Polylang 1.7 introduces several important changes. First of all, it breaks the compatibility with old versions of WordPress and Polylang will now require WordPress 3.8 or newer to run smoothly. It also prepares the arrival for WordPress 4.2 which is now in beta stage.
Up to now, when using default (ugly) permalinks, Polylang only offered the possibility to set the language from the content. I have to admit that it does not play nicely with some plugins which request to know the language before the content is known. So, I decided to offer the possibility to set the language from the url even for default permalinks and make this option the default one. This should improve the user experience, especially for Polylang beginners who expect things to work out of the box without tweaking options.
I am always looking for performance improvements. A lot of users are using flags on frontend and it is well known that making one http request per (very small) image is not very optimized. Thus Polylang will now encode the flags directly in the html to save one http request per flag. The technique used is not compatible with Internet Explorer 6 and 7. People wanting to be compatible with these old browsers can get the original images back by adding
in wp-config.php or in wp-content/polylang/pll-config.php. Note that only flags provided with the plugin are encoded.
Polylang 1.7 also introduces a lot of other improvements and fixes which should globally ease the user experience (see the long changelog in readme.txt).
Last but not least… Polylang beginners will be grateful for the new user contributed PDF tutorial with a lot of screenshots 🙂