Will 1.5b r6 Be the Final Release Before 1.5 Goes Official?

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With any luck, this will be the final release before 1.5 becomes an official version and 1.4.x goes the way of the dodo. Revision 6 was unplanned and began life as a response to the major bugs that were exposed after I released revision 5 into the wild… It quickly became much, much more than that, though, as I uncovered some serious avenues for improvement. Here’s what’s new in 1.5b r6:

  • Smarter upgrade behavior — This one’s a big deal, simply because so many of Thesis’ nagging issues are related to poor upgrade procedures. This particular version now allows for you to upgrade however you like, including overwrites; and as far as I can tell, it provides for a more stable upgrade experience in a wider variety of server environments than ever before.
  • Improved <title> tag control — Thesis users who opt for a static home page will be happy to know that they can now provide custom <title> tags for both their static home page and their blog page. Total control FTW.
  • Fix for when features = 0 — Now, when you elect to show “0” features, you’ll end up with a page of all teasers. Well, you don’t say!
  • Option to use the old style nav menu — Those of you who had dropdown menus based on the old nav structure will be happy to know that your old settings are merely a click away. Use the new nav style option underneath the nav page selector to get your old menu back, and that’s literally all you’ll have to do!
  • Updated options interface — I made a few more minor tweaks to the options controls to enhance the usability of the panels.
  • Completely revised method of calling and working with options throughout the theme — In what I think is a major step forward for Thesis, all options values have been condensed into two global variables that can be called and used in any functions related to the theme. This has resulted in major efficiency savings due to a significant decrease in function calls, and on top of that, it opened new doors for other advances like the one listed below.
  • Much more efficient rewrite of the post images and thumbnails — While testing 1.5b r5, I noticed that the post image and thumbnail system was responding sluggishly on some servers. To combat this, I rewrote the entire system and drastically reduced the total number of function calls and logical statements necessary to implement this system properly. The end result is a more efficient, more reliable machine that is on par with the quality standard that makes Thesis what it is.
  • Lots of renamed/restructured files — As I improve different aspects of the theme, I sometimes notice the need to change a file name due to reasons like naming efficiency, redundancy, or accuracy. Thesis’ structure has changed dramatically since version 1.4.2, and as a result, a lot of the old file names no longer made sense in this new environment. Because of this, I ended up renaming a bunch of files in this particular version.

I’ve still got a million and one ideas for the theme, and the improvements in 1.5 are the primary building blocks for the future. Thanks to the new structure of 1.5, I’ll be able to add new elements and features much more easily than ever before, and best of all, the end results will be efficient because they’ll merely be additions to an already efficient platform!

About the author: Thesis creator Chris Pearson is obsessed with optimizing the web and making sure every last detail receives the attention it requires. Follow DIYthemes on Twitter for the latest tips and info on building truly awesome websites.