I did it.
I bit the bullet.
I upgraded to WordPress 2.9.
The upgrade to 2.8 several months ago left me shellshocked. It didn’t go smoothly, as WordPress 2.8 is a bloated memory beast. The later bugfix releases of the 2.8 branch brought the memory requirements back in line, and it turned out to be a solid release overall.
I’d planned upon waiting on 2.9, to see what was happening in the WP community and to see if there were any nasty bugs.
But it was also snowy, and I needed some decompression after the week, so I downloaded the ZIP file and started uploading files to my server.
WordPress 2.9 ran.
However, it does have a few memory problems. Some pages, like the Dashboard, wouldn’t load. Other pages were fine.
I’ve stripped down my install as tight as I can. If I didn’t absolutely need a plugin, I’ve disabled it. Which is why I’m glad that my coding standards have improved over the years; the modifications I’ve made to my present theme are done in such a way that if a given plugin (and the function it adds) are missing, the website won’t crash.
However, this means that certain things, like the crossposters, aren’t up and running. I don’t mind that, but I also recognize that it’s not ideal.
Otherise, I can’t tell what’s different about WordPress 2.9. The screens look the same under the hood. I don’t notice any new bells-and-whistles.
I have contacted my webhost to see if the memory limit on my account can be upped to, say, 24 megabytes, which should be enough for me to safely run the various crossposters and such.