WordPress 2.3 Beta 1

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.

If you are feeling experimental, try out beta 1 and let us know what you think via comments to this post, the bug tracker, or the testers list.

WordPress 2.3 Release Timeline

WordPress 2.3 went into feature freeze last night in preparation for its eventual release on September 24th. From now on we’re concentrating exclusively on testing and bug fixing. We are scheduled to release the first public beta of 2.3 this coming Monday, August 27th. We’ll be doing a new beta release every Monday and bug hunts every Wednesday. On September 17th we enter a hard freeze and release the first release candidate. A calendar of these events is available here.

I’ll be announcing the beta releases and bug hunts as they come up. If you have some time to spare, try out the betas and help get 2.3 ready for release.