A weblog authored by Carthik about the latest in the WordPress world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What’s Right with WordPress 2.3

Filed under: — Carthik @ 8:10 pm

So WordPress 2.3 is out, and the release announcement is exciting to read.

First off, in 2.3, WordPress gives us real Tags. Tags are not categories. I was really disappointed when WordPress.com started confusing categories for tags, and wrote about why Tags are not Categories. WordPress has finally come clean, and seen the light, and explained what’s what over at the Tags and Categories article at WordPress.com blog. Now to take it a step further in the right direction, it would help if everyone thought about how tags add value to a blog. Tag Clouds are cool, but they’re not the be-all and end-all of tagging. Here’s some great ways to use the tags you painstaking created by tagging individual posts:

  1. Improve search results on blogs by searching for articles containing the search term(s) as tags.
  2. Provide an easy way to navigate the blog using Tag intersections, unions, and other common operations on sets. This would make it possible to find articles where your favorite blogger talks about two of your favorite things, or one thing and not another. The focus is on making information easier to find.

The above should replace the “site search tags” found under almost all of Lorelle’s articles, and then some.

The second step in the right direction is the removal of the links to developers’ blogs from the default blogroll. A lot of the old developers and volunteers have been inactive and non-contributing members for a long time now. Indeed, it was good to have a PageRank of 8 for my own blog, but I had the link to my blog removed about a year and a half ago when I decided to stop scaling down on my WordPress volunteer work. I did that because I thought that was a part of stepping down gracefully, and wasn’t too comfortable with going, “So who the heck is this ‘Carthik’ in my blogroll?,” long after I stopped contributing. Also, I wasn’t sure my contributions were at-par with those of some of the others who put in way more effort. It’s hard to decide where to draw the line with recognizing contributions to open source projects anyways. It’s better now since no one can point at finger at some old contributor profiting without contributing by means of selling text links on their blog now. Good job!

The MovableType importer is no longer as memory hungry as it used to be. You can also add new importers by installing importer plugins. Very cool.

A lot of the changes were from the most wanted changes/ideas proposed by users, and that is good news in itself. Now if only some of the other ideas are implemented, like searching in both “Posts” and “Pages” by default, instead of just in Posts.

So, on a personal level, these are my thoughts about the changes in 2.3. The only small thing that irritates me are the new names in the db:

Three new terms tables (schema) term_relationships, term_taxonomy, and terms support combined post categories, link categories, and the new tags. The tables, categories, link2cat, and link2post, are gone!

I am yet to understand what “terms” are, what “taxonomy” is and what kind of relationships “term_relationships” describes. If these tables deal with categories, tags, and I assume, blogroll links, wouldn’t it better to have those terms in the db table name, instead of the term “term”? I wonder. The new db table names give away nothing about their intended purpose in the database. All three terms are brand new, never before seen in the WordPress world. I am sure there must have a good reason to name them thus, which I’d love to know more about.

So, in your opinion, what’s wrong about WordPress 2.3?


  1. As far as I understand it, the new terms and taxonomy tables are to allow plugin developers to add their own taxonomy systems, as well as working for categories, link categories and tags. The term_relationships table links objects (posts, links etc.) to terms (categories, tags etc.).

    Comment by Benedict Eastaugh — 9/26/2007 @ 8:31 pm

  2. I’m still trying to figure out why I’d switch to WordPress’ tags – vs – Ultimate Tag Warrior – i’ve been tagging my posts with that for the past 9 months, and I don’t know why I’d want to go back and switch and do all of them over again!

    Comment by Adam — 9/26/2007 @ 9:06 pm

  3. Adam, you do not need to redo all over again.

    There is an importer of UTW where you can import all your tags into the new WordPress DB. I imported all my Simple Tagging tags to WordPress and using it wonderfully with the help of advanced tag entry to manage my tags.

    Comment by Darran — 9/26/2007 @ 9:34 pm

  4. Two main things: the database table name change, and the lack of a good admin UI for the tags.

    The table name change broke a lot of plugins I was using, including UTW. I had to import my tags into WordPress, but now I have no way to manage them without getting a third-party plugin. It would have been nice to have a management section for the tags, or at least a dropdown box or cloud in the post writing page to make adding tags to a post easier.

    Of course, I still have to edit my theme to make the WP tags even show up, but that’s just me being lazy.

    Comment by Cody — 9/26/2007 @ 10:01 pm

  5. yes, the table name change must hit a few plugins hard. Going from UTW to nothing should be easy as far as the tags are concerned, but the output formatting functions provided by UTW were nice, and will need to be replaced now with some other functions, I suppose.

    Comment by Carthik — 9/26/2007 @ 11:17 pm

  6. Well, I think the catagories trying to be added as tags is pretty annoying. A few of my friends had problems with that. But I have yet to install it. I keep having major problems.

    Comment by Jenny — 9/27/2007 @ 1:16 am

  7. Here is what I understand : In fact this new taxonomy system gives new opportunities for plugin developpers. For example you will be able to have a different and separate taxonomy system for each “object” in you WP database : post, page, link, tag ; but also you could imagine : files, photos (album), users, google map… “Term” is the keyword that describe the object and taxonomy is the categorization system that handle the terms of that object. For example you could have the term “wordpress” used in the “Tag” taxonomy but not in you “category” taxonomy. And you could imagine to have the terms “Paintings”, “Photo”, “Drawings” in a new “Artwork” taxonomy.
    From what I see it enables future major improvement but from the user point of view, today, there is no real improvement (compared to WP 2.2 + plugin) and further more I agree that the taxonomy admin UI is very poor.
    BUT you can guess that it will be improved a lot by the WP community in the coming months. Indeed this the strength of WP development model.
    I am curious to see what will be coming…

    Comment by ineation — 9/27/2007 @ 2:02 am

  8. What is wrong with Wordpress 2.3? Breaking the DB schema three weeks before release, therefore causing many plugins to break. It wasn’t a good decision, and should have been announced when 2.3 work started instead.

    Comment by Luca Beltrame — 9/27/2007 @ 2:49 am

  9. The Dashboard is still cluttered, Manage & Options menus must be re-organised differently, no searching of posts, no automatic plugin updating service yet, no importing from another wordpress blog _directly_ given the url, WP-Cache not integrated, backup tool works only for the database and not for the wordpress files.

    The new Term and Taxonomy model is very good. Canonical URLs are my favourite, hope all the redirection rules are properly added to the .htaccess file automatically.

    Why should there be a default blogroll? No way to remove the importers out of the admin interface for those who don’t need them.

    Comment by tabrez — 9/27/2007 @ 3:15 am

  10. [...] it’s not all bad news – some things apparently went right with Wordpress 2.3. This isn’t the first scandal to rock Wordpress. It was previously found that Wordpress [...]

    Pingback by Wordpress 2.3 Release Scandal: The Aftermath at forgedeuphoria.com — 9/27/2007 @ 6:51 am

  11. Tag management should have its own admin page, under Manage > Tags. The “Advanced” Tag Entry plugin is better than nothing, but if you have a lot of tags in your blog (I have about 2,500) it takes forever to load the post edit page, causing my browser to ask me *twice* if I want it to continue running an “unresponsive” script, before the page eventually loads – so I’ve deactivated the plugin again.

    Comment by pilgrim — 9/27/2007 @ 9:06 am

  12. [...] Version 2.3 der Blogsoftware released. In diesem Zusammenhang sind diese beiden Posts interessant: What’s right with Wordpress 2.3 Tags! And [...]

    Pingback by [Be el o ge] » Blog Archive » Categories vs. Tags — 9/27/2007 @ 10:09 am

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