WordPress.org just released, ahead of schedule, the 2.6 version of WordPress – the backend that runs this blog. Some of the new features are much appreciated – live preview of themes, wordcount, post revision history, and a more robust image control box.
I just did the upgrade, which went smoothly, for the most part. The only hitch I encountered was re-activating plugins. After re-activation, the whole admin backend crashed and started giving code errors. To fix it, I had to re-name the plugins folder (thereby deactivating all), and go through one by one and re-activate plugins, and upgrade them to the latest version.
One of the coolest features in 2.6 is the new usage of Google Gears. Gears is an add on for IE and Firefox, which lets wordpress store core files locally on the computer, instead of needing to load them up from the web for every page. This significantly increases interface responsiveness, especially for new AJAX’y features.
I’m glad to see that Google Gears is starting to gain a little bit more traction. Before this, my only regular usage of gears was with Google Reader, which will let you cache rss feeds for offline viewing. I always use this feature, especially when flying – hop on the web in the airport terminal before I board my flight, sync up with the latest news in reader, piece through it all on the plane, and re-sync when I land.