Friday, December 12, 2008

New WordPress 2.7 Paves the Way for WordPress Social Networks

The popular open source blogging software WordPress has officially released version 2.7, a significant upgrade that makes huge improvements to the user interface, and, more importantly, according to founder Matt Mullenweg, the new code lays the groundwork for WordPress to expand further into the social networking realm.

Automattic, WordPress' parent company, has been working for to expand and integrate the social network features of the BuddyPress plugin ever since BuddyPress creator Andy Peatling joined Automattic earlier this year. While WordPress remains vague about its goals for BuddyPress, clearly, with competitor Movable Type already well on its way to creating an out-of-the-box social network tool, WordPress would like to offer something similar.

Mullenweg writes in the announcement of WordPress 2.7 that the new framework has stripped out the cruft of earlier releases and leaves a "foundation to build tomorrow's WordPress on, to express ideas we haven't been able to before."

Will tomorrow's WordPress include the ability to build your own Facebook? BuddyPress is already available as a development release, but it doesn't look like there will be any major changes or new features to coincide with today's WordPress update.

But for now at least WordPress fans can take advantage of the redesigned WordPress 2.7 interface which makes managing your blog quite a bit easier.

Of course the last time WordPress tinkered with the publishing interface (in version 2.5), the always vocal blogging community reacted negatively, calling it a step backwards. This time though, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who thinks the new interface is anything but stunning.

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