The first Beta version of WP 3.2 is out. Though this is more of an evolutionary release, as the release notes point out, there are some significant things you need to note:
- PHP 4.0 will no longer be an option. You need to have at least PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0. This makes me very happy, since I have sometimes been caught napping due to the use of a PHP 5* function causing breakage under PHP 4*.
- IE6 support is being killed. This makes me even happier!! Though I have tried to keep Suffusion running under IE6, it has been a struggle, particularly with respect to certain dynamic sidebar arrangements (I know for sure that some of them don’t work). The official killing of IE6 support means that I can kill IE6 support myself and not feel guilty.
The killing of support for older versions of software has a side-effect that makes me rub my hands with evil laughter. The reason? Plugin authors have to pull up their socks. The two main types of extensions to WP, themes and plugins have very contrasting levels of controls. Themes go through a rigorous and regimented approval process, with a battery of tests, standards compliance checks and so on. Periodically the theme review team goes through existing repository themes, then yanks those which have not been updated for eons.
Plugins are at the other end of the spectrum: once you get space assigned to you in the plugin repository you can check in pretty much what you want. The net result is that plugins often follow poor coding practices, use outdated JS and cause royal conflicts with themes. An example is the one I detailed in a prior post, where incorrectly coded plugins tend to include their JS on all admin pages, resulting in the theme’s admin panel (or other plugins’ admin panels) behaving incorrectly.
In addition there are a handful of other changes, including a new default theme, Twenty Eleven. Do feel free to give the beta a shot on your test sites.
A word about version 3.7.9 of Suffusion: I was on vacation last week, so I couldn’t do much. After my return I have closed the loop on some functionality that I was designing. I should have a version out hopefully by the end of this month.