WordPress 3.2 brings Zen editing to blogging
WordPress founder and lead developer Matt Mullenweg has announced the release of version 3.2 of WordPress, a major update to the open source blogging and publishing platform. The project's fifteenth major release comes less than 24 hours after it announced that WordPress 3.1 had been downloaded more than 15 million times since its release four months ago.
According to Mullenweg, the focus of the 3.2 release was "making WordPress faster and lighter". Code-named "Gershwin" after noted composer and pianist George Gershwin, WordPress 3.2's Admin user interface has been refreshed and the visual editor has been redesigned with support for a "Zen mode" for a full-screen distraction-free environment for writing posts. A new default HTML5 theme called "Twenty Eleven", based on the popular Duster theme, has been added. The update system now includes support for incremental upgrades, meaning that users will be able to update their WordPress 3.2.x installations "faster than ever" on all hosting platforms.
Other changes include performance improvements that result in faster page loads, the addition of more links on the admin bar and the removal of the favorites menu. The developers note that the major update also drops support for Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and kicks off the End-of-life (EOL) cycle for Internet Explorer 7 (IE7).
As previously reported, WordPress 3.2 now requires PHP 5.24 and MySQL 5.0.15 or later; the change comes nearly one year after they originally announced that PHP 4 and MySQL 4 would be reaching their End-of-Life (EoL). Users can use the Health Check plug-in to check if they are ready for 3.2 by signing into their dashboard, going to Plug-ins -> Add New and searching for "health check". Once installed, it will advise users if they need to update any parts of the WordPress installation.
Further information about the major update, including a full list of changes and a short video, can be found in the announcement news post, on the WordPress Version 3.2 Features page and in the change log. WordPress 3.2 is available to download from the project's web site. Alternatively, 3.1.x users can update automatically via the Dashboard > Updates menu in the site admin area. WordPress source code is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2).