WordPress 3.6 Beta 2 Available For Download

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As the WordPress community readies itself for the upcoming official release of WordPress 3.6, the project’s lead developer announced Monday that the second Beta version is finally available for download by the public and can be implemented on a test site immediately in order to work with current themes and plugins to ensure compatibility. “This is software still in development and we really don’t recommend that you run it on a production site — set up a test site just to play with the new version,” wrote Jaquith. “To test WordPress 3.6, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want “bleeding edge nightlies”).”

Many within the community who do not check the daily updates posted in the changelog or bug reports may be wondering why it has taken a bit longer than originally planned to get this latest Beta version out to the public. For that, Jaquith explains that “the longer than usual delay between beta 1 and beta 2 was due to poor user testing results with the Post Formats UI. Beta 2 contains a modified approach for format choosing and switching, which has done well in user testing. We’ve also made the Post Formats UI hide-able via Screen Options, and set a reasonable default based on what your theme supports. There were a lot of bug fixes and polishing tweaks done for beta 2 as well, so definitely check it out if you had an issues with beta 1.”

Upcoming WordPress 3.6 Features

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A lot has already been said about what can be expected from the new version of WordPress once it is battle-tested in its Beta stages and released in May. For one, Post Formats will have their own User Interface, with access to templating functions granted to theme authors. Another important addition is the fact that WordPress 3.6 will be fully integrated with the all new Twenty Thirteen default theme. The colorful theme which is designed for blogging is perfect for getting your first WordPress website started and will allow your specific content to take front stage as you work with customizing pages, inserting widgets and posting blog entries all from the back end without ever having to manipulate any code.

Audio and video embeds can be done without the use of a third party plugin or media hosting service, plus WordPress 3.6 will allow your work to be auto-saved locally; meaning that you will no longer lose your content if your browser crashes, or if your computer suddenly shuts off. This will also be helpful in cases where the server goes offline. The post locking tool will allow you to see when someone else is editing a post and will let admins remove authors who are currently in editing mode but have failed to make any updates in a specific period of time. There is also a new Revisions UI that “scrubs” through version histories of any post to show which changes have been made.

Bug Reports

Jaquith went on to say Monday that “plugin developers, theme developers, and WordPress hosts should be testing beta 2 extensively. The more you test the beta, the more stable our release candidates and our final release will be. As always, if you think you’ve found a bug, you can post to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums. Or, if you’re comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, file one on the WordPress Trac. There, you can also find a list of known bugs and everything we’ve fixed so far. We’re looking forward to your feedback. If you find a bug, please report it, and if you’re a developer, try to help us fix it. We’ve already had more than 150 contributors to version 3.6 — it’s not too late to join in!”

We’re anxiously awaiting the official release of WordPress 3.6 which is due out some time in May.