WordPress 3.6 is coming soon. The next version of WordPress is currently in its first beta version so it is possible features and code may change over the next month. If you would like to play around with the beta version of WordPress 3.6 you can do so right now. I would advise to NOT use the beta version on a live site right now and just play around with it on a test site.
The easiest way to access the beta version of WordPress is to install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin on your WordPress site. (Download -> http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/) Once you activate this plugin, go to the plugins settings page and choose the Bleeding Edge option. WordPress will then tell you to update your site and faster than the Road Runner escaping Wiley Coyote you will be using the Beta version of WordPress.
This next version of WordPress is full of great new enhancements and features, some that are still being debated and argued about, and a few head scratchers. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things coming in WordPress 3.6.
This is a great feature (and something that has been needed for a long time) for multi-author sites. If you attempt to edit a post that is currently being edited by someone else, WordPress will now alert you to that fact and give you a few options about what you can do. This will prevent all those annoying “overwriting because I didn’t know you were editing” responses from users.
A new Auto-Save Concept
With WordPress 3.6, there will now be an autosave every 15 seconds on your “local machine”. Mark Jacquith (the lead on 3.6) dreamed that there would be a world where WordPress could protect your content against a slew of evils like:
- expired cookies
- loss of connection
- hitting the wrong browser button
- having a plugin go haywire on you
- having core WordPress go to a dark place on you
- having a browser crash
- having an OS crash
- having a pet find great relief on your computer
- surviving a drooling baby
And I believe with this new enhancement in WordPress 3.6, it will also help autosave your content in case of a zombie attack!
While the new post revisions capabilities are much better, I still think we’ve got a ways to go to get it to the full capabilities of what WordPress could offer. But for now we are moving in the right direction and its a solid direction.
Post Format UI Change
WordPress 3.6 now pushing Post Formats (referred to by some as Tumblr-like Blogging) to the forefront of the Post Edit screen. There are plenty of debates and arguments still going on in the WordPress ecosystem. Not everyone agrees that this needs to be pushed to the forefront of the Post Edit screen and should be enabled…disabled by the Theme itself, not by WordPress. Currently in the latest Beta version, the theme has NO choice in the matter of whether or not it will show the Post Format options. They simply appear, even if the theme isn’t supporting any of the styling and such.
While, on the big picture side of things, the work the WordPress team has done on the Post Format UI is great. The implementation is what is being debated. I love seeing the Post Edit screen options change based on the Post Format that is chosen. But this bring up a HUGE question. When we get right down to the base level… What is the real difference between Post Formats and Custom Post Types? Aren’t Post Formats just a form of Custom Post Types? Anyway, it will be interesting to see the final implementation and to see what theme developers do in supporting this new feature.
The new Menu settings in WordPress 3.6 did get a cleaned up interface, but I’m not sure of the rational of moving the locations to its own tab other than someone got it in their mind that it was what was needed. Which begs the question… Did any actual user REQUEST this change? If not… why the change?
Native Support for Video and Audio
Two great additions to WordPress 3.6 come in the ability to natively upload and embed your own video and audio files. Check out the discussion here. (http://make.wordpress.org/core/2013/04/08/audio-video-support-in-core/)
One More Thing… A New Theme
The new Twenty Thirteen theme is a good looking blog-centric theme. And its interesting to see how far to the other end of the spectrum this theme is from the more corporate/professional feel of the previous Twenty Twelve theme.
So all-in-all there is a ton of stuff to look forward to in WordPress 3.6. What features are you looking forward to use in the next version of WordPress? What would you like to see in future versions of WordPress?