Without doubt, WordPress
is emerging has emerged to be one of the most robust and popular content management platform in recent times. This is primarily because of its dedicated development community and fan-base. It has been observed that the WordPress development community take up one major feature at every release and make it as perfect as possible. They keep it highly scalable so that in future releases, they can refine it to the trending user-base. To cite an analogy: in their release 2.8 they totally “jazzed up” the widgets and themes section and (almost) perfected it.
In their upcoming 2.9 release, they have targeted “Media features” as their primary goal. They intend to work upon additional media filters, basic image editing, better media settings, bulk media import API, custom image sizes, easier embeds, media albums, media metadata, photostream, post thumbnails and revised media UI. You can vote for them at: http://wordpress.org/development/2009/07/vote-for-2-9-media-features/
Opinion/hypothesis on the above features
Out of these, the “Media Albums” feature is the most paradigm changing concept. This is rather a more ideal concept. Just like textual posts, images and other media (group of media items) can/should also be considered as posts. This would enable bloggers to categorize and tag media items. Content developers can theoretically create media albums by categorizing them uniformly.
Furthermore, categories can have “category templates”. This would allow theme developers to format category pages based upon their category template. Say for example, someone uploads a number of images and categorizes them under the category “My Images”. He also sets the category template for the “My Images” category to be “Image Library.” This simple thing can allow a theme developer to develop a theme in such a way that this “My Images” category page is well formatted as an image gallery.
Other important aspect that WordPress developers must look into (with respect to release 2.9) is having a better Media UI and a better Media API. The Media API should allow plugin developers to save/retrieve per-media settings. This concept would help plugins like LightBox and SlideShow plugins to register settings like “Show in LightBox”, “Include In SlideShow”, for every media item.
Every WordPress user, like any other application user, has their own set of top-priority features depending upon their use of the software. Feel free to express your views.