The first beta of WordPress 2.7 is out, and I have to say it’s starting to look good. A couple things that bug me, but overall it’s coming along great.
Before downloading the latest trunk off the WordPress SVN repository, I listened to the newest episode of the WordPress Weekly podcast, which focuses on the WordPress 2.7 admin, specifically from a usability standpoint and the general direction the WordPress team is going with it. Definitely worth a listen.
I really like the customizability of 2.7. You can re-order and hide parts of the Write panel, like in WordPress 2.4 and prior, and the Dashboard is completely customizable now.
The new vertical navigation seems to work fairly well, better than I’d first thought. It’s not perfect, mainly because you have to do some scrolling to navigate it occasionally, but it’s probbly better from a usabilty standpoint than WordPress 2.5’s “click…load page…click” system, and the vertical space allows for more top-level menus, if you like that sort of thing. I’d also like it if you could re-order the navigation items, but alas, you can’t.
Overall it’s nice and clean. The “new design,” doesn’t feel so much like a redesign, but an improvement on the last one. The color scheme’s the same, most of the elements are similar, but they re-structured it a little and made a bunch of visual and usability tweaks.
One thing that I really don’t like is that the post slug is no longer “2.5-style,” but is back to the form it was in WordPress 2.3, a meta box with a form field in it. I much prefered having the small line of dynamic text under the post title field. I edit the post slug fairly often, and I don’t like this change. I hope that the change is either a temporary thing while they work, which is definitely a possibility, and will hopefully go away by the time the final release is out. If not, then the change was likely made in order to bring further customization to the Write panel, allowing you to move or hide the slug field. While that’s all well and good, I don’t like it. My two cents, developers.
Oh, and did I mention that core files can be updated automatically now? I bet it will be worth the upgrade just to not have to manually upgrade next time.
Anyway, I’m excited about 2.7, are you?