- Design Tweak Poll Results: The results of the Design Tweaks Poll are in and the Fluency-style was clearly the winner. The design team is looking at all the feedback and incorporating it into a final decision on how to clean up the style of the WordPress Administration Panels. For the most part, they will do very little to change the look and feel of the Administration Panels, other than some core clean up from the previous version.
- Listing All Your WordPress Tags in WordPress 2.8: While not out, Justin Tadlock offers a tutorial on creating a page with all of your WordPress tags for category, post tags, and link categories in a cloud format for the upcoming WordPress 2.8.
- WP Security Escaping Functions: Standardizing and shortening the WP security escaping functions should improve security and Plugin issues.
- Accessibility Improvements for WordPress 2.8: Improvements in WordPress 2.7-2.8 for accessibility including improved functionality for screen readers.
- Has-Patch Marathon Results: The results of the Has-Patch Marathon for WordPress 2.8 are in and 44 patches were committed to the core, with 20 new ones added, with a total of 102 tickets closed. Expect the release candidate for WordPress 2.8 to be out soon.
- Widgets Redesigned Finally: The long awaited redesign of the WordPress Widgets are in the Appearance panel is done and undergoing testing. Some visual improvements are needed, but it is close to done. Widgets are now able to be added to WordPress by extending
WP_Widget, which allows multiple instances of the same WordPress Widget in the sidebar. They note that all existing Widgets must be converted to this new system as previous API functions will be removed in WordPress 2.9.
- Plugin Management Panel Updated: The Plugins Management Panel has been updated to match the other Administration Panels and now includes status filters for All, Active, Recently Active, Inactive, and Update Available, as well as a search and option for setting the number of Plugins to show per page.
- New Favorite Actions: The new Favorite Actions feature is a drop down menu that allows you to set your most redundant actions on the Administration Panels. It recognizes what page you are viewing on the Administration Panels and helps you to navigate faster through them.
More Usability Testing: Jane Wells and her team are doing another round of usability testing to check how the new interface for WordPress 2.8 is holding up and where some improvements can be made. In Contributing to WordPress, Part III: Usability Testing, she explains the process of how the usability testing works, and how WordPress is going to tap into the WordPress Community for testing purposes and feedback participation. Stay tuned for more announcements on this as the usability department shapes up with WordPress.
BuddyPress News: There is a lot of news coming out about the hot BuddyPress Plugin and social media Theme framework for WordPressMU, and soon for single versions of WordPress. Here are some highlights:
- BuddyPress 1.0 is out and people are using it on WordPressMU sites around the world.
- You can now customizable pageview slugs in BuddyPress.
- It’s slow, but there are now a few BuddyPress Themes coming out to style your BuddyPress community blogs.
- There are also a few BuddyPress Plugins to extend the functionality of BuddyPress.
- BuddyPress, bbPress Integration Plugin Bug calls attention to a bug in the Plugin by Michael Eagan, A bug in the WPMU Enable bbPress Capabilities, which doesn’t play nice with BuddyPress and bbPress.
- Weblog Tools Collection now joins the ranks of BuddyPress users and communities on their blog.
Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Competition: The best Plugin competition has started. The Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Competition 2009 (3.0) in on and it is expected to rock the WordPress year this year, even more than the past 4 years. They’ve made a lot of changes and improvements so if you are a WordPress Plugin author, check out the new instructions. For WordPress Plugin fans, this is like eating candy. Non-stop awesome Plugins.
No Spam = SEO Winner: In “Eliminating spam is good SEO,” the folks from Akismet talk about how cleaning out your comment spam can tremendously boost your SEO value as well as improve your visitor’s experience. Comment spammers are getting smarter and smarter and it’s harder than ever for us to determine what is spam and what is legit, since “Nice post” and “Great blog” are the top of the charts in spam comments. Akismet learns, but it won’t learn unless we teach it. With millions of users, it is learning pretty darn fast, though. The article covers a great list of how leaving comment spam on your site can seriously hurt your site’s SEO and integrity.
Akismet Working for US: In the recent article on comment spam and SEO on the Akismet blog, they hinted that they are working on some new methods to help protect our blog from spam comments that put our blog, and our visitors, at risk from security issues.
Feed on WordPress.tv: Michael Pick has announced WordPress.tv feeds to bring WordPress.tv video tutorials right to your feed reader. Using Miro, you can download, watch, sort, and browse web video, video podcasts, and video files, or use the new iTunes feed version of WordPress.tv.
Consolidating the WordPress Subversion: Barry Abrahamson announced the WordPress Code Repository, a consolidated version of all the small projects previously released across multiple domains. They’ve set up a Trac instance for bug reports, too. If you are involved in the code side of WordPress and Automattic projects, check out the new lightweight subversion repository.
WordPress 2.8 on WordPress.com? There have been some subtle changes and improvements to the WordPress.com interface, increasing usability and adding a few new minor functions. Are these tests? We’ll see when WordPress 2.8 comes out. Remember, WordPress.com is the testing ground for a lot of new features in WordPress. Your feedback helps WordPress grow and evolve.
WordPress on Your Calendar
Upcoming WordCamp and WordPress Events include:
- WordCamp Toronto – May 8-10, 2009
- Richmond, Virginia – WordCamp RVA – May 9, 2009
- Los Angeles WordPress Users Group at Farmers Market – May 10, 2009
- Florida – Bonita Springs WordPress Meetup – May 11, 2009
- Belmar, New Jersey – New Jersey WordPress May Meetup – May 13, 2009
- Ohio – WordCamp Columbus – May 16, 2009
- Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia – WordCamp Mid-Atlantic – May 16, 2009
- Oklahoma City WordPress Users Group Meeting – Edmond, OK – May 18, 2009
- Milan, Italy – WordCamp Milan 2009 – May 22-23, 2009
- New York, NY – WordCamp Ed CUNY – May 22, 2009
- Texas – The Dallas/Ft. Worth Area WordPress May Meetup – May 23, 2009
- North Carolina – Raleigh WordPress May Meetup – May 23, 2009
- Atlanta WordPress Users Group Meetup – May 26, 2009
- Ohio WordPress Meetup – May 28, 2009
- WordCamp San Francisco 2009 – May 30, 2009
- San Francisco Area – The East Bay WordPress May Meetup – May 31, 2009
- WordCamp Chicago – June 6-7, 2009
- WordCamp Brazil – June 21, 2009
- WordCamp Dallas 2009 – Dallas, Texas – June 27-28, 2009
Each week, the Blog Herald features WordPress News, a weekly column by Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress featuring the news from around the WordPress Community. You can follow more WordPress news, WordCamp and WordPress Event information, WordPress tips and help, see Lorelle on WordPress and her Twitter account, @lorelleonwp, where she posts a WordPress Plugin and WordPress Tip daily. If you have a WordPress news item or tip to suggest, please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org