PMachine: alternative to Movable Type not quite MT

Filed as General on June 29, 2003 12:42 am

by Duncan

Being a MovableType fan, straying from the norm is always a big change. A recent post on another blog stated that the Blog Herald was a good site, but lacked in not covering Grey Matter. I can’t find that post today: if the poster reads this, please trackback, however there is a reason I don’t cover Grey Matter, I like Noah Grey, in particular I like his photolog, as for Grey Matter, I found it difficult and couldn’t get it working in full. In writing this article I started with Nucleus and then tried Textpattern. I was ready to write reviews on both, but I couldn’t get either running in full, without writing raw script. Am I deficent in my blogging: most likely, however for my new project: duncanriley.com a blog from the blogger who edits the blog herald, I discovered pMachine, and after all but 30 minutes, I can say that there is an alternative to market leader MT, its not all that hard, and despite the php learning curve, has great features has some good features, however after some time with PMachine, I am longing to return to MT.

The Installation:
There are a number of routines to follow when installing pMachine, and a number of instructions refer to “contact your host”. I am fortunate to know hosting basics and being hosted by hostdepartment.com I knew my sql settings straight up. For the beginner this would be too much.

Having defined my settings, pMachine started with little problems and was up and running with a straight text blogger type blog in little time.

I encourage people to visit www.duncanriley.com to see how it is progressing. For MT users pMachine uses PHP so there are some large differences in coding for the blog.

The biggest difference is that pMachine supports membership, which would be great for a wiki type blog. Perhaps I should have written the Blog Herald in pMachine and duncanriley.com in MT!

The Trotts do have good competition here, as long as you have a reasonable knowledge of web protocols, pMachine is a viable alternative to MT.

Why the change of heart?
MT does not provide a full range of features, however there is a strong plugin and extras community that do write them for MT. PMachine does not have this. My biggest gripe in relation to PMachine is the inability to post RSS feeds on the site unless signed up to the Pro services, which is $45 US Dollars. Now MT doesnt have this, but there is a perfectly good plugin that works. I don;t begrudge anyone making money, but with a long list of alternatives out there, many not requiring installation (blogger, radio etc) that support rss feeds, pMachine has lost me. For those looking I have deleted the pMachine installation and am writing the new blog in MT.

Stay tuned however as I am current uploading phpnuke for evaluation.

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