Movable Type Monday: As a Desktop Application, Plugins, Benchmarks and RC2

Filed as Features on June 18, 2008 12:15 am

A day late but this week’s Movable Type Monday is chock full of updates from the MTOS community including two ways of running Movable Type as a desktop application, two new plugins, updates from the biweekly conference call and an updated schedule for the release of the next version of MTOS with a second release candidate for MTOS 4.2.

Welcome to Movable Type Tuesday Monday!

MTOS Community Updates

Movable Type Desktop Application: Last week, Jesse Gardner posted two articles that will have many Mac MT users excited – the ability to have Movable Type running as a desktop application!

With his first tutorial, Jesse guides you through setting up a full-blown MTOS application with Fluid, and has even created a gorgeous icon for when MTOS sits in your dock! With his second guide, Jesse explores making Movable Type a MenuExtra in conjunction with the iMT plugin. MenuExtras are the little applications that sit on the right hand side of your menubar and as his screenshot shows, this is a slick new and simple way of blogging with Movable Type, a la Twitterific!

What’s the benefit, why not just leave MTOS in the web browser? Personally, having MTOS as a menuextra might encourage me to blog more but as Jesse says:

I have one Movable Type install on my server that powers nearly a dozen of my sites, so I’m constantly accessing it. Since I work quite a bit with other client’s installs, it’s easy to get them mixed up when I’ve got thirty tabs open. Fluid lets me turn my Movable Type install into an app which is then accessible via Quicksilver.

Fantastic stuff!

MTOS Conference Call: Six Apart hosts a bi-weekly conference call with members from the Professional and Movable Type Open Source community. Notes as well as a podcast of last wednesday’s call are available for everyone who was unable to attend – topics discussed included information about MTOS 4.2’s performance benchmarks and schedule as well as the recently announced native TypePad application for the iPhone! The next call is scheduled for next Wednesday, June 25 at 10:00am. More information on dialing in is available on the wiki page.

Byrne Reese, Product Manager of Movable Type, also mentioned that work on the next version of Movable Type is slowly beginning and polled the community for feedback on what they’d like to see. If you have ideas, suggestions or criticisms, feel free to post them to the Ideas Forum.

Picnik Photo Editing: Last week, I highlighted a innovative new plugin, Pixenate, that brought photo editing to Movable Type. This week saw the launch of Picnik, a new plugin that provides an alternative to editing photos within Movable Type by integrating MTOS with the Picnik.com photo editing service! Simply click a link from MTOS and you are taken to the Picnik site where you can edit and save your photos, which are then automatically synched back to MTOS!

Translate: Bryan Tighe released Translate, a new plugin that uses Google’s Language APIs to easily translate your entries to a number of different languages. On his blog, Bryan elaborates on which language translation is important by highlighting that only about a third of most people in the world speak English!

MTOS 4 and FastCGI: One of the ways to make Movable Type run incredibly fast is to install FastCGI. Unfortunately, not only is FastCGI itself pretty labourious to install but getting MTOS to work with it reliably can often be tricky. Thankfully Beau comes to the rescue and gives us an easy two step process of getting MTOS 4 working with FastCGI. Thanks Beau!

MTOS Beta Test Updates

MTOS 4.2RC2: Last week, the second release candidate of MTOS 4.2 was released and a changelog was also posted. In preparation for a final release, an Upgrade Guide has also been posted to the wiki. I encourage community members to quickly look over it and suggest any improvements!

4.2 Benchmarks: As we know by now, one of the biggest improvements with MTOS 4.2 has been the performance improvements but we’ve never been provided with benchmarks. During the conference call, Byrne finally provided the community with more definitive benchmarks. On a blog with 10,000 entries, 100,000 comments, 3 categories and 3 authors:

  • Simply by upgrading from MT 4.1 to 4.2 and making no other changes to your system can yield publishing improvements of up to 33%. By turning on module caching for all widgets (with a 5 minute cache window) yielding publishing speed improvements of 45%.
  • Movable Type 4.2 has been shown to be 2x faster than MT 3.x was out of the box. By turning on module caching it has been shown to be 3x faster.
  • Search performance has been increase 100x in MT 4.2 over MT 3.x.

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