Trying out WordPress 2.1

WordPress 2.1 was released 2 days ago, and today I’ve installed it on this blog, replacing the remains of an earlier installation of the Hebrew version of WordPress 2.05 (which was mostly messing up my admin interface, since my blog isn’t in Hebrew).

Geekish rambling below.

So far it feels less annoying upgrading from 2.0x to 2.1 – there are less cool-but-broken new features to distract. This version is supposed to have automatic saving of posts as you edit them – the Web2.0 version of MS Word’s old and annoying autosave. But so far I haven’t seen this happen, or seen evidence that it’s happening. The only sign of a change here is that it no longer warns you when you try to navigate away from the edit post page – you just silently lose whatever you were working on (and because of the fancy features added to the editor, you don’t have the simple browser feature of going back and having all the unsaved text you entered in a text area restored).

The post editor now lets you tab between a WYSIWYG editor and a text-view editor, which is convenient. In fact, I don’t see any way to see the raw HTML the rich-text editor is working with, which may be for the best.

Ah, looks like autosave is kicking in now… maybe it only works on drafts, not on published posts? That’s silly…

I may have mentioned that I stayed with WordPress 1.5 for a long time because I was using the Live+Press plugin to synchronize my posts to LiveJournal and didn’t want to put too much effort into fixing it to work with WP2 and hebrew. Turns out that there’s a better and simpler plugin called LiveJournal Crossposter that doesn’t mess with text encoding (so you can edit the posts in LiveJournal) and lets you synch all your entries (I don’t want to try that, because I’ve already got entries in LiveJournal). It doesn’t have some of Live+Press’s features (like adding the “currently listening” and “mood” fields, or publishing to multiple different LJ accounts), but it’s simple to install, works with WordPress 2.0, and should be simple to localize to work with Hebrew blogs.

However, it doesn’t work with WordPress 2.1 (according to the plugin compatibility page and my own painful experience – always disable all plugins before upgrading!). Fortunately, this is easily fixed by commenting out a line (here’s my modified version of the LiveJournal Crossposter plugin that works with WordPress 2.1).

WordPress 2.1 apparently has added some support for RTL languages and language direction, but I doubt that this is going to be enough to allow Hebrew WordPress to work as an add-on rather than it’s own distro. I don’t recall any web apps where CSS + a translation was enough to localize the interface.

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