Where’s WordPress 2.8?

It now seems that WordPress 2.7 has been an unqualified success. The major changes that were made to the administration screens have been well received and the grumblings that were extant about 2.5 and 2.6 seem to have dissipated too. Another observation is that security bugs have not being making their presence felt. All in all, it feels very much like assured progress and may explain why 2.8 has been taking its time in coming.

It’s now pencilled in for the end of this month and looks as if it will be a polishing of what already works well. It seems to me that most of the changes are behind the scenes but there is a new widgets interface that should be ever more user friendly together with an automated theme installation and upgrade facility that is based on what is already in place for plugins (speaking of which, that interface has been tidied too). Another rough edge that has been removed is the whole business of time zones and daylight saving time. In summary, it seems to be a sharpening of a package that already works well anyway. I have been running it on another site without a whimper of drama so that’s probably saying something. Saying that, quite how they are going to get anyone to upgrade is another matter. For one thing, Lorelle VanFossen’s overuse of the word “mandatory” cannot be likely to do it…

In a way, the subject of upgrade fatigue brings me to a recent poll run by Automattic’s Jane Wells. Quite a number want to stick with what works while others fancy a change. This split could be tricky to manage and might even encourage some not to upgrade at all and stick with what works for them. After all, there were two episodes of major upheaval last year and I cannot see everyone wanting to see that happen again. Continual evolutionary freshening would suit me better. Thankfully, any talk of changing the administration screens has been left for 2.9 now and there’s always the option of sticking with 2.8 if what is produced becomes a sufficient irritation. Well, it saves a leap to Habari or another alternative anyway…

Controlling the post revision feature in WordPress 2.6

This may seem esoteric for some but I like to be in control of the technology that I use. So, when Automattic included post revision retention to WordPress 2.6, I had my reservations about how much it would clutter my database with things that I didn’t need. Thankfully, there is a way to control the feature but you won’t find the option in the administration screens (they seem to view this as an advanced setting and so don’t want to be adding clutter to the interface for the sake of something that only a few might ever use); you have to edit wp-config.php yourself to add it. Here are the lines that can be added and the effects that they have:

Code: define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’,’0′);

Effect: turns off post revision retention

Code: define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’,’-1′);

Effect: turns it on (the default setting)

Code: define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’,’2′);

Effect: only retains two previous versions of a post (the number can be whatever you want so long as it’s an integer with a value more than zero).

Update (2008-07-23): There is now a plugin from Dion Hulse that does the above for you and more.