With the recent release of WordPress 3.6, many have been wondering how long it would take for the open source platform to receive its next major update; especially considering how the commercial release schedule of the current version was delayed several times as certain functions were tweaked. Industry concerns were alleviated over the weekend by an announcement published by WordPress lead developer Andrew Nacin. In his post on WordPress.org, Nacin advised WordPress users that the first Beta release of Version 3.7 is now available for download.
Nacin wrote, “For WordPress 3.7 we decided to shorten the development cycle and focus on a few key improvements. We plan to release the final product in October, and then follow it in December with a jam-packed WordPress 3.8 release, which is already in development. Some of the best stuff in WordPress 3.7 is subtle — by design! So let’s walk through what we’d love for you to test, just in time for the weekend.”
News that WordPress 3.8 is already in development could mean that WP users will have a much enhanced experience when it comes to how they use the platform by the end of the 2013 calendar year. While much of Version 3.6 focused on auto-saving capabilities, the upcoming Version 3.7 will focus on a few main components.
For one, the software will come with automatic updates. Nacin explains that “3.7 Beta 1 will keep itself updated. That’s right — you’ll be updated each night to the newest development build, and eventually to Beta 2. We’re working to provide as many installs as possible with fast updates to security releases of WordPress — and you can help us test by just installing Beta 1 on your server and seeing how it works! When you go to Dashboard → Updates, you’ll see a note letting you know whether your install is working for automatic updates. There are a few situations where WordPress can’t reliably and securely update itself. But if it can, you’ll get an email (sent to the ‘Admin Email’ on the General Settings page) after each update letting you know what worked and what didn’t. If it worked, great! If something failed, the email will suggest you make a post in the support forums or create a bug report.”
Other aspects of the Beta version that developers are encouraged to test out pertains to those who use WordPress in a language that is not English. The Password Meter has been implemented to make passwords much more secure while search results are now ordered by relevance instead of only by date.
Not For Production Sites
As always, it is important for WordPress users to be fully aware that Version 3.7 is still in development, and therefore should not be used on production sites. A test site can be set up by those interested in giving the software a try, yet bugs and fixes are not only a consequence but are expected during the Beta process. Those who discover bugs or issues with the Beta software are encouraged to report the issue by submitting a bug report and giving developers time to find a solution before the official release that is slated for October. You can click on the following link to Submit A Bug Report on the WordPress Trac.
If you would like to download the first Beta version of WordPress 3.7 and give it a try while testing it out against your themes, you can do so by downloading the .zip file and implementing the Beta version on a test site.