WordPress 4.3 is right around the corner with beta 1 released and ready for testing. According to the 4.3 project schedule, there will be no more commits for new enhancements or feature requests from this point on. Contributors are now focusing on bug fixes and documentation ahead of August 18th, the target release date.
With all the controversy surrounding WordPress 4.3’s inclusion of menus in the customizer, you may have missed a few other lesser known features that are on track to be included and need to be put through the paces. The new site icons feature was added to trunk this week, along with a text editor for the Press This posting interface.
WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith has been working on making passwords more secure. As of 4.3, WordPress will no longer send passwords via email. The password strength meter is now more tightly integrated. It will warn users upon selection of a weak password and can also suggest a secure password.
One interesting new improvement added to the post editor is recognition of some basic markdown-esque patterns inside TinyMCE:
Certain text patterns are automatically transformed as you type, including * and – transforming into unordered lists, 1. and 1) for ordered lists, > for blockquotes and one to six number signs (#) for headings
For those who are used to formatting text this way, the post editor in WordPress 4.3. will be a more friendly place for speedy composition.
Admin post and page list tables will take a huge leap forward to become more responsive in this release, improving the experience of using WordPress on smaller screens. Previously, the columns that could not fit were truncated, but WordPress 4.3 will allow columns to be toggled into view.
Check out release lead Konstantin Obenland’s beta announcement post to download a zip of the beta. If you want to help test, the easiest way is to get hooked up via the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. Bug reports are welcome on the Alpha/Beta support forums and can also be filed on WordPress trac.