WordPress 3.3 Beta 1 gets new media uploader
The first beta of WordPress version 3.3 has been announced by lead developer Ryan Boren. Among the improvements are a new HTML5 media uploader. In previous WordPress releases the uploader used a standard file selection dialog for selecting files to be uploaded, whereas this latest version uses Plupload, an open source upload handler that includes drag and drop functionality. Image resizing is available within the browser. Plupload has fallback methods including Flash and HTML4 for browsers that don't support HTML5.
Several changes have been made for administrators. The backend interface now contains "admin pointers" – small text boxes which are displayed when the user selects part of the interface; the pointers contain information about new features within WordPress. Pointers can be set up not only by the WordPress developers, but also by theme designers who will, in the future, be able to implement them to explain custom theme configuration options. Administrative menu bars which fly-out when hovered over have also been added in this beta. Other changes for the 3.3 release include a new tutorial for beginners, an "adaptive desktop" which automatically resizes itself for mobile devices while retaining the same functionality, and improvements to permalinks which reduce any performance penalties.
WordPress 3.3 is scheduled to be released at the end of November. The beta is available to download, and can be installed on a server or tested using the WordPress Beta Tester plug-in. The beta requires PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0 or above and, as with all WordPress betas, is not intended for use on production web sites. Boren stated that the developers are "doing daily (almost) bug scrubs in #wordpress-dev to drive down the ticket count", and requests that users who discover bugs post them to the WordPress alpha/beta forum or the wp-testers mailing list.
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