In what has been dubbed a “quiet Beta testing period” for the WordPress development team, Lead Developer Andrew Nacin announced Thursday that the second beta release for WordPress 3.7 has now been made available to the public. As with all Beta releases, Nacin highly recommends that WordPress users be wary about using the latest release on an actual production site. Instead, he advises website administrators to run it on a test site and to report any new bugs that are found.
Although the overall development of WordPress 3.6 took the better part of a year, the current development period has been much smoother, with an actual release slated for next week. This is good news for WordPress users who are anxious to get their hands on new features that are expected to be tweaked in these next few days and made available to all by the end of next week.
Upcoming Features For WordPress 3.7
Support for language packs has been a high priority and a must-have for those who use WordPress in a language other than English. The upcoming WordPress 3.7 will feature additional support for language packs; and could even maintain language files on its own for default themes and plugins. For those using WordPress in another language, this could potentially mean that WordPress will – in the future – automatically obtain the corresponding language files with each new update. This process will save quite a bit of time for those who are not fluent in English or have become accustomed to using WordPress in another language.
Another nice tool that is expected to come out next week with the full release is an improved search tool. Those of us who use WordPress on a daily basis are well aware that there are improvements that could be made to the search function, and results will now be sorted by relevancy instead of the traditional chronological order. Although this won’t make any big waves for many WordPress users, it is a much needed enhancement and could save a significant amount of time when searching for files.
Receiving a “hint” on whether your password strength is strong or weak (or somewhere in between) is a small yet handy tool for reminding new users that security is of utmost important at all times. This may persuade some novice users to be more wary about inserting easy to guess passwords with just a few characters that could easily be compromised. As always, it’s a good idea to make passwords as difficult to guess as possible by using more than the required minimum amount of characters and incorporating letters, numbers and symbols randomly.
Automatic updates will also be a part of WordPress 3.7. This service is already available to those who use managed WordPress hosting, yet this will now be accessible to other WordPress users as well.
Quotes From Nacin
In his October 10th blog post, WordPress lead developer Andrew Nacin stated, “This has been a quiet beta period. We’re hoping to get some more testers for automatic background updates, which will occur for security and minor releases (like updating from 3.7 to 3.7.1). It’s really easy to test this, as Beta 2 will update each day to the latest development version and then email you the results. If something goes wrong, you can report it — it’s that simple. To get the beta, try the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (you’ll want ‘bleeding edge nightlies’). Or you can download the beta here (zip). Check out Dashboard → Updates to see if your install is eligible for background updates. WordPress won’t update if, for example, you’re using version control like SVN or Git.”
We’re anxiously awaiting the full release of WordPress 3.7. Be sure to let us know what you think about the upcoming release by leaving a comment below.