Movable Type Monday: Geolocation, Framework Proposals and more docs!

Filed as Features on May 26, 2008 11:19 pm

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My apologies for missing last week’s Movable Type Monday. Today, I’ll be highlighting a number of awesome new (and updated) plugins that have been released over the past two weeks (especially in the realm of geolocation) as well as a series of new proposals and updates to the documentation as we gear up for the release of the next version of Movable Type.

Welcome to Movable Type Monday!

MTOS Community Updates

Geolocation Plugins: Michael Sippey wrote about a number of new plugins for MTOS that allowed you to add location data to your blog entries including:

  • GeoSpatial Simple, a plugin that allows you to associate locations (via latitudes and longitudes) with entries and Google Maps
  • GeoType, one of the first products of the newly formed Six Apart Services, is similar to GeoSpatial but was developed in conjunction with LightPole and hooks into their services (such as publishing blog entries via mobile devices)
  • Fire Eagle, a plugin by Six Apart co-founder, Ben Trott, which allows MTOS to interact with Yahoo’s new location-aware service Fire Eagle.

In the comments, Andrew Turner also highlighted GeoPress for Movable Type which provides another excellent alternative to add geo-awareness to MTOS!

Magnify.net’s Publisher: A great new plugin from Magnify.net allows you to search for and embed media (videos and photos) directly into your entries without ever leaving the MTOS interface! As the plugin’s page describes, the plugin works with every major Web 2.0 service including YouTube, Flickr, Metacafe and BlipTV. I know that I’ve wanted a plugin like this ever since having access to the same sort of functionality in Vox and I’m glad to see it’s now available!

Copy! Patrick Benny is on fire and released a new plugin simply named Copy! As Patrick describes, Copy! makes the process of duplicating an entry a one-click process (rather than having to open multiple windows/tabs and copying data to-and-fro). Now that CustomFields is available natively for Movable Type, this plugin will undoubtedly be a huge time saver everytime you need to make a copy of an entry!

AutoLink: Byrne Reese updated AutoLink, making it MTOS 4 ready! As he describes, AutoLink allows you to create a list of words that will automatically linked to a corresponding URL whenever they are used in an entry. Extremely useful when you’re frequently writing about certain subjects. Byrne also highlighted Make who now use MT 4 to power their blog!

Modularization Proposals: With MT 4, Six Apart began the process of modularizing MT (i.e. breaking the large code base into smaller parts that could easily be removed and/or swapped in with others). Mark Carey proposed the next step in modularization by making “commentability” a framework that can be extended to include not only entries but other things. Such a commentability framework would be based on the existing tagging and rating frameworks built into MTOS (allowing pretty much anything to be tagged or rated!). In particular, Mark highlighted the ability to comment on assets (files, such as photos or videos, uploaded through MTOS) or a user’s profile!

Discussion on this proposal also expanded to include “pingability” and “subscribability” frameworks (the ability to ping and subscribe to not only entries but other things in MTOS too!). Look for an official proposal page on the MTOS Wiki soon. As a plugin developer, this topic has me especially excited due to the possibilities it opens!

MTOS Beta Test Updates

Barb Mosher on CMSWire has a good entry that takes a look at what the latest version of MTOS will bring

As we gear up for release day, the documentation is also seeing rapid improvements and updates including:

  • Documentation on how to add comment threading if you are upgrading your templates from a prior version (comment threading should be enabled by default in new blogs!)
  • A look into a few small new features that have crept into the next release such as the new SetVars and SetHashVar template tags (which should make those modular templates a bit easier to understand!). A new setvar attribute will undoubtedly be useful allowing us to easily capture the output of a tag and store it in a variable (no more unnecessary SetVarBlock tags!)

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