As announced on the dev blog, WordPress 2.3 Beta 1 is now available. This is the first of several planned betas. Beta 1 has been pretty solid in my testing, but keep in mind that this is indeed a beta that shouldn’t be used on your production blog. If you try it out, make sure you back up your database and prepare yourself to revert to 2.2 if you have problems.
WordPress 2.3 includes built-in tagging support. An Ultimate Tag Warrior importer is bundled with 2.3. Importers for the Simple Tagging Plugin and Jerome’s Keywords are being tested and will most likely be included in the next beta. 2.3 also includes a converter that will selectively convert your categories to tags. The converter has worked well for me, but I received a couple bug reports about it shortly before beta 1 went out. If you try the converter and have any problems, let us know so we can fix it up for beta 2. If you want to use the tagging feature, you will need to change your templates to use the new tagging template functions. There’s not yet much documentation on those, so I’ll discuss them in a future post. If you want to do some digging, you can find the code for the tagging functions here and here. If you already use UTW or one of the other plugins and don’t wish to change, you can keep using them as you have been, although I expect some of them will change to use the built-in tagging as a baseline and add their own stuff over the top. The built-in tagging provides just the basics and leaves the fancy stuff to plugins that can better suit individual tastes.