Next WordPress release looking great

I downloaded the first ‘Release Candidate’ version of WordPress version 2.5 with a sense of trepidation. New functionality often means added complexity. But I’m happy to report, my fears were unfounded. It looks fantastic.
The most striking change is the colour scheme: the ‘classic’ dark blue style is now joined by a more chilled, muted option – and, apparently, the ability to implement your own colour schemes too. I can see that being popular with clients: it won’t actually amount to anything, and I doubt I’ll be able to charge for it, but it will make the tool feel ‘theirs’.
Most of the same options are in more or less the same places, but there’s been a bit of gentle juggling to put all the important things in the most prominent locations. They’ve done a fine job of improving usability without losing familiarity. Plus there are significant improvements to tag management and the media library, which are most welcome.
The only real disappointment is in page management. I’m surprised they haven’t come up with a ‘drag and drop’ method of handling page hierarchy; we’ve had ‘drag and drop’ sorting of sidebar widgets for a while, and it’s not as if the necessary Javascript isn’t out there. (In fact, whilst I’m no expert, I suspect most of the necessary Javascript is already inside the WordPress package somewhere.) There’s a note on the page authoring screen which says: ‘We know this is a little janky, it’ll be better in future releases.’ – but there’s no indication of whether that means ‘the next release candidate’ or ‘the next full version’.
I’m not brave enough to move any production sites over to the release candidate just yet; but suffice to say, I’ll be upgrading as soon as I can. The WordPress development blog says it’s ‘basically done and stable, and could be released today’ – so expect it to emerge imminently.

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