The latest version of WordPress 2.5 has been officially released for free download, after 2 release candidates and several delays in schedule. However, the wait is worth waiting for, as WordPress 2.5 features lots of improvements and enhancements such as multi-file uploading, one-click plugin upgrades, built-in galleries, customizable dashboard, salted passwords and cookie encryption, media library, a WYSIWYG that doesn’t mess with your code, concurrent post editing protection, full-screen writing, and search that covers posts and pages.
Matt published on WordPress blog the details of the changes:
- Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard.
- Dashboard Widgets: the dashboard home page is now a serious of widgets, including ones to show you fun stats about your posting, latest comments, people linking to you, new and popular plugins, and of course WordPress news. You can customize any of the dashboard widgets to show, for example, news from your local paper instead of WP news. Plugins can also hook in, for example the WordPress.com stats widget adds a handy double-wide stats box.
- Multi-file upload with progress bar.
- EXIF extraction: if you upload JPEG files with EXIF metadata like camera make and model, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, et al. WordPress will extract all the data into custom fields you can use in your template. If you use the EXIF title fields or similar those will be put into their equivalent fields in WP.
- Search posts and pages together.
- Tag management: you can now add, rename, delete, and do whatever else you like to tags from inside WordPress, no plugins needed.
- Password strength meter.
- Concurrent editing protection: for those of you on multi-author blogs, if you open a post that someone else is editing, WordPress magically locks it and prevents you from saving until the other person is done.
- Few-click plugin upgrades: if the plugins you use are part of the plugin directory, WordPress will be able to download and install the upgrade for you. This is dependent a little bit on your host setup, and it may ask you for your FTP password much like OS X or Windows will ask you for a password.
- Friendlier visual post editor: version 3.0 of TinyMCE, which means better compatibility with Safari, and we’ve paid particular attention this release to its integration and interaction with complex HTML. It also now has a “no-distractions” mode which is like Writeroom for your browser.
- Built-in galleries: when you take advantage of multi-file upload to upload a bunch of photos, there are new shortcode that lets you to easily embed galleries by just putting [gallery] in your post. It’ll display all your thumbnails and captions and each will link each to a page where people can comment on the individual photos.
- Salted passwords: uses the phpass library to stretch and salt all passwords stored in the database, which makes brute-forcing them impractical. If you use something like mod_auth_mysql, there is a plugin that will allow you to use legacy MD5 hashing. (The hashing is completely pluggable.) Users will automatically switch to the more secure passwords next time they log in.
- Secure cookies.
- Easy taxonomy and URL creation.
- Inline documentation that explains the functions and documents their arguments.
- Database optimization.
- $wpdb->prepare() — now almost all of the SQL in WordPress is prepared first, and the same functions are available to your plugins. This should prevent elementary SQL escaping issues.
- Media buttons: the add media buttons above the post are both expandable, so you could have an “Add Google Map” button if you like, They can be overridden, so if you think you can do the video or audio tab better than we have you can replace the default.
- Shortcode API: the new gallery functionality is powered by the new shortcode API. Shortcodes are little bracket-delineated strings that can be magically expanded at runtime to something more interesting. They give users a short, easy to type and copy/paste string they can move around their post without worrying about messing up complex HTML or embed codes.
Side note, WordPress.org website has been revamped with new design.
New WordPress.org Design
Previous Old WordPress.org Design Look
Update: WordPress 2.5.1 is released.
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