Movable Type Monday: 4.26, Themes, Feedback Forms, and More

Filed as Features on June 15, 2009 11:00 pm

Happy Monday, folks! The big news from the past week is the release of Movable Type 4.26. This is a performance release — it improves search performance and reliability of the job queue. It also includes a handful of other bug fixes, and some new configuration directives that help you tweak performance.

However, you may choose to hold off on this upgrade. People on the MT mailing lists noticed that it did not seem to be performing a full upgrade. Turns out the schema version was not updated, so the intended changes to the database are not made. Six Apart has assured everyone that has already upgraded that the problem will not cause anything to break. The schema changes were only to increase performance, so they are not required for the code changes. A fix is expected this week.

Still, this has led some in the MT community to call for 6A to do beta releases of minor updates like this, so these problems can be found before they’re put in production. Certainly, this would make sense, and there are plenty of developers willing to take new versions for a spin and report bugs. It makes even more sense on a release like this, when there wasn’t security-related bugs that needed to be sent out quickly. Hopefully 6A will consider this option for future versions.

I thought I’d take some time this week to mention a couple of new sites built with MT. First, MovableType.com has a story about The San Francisco Appeal, an online newspaper dedicated to local SF news. Somewhat similar, ChicagoNow is a collection of blogs providing news and information about Chicago neighborhoods. Owned by Tribune Media and developed by Byrne Reese, ChicagoNow is a community site for all of Chicago. Soon, they will be rolling out Motion-based functionality.

Speaking of Byrne Reese, he had two releases this week. First, the 1.0 version of Configuration Assistant. This plugin helps designers and developers create settings pages for their plugins and themes.

Also, Byrne officially released the Hybrid News theme. This version includes support for Config Assistant.

Byrne also wanted me to pass along the following:

I am embarking on a personal mission to help improve the theme landscape and market for Movable Type. My first aim is to focus on porting popular open source themes from other platforms to MT. In the process I am working to improve this process for others by creating tools like Config Assistant. I call upon the community to help by a) helping me directly by porting themes, and/or b) make it known what themes from WP/Drupal they really like so others can know what to port.

Have some ideas for Byrne? Contact him.

Finally, Mark Kolich has a tutorial on adding a feedback form to your blog. I think it’s rather clever the way Mark sends the user’s response to the Apache logs, bypassing the need for an additional script on the server.

What have you created with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

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