WordPress 3.7 has been released and the big news is that WordPress now has the ability to update itself. This begins a new era of automatic background updates for security and minor releases. Web hosts around the world have been eagerly awaiting this release and are cheering its arrival. The upgrade process has been greatly improved and boy is it ever solid:
We ended the WordPress 3.7 beta cycle with 112,434 automatic background updates attempted and not a single critical failure.
— Andrew Nacin (@nacin) October 25, 2013
Not a single critical failure. Try blaming Nacin for that, folks.
WordPress 3.7 is dubbed Basie, after Count Basie, an American jazz pianist with an unparalleled talent for improvisation. He learned to improvise while playing along to silent films for a local movie theater. Before he was famous, Basie sharpened his improv skills by playing jazz piano at parties and resorts. He went on to create his own jazz orchestra and mentor many other musicians along the way.
It seems fitting that this release honors Basie. The web is full of hackers who seek to exploit any vulnerability they can find in WordPress. Users have to be quick to improvise and secure our sites as soon as minor releases are shipped out. Automatic background updates give millions of users the ability to stay current with each security update. The beautiful thing is that it’s totally effortless on the part of the user.
On the surface you won’t see too many flashy UI improvements, but under the hood you’ll find a better engine. When you search WordPress you’ll see better and more relevant results. Developers will be happy to find improved support for multisite, advanced date queries and a ton of new functions to play with. You can review every last detail on the dedicated 3.7 release page.
WordPress 3.7 has a beautiful about.php page that you can only see if you upgrade. Hint, hint. It includes a live demo of the new password strength meter that will help you to create stronger passwords.
This release also includes better global support for translations, meaning that it will automatically install language files and silently keep them up to date. There’s a trend here: WordPress is doing a lot more for you in the background so that you can focus on creating content. This sets the bar pretty high for what users can expect from their publishing software in the future.
Now that WordPress can update itself, I am once again reminded that this software is a living, breathing thing. Andrew Nacin, Dion Hulse and Jon Cave had the help of 211 contributors in shipping 3.7. Hats off to these folks – they’ve worked hard and done well.
Time to celebrate with a few tunes from Count Basie and his jazz orchestra to kick off your upgrades. By the way, if you’re configuring automatic updates for everything, this is the last time you’ll ever have to update WordPress manually.