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Some may have noticed the “Turbo” link in the upper right corner of the admin area. (Remember when computers used to have a Turbo button?) Behind it is a new feature of WordPress.com, support for Gears.

Gears? It is a browser extension like Flash or QuickTime/Media Player. However Gears works with the browser to enhance web based applications. It can create local database and file storage, and run JavaScript in the background to update them without slowing down the browser.

Gears has been in the making for over a year and is well known among the web developers. Currently it supports Firefox versions 2 & 3 and Internet Explorer versions 6 & 7. Safari 3 support is coming soon.

On WordPress.com it is used to store all images and other web page components from the admin area to the user’s PC, speeding up access and reducing unnecessary web traffic.

The speed increase is most noticeable when Internet is slow or on high latency and makes everybody’s blogging experience more enjoyable.

To enable this new feature, click on the “Turbo” link and follow it to Gears’ site to install it in your browser (if not already installed). Then the browser will have to be restarted and after logging back in WordPress, click the “Turbo” link again to give permission to Gears to work on WordPress.com.

After that Gears will download around 200 files and store them on your PC. It will also update them when needed automatically in the background, no other actions are required.

The downloaded files will be used everywhere in the admin interface, speeding up every page load, enabling you to blog at faster than the speed of light.*

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If you’re an iPhone user — and I expect there will be a few more of you on July 11th — these latest updates are for you.

First we’ve updated our mobile interface, which you can reach at m.wordpress.com, to be much more iPhone friendly. It’s still not sexy, but it’s quite snappy and is great for checking your stats, posting an entry, or posting a bookmark on the go.

Second we’ve updated the Prologue theme to be much friendlier to iPhones both for browsing and posting. We now have about half a dozen Prologues that we use internally at Automattic to coordinate our development, support, and even communication with contractors, so I’ve been testing this out pretty heavily over the last few days and it’s quite handy.

I think the iPhone is a pretty exciting new platform, and I think we’ll do more to embrace it in the future. Having such a powerful browser available on the phone really opens up what you can do. I recently picked up a N95 because I’ve heard people compare it favorably to the iPhone, but the web experience is terrible! Once you get used to that touchscreen, it’s hard to go back.

Here are two snapshots of the features in action:

Article source: WordPress.com

After a long time of delay with several deadlines set for release and two RC versions for testing, WordPress 2.5 is officially released today for download.

As mentioned by Matt, this version will bring a great interface and built-in features that previous versions have never offered. Here are the list of features listed by Matt for your information:

Cleaner, faster, less cluttered dashboard — we’ve worked hard to take your feedback about what’s most important in the dashboard and organize things to allow you to focus on what’s important — your blog — and get out of your way. In collaboration with Happy Cog and the community we’ve taken the first major step forward in the WordPress interface since version 1.5.

Dashboard Widgets — the dashboard home page is now a series of widgets, including ones to show you fun stats about your posting, latest comments, people linking to you, new and popular plugins, and of course WordPress news. You can customize any of the dashboard widgets to show, for example, news from your local paper instead of WP news. Plugins can also hook in, for example the WordPress.com stats widget adds a handy double-wide stats box.

Multi-file upload with progress bar — before when you would upload a large file you’d wait forever, never knowing how far along it was. And uploading more than one photo was an exercise in patience, as you could only do one at a time. Now you can select a whole of folder images or music or videos at once and it’ll show you the progress of each upload.

Bonus: EXIF extraction — if you upload JPEG files with EXIF metadata like camera make and model, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, et al. WordPress will extract all the data into custom fields you can use in your template. If you use the EXIF title fields or similar those will be put into their equivalent fields in WP. Most modern digital cameras generate EXIF data.

Search posts and pages — search used to cover just posts, now it includes pages too, a great boon for thoe using WordPress as a CMS. New themes can style or sort pages differently in results.

Tag management — you can now add, rename, delete, and do whatever else you like to tags from inside WordPress, no plugins needed.

Password strength meter — when you change your password on your profile it’ll tell you how strong your password is to help you pick a good one.

Concurrent editing protection — for those of you on multi-author blogs, have you ever opened a post while someone was already editing it, and your auto-saves kept overwriting each other, irrecoverably losing hours of work? I bet that added a few words to your vocabulary. Now if you open a post that someone else is editing, WordPress magically locks it and prevents you from saving until the other person is done. You’ll see a message like below.

Few-click plugin upgrades — if the plugins you use are part of the plugin directory since 2.3 we’ve told you when they have an update available. Now we take that to the next logical step — downloading and installing the upgrade for you. This is dependent a little bit on your host setup, and it may ask you for your FTP password much like OS X or Windows will ask you for a password, but it works well on majority of hosts we were able to test, your mileage may very, plugins in mirror may be larger than they appear.

Friendlier visual post editor — I’m not sure how to articulate this improvement except to say “it doesn’t mess with your code anymore.” We’re now using version 3.0 of TinyMCE, which means better compatibility with Safari, and we’ve paid particular attention this release to its integration and interaction with complex HTML. It also now has a “no-distractions” mode which is like Writeroom for your browser.

Built-in galleries — when you take advantage of multi-file upload to upload a bunch of photos, we have a new shortcode that lets you to easily embed galleries by just putting [ gallery] (without the space) in your post. It’ll display all your thumbnails and captions and each will link each to a page where people can comment on the individual photos. I’ve been using this feature on my blog and have already uploaded over 1,200 pictures into 23 galleries. The shortcode has some hidden options too, check out this documentation.

WordPress.org Screenie

You can read the full list features for developers and more on WordPress blog and download WordPress 2.5 from there.

Download WordPress 2.5

Following my previous posts about the WPdesigner.com for sale and the new owner of the blog, I also mentioned that the new owner must be a Russian-like guy, not American but now he said that he was original Polish and residing in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

Anyway, what we expected from the new owner now was partly disclosed and his plan will mainly be focused on the Themes Club and try to produce one theme/month. It is a great plan as we can see new themes to come every month but not sure about the person will be leading this club as Pawel does not have expertise on this but he must be a good entrepreneur.

I’m Pawel Ciszewski the new owner. I’ll keep this post short and to the point and answer some questions the community has been asking.

Who are you and what are your plans with WPDesigner?

My names Pawel Ciszewski, the names Polish but I’ve was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and currently reside in Miami Beach, FL.

I’m an online entrepreneur who actively pursues many differenet internet ventures and actively acquire sites that I feel are valuable resources to the Internet and will be profitable long term.

What are your plans for wpdesigner?

I will try to keep the blog posts and blog designs as good as they where by SP but that will be a challenge and nobody will replace SP.

Expanding the themes club will be my main objective. I myself won’t be actively posting or building themes, not by expertise and leave that to those who are.

Currently in talks with some well know WP theme designers to take over the building of monthly new themes and blog posting but have not yet determined who will take over that responsibility.

Thanks,

Pawel

Welcome Pawel!

As announced today on the blog of WPdesigner.com, the highest bidder, Pawel Ciszewski now become the new owner of the WPdesigner.com.

In order to get this deal, Pawel Ciszewski must have placed a bid of at least $66,000 USD on the sitepoint. I have not heard so much about this winner as the WPdesigner.com post did not mention in detail about this person, his personality and what he is doing now. But, from his name, we can guess that he is not originally American or Canadian but likely a Russian or European guy. Hope to see further details in the coming days soon.

Here is the announcement of the new bidder:

The new owner is Pawel Ciszewski. If you haven’t been following the auction, I recently sold Wpdesigner.com here.

Other than introducing Pawel, below are some news and review:

  • The themes club will be continued.
  • I will stick around and blog on Wpdesigner.com from time to time while traveling. To get in touch with me, my personal site is at Braintied.com.
  • If you have any question about the sale of Wpdesigner, I will be a part of a one-hour interview at Jeffro2pt0.com on Saturday March 22nd, 9PM EST.

To the small potatoes, thank you for your support and understanding.

We wish the former owner of the WPdesigner.com a great success and hope to see further development from new owner too.

Many bloggers have been waiting for WordPress 2.5 to be released but it has been delayed for several times as a lot of work are still in progress. Further, many bugs have been reported while using the first RC 2.5 V.1. Now, you are encouraged to use the WordPress Release Candidate 2.5 V.2 with more clarifications on issues and bug fixes including a Demo video on how to use this new version too.

2.5 is coming along thanks to the fantastic feedback you guys provided on RC1 (over 580 pingbacks and counting), and we’re now ready to show you a bit more of a peek with a short screencast covering the new dashboard and uploader and Release Candidate 2. First here’s the screencast, which is also available embedded below, as a Flash movie, or as a 17mb AVI download:

I’ve uploaded more than a thousand photos already into the new gallery system — it works.

(This was my first screencast, but I hope we can have more on WordPress.org and our documentation in the future.)

If you make frequent backups and you’re interested in helping us out with development by testing the very latest, download and install Release Candidate 2 of WordPress 2.5, and join our testers mailing list to report any bugs you find in the code.

Finally with regards to theme and plugin compatibility, we’ve had no reports of any broken themes in this upgrade, which makes sense because we didn’t really change anything core about themes, just added new optional capabilities like Gravatars. Plugins that work with the admin may require updating to take advantage of the new, cleaner UI in WordPress 2.5.

The community has started to keep a list here of which plugins work great and which don’t. It’s worth looking at, or even better just deactivate your plugins before upgrading for 2.5 and let the built-in updater notify and give you one-click upgrades to plugins you have installed, assuming the developer is cool and has updated their code for 2.5 already.

Hope the final version will come out sooner, I do not want to use RC3 or 4….


As you all knew in my previous post about the delay of WordPress 2.5 is due tomorrow March 17 and maybe more. Some of you have had opportunity to test the first Demo of the new version and I myself really love it as it is really colorful and you can take control of customizing your WordPress Admin area with several color palette available.

Today, when I visited Web Tools Collection, one of my favorite one on the internet and read an useful post about features of WordPress 2.5 admin and I would like to quote it here for your information and hope that WordPress 2.5 will be available tomorrow morning for download.

This past week of WordPress 2.5 developments saw the addition of changeable color schemes to the 2.5 admin interface.

ColorSchemes

Ryan started us off by announcing that WordPress 2.5 will feature two different color schemes. One color scheme will be called Classic while the other will be Fresh. Fresh will feature the newly redesigned color scheme while Classic will contain darker shades of blue and gray. Now, the only decision is whether to have Classic or Fresh be the default color scheme. So far, it looks like Fresh is winning the race.

If that were not enough, I asked Ryan if this would allow end users to upload style sheets that are created by members of the community into the back end which could then be selected to change the color scheme. Ryan simply answered with “New color schemes can be added as plugins”. For those that need a visual aid, Ozh has published a post which explains how to add a custom stylesheet via a plugin.

And as an added bonus, I think I’ll throw in the fact that the first full fledged WordPress 2.5 administration theme has been released called Fluency. Fluency features a smooth gray color scheme with the main menus displayed in a vertical column on the left hand side of the site and sub menus appearing horizontally across the top.

FluencyScreenshot

This theme does have a few rendering issues. For instance, if you are using FireFox and you have too many entries in the second tier navigation menu, the menu will overlap with the header of the subpage. Also keep in mind that not all plugins will look normal within this theme as was the case with WP-PostRatings. Some plugin Option pages will look incorrect but Dean acknowledges that additional plugin option page support will be added as necessary.

You can change the look and feel of the WordPress 2.5 back end yourself or you can use one of the community produced themes and style sheets to make it look just the way you like. 2.5 is starting to come together and I can hardly wait!

Thanks Jeffro2pt0 for sharing this useful article!