Planned Features for WP 2.7
As I look at the planned features for WP 2.7 as reported by Weblog Tools Collection, I’m having a few thoughts:
- I noted on the 27th that it made sense that WordPress would be hosting themes at wordpress.org/extend to allow for ease-of-upgrading, and it looks like a Theme Update API will help with that.
- Plugin management and overall WP upgrade management is improving. That’s a net win for everything WP-related, security most of all. [Same goes for theme.] Making users aware that software is due to be upgraded and making it easy for them to do so is what’s going to help solve WordPress’s reputation as a black-hat scammer’s favorite target.
- There’s still no love for an AJAX-ified TrackBack tool entry. It’s still “(Separate multiple URLs with spaces)”. Criminy.
- A side benefit of hosting the plugins on wordpress.org/extend is that the WP folks can see which plugins are truly getting the most use. It looks like things like comment threading, XML sitemap generation, and comment subscription are going to make their way into the core codebase. Now, there is an argument to be made that leaving these things to plugins is just fine—that WP’s core should have the absolute minimum number of functions involved, and that anything but basic functionality should be left to plugins. There are many arguments to be made for this philosophy pro and con, but I think that, at the end of the day, WordPress should bring in the most popular plugins into the codebase. Why? If it’s terribly popular, it’ll be seen as quasi-official, and anything that’s gotten that level of praise in the community needs to have a more stringent security review than relying on a third-party developer. Note: This is not a slam on 3rd party devs at all. It’s actually a praise—if you’ve gotten that popular, it’s a good thing. Now, one can argue whether WP’s security reviews and patches are stringent or swift enough [and the answer to that seems to be that there will never be a time when everyone is satisfied by either], but if WP brings it under the umbrella, they’re saying, “This is mission critical.” Also, it reduces user/administrator workload in keeping plugins up-to-date.
- All that said, it surprises me that Akismet is still a plugin and not a part of the core for this very reason, and I say that as an avid fan of Spam Karma, a financial contributor to same, and someone who considered, briefly, helping the GPL project along from a management / usability review perspective. [That's before I told myself that I didn't want to make the time for it.]
As WordPress progresses towards full-maturity—right now, it’s out of college and in its first job, making lots of dough and acquiring lots of stuff—these are all good things. I’m still very much a happy WordPress supporter.