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WordPress 3.5 Drops… ProPhoto Users Wait

06 December

Photo Credit Lucas Cobb

Dec 6th – 2:30am PST

I’m about to call it a night. But I just saw a couple tweets between Lead WordPress Developers Mark Jaquith and Andrew Nacin that they just made there December 5th deadline for the much awaited WordPress 3.5. That was Hawaii time apparently 🙂

The new version hasn’t been pushed out yet. I guess there’s a whole behind the scenes thing that I don’t know about (maybe I’ll learn that process some day). I expect all of our Admin areas to have a bright blue Update button when we all wake up in the morning.

I know, I know, I’m a total dork. I’m sure it sounds like I’m reporting the preparation for the first Apollo mission back in the 60’s. But this release does have me feeling a bit like I’m 8 years old on Christmas Eve. And tomorrow when I wake up, I get to download, er I mean unwrap a present that I’ve been waiting months to get.

Sadly… There are some less fortunate little boys and girls that don’t get to experience this Christmas joy for quite some time. Those little boys and girls are the professional photographers that use the ProPhoto theme. On a statement on their blog NetRivets indicated that they would not be making their theme compatible with WordPress 3.5’s radical new media uploader. You will be able to upgrade, but they will prevent the new Media Uploader from working, leaving you with the old one and those itty bitty thumbnails.

Yes… it’s true (not really). ProPhoto killed Santa. (Pure speculation – I have no proof).

Why Lord? Why is ProPhoto killing Santa?!?!?!

Oh… I know. I’m being a wee bit dramatic.

But here’s the thing. ProPhoto does quite a bit to lock down key functionalities of WordPress in order to control things their own way. It’s supposed to be a theme that you place on top of WordPress, but it’s not a theme, it’s a framework with it’s own agenda. You know when Loki turns Hawkeye into a bad guy in The Avengers? Yeah… It’s kinda like that. It won’t let you create Custom Page templates, you can’t use WordPress’s beautiful menu system, and now worst of all, for many photographers that would LOVE to use the new system, they won’t release the strangle hold they have on WordPress.

They’re even bold enough to say that they are “the most well-respected photo blogging tool in the industry.”

No You’re Not. WordPress is!

At this point, I’d drop the mic and walk off stage, but there’s a dilemma for those that use ProPhoto and have that Siren sweetly singing to them to press Update to 3.5 in the Admin area of their WordPress sites. Do you upgrade?

Aside from the Media Uploader tool, a lot of what was worked on were enhancements to the behind the scenes stuff. If you have a Retina MacBook, the Admin area is designed to look good (I haven’t seen this in use), and if you use Multisite it’s easier to use subdomains (although I highly doubt many ProPhoto users use multisite).

The backend enhancements were things like upgrading jQuery, and other external scripting libraries, which could have a significant impact on ProPhoto. With all these changes taking place, I would be willing to put some money down on ProPhoto having to scramble to release a fix for people that want to use 3.5 in the next couple weeks. This happened when 3.1 (or 3.2) came out, and I expect it to happen again this time around.

So… My dear unfortunate ProPhoto users,

My verdict… Don’t Upgrade Yet.

Wait a few weeks… Keep an ear out for what other early adopters are saying. Then when ProPhoto releases their patches, go for it. It’s always important to stay up to date with WordPress. But when you use a third party solution like ProPhoto, it’s even more important that they work together.


Update Dec 6 – 2:00pm

Just a heads up for those looking in their Admin area. It looks like there were a few bugs left to squash. I’m keeping up with the updates from the Development Team as they come through on Twitter, and will post again when 3.5 goes live.

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