WordPress 3.4 Release Candidate 1 is available

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What better way to celebrate nine years of WordPress than a brand new release candidate? WordPress 3.4 has been in the works for the since the beginning of the year and is quickly nearing final release. Remember, the release candidate phase comes after the beta stage and just before the final public release.

Now is the time to help out by testing themes and plugins. If you find any potential bugs you can share your findings in the Alpha/Beta support forums.

Version 3.4 is bringing a live theme customizer and HTML in captions to WordPress, along with a slew of other improvements. Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to?

WordPress 3.4 hits Beta 4, edges ever closer to a final version

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Late last night, right around the time we wrapped up recording WP Late Night #7 with Joshua Strebel, WordPress Lead Developer Ryan Boren broke the news of 3.4 Beta 4 on the WordPress news blog. His post was beautifully brief, so much so that I don’t feel bad quoting it in its entirety here:

Less bugs, more polish, the same beta disclaimers. Download, test, report bugs. Thanks much. /ryan #thewholebrevitything

Can’t beat that, right? For those seeking more than brevity, though, here are a few things you might want to know. First, the list of tickets for the 3.4 milestone on Trac is getting smaller and smaller, now entirely fitting on a single (large) monitor. Second, you should remember how to handle betas, and of course don’t run it live. Third, it’s about that time to start taking bets on just when 3.4 final will land in the comments below.

By the way, who’s been testing the new version so far? What do you think of the theme customizer?

Developer chat kicks off planning for WordPress 3.4

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Wednesday was the Weekly WordPress Developer Chat and this week the core team talked over what will be the theme for the WordPress 3.4 development cycle. As pointed out by Jane Wells, while WordPress 3.3 had a lot of features it wasn’t centered around a specific theme. With 3.4 the team will return to having a theme for each release.

In an agile development cycle like the core team is trying to adapt, it’s a really good idea to have a theme to center the release around. It really helps focus the efforts of features and bug reporting, so you’re touching similar files and not jumping all over the place.

As proposed at the core team’s meetup in Tybee, the team is going to try something new. Wells said:

At Tybee meetup, I proposed we experiment with our process to try and overcome some of our historical downfalls (lack of good time estimation, resource bottlenecks, lack of accountability, unknown/variable time commitments/disappearing devs, overassignment of tasks to some people, reluctance to cut features to meet deadline), and the core team worked as a group to come to the following process proposal.

They are going to focus on a few areas from a development cycle side of things: Schedule, Time Commitment, Time Tracking, Scope [creep], and Choosing Teams.

If you could add anything to WordPress in the next release, what would you add?

As the new year creeps toward us, Twenty Twelve talks begin

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Each year since 2010 there is a change in the default theme that ships with WordPress. Following up Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven, the new default theme for 2012 is called (if you haven’t guessed it already) Twenty Twelve. It’s expected to be released with WordPress 3.4.

The WordPress Development team has begun the discussion over the creation of the new theme. Twenty Twelve will be “kind of different from before, generally palatable and something that Matt likes,” says Jane Wells. While no real design has been created for the theme, there is a list of things they would like to include in the new theme. These features include:

  • Single post/permalink view with post formats
  • Variable height header image
  • A mobile version
  • Default to static front page
  • Editor styles the same as the front end
  • Avoid “clever” things that aren’t very useful, such as ephemera widget
  • Start with Twenty Eleven as code base, possibly Twenty Ten as it’s more maintained and popular
  • No featured image in header
  • Default to no header image

No timeline is in place yet for the theme design and development. There’s already a conversation going in the comments over at the WordPress development blog. If you’d like to join in, here’s a handy dandy link, just for you.

So, speak up: what would you like to see included in Twenty Twelve?

Work on WordPress 3.4 alpha has already begun

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Shortly after the release of WordPress 3.3 “Sonny”, WordPress Lead Developer Ryan Boren committed the changeset to make WordPress trunk 3.4 alpha, rather than 3.3 final. There’s no project schedule or planned features yet, of course, but we can probably count on a 2012 release and that a few of these tickets marked for future release will show up in it.

Of course WordPress 3.3 has only been out for a couple of days now, but what the heck: what specifically would you like to see make it on to the roadmap for WordPress 3.4?