I’ve just upgraded my main two blogs, and have already tried the two features I’ve been waiting for:
- fully integrated widgets Starting with this release, widgets will be a standard part of the WordPress distribution, included in the core source code instead of being a separate plugin. Many recent WordPress themes support widgets already, and it is indeed a very easy way to manage sidebars of your blog. Since I’ve been doing my sidebars manually, it seems to be a perfect opportunity for me to migrate over and document the process in a form of a separate how-to post. Stay tuned!
- safer activation for plugins: a sandbox approachIf you ever installed more than 10 plugins on a single blog, you’ve probably been there already: you download a plugin, place it in the right directory, click activate in your administration panel, and it breaks your whole blog – nothing works, not even the administration panel itself. The only way out of this is to either remove the plugin files through SSH/FTP or disable its activation in WordPress database manually (phpMyAdmin or something like this). Neither of these methods are simple enough to be used by someone who doesn’t know much about WordPress.
This new release introduces a sandbox approach: all plugins are verified against fatal errors upon their activation, and unless they work safely enough (don’t break your whole blog), they are not activated. You get a nice error message explaining the situation should you come across a nasty plugin like this.
It took me only a few minutes to set up a fatal error scenario, and I must say: this feature is a great time saver on top of being a great plugin installation safeguard.
There’s a many more changes apart from these two, like full Atom 1.0 support – I just don’t use them as much and perhaps need to do a bit of reading/learning myself since too many things have changed in this version.
If you want to learn more, it’s best for you to read the great 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.2 post at Technosailor. As always, Aaron Brazell has provided a great review of the most juicy features to be found in this WordPress release.
That’s all I wanted to tell for the moment. If you haven’t done so yet, wait no more – just go download WordPress 2.2 and upgrade, it’s definitely worth it!