OK, so I realize that the official stable version of WPMU is not out just yet. But still and all, I’m running the latest beta on this site and it’s quite stable so far. I’ve not seen so much as a single error yet. Then again, the day is still young, so to speak.
Of course, this marks WPMU’s foray into the new admin layout and while it’s markedly different than the previous two itterations, its slowly revealing itself to be a real improvement to the system. The last revamping was really just a reimagining of the same basic WP layout and maybe not quite bold enough to be a real usability improvement. They rearranged some things and changed some font sizes, but ultimately it was the same top nav design.
Now that we’re into the left hand navigation style, I think it’s going to work. My one complaint is that it would be better if we were able to move stuff around, either within the submenus or moving top-level stuff where we want it in the list. I can’t tell you, for example, when the last time was that I used the “Links” for anything at all on this or any other site.
There’s a bunch of new features as well, including a quick post area on the Dashboard and the ability to reply to comments on the comment moderation screen. Both of these things will be welcome additions to the site, especially my political site. Having to constantly go to the front page, click the article and then reply has been a source of endless irritation in the old version of WP. Jotting down quick notes to the world is more easily accomplished from the Dashboard while you’re working on other things. That’s handy.
There is also a more intelligent “Publish” window to the right of the writing window on the Add New Post screen. Now the buttons in this section more closely reflect the status of the article you’re working on, displaying “schedule,” if you’ve set it up as a post-dated post, or “update” instead of “save draft” if the article is already published.
What I’ve not yet had a chance to do is actually crawl through the changed code and figure out neat new stuff to do. For example, it appears as though most of the menus are considerably more configurable than they’ve been in the past. Adding new menu items to the Add Post screen should be much easier going forward. There are more options for site administrators in WPMU 2.7 as well, allowing you to set parameters like new blog defaults and such.
I’ll definitely report back as I discover things.