WordPress 3.0

by Christopher Paul on August 1, 2006

I know that WordPress 2.0.4 just came out and 2.1 is in QA right now but I can’t help but want WordPress 3.0 to come out.

WP 2.0.4 is fine for most days where I simply write up a quick observation on the world.  The admin panel is fine for most days – I actually like how it can simple and powerful at the same time.  There are moments when I search for a setting or feature in vain only to find it in an obscure place but its few and far between (and I can’t say that it hasn’t happened to be with other blogging systems).  The composition window is good with the WYSIWYG editor perfect for most of my needs and the HTML editor spot on when I need it.

There are a lot of nice templates out there to customize – more so than I found for Blogger – and with a few edits of a CSS file, I’m sure it would be easy to create one on your own; I, myself, plan to attempt such a feat very soon.  The power and flexibility of the plug-ins make WP what it is and it’s those templates that make a person’s site unique in its own way.  But WP has some limitations that I find annoying and aggravating.

First off, there is no build in spell checker.  Virtually every other blogging system that I know has one built in and since I’m a horrible speller, I find it hard to get posts out in a timely way.  Not to mention that a misspelled word can totally destroy the continuity of the article and degrade the overall experience of the visitor.  There are plug-ins that supposedly get around this but none of them that I try work.  I think there has to be some sort of spell service running on the server that hosts the WP instance or it won’t work; because I am a noob when it comes to Linux/Unix, Apache, MySQL, and PHP I don’t even know where to begin installing the wspell service.  But the plugins – as great as they can be – are limited in other ways.

Most of the plug-ins are all done in someone’s spare time.  They are hardly updated and very often abandoned but their authors because they lack time or interest.  They either move on to the next thing or they patch what they did here and there which doesn’t always work.  And most of the plugins that I’ve come across are only compatible with WordPress 1.5 – not 2.0+.  Its frustrating for me to read all these (recent) posts, comments, & reviews for these plugins when they don’t work with my version of WP.  Some authors blatantly admit their code doesn’t work in the new version and inform the world that they don’t intend to fix it (others say they’ll get around to it sometime).  If all these plugins worked the way they were supposed to, I’d have an AJAX-ified site with spell checking, gravatars, and who knows what else.

So I’m going to compile a list of demands for the next version of WordPress.  Since 1.5 came out in January of last year, and 2.0 in January of this year, I expect all these features by this coming January.  So without further adieu, here is my list of features WP 3.0 should support:

  • Native AJAX for page, post, and comment navigation; effects could be predefined and available from a clean install.
  • Native video media support; YouTube, Google Video, Flash, MOV, MPEG, etc should work without a plugin.
  • Spell Checker for WYSIWYG and pure text editors.
  • Native widget support.
  • Better post by email support; support for HTML needs to be better.
  • Built in cron job support; why should I run a plugin to kick off a cron job?
  • Better cache system; I’ve disabled cache on all my blogs because it causes anomalies I can’t fix.
  • Formal or better plugin system; too many of these plugins are hacks and not good code.

That’s all I can think of for now.  I’m sure there will be more as I troll through the plugin sites for something I might want to include.  But as a general rule of thumb, many Web 2.0 technologies center around offering services for bloggers (site metering, feed management, etc.) but there is very little Web 2.0 in our blogging software; I would argue that for WP to maintain its popularity, it has to inovate faster than the companies that build business models around it.  Otherwise, WP will lose out to hosted MT, Text Pattern, Blogger, and Drupal.

I love WordPress but it needs to be better for me to stick with it.  At the very least, can we get a spell checker?

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