While I have been a user of WordPress since late 2006, I only began to start keeping tabs on its development following my hearing news of dramatic changes coming in what became 2.5. Since a pattern developing with bigger changes coming in 2.5 and 2.7 while both 2.6 and 2.8 didn’t add too much in the way of upheaval but rather evolved what was already there. With 2.8, theme and widget management got the once over while there were plenty of other tweaks that polished a well received forbear. The differences between 2.7 and 2.8 are discernible without breaking anything that shouldn’t be broken. In short, I rather like the result.
The reaction to 2.5 was mixed, to say the least, and that in part led to the dramatic changes in 2.7, especially with regard to the administration interface. I admit to having had doubts about these when I first saw them development and there was so much chopping and changing during development that stepping back until things settled down became a necessity. Even adding a ticket to the TRAC was problematical unless you had sight of what was happening behind the scenes because it became too easy to add an invalid ticket.
With the release of 2.8 into the wild, 2.9 is now on the horizon and I am inclined to suspect that we might see bigger changes again. For one thing, there was that interface poll a little while ago and who knows what impact that may have on what comes next. The structure of the administration screens may not alter that much but that still leaves changes to colours and icons with the aim of separating navigation from what else is on there, something that doesn’t trouble me at all. In fact, I don’t see very much wrong with how how things are right now and wonder if there’s any point in making too many changes at all. The forecasted incorporation of WPMU functionality is a bigger change that would mean the end of WordPress MU as a separate entity and would concern me more with the amount of under the bonnet re-engineering that would be needed. Add Google Summer of Code projects to this mix and 2.9 looks as if it could be a step change in the spirit of 2.5 and 2.7, if not in feel. Summer 2009 could be very interesting for WordPress and I only hope that it continues to work for me in the way that it does as we move from version to version.