WordPress 3.1 has been out for almost a month now and is pretty much stable. Now, that the last major release of WordPress is out of the way, the developers have already started to focus on the next version; WordPress 3.2.
According to a blog post by the lead developer at WordPress; Mark Jaquith, the plans for WordPress 3.2 include several new and exciting changes which will make WordPress more faster and lighter than ever before. WordPress 3.2 will also have a faster release cycle than WordPress 3.1 and include several other changes.
Dropping PHP4 and MySQL4 Support – Welcome PHP5 and MySQL5
For starters WordPress 3.2 will drop support for PHP4 and MySQL4 and will require users to use PHP 5.2 and MySQL5. However, the developers have been asked to refrain from using PHP5 specific code in this build.
In addition to that WordPress 3.2 may also include a nag for IE6 users and ask them to “use a real browser”. This change is related to the BrowseHappy campaign.
Distraction Free Writing in Admin Panel
The Admin write panel may get a major overhaul with WordPress 3.2. The Full screen editor may get a overhaul similar to WriteRoom where users can focus on writing and avoid distractions. It will be interesting to see how this shapes up. One of the developers is actively working on this and may release a plugin for distraction free writing well before WordPress 3.2 comes out.
Improvements in Auto Upgrading
WordPress 3.2 may have better support for upgrading your installation. The developers will focus more on upgrading just the updated files rather than upgrading the entire installation and core files.
WordPress can slow down a website, specially with a large database. Also the admin menu loads a bit slowly at times. WordPress 3.2 will address the speed issues by introducing PHP lazy loading and disabling certain things which leads to the slowdown.
The new features in WordPress 3.2 have not been revealed yet, but from the WordPress 3.2 plans definitely look interesting. Speed and stability are a major part of any platform and outdating older versions of PHP4 and MySQL4 should help with adding more features in the future.
WordPress 3.2 is just a stepping stone towards adding more speed, stability and features to the best blogging platform in the world.