WordPress 3.7 “Basie” Now Available

WordPress 3.7 “Basie” Now Available

WordPress 3.7 has dropped.

In a short and sweet post at WordPress News, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg today announced the latest release was now available to download or update from the WordPress dashboard.

Mullenweg said version 3.7 featured “some of the most important architectural updates we’ve made to date.”

William "Count" Basie

Version 3.7 has been named “Basie” in honor of American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader and composer William James “Count” Basie.

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

WordPress 3.7 Major Features

Automatic Updates: Maintenance and security updates are now automatic so you don’t have to manually update your WordPress install. Most sites are now able to automatically apply these updates in the background. The update process has also been made even more reliable and secure, with dozens of checks and safeguards. Just to clarify, automatic updates are for minor updates of core, so from 3.7 to 3.7.1, not 3.7.1 to 3.8.

Stronger Password Recommendations: The password meter has been strengthened using Dropbox’s zxcvbn library. Engineer Dan Wheeler developed the open source estimator as an independent Dropbox hackweek project. The estimator catches common patterns and doesn’t penalize sufficiently complex passphrases like “correcthorsebatterystaple”. Wheeler’s post on the Dropbox Tech Blog offers a detailed rundown of how the estimator works and how it compares to estimators used by sites like Facebook, Gmail and Yahoo!

Better global support: Localized versions of WordPress will receive faster and more complete translations. This version adds support for automatically installing the right language files and keeping them up-to-date, which is fantastic for everyone out there who uses WordPress in a language other than English.

Other WordPress 3.7 Features

There are other features in this release that didn’t get a mention in the official announcement:

Improved Search Results: Search results are now ordered by how well the search query matches a post instead of ordered only by date. So if your search query matches the title of a post, that result will be pushed to the top.

Advanced Date Queries: Developers can now query for posts within a date range or that are older than or newer than a specific point in time, i.e. search for all posts written on Friday afternoons.

Multisite Improvements: wp_get_sites() allows developers to easily get an array of all the sites on your network without resorting to a direct database query.

The 3.7 development cycle also focused on cleaning up more than 3500 open Trac tickets. So far, only a few hundred have been closed, but many, many more have been looked at and this cycle has certainly gone some way to tidying up Trac.

The Quickest Release Cycle in WordPress History

This cycle has been the quickest turnaround between major versions – just 86 days – in the history of WordPress. WordPress 3.6 was released on August 1.

Mullenweg said this was also the first release using the new plugin-first development process he flagged during his State of the Word address at WordCamp San Francisco.

He said WordPress 3.8, due out in December, will continue this plugin-led development cycle, which gives more autonomy to plugin leads and allows core developers to “decouple” feature development from a release.

Mullenweg gave props to 211 contributors for this release, but lead developer Andrew Nacin and co-leads Dion Hulse and Jon Cave deserve most of the credit for this release.

Have you downloaded WordPress 3.7? What are your first impressions? Tell us in the comments below.