WordPress 3.9, “Smith”, has just been released. It is named after James Oscar “Jimmy” Smith.
WordPress 3.9 is the hard result of hard work from 267 contributors. The WordPress 3.9 release was led by Andrew Nacin and Co-led by Mike Schroder.
I will have Andrew and Mike, plus three additional contributors on a live hangout tomorrow at 2 p.m. Eastern time, and we’d love for you to join us.
Get to know Smith first with this introductory video, produced by Mike Pick.
User facing features
There are many new and exciting features in WordPress 3.9 for users. Let’s go through those, then the stuff that’s behind the scenes.
WordPress 3.9′s most notable features for every day users are editing enhancements.
TinyMCE has been updated so that the visual editing experience is better than ever. Paste from Microsoft Word? Gone. Simply paste. Ever used WordPress from a mobile device? The editor now adapts much better to that environment.
TinyMCE is also faster, with fewer bugs. This is a good day for writing in WordPress.
Developers that integrate with TinyMCE should read up on the updates, especially this one.
Image uploading, handling, and editing
Love drag and drop? Plupload, the engine WordPress uses for managing drag and drop interfaces, has gotten a nice upgrade. This allows WordPress to extend it so that drag and drop uploads can be done right on top of TinyMCE, and don’t even require clicking the “Add Media” button first.
Developers can learn about some of the technical parts of the Plupload upgrade as well.
Previously, if you inserted an image, then wanted to edit it, the process was quite annoying. You were presented with a thickbox, and you couldn’t change the image size. Now, there’s an entirely new interface.
This dialog box is a drastic improvement. When you want to edit the original image, you simply click the button, and the content of this dialog switches to the editing interface, without redirecting to the clunky media page of old.
When the image is in the editor, you can simply drag the handlebars if you want to resize it a bit inline.
Playlists for audio and video
Playlists are now available with a new shortcode in WordPress 3.9. Simply add your audio or video through the “Add Media” modal, and a playlist option will show up for you.
Through this modal, you can manage and edit audio and video playlists through screens similar to the image management and editing screens. The options are truly extensive, including poster image options per item, fallback media types for video, and much more.
Users can also use the playlist shortcode directly in the editor, even to external sources for the URLs. And with the type parameter, can specify a playlist to be for video.
On the front-end, most themes should support these new media playlists without any changes needed. Here’s a screenshot of mine, working perfectly with a two year old theme.
And it only gets better from there. Check out Scott Taylor’s walk-throughs and the post on his personal blog to see all the things you can do with playlists.
Widgets are completely revamped in WordPress 3.9. Now, widgets can be managed and previewed live, just like you already could with the theme customizer. Read Full Post