As we sit here toward the beginning of October, word is that we may be seeing the first release candidate of WordPress 3.3 toward the end of the month, with the final toward the end of November.
So, what’s it going to be this time?
The bullet point version for 3.3 is this:
- Enhancements to the media uploader, including ability to upload multiple files at once. Perhaps some improvement of image manipulation.
- A new user wizard, to guide new users through the basics.
- Improvements to the admin bar. Possibly combining of the admin bar with the header in the admin area, to reduce vertical height.
- Enhancements to the automatic upgrade process, including partial build upgrades and ability to install child themes.
- Inclusion of language packs (good for internationalization)
- Admin area which displays better on different screen sizes and device types (i.e. touch-based devices)
- Performance improvements on permalinks
- Possibility that you can change your theme and your widgets will remain.
- API enhancements, including updated editor API. In short, this will allow plug-ins to easily use the main post editor interface.
The media uploader improvements will be pretty nice. The plan is to integrate a system called Plupload. It works via HTML5, Gears, Silverlight, BrowserPlus or the usual browser-based upload. It also supports drag-and-drop uploads – which will be awesome.
The admin area changes will be nice in that it will adapt to wider monitors as well as touch screen interfaces. So, perhaps we will get a WP interface which works better on an iPad, for example.
The permalink performance is not something most people think about. The way WordPress is currently set up, there is a performance hit when you use pretty permalinks for SEO purposes. The database query speeds are the issue. So, the idea is that WordPress 3.3 will get rid of the performance hit.
And the language packs will be great for non-English speakers, turning the WordPress dashboard into a native language. Of course, until this is official, you can always use the WP Native Dashboard plug-in.
So, there you have it. The “feature freeze” was set about 2 weeks ago, which means we should be seeing the release candidate in a few weeks. The target release date for 3.3 final is November 29th.