Movable Type Weekly News Wrapup

Filed as Features on April 9, 2008 2:35 am

Ever since Lorelle began her “WordPress Wednesday” series, I’ve been eager to see a similar column for Movable Type which is why I’m particularly excited to be writing here today! Before I dive into Movable Type news, let me briefly introduce myself. I’ve been an active member of the Movable Type community, having written a number of popular plugins, co-founding The Style Contest/Archive and building the new plugins directory.

So lets plunge in.

Movable Type 4.15

The biggest Movable Type news this past week has been the launch of the Movable Type Open Source 4.15 beta test, codenamed Cal (after a pilot from the team’s favourite television show – Battlestar Galactica!). Don’t let the version number fool you. It may seem like only a bug fix release but v4.15 is chock full of performance fixes and features including:

  • Full comment threading – whereas previously, only entry authors could reply to comments (from the MT interface), MT 4.15 incorporates the popular Simply Threaded and now allows readers to do so too
  • Template Previews – a feature that will undoubtedly save a lot of time, no longer do you need to rebuild a template (or create a “test” template) to preview changes you have made.
  • New Search Engine – Movable Type’s search engine began as one of the first plugins for the platform, written by Jay Allen, and had seen little updates since then. MT 4.15 introduces a completely new search system that is faster and more accurate than before.
  • Beefed Up Publishing – MT 4.15 gives you a great new interface for better controlling how your templates are published with an interface for Server Side Includes (something that has always been possible but is easier now than ever before!), Module Caching and Publishing Profiles (a simpler way of choosing the best publishing strategy for your website).

And this is only touching the tip of the iceberg. The announcement entry lists several more features including new, simpler default templates and large updates to the admin interface.

MTOS Developments

The MTOS (Movable Type Open Source) mailing lists have been incredibly active with members reporting issues, filing bugs and submitting patches. For example, the new search engine and template listing screens in MT 4.15 were a direct result of community discussion and Hirotaka Ogawa, a member of the MTOS community, was the driving force behind a number of the performance fixes found in this release.

MTOS Roadmap: Also seen this week was the beginnings of the Movable Type Open Source Roadmap posted by Byrne Reese, the product manager of Movable Type at Six Apart. The next version has been codenamed Fireball after the Battle Star Galactica callsign with an estimated release date of Summer 2008. Keep an eye on that page, it will undoubtedly see updates once the MT 4.15 beta test nears conclusion!

Log4MT: Veteran MT contributor, Jay Allen released Log4MT a fantastic logging and notification plugin which, as the plugin’s wiki describes, makes debugging plugins ridiculously easy!

Debian Packages: Since the announcement of MTOS, there has been a push to make it easier for people to install and upgrade MT. Dominic Hargreaves, who been spear-heading the effort to create a Debian package, announced that Movable Type will be available with the next release of Debian under the name movabletype-opensource

Movable Type Hackathon

There are several threads of the MTOS-dev mailing list to finalize the date and details of an MTOS Hackathon or Sprint. The most popular option so far appears to be a two-day event in San Francisco proposed by Niall Kennedy. Tentatively to be held towards the end of April or the beginning of May, Niall pitches:

I believe the most productive in-person first meeting of the MTOS
community will blend presentations on the current state of the MTOS
publishing platform with in-person development collaboration on
desired features and enhancement.

Exciting stuff! Chime in with your thoughts on the MTOS blog or mtos-dev mailing list.

Editor’s note: I’m very happy to have the talented Arvind Satyanarayan on board, so please welcome him! Expect weekly Movable Type coverage from now on.

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  1. By Andy Merrett posted on April 9, 2008 at 2:51 am
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    WordPress Wednesday…

    Movable Type… Monday?

    Or are we going to go head-to-head in a battle of the blog publishing platforms?

    :)

    Reply

  2. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on April 9, 2008 at 2:54 am
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    It is not Monday today, now is it? ;)

    Seriously though, you’re on to something, but I won’t confirm or deny anything just yet.

    No, I’m just playing with you. Yeah, Mondays.

    Reply

  3. By Anne Helmond posted on April 9, 2008 at 3:23 am
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    Even though I am a WordPress user, this is excellent news. A Movable Type Monday is a great addition in covering news in the blog software news.

    Reply

  4. By Ryan Imel posted on April 9, 2008 at 7:22 am
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    I don’t like to think of it as pitting one platform versus another. There are certain jobs where one platform is better than another, and other situations where that same platform isn’t ideal at all.

    Best to learn about them all, that way you always know what the best tool is (to a hammer everything is a nail…)

    Reply

  5. By Spamboy posted on April 9, 2008 at 11:39 am
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    I’m also a WordPress user, but was originally a Movable Type addict. Thanks for providing this kind of wrapup, as I enjoy seeing what I’m missing. Is it possible to elaborate on how the search function has been improved, as I am not aware of the previous version’s limitations/issues? Thanks!

    Reply

  6. By Darnell Clayton posted on April 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm
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    Movable Type Mondays is what I also had in mind. Although I enjoy writing here on WordPress, I’ve never been fond of it overall (mainly due it the numerous updates resulting from security holes).

    While I love blogger, I may actually consider Movable Type (if I move back to self hosting my blogs, instead of allowing Google to have all of the fun).

    ~Darnell

    Reply

  7. By Beau Smith posted on April 9, 2008 at 6:08 pm
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    Excellent weekly wrapup. So excited you’re writing this column! Looking forward to more MT news!

    Reply

  8. By Arvind Satyanarayan posted on April 10, 2008 at 4:37 pm
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    @SpamBoy: Sure, the new search system was rewritten from the ground up. It now properly uses all database tools at its disposal (such as full-text searching) making it much faster than its predecessor. In addition to this, you can also paginate the search results which makes it much more presentable to the blog’s reader and finally, its become a framework such that plugins and addons can add/change/remove any part of it! Hope that answers your question :)

    Reply

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