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WordPress 2.8 Released

Many people thought WordPress 2.8 would be released on June 10th, and only an hour and a half before the end of the day in EDT, my time zone, the button was pressed. WordPress 2.8 “Baker” is out.

2.8 represents a nice fit and finish release for WordPress with improvements to themes, widgets, taxonomies, and overall speed. We also fixed over 790 bugs.

I am looking forward to seeing what plugins and themes break with the new version, as well as what most people think of it. I just started playing around with the 2.8 Release Candidate One today, and so haven’t dived deep into what 2.8 offers, but many say that the improvements, rather than the new features are what makes this release so great.

What’s next? Well, Matt mentions it in the WordPress blog:

We’re already thinking hard about the next versions, 2.9 and 3.0. Keep an eye out for improved media handling, better dependency checking, versioning of templates and themes, and of course the fabled merging of WordPress and MU announced at WordCamp San Francisco two weeks ago.

Try out WordPress 2.8 and let me know what you think of it. I hope that this, unlike most releases, won’t “have” to have a point-one release to fix any glaring security errors.

Categories: Important, WordPress News

Akismet and the Spam Problem

Today, I logged into Blogging Pro and saw an interesting message that caught my eye: “Akismet has protected your site from 1,034,305 spam”.

I can’t believe that Akismet has protected this blog from over a million spam. Started in October 2005, Akismet has been bundled with WordPress almost since its inception.

Without Akismet, and most other anti-spam tools, estimating a minute for every thirty spam comments, it would have taken me almost twelve full days of time to manage myself, or a few hours each and every month.

It is both sad that we have this problem that needs to be taken care of, and exciting that we have solutions to make our lives easier. Where do you sit with your Akismet spam protection?

Categories: BloggingPro News, Important

WordCamp Chicago

So today I hit the road to attend the first annual WordCamp Chicago, an event that is sure to be fun and interesting. Many of the people online that I connect with on a fairly regular basis will be there, some have already arrived in the windy city, while many more will be arriving throughout today and early tomorrow.

My wife is coming along with me, not to attend the conference, but because this might be the only “vacation” we get this year, so more than just the conference, we are going to try to make the most of our trip.

I am looking forward to interacting with the people that attend, and hope that everyone is half as excited as me (I could barely sleep last night, it was like waiting for Christmas morning).

jeremyw1If you want more information on what’s going on, Jeff Chandler has already started a back channel on his WPTavern Forum. This is a great place to list where you’ll be, what you want to do, and what you thought of sessions as we go through the one and a half days.

While there is no plan for video recording of the sessions, Jeff might also be live-streaming some of the sessions over UStream.

Lastly, and most importantly, if you see the guy in the picture with this post, wish him a Happy Birthday. It will be Jeremy Wright‘s 30th birthday!

Categories: Important, WordPress News
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New Theme and Issues

So, as I hope you can all see, Blogging Pro has received a design refresh. After launching our Blogging Pro theme a long time ago as a free to download theme, it seemed only wise to differentiate ourselves from those using that theme. If you are reading this site via a feed reader, it is time to come over and check out the new design.

I have been having some issues with the new theme that I am working on fixing, but they seem to be ingrained into WordPress, and so might take me a little while to rectify.

Other than one or two small issues, I am very impressed with both the design and implementation of this WordPress theme. Designed by James McDonald, the same person that did my site Branding David, James has done an amazing job with the revamp of Blogging Pro.

I am excited to hear what you think of this new design, and going forward, I hope you enjoy the refresh as well. I will talk about the coding process in an upcoming post.

Sidenote/Update: A huge thanks to Sivel in the WordPress IRC chat for helping me through a strange problem I was having.

Categories: BloggingPro News, Important
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WordPress 2.8 Beta 1 Is Here

If you need to be on the “bleeding edge” of WordPress, today is a good day. WordPress 2.8 Beta 1 has arrived. I’d suggest holding off a while before using it for any live blogs/sites, but it has some shiny features, so checking it out is highly recommended.

Just a few of the new features and changes…

-Add CodePress syntax highlighting to Theme and Plugin editors
-Use “Custom Header” for menu text and revise Default theme to reflect change
-Don’t notify post author of own comments
-Allow the dashboard widgets to be arranged in up to four columns as set via the Screen Options tab
-Autosave post/page when pressing Control/Command+S
-Add toggle all button to the Gallery tab in the uploader
-Support more than one gallery on the same page
-Check for new version when visiting Administration > Tools > Upgrade
-Add per page option to Screen Options for comments, posts, pages, media, categories, and tags
-Fix most popular link category list
-Hide email addresses from low privilege users on Administration > Comments
-Enforce unique email addresses in Add/Edit users

I usually wait for the Release Candidate version before playing with new updates much, but I think I’ll test this one out a bit. I’m hearing good things so far.

Anyone else using 2.8 Beta 1 already, and if so, what do you think? Worth dealing with “Beta 1″?

Categories: Important, WordPress News

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