WordPress 2.3 Beta 1 Test

I’ve been toying around with the WordPress 2.3 Beta 1 most of the day today. I basically copied this site’s files and database to another location, uploaded the 2.3 files, and ran the upgrade script. Then I spent the next several hours mucking about with the new system. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:

* The only plugin that ‘broke’ upon re-activation was the Custom Write Panel. And even then, I’m not sure it actually broke. It generates a ‘Plugin could not be activated’ fatal error, yet it clearly showed as active in the list and seems to function just fine when I go to it to write up a new entry. I have a feeling it has to do with the new tag field in the write screen that the Custom Write Panel plugin will obviously not be able to account for properly.
* The UTW tagging conversion process works pretty well. I have a massive database, though, and the tag importer counted just shy of 1200 tags that I’ve used in the past and nearly 4000 tag-to-post relationships. Writing the UTW tags to the new WordPress taxonomy system took awhile, I think in part due to the size of the database as well as to the somewhat sluggish nature of my computer. The conversion appears to have gone off without a hitch, though, and I’ve retired the UTW plugin on the beta test site in favor of the native taxonomy system.
* The categories-to-tags conversion process failed tragically, however. It’s been generating duplicate entry database errors, thus failing to convert category names to tags. Of course, it did, for some reason, single out my Commentary category to convert properly, thus removing every entry from that category (and every other category), effectively removing them from my blog – unless they happened to also be filed under another category, in which case they got to stay. I had similar problems with converting categories to tags with UTW, as well, so it could be something problematic with the whole system. It matters little to me, in the long-run, since I prefer to keep my categories separate from my tags, but since I’m helping to beta-test the software, I wanted to see how badly I could break things.
* The new tagging system has two new functions – <?php the_tags(); ?> and <?php wp_tag_cloud(); ?>. The first takes three parameters and is most useful for displaying your tags at the end of entries. The latter takes a string of options and is most useful for displaying a tag cloud of your specifications in the sidebar, on a page (say, as a site index), or in a post, if you prefer. I’ll talk more about the tag cloud function in the following entry.
* The plugins page in the dashboard also now displays when plugins have new versions (according to the wordpress.org plugins database). It’s a slick little addition that I’m very pleased to see.

By and large I’m happy with the new changes to the WordPress core. I’m eager now to see what sort of new plugins will come out of the new tagging taxonomy.

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