hoping we see 3.2 by the end of the month, which is the target. Have you tested this in-development version of WordPress yet, particularly with any plugins or themes you created?
WordPress version 3.1.3 was tagged this afternoon and is now available for download. This is a security release, so it’s recommended that you update your sites right away. You can download the update from WordPress.org, or by using the automatic update within WordPress itself.
Lead developer Mark Jaquith posted the update to the official WordPress news blog, and listed the changes this time around:
- Various security hardening by Alexander Concha.
- Taxonomy query hardening by John Lamansky.
- Prevent sniffing out user names of non-authors by using canonical redirects. Props Verónica Valeros.
- Media security fixes by Richard Lundeen of Microsoft, Jesse Ou of Microsoft, and Microsoft Vulnerability Research.
- Improves file upload security on hosts with dangerous security settings.
- Cleans up old WordPress import files if the import does not finish.
- Introduce “clickjacking” protection in modern browsers on admin and login pages.
You can read the full release post on WordPress.org, as well as the full changelog on Trac.
Along with this release, the second beta of 3.2 is available as well. This marks another step toward the full release of 3.2, which we’ve been closely documenting as it progresses. Most recently beta 1 was activated for WordPress.com users, essentially making beta-testers of over twenty million WordPress sites and their users. You can update your WordPress trunk to continue testing and improving for the release, or download it directly.
Have you updated your WordPress sites yet?
Ryan Gavin thanked WordPress.com for recently dropping IE6 support on the WordPress dashboard. Carson is the Senior Director of Internet Explorer Business and Marketing, and praised the move on the Windows Team Blog yesterday:
Last week, WordPress dropped support for IE6 and joined the hundreds of other web sites that are working to move enterprises and consumers alike to a modern browser platform. Thank you! As WordPress highlighted in their blog, you can track IE6’s demise across the globe and join the cause on the IE6 Countdown site.
His comments were directed toward WordPress.com, which rolled out the beta 1 of WordPress 3.2 just last week, the comments extend easily to platform itself which is responsible for the switch in its upcoming release. Dropping IE6 was one of the goals for the 3.2 release, along with speed improvements across the board.
Are you as excited as Microsoft is to see the end of Internet Explorer 6?
Along with the visual changes and overall speed improvements that are on their way in WordPress version 3.2, it looks like two new community-focused pages will be added via the Dashboard footer: Freedoms and Credits.
The Freedoms page currently describes the freedoms that the GPL license provides, followed by encouragement to spread the word and continue using GPL software:
Every plugin and theme in WordPress.org’s directory is 100% GPL or a similarly free and compatible license, so you can feel safe finding plugins and themes there. If you get a plugin or theme from another source, make sure to ask them if it’s GPL first. If they don’t respect the WordPress license, we don’t recommend them.
The new Credits page will list off the current project leaders, core team, a special selection of “recent rockstars”, and a list of the rest of the contributors for the current version of WordPress. Along with the various credits is a prompt at the bottom of the page that says “Want to see your name in lights on this page? Get involved in WordPress.”
You can take a look at both of these new pages in their current version (as of this morning) using the gallery below.
Gallery: New screens coming to WordPress 3.2
What do you think of these new pages? Will they encourage new folks to contribute to WordPress in order to see themselves recognized on Dashboards? And will they become more aware of the freedoms they are granted by the GPL?
The announcement went out this morning: WordPress version 3.2 beta 1 is now available for testing. In a nutshell, that means that things are to a point that the community can begin testing out the new version to find things that are broken. Jane Wells posted the announcement, as well as that “we hope to release WordPress 3.2 by the end of June, though that is (again, as always) subject to change depending on how the beta period goes.”
Remember, 3.2 brings a number of exciting updates and changes to the WordPress we all know and love, including:
- Performance improvements. The major focus of 3.2 has been performance, which means it will be faster.
- Distraction-free writing is in there, which we previewed not long ago.
- The admin UI refresh, which we posted a demo screencast for as well
- Twenty Eleven, the new default WordPress theme (replacing Twenty Ten)
- Tweaks to the admin bar
As you can see, there is plenty in there worth testing. The best way to help out and test WordPress is to run an installation of WordPress specifically for testing, since it’s not recommended that these in-development versions of WordPress be running in any sort of live production environment. You can use the Beta Tester plugin to run the latest version quickly and easily, and flag any issues you find in the beta support forum. You can read more about this release on the WordPress news blog.
So who is going to help out testing WordPress 3.2 and make sure it’s rock solid?