The WP folks are announcing the latest version of WordPress will be released some time later this month. Granted, there’s not a lot left in the month and they’re only just beta testing now, but nevertheless they plan on releasing this month. The new features are exciting to contemplate, but especially helpful to us developers is the new Widget schema:
via Version 2.8 « WordPress Codex.
WP_Widget is a class that abstracts away much of the complexity involved in writing a widget, especially multi-widgets.
They’ve basically created a new class from which all new plugin widgets can be produced. This is, as noted, especially helpful when you want to have more than one instance of the plugin on the page at any one time. The process for this has previously been laborious enough that I haven’t bothered to write any such thing into any of my plugins. Of course, such labor-intensive duplication is silly when you use a language capable of near-OOP programming and apparently the powers that be WordPress now agree.