The next major upgrade to WordPress which is version 2.2 is just less than two weeks from being released for all WP bloggers to enjoy and tinker around with.
This new version has some interesting new features and upgrades:
New User Features
- Tagging support
- Permalink redirection
- Improved comment editing
Developer / Power User Stuff
- Atom 1.0 support for feeds.
- Multiple format comment feeds, including Atom.
- Switched to jQuery for core JS, which is lighter and faster.
- Atom API support.
- Additional XML-RPC APIs for pages and such.
- phpmailer was integrated for performance and maintainability.
- New permalink redirection stuff
- An additional bundled theme?
You read it right, WP 2.2 now has a tagging system built-in. This could probably spell disaster for tagging plugin makers who have built-up a following and community around their successful tagging plugins. The most famous of all, Ultimate Tag Warrior by Christine Davis.
Making things a bit more complicated, Jaypee points out:
Apparently, the tagging support that is included in WordPress 2.2 breaks the good old plugin called Ultimate Tag Warrior. The conflict is brought about by the is_tag() function that is used by both WordPress 2.2 and Ultimate Tag Warrior. Thatâ€™s bad news for people including myself who are using UTW. Fortunately Moeffju has found a way of fixing the issue with a UTW hack. It involves editing the ultimate-tag-warrior.php file with your text editor and replacing all instances of the is_tag function with UTW_is_tag. After this, just activate the plugin and itâ€™s done.
Like Jaypee, I’ve been using UTW for almost two years now and I’ve come to love the plugin. Making it work with a new theme I’ve chosen to use on my blog has become one of the most basic task every time I change themes. I’ve tried other tagging plugins but UTW has remained the number one choice for my tagging needs.
So now that WP 2.2 breaks UTW even though there’s a fix for this, creates a little dilemma for UTW users.
To drop or not Ultimate Tag Warrior (or any other tagging plugin you use) once you do upgrade to WordPress 2.2
This would seem to be the most convenient solution for the following gains:
- One less plugin to lighten up your WP install
- One less plugin to worry about every time you upgrade WordPress
- One less plugin to mess up your WP DBase once it gets hay-wired
- One less plugin to worry about everytime you switch themes
- One less plugin to possibly mess around with the other plugins
Not dropping UTW
If you do decide to stick with UTW or any other tagging plugin it means:
- The complete opposite of the points raised above
- You have to edit your UTW plugin file (which is quite easy to do)
- You minimize the risk of your blog being screwed up by WP 2.2 bugs
- Your relationship, a healthy one at most, would stay on with your tagging plugin
A good point to consider is that this is the first time WordPress would be sporting a built-in tagging system. You then ask, ‘Is this reliable?‘ or ‘Does it work as wonderfully and efficiently as UTW?‘ New features are always good, their stability, security, effectiveness, usability, and performance however, would always make the smart blogger think twice before taking action.
On the other hand, WP users who haven’t implemented any tagging plugin before and would like to go into it would find the built-in tagging system a very convenient feature. It also eliminates the need to use third-party tagging or tag cloud-generating services.
Overall, WordPress 2.2 has once again caused buzz and mixed feelings and will continue to do so in the coming weeks especially once it has been released to the public.
Is this built-in tagging system already in use in WordPress.com blogs? Will the tagging plugins, UTW et.al., be dropped in favor of the built-in tagging system in WP 2.2? Which system would be better? We will soon find out.