Movable Type Monday: More About Melody

Filed as Features on July 6, 2009 11:00 pm

Happy Monday, folks! Last week, we introduced you to Melody, the new open source fork of Movable Type. In that post, I expressed my uncertainty as to the goals of this project. I also theorized that creating open source versions of commercial MT features was not one of those goals. Here’s exactly what I said:

It’s unclear at this point how this project will differ from the existing open source version of MT. Certainly, a different leadership is going to have different priorities. The Melody folks seem to be bending over backward to show this is not a break from MT, but just a separate development branch. And, similarly, Six Apart has welcomed the new project. So I doubt we’ll see any of the commercial MT features rewritten as open source modules, at least in the near term. It’s more likely we’ll see features that are useful to independent developers (and, consequently, small to medium size businesses) instead of the enterprise-level development that seems to be 6A’s focus.

Byrne Reese, a long-time MT developer and one of the founders of Melody, was kind enough to respond in the comments and set me straight:

Don’t be so sure. For Melody to be successful, it still has to compete, even in some respects against Movable Type. That being said, any feature in Melody requires someone committed enough to develop it.

One priority for me personally is profiles – that is a feature I believe strongly should be core. If Melody is going to be a “progressive” let alone modern blogging and publishing app then profiles is essential. Others have mentioned implementing custom fields.

My hope though is that Six Apart will see the value in us collaborating on a shared code base. Those decisions however are not made quickly or easily – and they must be made with shared interests in mind.

So time will tell certainly, but do expect Melody to be a serious and compelling alternative to Movable Type. Melody is not a hobby for those committed to its success – it is a serious product looking to compete.

To me, this says more about the project then the original announcement did. Specifically, that Melody is not just a separage development track of MT, but a separate — and potentially competing — open source project.

If you’re interested in the direction Melody takes, I recommend reading their blog post on proposing changes. It outlines how best to submit your ideas for Melody.

What have you done with MT (or Melody) lately? Let us know in the comments.

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