The WordPress dashboard is flashing a message that version 2.3 “Dexter” is now available for download. This is a brand new release with a ton of new features. 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. Some of the cool new features include:
1. Native tagging support allows you to use tags in addition to categories on your post, 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.
2. 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.org service which then compares it to the plugin database and tells you what the latest and greatest is you can use.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
I think I will wait for a few bug reports before upgrading. Generally, I find the first new version update always have some issue with the plugins I run. If you made the upgrade to 2.3, I would love to hear how it went.