WordPress 2.9 was officially released today and contains 509 changes from 2.8. It continues WordPress’ development towards being the most extendable and intuitive web publishing platform. There are a lot of great developments in this release that excite me. Below I highlight three front end and three back-end changes that I’m particularly excited for.

  • User Enhancements

  • Integrating Image editing – Aaron Hockley from Social Photo Talk has this pretty well covered in a post and video. Check it out if you’re a photo blogger
  • Media embedding Alex aka viper007bond has been making embedding videos and other media easier for thousands of WordPress users with his quicktags plugin. Now you don’t even have to worry about adding a plugin. There are 14 providers included in the core that should cover many of the your needs. Adding another oembed provider is as easy as adding the following code to your theme’s functions.php file: wp_oembed_add_provider( ‘http://site.com/watchvideo/*’, ‘http://site.com/oembedprovider’ ); You can also allow any user with the unfiltered_html capability (just admins on a standard install) the ability to discover any oembed provider with the following in your theme’s functions.php file add_filter(’embed_oembed_discover’, create_function(‘$a’,’return true;’));
  • Trash – No more are you sure you want to delete this pop ups. No more “OH SHIT” moments because you deleted instead of published a post. Now, you can place any u wanted posts in the trash where they will sit for 30 days. You are welcome to change the length of time that posts are trashed by adding the following to your wp-config.php file define( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 7 );
  • Backend Enhancements

  • Comment Meta – Comments now have a database table for storing all sorts of goodness. What can be stored here? Well really the sky is the limit. Comments are now almost as flexible as posts.
  • Themes can now control the boxes that show up in the post editor. Right now it just supports post thumbnails, but this is really just the start. If you want to enable post thumbnails, add the following your theme’s functions.php file add_theme_support( ‘post-thumbnails’ );
  • Database repair and optimization is now easier. All it takes is adding define(’WP_ALLOW_REPAIR’, true); to wp-config.php and then visiting yoursite.com/wp-admin/maint/repair.php to either repair or optimize your database.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on what’s changed and what I’m excited about. What are you most excited about in 2.9?  Download it and let me know what you think.