I’ve been tooling around with WordPress 3.2 since it popped up in the development area. I always keep my development install up to date with the latest version to test and tool around. I also keep my development site open to the public if you’d like to take a peek at the twenty eleven 2011 theme yourself. It’s where I experiment with stuff for myself and others, so I keep it open for people to see what we are working on. I don’t usually post about a new WordPress version until it hits beta. That way I know that the features are pretty well set. So let’s take a look at what’s up!
The very first thing that happened to me when I upgraded is that my site crashed! No problem really, it isn’t all that unusual and is pretty easy to fix most of the time. I started the normal troubleshooting tips. I renamed my 2010 child theme, which reset me to the default theme which is now 2011. That did it. I was in. I don’t know what was wrong with my 2010 child theme, I may try to figure out what was incompatible, or I may not. I don’t plan on sticking with 2010, the whole point of VoodooPress is to learn. So you can bet that as soon as WordPress 3.2 gets to an RC status, I will upgrade VoodooPress, and start building a 2011 child theme. I think we will have a lot of fun together with that!
The next thing I noticed once upgrading my dev server was the dashboard. Here’s a pic of that. Now make note that I use the awesome admin dropdown plugin from Ozh, so this is not totally default. On a standard install, the menu is still on the left, and those icons up top aren’t there. Anyway, I do a lot of my WordPress stuff at work. I am stuck with IE7 currently. No choice, I’m not allowed to upgrade. So at work when I looked at my dashboard I got a lovely IE nag screen which you can see in the image asking me to upgrade. No worries, it can be dismissed with a click. I think the nag is useful, people really should be using modern browsers, especially WP admins!
The next thing that is a big change is the new fullscreen distraction free writing area. It was still a bit buggy for me. I had a hard time getting my cursor into the text area. But, I was warned appropriately that I had an out of date browser, so I don’t care. It worked great at home on Firefox. As long as I’m paying attention I can click in the text area a couple of times to fix the problem. In the distraction free writing screen you have the option to show a toolbar up top, or not. You can have a lovely zen-like writing environment if that is what you want. It’s a nice improvement for the people who use the fullscreen option.
The last big thing you would notice on an upgrade is the new theme. WordPress 3.2 will ship out with 2011. It is a pretty good looking theme really. It will be familiar to you, as it looks similar to twentyten. But man, it has some nice upgrades. It supports all the post formats. It also ships out with Cleaner Gallery which should be pretty cool for those of you who use a lot of images. It makes use of a rotating header image feature. Glancing through the theme, I see a lot of new templates. Many more options. I also see the use of some new hooks available to you. Not to mention there is a basic Theme Options menu available to you, with a light or dark colour scheme and the option to adjust link colours. There are even places to hook into for content above and content below, which I am going to love!
I haven’t had a chance to get into the theme yet. I’ve been pretty tied up at work, and with my degree. But I think there will be some fun times ahead working through the 2011 theme. So keep your eyes peeled. When WordPress 3.2 goes into RC status, I will switch over to 2011 and all our tutorials will be based on that. I will release the full VoodooChild 2010 theme in case anybody wants to dig through the code and see what they can learn. And we will start on the VoodooChild 2011 theme together!