Wordpress 2.6 Beta 1 Released

Geeks across the land rejoice. Why just the geeks?  Well this release is expected to not have many visible changes.  A lot of those were made with the 2.5 release, so it's time to catch our breath.

Instead, a lot of changes "under the hood" are being made to improve the usability and experience.  Here's the list.

Caching of static files with Google Gears. Speeds up the backend for admins.  It's cool and complicated at the same time.  In a nutshell, Google Gears is a little application you install on your computer.  It will then fetch the static files and information from Wordpress that rarely (if ever) changes.  That way your browser doesn't have to download the item, object, or function every time, thus speeding up the performance.  You may have noticed in WP2.5 that the "Link" and "Add Photo" buttons can take a little time to load.  Well, after the first time it loads, each subsquent load will be instant because Gears will have saved the functionality to your local machine.

Drag-and-drop sortable galleries

Post Revisioning. Wordpress will now save all of your individual post revisions so that you can compare them side by side.  Red highlighted text will indicate text that had been removed.  Green highlighted text will show what was added.  You can then restore any older or previous version of a post from within the system.  Works great for group edited blogs.

A “Press This” bookmark button.

Theme previewing just like you see on WordPress.com

Improved image editing that lets you manage your photos, look, and feel in a more efficient manner.

Onboard word counting in the post editor...for those being paid to blog by the word.

Customizable default avatars. This way you don't see the generic Avatar quite as often.  Gravatars has integrated with other avatar systems to pull in more globally recognized avatars.  Happy commenting.

Updated TinyMCE The little editor tool you use when making posts.

and a lot more.

It has been a while since the last update...even since 2.5.1.  So I hope that means more of the bugs are ironed out before this launch.