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January 26, 2011

From Movable Type’s Ashes, A New Melody Arises

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With Movable Type fading away into obscurity (unless you live in Japan), it looks like Melody (which is a fork of Movable Type 4.34) is entering its last round of beta in anticipation for its first release candidate debut.

So it is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Melody 1.0 Beta 3, the last beta before we release RC1 next week, and hopefully 1.0 shortly thereafter. So to all Melody beta testers: time to fire up your test instances and take one last opportunity to bang on Melody before it finally ships. And to the rest of the Melody and Movable Type community – get ready, 1.0 is right around the corner! (Official Melody Blog)

Despite my heavy affection for WordPress, I’ve been rather impressed with Melody overall (especially their user interface) as well as how they plan on making Melody designer friendly via YAML (which is suppose to be much easier to use than HTML).

It will be interesting to see if Melody can prove itself as a superior alternative for dissatisfied Movable Type users instead of WordPress (which seems to be the first choice among defectors), although from what I’ve seen thus far from the team, Melody may prove to be a blog/CMS hit a few years from now.

Users curious about the blog software can either download Melody (note: link will trigger an automatic download) or test it out for free via Open Melody Demo.

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November 27, 2010

Movable Type’s Cooler Brother Re-entering Beta? (Melody)

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The creators of Melody (which is a fork of Movable Type 4.34) have been busy over the past few months squashing bugs and improving the user interface in preparation for the 1.0 launch.

While the core developers are planning on rolling out a finalized version of their platform in the near future, it looks the platform will be re-entering another beta round which might push the final release towards 2011.

After a short delay, we are happy to announce that Melody 1.0 beta 2 is finally available for download. This is an exciting release, not just because Melody is now more stable than ever before, but because we have made some exciting new enhancements as well. […]

This release has over 200 bug fixes, enhancements and changes contributed by numerous members of the community many of whom contributed for the first time

And don’t forget, we are only planning one more beta, so now is the time to download Melody and begin trying it out. If you encounter any problems we have folks standing by ready to help. (Official Melody Blog)

Note: Emphasis theirs.

For those curious as to what Melody looks like from the inside, users can test out the latest beta for themselves upon Open Melody Demo which can give web masters a taste of the platform without having to install it upon their own server.

Although there is no word on how long the second beta round will last (let alone the upcoming third), hopefully we will see a finalized version unveiled soon as Melody could give Movable Type fans a reason not to defect towards WordPress.

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October 4, 2010

Is Melody Mimicking WordPress?

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Melody, Movable Type’s cousin (and perhaps frenemy) is in the process of redesigning their user interface before their immanent 1.0 launch.

While the upcoming CMS is proposing a few odd changes to their future layout (i.e. putting the logo at the bottom of the admin page), the proposed layout seems eerily similar to WordPress.

Developers working on Melody are claiming that the layout is borrowed from Movable Type 3 instead of WordPress (which could be true as I’ve never tried MT3), although truth be told it does look much nicer than Movable Type 4 (as well as Typepad). read more

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September 24, 2010

Can Melody Save Movable Type?

Right now Say Media (who now officially owns Movable Type and Typepad) is in the middle of a firestorm after the President (Troy Young) insulted every small blogger utilizing their services with this statement.

Say Media expects to lose some subscribers to the Six Apart blogging platform. Its main focus, Young said, is in those that hope to build media businesses, rather than regular people who write a blog for fun.

“The kinds of people we want to work with are emerging media personalities,” he said. (AdWeek)

While the company attempts to pacify the rage and prevent many users from defecting to rival platforms, Say Media may find their ultimate hope in an emerging platform that shares Movable Type’s DNA (if not a passion for the platform as well). read more

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December 14, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 Delayed, Media Manager, Page Listing Hack, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Disappointing news for those of us waiting for the official Movable Type 5 release: It’s been postponed till January 5. In the announcement, Six Apart only says that there are issues to resolve so they’re waiting till after the holidays to release. I believe this is the third official release date we’ve had, let’s hope it’s the last one.

Byrne Reese has announced a new version of the Media Manager plugin. The previous version was broken by a change to Amazon’s API. Rather than patch the problem, Byrne did a major rewrite of the software to take advantage of an existing Amazon API library. As a result, folks upgrading from a previous version will likely need to update their templates. read more

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November 23, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 RC2, Melody, StumbleUpon, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! This week, Six Apart put out the second release candidate for Movable Type 5. They mention a few highlights in the announcement, so let’s look at those here:

  • A lot of work to get the dynamic publishing in sync with the static publishing.
  • Updates to the Professional blog templates
  • Unbundling of Motion and Action Streams
  • The Entry/Page “previous” and “next” container tags now account for entries/pages with the same date-time, rather than skipping them.

The item on that list that catches my eye is the “unbundling” of Motion and the Action Streams plugin. This is the first I’ve heard of this. If you download the release candidate you’ll see that, sure enough, the Motion template set and the Action Streams plugin are gone. One has to wonder if this is the end of Motion or if it will be back as a separate plugin. If anybody’s heard more about this, let us know in the comments. read more

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November 9, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 Release Candidate, Event Calendars, Melody Update, and More

Happy Monday, folks! Well, after several rounds of beta testing, the first release candidate of Movable Type 5 is here. Lots of changes since the last beta, including:

  • New Pico theme.
  • Fixes for FastCGI bugs.
  • Lots of improvements for backup and restore.
  • A ton of bug fixes.

According to the schedule, there should be one more release candidate in mid-November, then a final release of 5.0 during the first week of December.

Besides the app itself, a lot of work is being done on the MT5 documentation. Beau Smith announced that the doc index and a page of recent updates is now available. Here’s hoping they have time to release a lot more documentation before MT5 ships. read more

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July 6, 2009

Movable Type Monday: More About Melody

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.

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June 29, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Melody, Installation, and Edit Links

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Happy Monday, folks! The big news this week is the launch of Melody, an open source fork of Movable Type. Several long-time MT developers are contributing to the project, and a 1.0 release is expected this year.

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. read more

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