WordPress 2.5 Released

WordPress 2.5 was released a few hours ago. The timing was good since it gave me an excuse to put off some chores, so I downloaded it and updated my test site.

The update was unexpectedly smooth. I expected some plugin problems but only had one. Here’s my experience and impressions so far:

  • The one plugin problem I had was with Popularity Contest. It was listed as compatible but I had a fatal error when starting it after the upgrade. A Google search showed I wasn’t alone and someone had already resolved the problem. Thomas at Blogvaria published a solution. The problem occurs with Popularity Contest 1.3b3. The core of the fix is:

Open popularity-contest.php and scroll down to line 59. Replace require(’../../wp-blog-header.php’); with require(’../wp-blog-header.php’);

  • I use the Sandbox Theme and noticed that Sandbox 1.5.1 was released for WordPress 2.5 so I upgraded to that along with WordPress 2.5. This wasn’t so bad since I’d kept editing the theme files to a minimum and had commented those sections. I’d already updated all my plugins to current versions.
  • Prior to WordPress 2.5 there was a bug where a post would be cut off in the feed when the “More” tag was used, even if full text feeds were enabled. Since WordPress 2.5 fixes this the the Full Text Feed plugin is no longer needed.
  • My widgets were blown away by the upgrade and I had to recreate them.
  • The footer on the admin pages still says “You are using a development version (2.5).” even though I downloaded the production release. I hope (and also assume) it’s just an oversight in the code and not that an older version was packaged up.
  • I was able to use the built-in editor to compose and edit posts in Safari 3.1 (on a Mac). Earlier versions of WordPress would mess with the formatting, the most noticeable being the removal of line breaks making the post one long paragraph. I typically use Microsoft Live Writer so this isn’t a big issue for me but still a nice change.

The most visible change, and the one that’s most talked about, is the redesign of the admin Dashboard. I haven’t installed any of the beta versions so other than some screenshots it’s all new to me. My first impression is I like it. It’s different so it takes some getting used to, but it’s intuitive. The enhancements to photo editing (Galleries and smart Exif handling) along with the the redesigned compose screens may make browser based editing more attractive.

WordPress 2.5 has made enough of a good impression on me that I may decide to upgrade this site later this weekend rather than waiting until next weekend. So don’t be surprised if the site goes offline for an hour or two this weekend.

More Information:

WordPress.org – Download and information.

Release Announcement – Includes an overview of all the changes.

Screencast of the admin dashboard.

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