WP2.1 on the Way. Is Your Blog Ready?

The folks at WordPress sent out a friendly warning to developers and bloggers alike: the new version of WP is going to have some significant changes to it’s core, and they’re very likely to affect plugins:

Development Blog ? Is your plugin Naughty or Nice?

WordPress 2.1 is almost here and you know what that means for developers. It?s time to pull out those old plugins you?ve had stashed, blow off the dust and start applying some spit and polish and make sure it will last longer than Grandma?s Ham and Bean soup that has been sitting in the refrigerator for weeks. Many of the big changes in WordPress 2.1 are MySQL related so grab a pen and paper (or open Notepad) and start taking notes.

I have to say that I’m a bit confused as to why a new version that makes such significant changes to the database constitutes a sub-version rather than an entirely new WP3.0, but I guess if its your product, you get to name it what you want.  In any event, plugin-monkeys like myself need to pay special attention to the changes found here so we can be ready.  I don’t often write my own plugins, but I’ve got one widgetized plugin that’s out there for public consumption, and I use TONS of plugins to make this page work.

The big thing is that when you upgrade you pay careful attention to the directions they give out for all new versions: make sure you disable all your plugins before upgrading, and make sure you turn them on one at a time to find out which ones work with the new version and which ones do not.  That last bit is critical this time, because if the developer used the now-eliminated wp_ functions, it’s likely to crash your blog with an ugly SQL error and eliminate your ability to access even the Admin area.

It’s a shame that they cannot develop a version of WP that does not crash so hard.  It seems like it should be possible to create WP such that it exits gracefully and at least gives you access to the Admin area when the shit hits the fan, but I presume that it is not, in fact, possible.  Forcing the inexperienced to delete files through FTP takes them well outside of the GUI world you gave them, which probably causes a fair amount of anxiety in the noobies out there.

So, put that on my wish-list along with a customizable Admin page.  Give me those two, and I’m all set.

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By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.