For those of you who love to be on the cutting edge, you’ll be happy to learn that the Beta 1 version of WordPress 2.8 is now available for download. As always, with these types of releases, we recommend you use it in a test environment, rather than using it on a live website/blog. I usually recommend people wait until the release candidates (RC) before you can be comfortable using it on a live site.

For those interested, here are a few of the things included with the WordPress 2.8 Beta 1 release:

  • New Theme Installer routines
  • Add CodePress syntax highlighting to Theme and Plugin editors
  • Use “Custom Header” for menu text and revise Default theme to reflect change
  • Separate Comments into a separate postbox, from Discussion postbox, on the Edit Post screen
  • Make tags accessible without Javascript on the edit screen
  • Don’t ask for confirmation when marking a comment as spam
  • Don’t notify post author of own comments
  • Allow the dashboard widgets to be arranged in up to four columns as set via the Screen Options tab
  • Add column “Rating” in Administration > Links > Edit
  • Improve installer to help people entering wrong email addresses
  • Per Page option for plugins
  • Show absolute date instead of relative date for scheduled posts
  • Autosave post/page when pressing Control/Command+S
  • Add toggle all button to the Gallery tab in the uploader
  • Support more than one gallery on the same page
  • Add per page option to Screen Options for comments, posts, pages, media, categories, and tags
  • Show Tools menu for all users so they can access Turbo
  • Fix most popular link category list
  • Add description field for tags
  • “Choose a city in the same timezone as you” for Timezone in Administration > Settings > General
  • In upgrade process, provide better explanation for database upgrade message
  • Enforce unique email addresses in Add/Edit users
  • Hide things that need to be available to screen readers via offscreen positioning
  • Use invisible class for hiding labels and legends
  • Use a semantic class name for text targeted to screen readers
  • More PHP Programming Functions

To those who are interested in putting WordPress 2.8 to the test, you can download it here.

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