WordPress 2.9 Released!
The latest version of the world most popular self-hosted blogging platform, WordPress 2.9, is now out and available for everyone to download and install. It's been quite a while since the last major update, more than six months actually, and the latest version comes with a few big new features and a bunch of smaller ones as well as updates, bug fixes, the works.
The biggest feature is likely the new image editor which allows users to do basic photo editing inside the post editor without having to rely on third-party tools.
"I'm here on behalf of the entire WordPress development team and community to announce the immediate availability of WordPress version 2.9 "Carmen" named in honor of magical jazz vocalist Carmen McRae (whom we've added to our Last.fm WP release station)," Matt Mullenweg, Automattic founder, the company behind the open-source WordPress platform and the WordPress.com blog hosting service, wrote.
With the new built-in image editor, users can crop, edit, rotate, flip, and scale images until they fit perfectly in the post. Seeing as these are 99 percent of the editing tools any blogger would ever need, the tool is a very welcome addition. It also probably means that you won't need to fire up Photoshop, or maybe Gimp if you're into open source or just too emotionally attached to your money, just to crop out the creepy old dude that keeps popping up in the your artistic shots of the day.
Another new feature which could prove quite useful, even though you wouldn't think you need it until something bad happens, is the new "Global undo/'trash' feature" which basically means that deleted posts don't get obliterated from existence but rather just sent to Purgatory, it's actually called Trash, to make amends.
Batch plugin updates and compatibility checking are a welcomed addition for those with a lot of plugins and an itch to always have the latest and greatest version. The feature comes especially handy when updating WordPress, i.e. right now if you're thinking about upgrading to 2.9, and should make the process a little less painful.
Finally, WordPress uses a little magic to convert most links to videos to actual embed code. The feature works for a bunch of sites like YouTube, Daily Motion, Blip.tv, Flickr, Hulu, Viddler, Qik, Revision3, Scribd, Google Video, Photobucket, PollDaddy, and WordPress.tv and even more are coming. The list of new features doesn't end here but these are the highlights. If you want to know what else is new, you can check out the official post or head over here to see all the 510 bug fixes, updates and new features in WordPress 2.9.
"2.9 has been an exciting development cycle, and I must say it has whetted our appetite for 3.0, which is coming next (probably this spring) and will include at the very least the merge of MU with the WordPress core, and a new default theme," Mullenweg added about upcoming plans.