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Happy Holidays

Posted December 25, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under General.

I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season, and merry Christmas to those who are celebrating it today. I would love to write more about all the bugs that have been fixed, and the features added in the last couple of days, but I just got back from a family Christmas eve party and I’m pooped. There are still a few outstanding items I’d like to get to before releasing 1.0 on the 1st of 2004 and I’m very much looking forward to working on those in the next few days.

Thank you to all the developers, everyone who is helpful on the forums, the new people working on the documentation, everyone in the IRC channel, those who evangilize and promote WordPress, and finally my family and friends for putting up with me while I spend so much time on this. 🙂

Thank you all.

WordPress Wiki

Posted December 19, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Documentation, Meta.

The brand-spanking new WordPress wiki is online and running. For those not familiar with what a wiki is it’s basically a content management system where everyone can edit all the content. It sounds chaotic but if anyone vandalizes the site it only takes a click to restore it to how it was. Wikis can be great for collecting information, and we plan to use it to develop some of the documentation. So go have a look around, make a page for yourself, kick the tires. Thanks to the wp-docs group that talked me into finally getting a public wiki up.

Latest Updates

Posted December 18, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Development.

Just a summary of some of the things I’ve been working on today.

  • The RSS 2.0 feed now supports multiple categories. Not sure how to do it for 1.0 yet, looking into it.
  • The includes stuff now uses constants instead of variables. This means if you’re on the bleeding edge of the CVS you’ll have to update your wp-config.php again. Sorry! I anticipate this being the last change, ever.
  • The renaming is just about complete, with outdated variable references being removed.
  • Quicktags now enter whitespace with list markup to format it nicely.
  • Error messages are a lot smarter, espescially when first starting out. It now tells you the problem exactly if there’s not a wp-config.php file, or if you have any problems with your database connection info. It offers a few common solutions and links to the support forums. It also doesn’t generate a thousand errors like it used to.
  • The default index.php has been updated to clarify some concepts and have the current version number in the generator meta tag.
  • readme.html has been updated to remove some wrong and old things. Needs a lot more work, but hopefully the wp-docs group will get this to be a really great document.
  • The wp-links directory has been eliminated and the files in it have been moved to wp-images or wp-includes.
  • Cleaned a final few include problems. The including system is so much cleaner now.
  • The “Blog this” bookmarklet link has been moved to the posting screen and renamed “Press it”.

And I’m done for the night. More tomorrow…

XHTML Friends Network

Posted December 16, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Development.

I just wanted to point everyone to XFN, the XHTML Friends Network. Read about the release on my blog, Eric’s blog, or Tantek’s blog. XFN is a standardized method for leveraging the HTML rel attribute to describe relationships between people. More simply, it’s about enhancing how you link to somebody.

If you use WordPress you are already ahead of the game as we have supported adding rel values to links now for several versions. If you wondered why before, this is the reason. I’m going to look into integrating the XFN Creator to the link interface to make things even simpler.

I also have some things in mind for future WP support of XFN. For instance, a commonly requested feature that wouldn’t be terribly hard to implement is to automagically create strings such as a friend’s name into a link to that friend’s website. We already have a robust link manager, there’s no reason the two couldn’t connect and the XFN values be added as well. I’ve also been thinking about a tool to simplify the creation of CSS to do fun things with XFN values. You can discuss in the forums.

New feature: my-hacks.php

Posted December 15, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Development.

In the past if you were going to add a filter or hack you would have to modify one of the existing WP files and your changes would then be overwritten when you upgraded to a new version. No more. I’ve just checked in the code that adds a new option where you can enable or disable a hacks file. When this option is enabled it checks for a file called my-hacks.php in your WordPress root and if the file exists, it includes the code from that file. Hopefully this will make it easier for hack writers to structure their code and write instructions for installation, and it will be easier for users because they won’t have to redo all their hacks and extensions every time their upgrade or overwrite a file. Discussion in the hacks forum.

The Road to 1.0

Posted by Matt Mullenweg. Filed under Development.

Hello everyone, I have a few free minutes so I’d thought come up for air and clarify everything that’s been happening the past few weeks. Development progress has been huge and I’m very excited about where things are going.

I’ll start first with what Alex has dubbed “The Great Renaming.” This was not change for change’s sake, but rather a step that will cause a little turbulence in the short-term in exchange for stability in the long-term. b2 was a mess in the way things were named and organized. Everything was in the root folder; some names had mixed case, some didn’t; some files ended in .inc instead of .php; all in all, a mess that couldn’t continue. So what we’ve done is rename and reorganize the files according to these guidelines, and a bit of common sense:

  1. All lowercase filenames.
  2. Use hyphens as separators.
  3. Any name in the root directory should start with wp-
  4. Consolidate directories where possible.

While doing the renaming I also cleaned up significantly how files are included to make it much simpler and faster.

The other great new feature we’ve been working on is the new permalink code. This new feature allows you to use mod_rewrite to design beautiful permalinks such as the ones on my blog or One Fine Jay. There has been a cleanup of the permalink code in general so you will now see more consistent permalinks in things like comment/trackback notification emails. All of the different places links were generated all now call a set functions that handle everything.

There are also new comment moderation features. When comment moderation is on comments move into a queue rather than being displayed immediately. Comment notification emails also now contain a direct link to delete the comment, or approve it if moderation is turned on. This is going to be expanded even more in the coming weeks.

On the documentation end, there has been some good activity on the new mailing list and progress is being made toward more thorough and helpful documentation.

The RSS 2.0 file has been greatly simplified to be less “funky” and use more of the standard RSS 2.0 elements where possible.

The administration interface has gotten a major makeover. I’ve spent a lot of time making everything more consistent, logical, and user-friendly. The menus have been reorganized to be more descriptive and intuitive. The markup has been cleaned up quite a bit, and many of the areas, particularly the users page and the posting page, the markup has been completely redone. The post page is now separate from the editing of previous posts page, which means it loads much faster. There is also a latest comments display where you can edit or delete the thirty latest comments and navigate them just like you could for posts before. The categories page has been completely redone as well.

Which brings me to the last point, which I almost forgot about. True multiple categories are now supported. This means that any post can have any number of categories, which you select easily using check boxes. This required a lot of changes to different parts of the code, and it’s pretty much finished. The last bit I have to do is create an interface for editing the hierarchy of the categories. (Yes, the categories can be hierarchical if you choose.) This is another feature I’ve been dying for personally. This also means that we can polish up the Movable Type import script so it parses multiple categories transparently, something we couldn’t do before.

I think that’s it but as I’ve been working with this new version every day, a lot of the significant features have become like second nature already, so they don’t stand out to me. So far I have been working just in my spare time, but come Wednesday I’ll be done with finals and will be able to devote a lot more time to finishing up all our outstanding goals for this 1.0 release. Some of the other developers have expressed the same sentiments that at some point during the holidays they’ll be able to kick in some more time as well. Originally this was planned to be a .75 or .80 release, but as the code developed and evolved it became obvious that this version is really something different entirely than everything we’ve done before. We’re aiming for all this to be released by the new year.

The Great Renaming!

Posted December 12, 2003 by Alex King. Filed under Development.

Matt is too busy to blog about it, but he has just finished converting all the ‘b2’ filenames to ‘wp-‘. This is something I’ve been pushing for and I’m thrilled he’s done it. I think it is a huge step forward for WordPress.

Some of the benefits:

  • Filnames will be more stable going forward. This should encourage people to write hacks and add-ons knowing that the filenames are less likely to be changing in the next release.
  • It helps defeat the view that WordPress is “just b2 with some added hacks”.

There has been a ton of great development on WordPress but I’ve heard from people that they don’t feel it is stable or “ready” and one reason they give me is the mis-mash of filenames.

There are some drawbacks:

  • This is going to break most current hacks.
  • All the current “edit file ‘xyz'” documentation is now obsolete and needs to be updated.

The thing is, the renaming had to happen sooner or later, so doing it now and getting it over with makes sense. As WordPress matures, it is going to have more and more users… it’s better to just get it over with. 🙂

Great job Matt!

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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