Preview of WordPress 3.0

WordPress 3.0 should be out Real Soon Now(TM), and will include some very exciting changes (I feel like such a nerd, but this is like Christmas — the 3.0 release can’t come soon enough.)

A couple weeks ago, Dougal Campbell posted an overview of his experiencing running the WordPress 3.0 beta, Running on WordPress 3.0-beta. The key feature for me will be the multisite/network/WordPress MU integration, which Campbell doesn’t really talk about.

One of the things I don’t think many people appreciate is the value of running the multisite version of WordPress on what is essentially a single site. For example, once 3.0 is released I plan on enabling the multisite feature on this site so that I can logically separate the different functions I want to do.

For example, along with the main blog, I plan to added a photoblog, transition the Life Stream feature over to WordPress, and add a couple of other related projects. With multisite enabled, I can have each of those logically separated while still appearing on the same site with the same theme and searchable across blogs.

I was also intrigued by Campbell’s description of custom post types in WordPress 3.0 which weren’t quite what I expected them to be,

It’s a whole new layer of content categorization. I can see building an e-commerce site around them to organize products based on manufacturer, brand, features, type, etc. A nice feature of custom post types is that you can customize which pieces of the editor appear for them. Don’t need excerpts? Turn them off. Don’t need post thumbnails (I mean “featured images”) or custom fields? Turn them off. Want to just use the excerpt field, and eliminate the WYSIWYG editor? You can do that. One thing to keep in mind is that they are more like custom page types — custom post types will not appear in your normal post “flow”. They behave a little more like stand-alone pages. If you had the idea that you could use custom post types for creating something like Tumblr, where you have specific post formatting depending on whether you’re posting a link, a photo, or an article (which I’ve seen referred to as “post flavors“), you might have to wait a bit longer. Or figure out how to do it yourself.There’s also been some activity around “custom URL endpoint masks”. I didn’t quite grok the full implications of the patches I saw, but it sure sounds darned exciting. I gather that this will give developers more control over how URLs are built, including the ability to create custom URL structures based on post type. I’d love to see a good write-up on this from somebody who is more familiar with the WP_Rewrite functions.

Now that could be very helpful, especially given how useless pages are in WordPress (well, at least they were useless the last time I tried to use them for more than creating a handful of basic pages like an ‘About’ page).

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