SixApart launches MovableType 3.3 (and the crowd went silent)

Filed as News on July 26, 2006 11:47 am

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MovableType officially launched MT 3.3 today (somehow I thought they had already done this but perhaps it was a beta release), and the enhancements are rather underwhelming from my reading of it. I feel like this is a browser war all over again, but really, MT is not offering anything “new” to the blogging world with this release. In fact, WordPress has had the capability of these announced changes for quite some time now:

  1. Tags: Readers can find content more easily and subscribe to custom feeds.
  2. Widgets: Arrange and re-arrange your page by dragging and dropping.
  3. Activity Feeds: Get updates on comments, feedback, and blog activity delivered via a secure feed.

Granted, tags has not been around as a core component of WordPress, but tag plugins are in abundance (notably the fabled Ultimate Tag Warrior) and are as much mainstream in the WordPress community as any other feature.

As for activity feeds – yes. Add a /feed on just about any WordPress URL and have subscription feeds. I’m unclear on the “secure feed” part, so I’ll give SA the benefit of the doubt to explain that to me. Is it HTTP authentication? MT user accounts required? Please explain.

So if you have a MT blog and want to get the free upgrade (MT 3.x+), go get it and report back.

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  1. By Laurent Gloaguen posted on July 26, 2006 at 3:32 pm
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    Why so much anger? Not safe for health. Take care.

  2. By Su posted on July 26, 2006 at 4:51 pm
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    3.31 was released on the 13th, and not as a beta.

    The subitem to the first result of searching for “movable type” “activity feeds” via Google has pretty much all the information you need on activity feeds.

  3. By Su posted on July 26, 2006 at 4:54 pm
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    That’s all, of course, assuming you don’t bother looking at the documentation.

  4. By David Krug posted on July 26, 2006 at 7:51 pm
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    When I first met you you were a downhome MT addict. I love WP we have won the blogging platform war. woot.

  5. By Aaron posted on July 26, 2006 at 7:51 pm
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    Huh? I’ve never been a MT fan – at least not in the past 3 years.

  6. By Andru Edwards posted on July 27, 2006 at 3:37 am
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    Um…sorry, but WordPress is for amateurs. Want something powerful and versatile? Try Expression Engine.

  7. By Arvind Satyanarayan posted on July 27, 2006 at 5:19 am
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    MovableType officially launched MT 3.3 today

    Movable Type 3.31 was released almost 2 weeks ago. In fact the announcement blog post was linked to by The Blog Herald in its previous attack on Six Apart. It’s really a shame that after Duncan made his peace with Six Apart, the new owners here continue to unprofessionally attack them again and again.

    It seems on a quiet news day, the easiest thing to do is attack Six Apart.

    To clarify a few things with your entry, there have been several Movable Type tagging plugins too, the fact that it has been integrated into the core product and in an incredibly extensible way (plugin developers can easily leverage the new tagging mechanisms for their own plugins as I demonstrate with a plugin soon to be released) is a big plus over the plugins.

    Looking at my wordpress.com account, you’re quite right, one can get a feed for *some* pages by tacking on /feed but to compare this to Activity Feeds is laughable – as you would’ve found had you bothered reading the feature list and/or documentation in a little more depth. Activity Feeds provide blog authors/administrators a backend/administrative feed of the blog such that through a feed aggregator, you could manage your MT blog. I’m yet to see WordPress in its core product offer something similar.

    Widgets again not in WordPress’ core code, in fact WordPress’ Widgets plugin was released after a similar plugin for Movable Type and featured an eerily similar interface (though Matt justifies the interface decisions in the comments)

    To put it into perspective, lets take a look at the release cycles of the two shall we? Movable Type 3.2 in August 2005, Movable Type 3.31, July 2006. Two feature packed releases, with several weeks of public betas behind them and both incredibly stable. 3.2 was extremely well received by the community, many claiming it should’ve been labelled 3.5. MT 3.31 has indeed been more quiet as it wasn’t as big a release as 3.2.

    WordPress? WordPress 2.0 was released in December 2005 to a) surprise at the inflation of version number and b) a reluctance from the community to uprade. Hence 2.0.1 was released shortly after, followed by a security release 2.0.2 and then another 2.0.3 and in fact a public beta was conducted for yet another bug fix 2.0.4. Assuming WordPress 2.1 lands before December 2006, Movable Type would’ve had two feature rich releases in one year whilst WordPress would’ve had two feature rich releases and 4 bug fixes!

    It seems that The Blog Herald is nothing more than WordPress fanboyism attempting to sneak in cheap shots about supposed weblog wars and a loss of market share whenever it can.

  8. By Arvind Satyanarayan posted on July 27, 2006 at 5:33 am
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    but really, MT is not offering anything “new� to the blogging world with this release.

    Could you please clarify for me what WP is offering “new” to the blogging world. I would love to see these spectacular innovations that I seem to be missing.

  9. By cat posted on July 27, 2006 at 8:01 am
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    EE. This is not the first time I’ve heard this comment. Just today I ran across a blog post showing what the power of EE is capable of.

    Problem is, I AM an amateur, so I’ll just have to gaze from afar. WP works fine for little ‘ole me.

    cat

  10. By Jesse Gardner posted on July 27, 2006 at 9:24 am
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    “WordPress is for amateurs.”

    That’s like saying Coke is for nerds.

    If you like it and it does what you want it to do, then by all means use it. I know the ins and outs of MT so I most often recommend it to my customers, because I know how to make it do what they want. There are pros and cons to most of the options out there, that’s why there are still options.

  11. By Dansley Newett posted on July 27, 2006 at 1:59 pm
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    Just to weigh in with a few clarifications on Aaron’s post:

    MT3.3 was announced and released on 7/13/2006: http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/news/2006/07/a_blog_for_ever.html

    Tags have been available in MT for over a year thanks to Tags.App and MT’s tags plugin. I’m pretty certain the reason Six Apart announced “tags” as a “change” is that it’s now part of the core functionality, not by way of a plugin.

    Widgets were available in MT first (via WidgetManager), then TypePad, and THEN WP (which was a direct ripoff of WidgetManager: http://www.majordojo.com/blogging/coincidence_i_t.php )

    As for Activity Feeds, take a look at the extensive MT3.3 docs:

    * It’s a private author feed – it can’t be seen from outside.
    * You can take action on nearly all items directly from within the feed.
    * By default, it’s a feed of ALL activity from your blog including entries, comments, TrackBacks, plugin errors, MT errors, logins, and other object creations and deletions. WP has *nothing* like this.
    * You can also get just a subset of that information very easily by filtering the activity log first or grabbing a feed from the entries, trackbacks or comments listing (i.e., it’s far more powerful than anything WP has to offer). Which pretty much sums up the comparison of the two.

    Hope that helps to clarify some of the, uh, “confusion”. Though, I do have a question: does WP supports multiple blogs yet, or do you still have to use that WordPress “perfume on a pig” Mu hack?

  12. By Matt posted on July 28, 2006 at 5:31 pm
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    It seems that The Blog Herald is nothing more than WordPress fanboyism attempting to sneak in cheap shots about supposed weblog wars and a loss of market share whenever it can.

    Funny. 80% of our blogs run on Movable Type and have long before we even tested our first WordPress installation.

    In the end, if I were choosing a product today, I’d choose WordPress for our own use. For a client, I might choose either – depends on their needs.

    My original post on this issue was simple – Movable Type 3.3 came out and there was very little discussion about it. I believe that it showed something that I hadn’t seen before – and that was a lack of passion in the blogosphere as a whole around MT.

    I respect Six Apart for a wide variety of reasons. They bought livejournal and have helped them achieve stability without damaging that community. They have a great tool in Typepad – and an even better one in Vox from my understanding.

    Calling my (or Aaron’s) posts unprofessional because we choose to be critical of a product smacks of asshattery.

    Matt

  13. By Aaron posted on July 28, 2006 at 5:48 pm
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    For the record, I did say “somehow I thought they had already done this but perhaps it was a beta release”. Why did the email appear in my inbox 2 days ago?

    I make no bones about being anti-MT. It’s not easy, not intuitive to setup and by God you charge us for nothing at all! I can’t have multiple authors without paying at least $79. I get widgets now. w00t! Come on, give me something real, capite?

    I don’t really care if people don’t think I’m professional. I’m beyond worrying about such things. SixApart is gasping for air and its pretty funny to see the supporters come clamoring when their precious platform gets criticized.

  14. By Su posted on July 29, 2006 at 2:48 am
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    Aaron, the problem is you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about, are making the rest up, and doing it in an irritatingly authoritative voice.

    Since you’re complaining about it, when exactly was the last time you actually looked at the MT pricing structure? Go on, I can wait.

    How much would it cost you, as a personal user, to get unlimited authors and blogs? I have no problem with you criticizing 6A, but as I told Scrivs in his last little screed, do some fact-checking and have a valid point. Are you even aware that at this moment there isn’t a $79 license at all? Where(or rather when) are you pulling that number from?

    If you’re okay with being unprofessional, I suppose that’s your choice, but you don’t really get one in being plain wrong.

  15. By Aaron posted on July 29, 2006 at 8:44 am
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    I stand corrected. The last time I setup an MT blog (about 6 months ago), I thought that was the number. Maybe it was the $69.95 Personal blog which is now $49.95.

    Does that really change my argument in the slightest bit?

  16. By David posted on August 1, 2006 at 5:14 pm
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    Aaron, 49.95 is for support. MT 3.3 is entirely free for personal use.

  17. By Arvind Satyanarayan posted on August 2, 2006 at 12:30 pm
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    I missed the discussion, unfortunately.

    Calling my (or Aaron’s) posts unprofessional because we choose to be critical of a product smacks of asshattery.

    They aren’t unprofessional because you’re being critical of a product, they’re unprofessional because (at least in this post), not an ounce of research has been done prior to posting. In fact Aaron is still wrong, as David pointed out above, about the Movable Type licenses. At least the previous post was filed under opinion where it would be mildly ok to post something hotheadedly without research!

    And in all this, no one seems to have answered my second question:

    Could you please clarify for me what WP is offering “new� to the blogging world. I would love to see these spectacular innovations that I seem to be missing.