WordPress MU 1.3

Finally, after what seems like an age, the download page has been updated with the new WordPress MU 1.3 release.

WordPress MU is a multi-blog version of WordPress which runs on millions of blogs all over the world. The major blogging site, WordPress.com uses it as do many others.

This is a sync of WordPress 2.3.1 which includes native tagging support as well as many bug and security fixes.
WordPress MU specific features include:

  • Better admin controls for the signup page. It can be disabled in various ways.
  • Upload space functions have been fixed.
  • The signup form is now hidden from search engines which will help avoid certain types of spamming.
  • Profile page now allows you to select your primary blog.
  • Database tables are now UTF-8 from the start.
  • If you’re using virtual hosts, the main blog doesn’t live at /blog/ any more.
  • The WordPress importer now assigns posts to other users on a blog.
  • A taxonomy sync script is included in mu-plugins but commented out. It hasn’t been tested much but if your site has many hundreds of blogs it might be worth spending some time on a test server. Replicate normal traffic patterns and see if the server can cope with the upgrade process. If not, then look at the sync script, uncomment it and iterate over all your blogs with a script.

Developers – get_blog_option() will never return the string “falsevalue” again. That bug has been squished and it now returns the boolean value false.

This forum thread on the new release is worth watching. Any problems will surface their first.

Thanks to:
Everyone on the MU forums for your help in tracking down bugs.
ktlee and momo360modena for all your patches. They’re very welcome and a huge help.

Extensive documentation is being built up on the WordPress MU Codex by many people, including Martin Cleaver who bugged me about moving the docs from Trac and about telling everyone that documentation help is always needed.

WordPress MU 1.2.4

The new WordPress MU 1.2.4 went live this afternoon and can now be downloaded. This is based on WordPress 2.2.2, a security release, so it’s important to update your WordPress MU install too. If you haven’t changed any files, all your need to do is copy over the new release and things should work fine.

  • Kses has been reverted so you can use class and id attributes in your HTML tags again. Conor is already happy because his microformats will work again!
  • The installer has been smartened up and is now friendlier and may catch a few more problems before they arise.
  • Lots and lots of bugs have been squashed. It’s been messy but they had to be exterminated.

If you’re comfortable with Subversion and merging file changes, then the list of changed files should come in useful. You can also download a diff file there if that suits. Check the forum announcement for feedback.

Ireland.com uses WordPress MU

Damien alerted me to the fact that the new Ireland.com blogs are using WordPress, and so with much excitement I hit the site and browsed around. A quick look at the source showed that they are in fact using WordPress MU which is rather neat.

Ireland.com is the website of The Irish Times, a major daily newspaper here. It’ll be great to see journalists blogging there, but only if they are allowed free reign. If they pull it off, they’ll bring a lot more attention to the site.

So far, only two blogs are operating. On the Record is a music blog written by Jim Carroll, and Price Watch by Conor Pope. Conor’s first post is Window or aisle? €15 please, a short post exploring new charges by Aer Lingus. I don’t see a Trackback link there but hopefully they’ll allow trackbacks and pingbacks sooner rather than later.

Welcome to the ireland.com blog page. We have two blogs, one written by music journalist Jim Carroll, using his weekly column On The Record as its cornerstone. This blog will shed light on the machinations of the music industry at home and abroad. From today, the consumer-focused PriceWatch section will also be carried in blog form on the site. Written by Conor Pope, the blog will be updated throughout the week and will allow users to post details of rip-offs, ask questions and perhaps even highlight bargains they have spotted.

Update on Sep 8, 2009 They’re not using WordPress MU any more unfortunately. Looks like a Windows based system, with ugly urls. The links to the blogs above are broken as a result. Disappointing.

WordPress MU 1.2

Go grab the new WordPress MU 1.2 from the download page now. This is primarily a bugfix update but it also has a security fix and all WPMU site owners are encouraged to upgrade.

I’ll post to the MU forums in a few days time with details of the security fix. It’s a short one-liner that can be applied within minutes if you can’t upgrade.

Update: After you update, go to “Site Admin->Themes” and click Save. That will update the allowed themes list because it was changed a few days ago.

Edit: a few issues with themes and .htaccess rewrite problem appeared overnight. These have been fixed now. If you updated to 1.2 then download the new 1.2.1 version and copy these files into your install:

  • wp-admin/themes.php
  • htaccess.dist
  • wp-includes/version.php
  • wp-admin/admin-db.php
  • wp-admin/themes.php
  • wp-admin/wpmu-themes.php

Catch it if you can! WordPress mu 1.1.1 escaped!

Despite my best efforts to put off releasing WordPress mu 1.1.1 for another day it slipped through my fingers, tarred and zipped itself into neat bundles on the download page and screamed at all and sundry that it was free.

So, go on! Download and enjoy. As always, try it on your development servers before pushing it live, just to make sure it doesn’t conflict with anything else you’ve installed. We’re tracking the development version of WordPress itself so any new features that you see there will be in WordPress mu too. And if you haven’t looked before, the mu timeline will give you a good idea of what’s changed recently.

Some highlights:

  • PHPMailer is now used for email delivery. Once you configure it to use a local smtp server email literally flies out the door.
  • “No Options” are saved. Well, WPMU already had something like this for storing false option values but now it’s much better. Thanks Ryan for fixing that in MU.
  • Ryan’s In The Trunk post has a pretty good list of the new features you can expect in this release.

Jason's Custom CSS for WordPress MU

Many moons ago, Jason’s Customciser was released onto an unsuspecting WPMU forum. It’s a small plugin that allowed one to change the value of some of the CSS elements in a theme’s style sheet.

Before you get too excited, it’s in rather a raw format, can cause problems and needs work to be usable. The original plugin used some PHP5 conventions and functions which limited the audience who could use it. I’m posting this because people are wondering where the PHP4 port I wrote disappeared to. It’s still here, but please link to this post instead of linking to the zip file.

Download Jason’s Customciser-doc – this plugin needs a lot of work to be usable. I’m not joking!

If you’re wondering, this is not the same plugin that is used on WordPress.com to allow editing of CSS files. I just wonder why someone doesn’t write a simple templating system in Smarty or something that loads through the traditional WordPress theme files? It’s a no-brainer. It may not be the most efficient way of doing it, but it’s one simple way.