Last week the WordPress team released beta 1 of WordPress 3.4. The blog post announcing the release clearly and boldly recommends that this beta version should NOT be used in a production environment. The goal is to release version 3.4 in a production-ready state in May. Here are some of the new bits in WordPress 3.4:

  • Theme Customizer with Previewer
  • Flexible Custom Header Sizes
  • Selecting Custom Header and Background Images from Media Library
  • Better experience searching for and choosing a theme

And some of the under-the-hood changes:

  • New XML-RPC API for external and mobile applications
  • New API for registering theme support for custom headers and backgrounds
  • Performance improvements to WP_Query by splitting the query (Please test!)
  • Internationalization improvements (improved performance and locale support)
  • Performance and API improvements when working with lists of installed themes
  • Support for installing child themes from the WordPress Themes Directory

If you find a bug while testing version 3.4, the WordPress team asks that you post the details in their alpha/beta forum.