Upcoming changes to the Wordpress core are at the heart of improvements you're going to be seeing over the next few month. The release of 3.0 brought a few major changes which made WP worthy of the dominate title gained over the years among bloggers but still left many issues and challenges dangling like a participle. In fact that was at the heart of the discussion for the Winter sequestration on Tybee Island in Georgia's Golden Isles.
2012's development cycle began officially yesterday (February 1st) with a communication to the development group from Andrew Nacin letting us know of some of the primary goals for the first segment of development effort. Included are some tasks that really won't mean much to you as an end user but are still crucial to the forward momentum of the overall project.
Among the changes which will be highly visible to you being covered in the first part of the cycle is the way the rich text editor treats certain types of punctuation - primarily quotes. In times past you may have noticed if you cut and pasted certain text from say a Microsoft Word document the final output was munged beyond recognition. As a result of some localization process rethinking (and rebuilding) much if not all of this ill effect may be eliminated in the next minor update.
Header dimension, being fixed width and height, has long been an issue. Admittedly it has earned yours truly a fair penny over the years from being retained by a "Wordpress developer" or end user here and there to modify the the code or style to aloow the use of a different size header than out of the box. One of the primary goals is to introduce flexible header sizes thus allowing even a novice theme user to upload and utilize headers of various sizes rather than being required to use a single set of dimensions as required by the majority of themes. Currently a user or developer generally needs to know how to modify the header style and possibly other components either directly in the theme CSS or by creating a child theme. The latter is the appropriate method in most cases.
For those of you running sites getting thousands of hits per day (or more like per hour) you'll be happy to know, as Ryan Boren recapped recently to the development team, performance on busier sites is a target as is revisiting chron performance. Chron handles most of the automated "behind the scenes" work which fires on trigger events including the sever clock.
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I started writing on Active Rain in 2006 when I was representing the mortgage industry. I am no longer in that industry and many of the older posts contain outdated information. Please do not contact me for LENDING or MORTGAGE questions but rather contact a licensed mortgage professional from your area. I have always been in marketing and branding and that is still what I do. Thanks for reading!