What Joomla People Need to Know About WordPress 3.0

Wordpress 30.0I had the chance to attend Wordcamp Atlanta on Saturday. It was a well-run event in a great location: the Savannah College of Art and Design.

The best presentation was the keynote delivered by Jane Wells who is the User Experience lead from Automattic.

Here’s her rundown of where WordPress is going in 2010, head-lined by the release of WordPress 3.0. A lot of WordPress’ successes and problems have lessons for us in the Joomla world.

WordPress and WordPress M.U. Will Merge

Multisite capability will be native in WordPress 3.0. Running two separate versions of WordPress was meaning too much duplicated work by core and 3rd party developers. This has long been part of Drupal but is still lacking in Joomla, even with 3rd party addons.

Custom Post Types

C.C.K. is coming to WordPress. Its been long-established as a part of Drupal and has recently arrived en-masse in the Joomla world. WordPress is catching up and 3.0 will allow you to create custom fields and define multiple post types.

Canonical Core Plugins Will Get Official Support

Yes, “canonical” is a stupid word … does it refer to pirate ships? “Canonical plugins” were originally meant to be officially-support plugins that will be more-or-less integrated into the WordPress core, including the core development tracks. So it made sense to change the name to the much more logical “core plugins”. Efforts will be made to combine development efforts so that instead of 50 broken Twitter widgets that will be one officially-supported Twitter widget that works. Emulating the Drupal model anyone?

Daily Dev Updates Via Blog

The WP devs aim to provide daily updates at http://wpdevel.wordpress.com. Different groups are scheduled to report on a different day of the week. The first few posts? Some very useful, some not so much.

Core Themes for Specific Purposes

Kubrick, the current default theme, will be scrapped – that’s for sure. There’s also talk of providing more core themes for different audience. Rather than just including random themes, there would be a default theme for magazines, another for blogs etc.

Code of Conduct

WordPress badly needs a Code of Conduct for its community. As a result, whereas 25% of U.S. computer programmers are female, less than 1% of WordPress devs are. There are behavior problems in the community (in fact, they were on display at this Wordcamp) and a Code of Conduct for community members is coming.

Usability is Being Taken Seriously and Internationally

Usability testing is either not done or its done on a small subset of users … people walking past a San Francisco coffee shop on a weekday afternoon, for example. WP aims to run usability tests in over 30 countries and languages.

Overhaul for WordPress.org and Its Themes / Plugins Directory

There was an admission that WordPress.org was not doing a great job and that the themes and plugins directories were hard to navigate. The sites will be overhauled with an emphasis on community, including the ability to more easily see each users contributions to the community.

GPL Debates Rage On

The GPL discussions are alive and kicking in WordPress. The next goal for the WP team is to convince more theme developers to go GPL.

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