I’m excited to announce the availability of WordPress 3.5 Beta 1.
This is software still in development and we really don’t recommend that you run it on a production site — set up a test site just to play with the new version. To test WordPress 3.5, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”). Or you can download the beta here (zip).
In just three short months, we’ve already made a few hundred changes to improve your WordPress experience. The biggest thing we’ve been working on is overhauling the media experience from the ground up. We’ve made it all fair game: How you upload photos, arrange galleries, insert images into posts, and more. It’s still rough around the edges and some pieces are missing — which means now is the perfect time to test it out, report issues, and help shape our headline feature.
As always, if you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far.
Here’s some more of what’s new:
- Appearance: A simplified welcome screen. A new color picker. And the all-HiDPI (retina) dashboard.
- Accessibility: Keyboard navigation and screen reader support have both been improved.
- Plugins: You can browse and install plugins you’ve marked as favorites on WordPress.org, directly from your dashboard.
- Mobile: It’ll be easier to link up your WordPress install with our mobile apps, as XML-RPC is now enabled by default.
- Links: We’ve hidden the Link Manager for new installs. (Don’t worry, there’s a plugin for that.)
Developers: We love you. We do. And one of the things we strive to do with every release is be compatible with all existing plugins and themes. To make sure we don’t break anything, we need your help. Please, please test your plugins and themes against 3.5. If something isn’t quite right, please let us know. (Chances are, it wasn’t intentional.) And despite all of the changes to media, we’re still aiming to be backwards compatible with plugins that make changes to the existing media library. It’s a tall task, and it means we need your help.
Here’s some more things we think developers will enjoy (and should test their plugins and themes against):
- External libraries updated: TinyMCE 3.5.6. SimplePie 1.3. jQuery 1.8.2. jQuery UI 1.9 (and it’s not even released yet). We’ve also added Backbone 0.9.2 and Underscore 1.3.3, and you can use protocol-relative links when enqueueing scripts and styles. (#16560)
- WP Query: You can now ask to receive posts in the order specified by
- XML-RPC: New user management, profile editing, and post revision methods. We’ve also removed AtomPub. (#18428, #21397, #21866)
- Multisite: switch_to_blog() is now used in more places, is faster, and more reliable. Also: You can now use multisite in a subdirectory, and uploaded files no longer go through ms-files (for new installs). (#21434, #19796, #19235)
- TinyMCE: We’ve added API support for “views” which you can use to offer previews and interaction of elements from the visual editor. (#21812)
- Posts API: Major performance improvements when working with hierarchies of pages and post ancestors. Also, you can now “turn on” native custom columns for taxonomies on edit post screens. (#11399, #21309, #21240)
- Comments API: Search for comments of a particular status, or with a meta query (same as with WP_Query). (#21101, #21003)
- oEmbed: We’ve added support for a few oEmbed providers, and we now handle SSL links. (#15734, #21635, #16996, #20102)
We’re looking forward to your feedback. If you break it (find a bug), please report it, and if you’re a developer, try to help us fix it. We’ve already had more than 200 contributors to version 3.5 — come join us!
And as promised, a bonus:
We’re planning a December 5 release for WordPress 3.5. But, we have a special offering for you, today. The newest default theme for WordPress, Twenty Twelve, is now available for download from the WordPress themes directory. It’s a gorgeous and fully responsive theme, and it works with WordPress 3.4.2. Take it for a spin!