The latest WordPress updates include two security patches and the next version of WordPress, v4.2. The past week has seen a slew of updates to plugins as a result of a security flaw found in numerous popular plugins. These patches have been followed by not one, but two WordPress security patches just in the past couple of days along with the latest point release to v4.2.
WordPress v4.1.2 was released to patch security issues. WP sites set to automatically update did so. I applied the patch to all client sites and my own sites as it was a security update fixing critical issues.
Imagine my surprise when I got notice that several sites had automatically updated to WP 4.1.3 today! Turns out that WP 4.1.2 had a bug that was squashed in 4.1.3.
But wait, there’s more!
WordPress also released its latest version today. The current version is now 4.2. I had been aware that a release was scheduled for April, however, the beta cycle has barely ended and Release Candidate 1 was just released a couple of days ago.
A Release Candidate (RC) for those who don’t know is a pre-release version that the developers feel is pretty much ready to go live. It is released as an RC in order to give adventurous users the opportunity to test it and see if they can find any problems that can be fixed before the final release.
Obviously, the WP development team is pretty confident about this release as the RC phase lasted only a couple of days. It remains to be seen whether the confidence is justified.
An Upgrade Dilemma
Personally, I would prefer to upgrade to v4.1.3 first and let 4.2 age a bit before upgrading. That’s my standard policy as historically a major point release has been followed a couple of weeks (or fewer) later with a patch release fixing bugs and other issues discovered by bleeding edge users.
Unfortunately, now that 4.2 has been released, it’s not possible to automatically update to 4.1.3 via the WP dashboard. Any sites that have updated automatically are on 4.1.3 because the automatic updates won’t run for major point releases, which IMO is a good thing for the reason stated above.
Version 4.1 is one of the few releases I can remember that didn’t get a patch release within a couple of weeks. V4.1.1 didn’t appear until quite a long time after 4.1, so it was obviously a very solid release. Here’s hoping that 4.2 will be as solid.
In the meantime, I’ll be waiting to see how 4.2 is received. I will likely update a couple of my own sites and a test site or two, but those of you on the Website Management Program will not see an update to 4.2 for at least a couple of weeks.
What’s New in WP 4.2?
I’m glad you asked. There are enhancements to the Press This bookmarklet which make sharing content quicker and easier. You can now preview themes before activating them. There is extended character support in case you happen to use extended character sets such as Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc. There are new embeds available for Tumblr and Kickstarter so that you can simply paste links from those sites and the content will be automatically embedded in your posts and/or pages. Finally, the plugin update process has been streamlined.
Aside from that, there are a few tweaks under the hood, but nothing earthshaking. I don’t see anything on the list that I can’t live without for another couple of weeks until the first patch shows up.
Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net