WordPress 3.2 Editor – Distraction free writing

When I first used the new WordPress 3.2 I was struck by the contrast between the new and previous version user interface design. WordPress developers have created a stunningly faster and lighter version of the already innovative WordPress blogging software.

Looking back just a few years, I now see a huge evolutionary leap forward with the latest WordPress release. Drupal was my first experience with blogging software. After using Drupal for some months I got fed up with the backwards nature of the user interface. Drupal seemed very well throughout from a programer php/mysql database point of view, but from the end users point of view it was very confusing and overly complicated.
After Drupal. I found Joomla. Joomla enabled users with very limited experience to build elaborate websites. With the evolution of Joomla users got better integrated features and more practical extension development.
Like Drupal, Joomla seemed overly complicated sometimes when it came to content. Content could only be organized into section/categories. While section/categories seemed logical as a API development point of view it failed to provide the simple method of dealing with taxonomy.
My first experience with WordPress was the 1.0 version. I liked the simplicity of the user interface, and the fact that it could be extended rather easily. I had grown tired of the maintenance of over 100 Joomla Websites. This is why I was looking at WordPress. The Joomla CMS was great for elaborate websites, but it proved to large and unwieldy to manage. Add to that a complicated upgrade process, and having more than a hundred Joomla sites became a nightmare to keep secure.
WordPress offered one click upgrades, and easy organization of content. Creating content was also simplified with a great built-in WYSIWYG. More importantly WordPress was proving to be a formidable tool for SEO experts. WordPress blogs yielded more traffic and better ranking for competitive keywords.
  • Faster release cycle than 3.1 — More focused release.
  • The theme is “faster, lighter.” Dropped support for outdated technologies.
  • List Tables API improvements – API for third party use and more flexibility.
  • List Table XHR loading — To be investigated only after List Table API has stabilized.
  • PHP 5.2 (5.2.4, specifically) to be required.
  • MySQL 5 to be required.
  • Distraction Free Writing (My Favorite Concept!!!). This is the headline “ooh, shiny” user feature. Replaced old fullscreen interface implementation with something more beautiful, more useful (in terms of line-length and font size), and simpler (only limited RTE functionality). Developers looked at WriteRoom, OmmWriter and others for inspiration. Koop is investigating this, and may crank out a quick plugin to jump-start development efforts
  • Upgrade improvements. Changed-files-only upgrades can be done with zero changes to core. For the first effort, let’s just do updates to the latest point-point from within the same major version. So, 3.2 to 3.2.2 and 3.2.1 to 3.2.2. Optionally consider scanning for changed core files and offering them a full upgrade to overwrite those changed files. Skip the wp-contents directory when upgrading (no more upgrading the default theme or bundled plugins).
  • Speed improvements. There are a bunch of little things the devs did do to make WordPress load or at least “feel” faster.  They also made the dashboard faster by not doing async requests for panes if the cache is hot. Finally the devs made some FTP improvements that should make upgrades a lot faster for people using a certain FTP server.

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