WordPress 3.6 is Finally Here

WordPress 3.6 has dropped.

WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg today announced the release of the latest version, which includes “bullet-proof” autosave and post locking, a revamped revision browser, native support for audio and video embeds and improved integration with Spotify, Rdio and SoundCloud.

Oscar Peterson
WordPress 3.6 has been named in honor of jazz great Oscar Peterson.

WordPress 3.6 is available to download from WordPress.org

The release is called “Oscar” in honor of Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

WordPress core developers share a love of jazz music, and since version 1.0 all major releases are named in honor of jazz musicians they admire.

There are a number of user features:

  • The new Twenty Thirteen theme, inspired by modern art, puts focus on your content with a colorful, single-column design made for media-rich blogging.
  • Revamped revisions save every change and the new interface allows you to scroll easily through changes to see line-by-line who changed what and when.
  • Post locking and augmented autosave will be a boon for sites where more than a single author is working on a post. Each author now has their own autosave stream, which stores things locally as well as on the server (so much harder to lose something) and there’s an interface for taking over editing of a post, as demonstrated beautifully by our bearded buddies in the video above.
  • Built-in HTML5 media player for native audio and video embeds with no reliance on external services.
  • The menu editor is now much easier to understand and use.

Developer features include:

  • A new audio/video API provides access to metadata like ID3 tags.
  • You can now choose HTML5 markup for things like comment and search forms, and comment lists.
  • Better filters for how revisions work, so you can store a different amount of history for different post types.
  • Tons more listed on the Codex, and of course you can always browse the over 700 closed tickets.

The features were part of a video shown during Mullenweg’s State of the Word at WordCamp San Francisco.

Version 3.6 was was originally planned for release on April 22, but that date came and went.

Icons and a new post formats UI were originally planned to be big features of 3.6, but the icons were withdrawn in February and post formats in May.

In his State of the Word address at WordCamp San Francisco last weekend, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg said work on new icons became part of MP6. In an AMA on reddit yesterday, Mullenweg said MP6 was planned for release as part of WordPress 3.8, which he will personally lead development on.

Lead developer Mark Jaquith announced on May 30 the UI would be stripped from core to live as a plugin. At the time he said there seemed to be a “fundamental issue with the concept” and the release of 3.6 “can’t be held up any longer for this. It needs to come out.”

Have you downloaded WordPress 3.6? What do you think? Tell us in the comments below?

Image credits: Titanas, Tom Marcello.

Comments (14)

  1. Am I the only one wondering why the media support is “baked in”? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice feature(s) but why must it be core? Why must the core take on that responsibility? Doesn’t the core team have anything more important to work on? Does the core really need more things to make it sluggish and slow?

    For example, last I read, there was supposed to be better support for customizing post status. Is there? I didn’t see anything?

    Again, the cool bells and whistles will play well with the WP.com crowd. But in terms of moving to a developer friendly CMS I feel kinda let down.

    Just me? Again?

  2. I’d like to add – read: rant some more :) – that all the new functions look to be undocumented. From a WP dev’s perspective the Codex *is* the product. To say that the product is completed, tested and ready to ship and there are blank Codex pages. Well, what is this 1998?

    At the risk of sounding like a kiss-ass (#Scarcasm) when is Automattic going to take the product (as a dev framework) serious? That is, shipping without complete and usable documentation is a dated approach to product dev.

    IMHO, of course ;)

    • @ChiefAlchemist, I’ve always seen WP as having a bad case of schizophrenia. Or maybe it’s schizoframeworkia. Ouch.

      It wants at one and the same time to be a great site-building and blogging tool for the masses AND a world-class development environment/framework. That has been tried dozens if not hundreds of times in the history of software. It has never worked. Not once. WP won’t pull it off either.

      Either WP will come to recognize that and spin off the dev platform or someone will come up with an overlay that will expose WP as the really app-agnostic development platform it can become. Meanwhile, emphasis is clearly on its use by non-technical designers and relatively technically naive end users.

      • @Dan_Shafer7

        Agreed. Good to hear (i.e., it’s not just me).

        I think WP.com (and similar) are great. But it would be nice if every now and then Automattic stopped tossing us (read: developers) their leftovers and actually put us in the top spot for a moment or two.

        Basically, they decide what’s best for WP.com, go in that direction, and then let us use those functions, etc. Even that isn’t that bad…if the 30 new product features weren’t 100% undocumented. What kind of product manager approved shipping a half-baked product? Again?

  3. Can someone tell me how to get the old Custom Menu page the new one is terrible instead of easy and quick tabs the is now a dropdown which is slow and POINTLESS
    I don’t even know how to assign menus to locations anymore.

    WordPress 3.6 Possibly The update I hate the most because I can’t use it anymore