I’m thrilled to announce that Version 2.3 “Dexter” of WordPress is now ready for the world. This release includes native tagging support, plugin update notification, URL handling improvements, and much more. This release is named for the great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon.
The entire team is really proud of this release, and I’m happy that this is our second on-time release under our new development schedule. The grand experiment of a more agile WordPress with significant features in the hands of users more often is working. I could write a blog post about each new feature, but I’ll try to be brief:
- Native tagging support allows you to use tags in addition to categories on your posts, if you so choose. We’ve included importers for the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Jerome’s Keywords, Simple Tags, and Bunny’s Technorati Tag plugins so if you’ve already been using a tagging plugin you can bring your data into the new system. The tagging system is also wicked-fast, so your host won’t mind.
- Our new update notification lets you know when there is a new release of WordPress or when any of the plugins you use has an update available. It works by sending your blog URL, plugins, and version information to our new
api.wordpress.orgservice which then compares it to the plugin database and tells you whats the latest and greatest you can use.
- We’ve cleaned up URLs a bunch in a feature we call canonical URLs which does things like enforce your no-www preference, redirect posts with changed slugs so a link never goes bad, redirect URLs that get cut off in emails on similar to the correct post, and much more. This helps your users, and it also helps your search engine optimization, as search engines like for each page to be available in one canonical location. More info here.
- Our new pending review feature will be great for multi-author blogs. It allows authors to submit a post for review by an editor or administrator, where before they would just have to save a draft and hope someone noticed it.
- There is new advanced WYSIWYG functionality (we call it the kitchen sink button) that allows you to access some features of TinyMCE that were previously hidden.
You’ll notice that two of those features are straight out of the most-voted for ideas list. That’s just the user facing stuff, if you’re a developer you’ll be interested in:
- Full and complete Atom 1.0 support, including the publishing protocol.
- We’re using the new jQuery which is “800% faster.”
- Behind the user-facing tags system is a really kickass taxonomy system, which adds a ton of flexibility. It’s probably the biggest schema upgrade since version 1.5.
- The importers have been revamped to be more memory efficient, and you can now add an importer through a plugin.
- Through hooks and filters you can now override the update system, the dashboard RSS feeds, the feed parser, and tons more than you could in 2.2.
- The new
$wpdb->prepare()way of doing SQL queries.
- Finally there were over 351 tickets in Trac closed for this release, with over a hundred people contributing. This is the polish, the hundreds of tiny bug fixes and features that make WordPress what it is.
You can view the Codex for more information about the release and some screenshots. And of course the place to download is always the same. Before you upgrade you may want to check out our Preparing for 2.3 post and the list of compatible plugins on the Codex.
A number of people are hosting upgrade parties around the world, including myself in San Francisco. If you are let me know and I’ll promote it on my blog.