Like another I’m a fan of WordPress so I’m probably on the lookout for news about new versions/developments Next WordPress. Well, the next major release, WordPress 3.6, is already underway – it’s due sometime in April – with the beta version to be released in the second week of March.
Fortunately, the developers give us some hints via the discussion on trac and the Make WordPress Core blog. Let’s take a look at what’s on the horizon, to make sure our projects are prepared and we don’t encounter any nasty surprises down the road.
So, what’s new in WordPress 3.6?
The focus of WordPress 3.6 is “Better Editorial Controls”. That said, more specifically we can expect to see improvements to revisions, the autosave feature, editing, post formats, and the editorial workflow. Let’s take a closer look at the individual improvements we can hope to see.
This will allow website administrators and authors to lock a post so that other users can not work on the same post until it is unlocked. Post Lock will prevent conflicts and loss of data due to possible simultaneous editing of a post. To unlock a post, the user will enter the post edit screen, then click a button to request a lock.
Autosave to the local storage
This may include auto-saving to the browser’s local storage, and log-in expiration warnings. Autosave will prevent loss of user data between saving post revisions to the database. This will be very helpful because it will prevent you from losing posts due to expired cookies, loss of internet connection, etc. If any of those happen, you would be able to resume editing exactly where you left it.
Improved Revisions System
The revisions tool will get a little TLC — bug fixes, better user interface, and adding visual representation of what was added/removed in each revision. Changes will be highlighted with colors and visual elements, so you will be able to quickly notice the difference between them. The UI is going to have more meaning to the average (read “not a developer”) user by presenting more information about changes visually.
Improving the user interface
The tabs, menu drop down, choosing multiple menus and switching between them is trivial to most new users. The goal for the 3.6 cycle is to make menus a little more intuitive and user friendly.The main focus for 3.6 will be improving the user interface for custom menus, which users have found confusing.
Fresh new default theme: Twenty Thirteen.
Unlike previous WordPress default themes, Twenty Thirteen will be using lots of bold colors. It will use different background color for each post which looks great when a user scroll downs the page. The bold colors encourage authors to try out all the different formats. This color extends the full width of the window, which breaks your blog up into a lush, segmented timeline.
New and Improved UI for Post Formats
According to Helen Hou-Sandi (project lead for the post formats UI update in WP 3.6), the post formats UI will be revised to help users get a better understanding of each format. The big update to Post Formats for 3.6 is the admin user interface. They are currently seeking wire-frame ideas for the user interface for each post format (i.e. chat, quote, link, image, video). Several sources of inspiration will be worked in, in particular CF Post Formats by Alex King, wordpress.com UI and the famous Tumblr interface. Users will be able to choose and switch between post formats, and the edit area will change based on the post format.
Editorial Workflow empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress. The two biggest improvements we are likely to see are:
- Custom Post Statuses: add to “Draft”, “In Progress”, etc. as you see fit.
- Draft Revisions: save a revised post that has already been published before re-publishing it.
Where can I find out more information?
The WordPress 3.6 release schedule is started in early January and the first Beta is scheduled for March 13. April 22 2013 is the planned launch date. So if you’d like to participate in this cycle visit the Make WordPress Core, it’s a good blog to visit. It tracks the open-source development of WordPress, and is the homebase of much of the development discussion.
What do you think about WordPress 3.6? Let us know in the comments section!
- Some screenshots obtained from the Make WordPress Core blog.