State of the word: What to look forward to in WordPress 3.3

With more than 3.5-million downloads since release, WordPress version 3.2 has been received by users worldwide with open arms. A fresh coat of paint applied to the admin interface, as well as noticable performance enhancements and a host of new features demonstrate that WordPress is showing no signs of slowing down.

As has come to be expected from the WordPress development team, the proposed specifications for version 3.3 were drafted just days after the release of 3.2. With distraction-free writing (a “zen mode”, if you will) and a new default theme among the many features of version 3.2, what could be next on the horizon?

At this year’s annual WordCamp San Franscico (which many attendees refer to as the WordPress family reunion), various core members of the WordPress team, including Matt Mullenweg, co-founding developer of WordPress, had much to say about the evolution and current development of WordPress, as well as the future to come and, in particular, version 3.3. While there is surely much to come in version 3.3, one feature that many are anticipating, that was mentioned on several ocassions, is a responsive WordPress admin.

With the recent move to HTML5, CSS3 and responsive CSS media queries, it seems the next logical move is for WordPress to create a responsive admin area that looks appropriate across mobile, tablet, desktop and larger computer monitors. One question I have is, how will this affect the use of the native WordPress mobile applications that have been rolled out across iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows Phone?

Another much-discussed and highly anticipated feature is the revamping of the WordPress’ media management system. While this has been on the cards and in the WordPress Development blog for some time now, it’s great to see it getting the revamp it so willingly deserves. I’m certain the significant delays to this were with good reason and that the end result will be one well worth waiting for.

These are just two of the many features, upgrades and optimisations that are sure to be bundled with WordPress 3.3, we’ll need to wait and see if the rest of the proposed scope is met for this version’s release.

As with all flourishing communities and projects, the WordPress world is never quiet. Along with the proposed specifications for WordPress 3.3’s development, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is rounding to a close. The WordPress file uploader was one of the projects involved in the GSoC. Along with this are WordPress Move and Local Storage Drafts backup (storing drafts using HTML5’s local storage feature, I believe).

For an insight into the current state of WordPress and the WordPress community worldwide, I’d recommend watching Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” 2011 address at the above-mentioned WordPress Family Reunion.

When WordPress 3.3 hits the digital shelves, we’ll be sure to analyse the features that made it in and prepare for version 3.4 and the proposed specifications to come.




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