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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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June 22, 2009

Movable Type Monday: New Version and New Plugin

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Happy Monday, folks. Only a couple of items on the agenda for this week. First, Movable Type 4.261 was released. This is a very minor update, mainly to fix the schema upgrade issue we told you about last time. If you upgraded to 4.26 and you’re not having any problems you can safely hold off on this update.

Finally, Dan Wolfgang released a new plugin for Action Streams. Dan’s Delicious Tags plugin lets you pull any Delicious tag results into your Action Stream. It’s particularly handy if you’re tracking search terms related to your industry.

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

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June 15, 2009

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

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. read more

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June 8, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Photo Gallery, Google Maps, Template Sets, and More

Happy Monday, folks! We’ve got a few new and updated plugins this week, so let’s start there.

Byrne Reese released a new version of the Photo Gallery plugin. This version includes two new options for the “front door” of your gallery. You can now choose a grid or blog layout, and you can display a featured photo. Byrne also released an updated version of the plugin’s documentation.

SetOffset, written by Shinichi Nozawa, is an enhancement to the Movable Type admin. On the Manage Entries screen, it allows you to “jump” to a specific point in the list of entries, rather than have to page through them to find the one you want. read more

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June 1, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Themes, Plugins, and an Interview with Anil Dash

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Happy Monday, folks! We’ve got lots to cover this week, including an interview with Anil Dash from Six Apart about the WordPress plugins they recently released. But let’s start off with new stuff for your Movable Type blog.

First, Byrne Reese posted a preview of a new theme he’s working on: Hybrid News. This is a port of the WordPress theme of the same name. Byrne will release the theme under an open source license when it’s ready, and promises lots of new, MT-only features when it comes out. read more

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May 27, 2009

Movable Type Mon… er, Tuesday: Action Streams, Mac Installation, Quick Fixes, and More

Happy Tuesday, Folks! Apologies for the late post — the Memorial Day holiday here threw me off. We’ve got several things to cover this week, so let’s get right to it.

Like most weeks, Chad Everett has released an updated to his popular blog notification plugin: MT-Notifier 4.2.3. This releases fixes a problem that was causing some people to get errors, so if you were seeing those errors you should upgrade now.

Anil Dash of Six Apart published a “mini FAQ” of common issues people have with Movable Type. Anil addresses the category bug we talked about last week, as well as problems with the text editor, scheduling posts, and using the Publish Queue.

Also this past week, Beau Smith published two tutorials on his blog. First, he has a snippet of template code for only publishing entries with a future (or past) date. I’ve found this sort of thing particularly useful when using MT to publish an event calendar.

Also from Beau, a guide to installing MT on a Mac. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step instructions for installing ImageMagick. That’s a beast I’ve fought on multiple platforms, and a guide like this would have made it a lot easier. Thanks, Beau!

Finally, some new documentation for those using and developing with Action Streams. If you want to add a blog to your Action Stream, this document will show you how. And for developers, an Action Stream recipe for creating your own Action Streams plugin.

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

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May 18, 2009

Movable Type Monday: WordPress Plugins, jQuery Interface, Patches, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Lots of people are talking about Six Apart’s announcement at WordCamp Mid-Atlantic. The makers of Movable Type are reaching out to WordPress users by releasing two WP plugins. The first is Typepad Connect, which allows a blog to accept Google Connect, Facebook Connect, and many other authentication systems. The other is Typepad Antispam, Six Apart’s comment spam blocker, similar to Akismet.

It’s an interesting move by 6A. Some people are calling this a win for WP over MT, but I really don’t see that. Automattic sponsored the first Akismet plugin for MT, and that wasn’t considered a concession. Over the past few years, 6A has made it clear that while MT is one of their products, their overall business is blogging. It makes sense that they would try to extend their reach into other platforms. I have no idea if they’ll have any success with Typepad Connect on WP, but I’d wager Typepad Antispam will win them some converts. I’ve used both it and Akismet, and Typepad does a far better job of identifying spam for me. read more

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May 11, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Hot Date and Custom Category Sorting

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Happy Monday, folks! We’ve only got a couple of things to tell you about this week, but I think you’ll find them both very useful.

First, Dan Wolfgang has updated his Hot Date plugin to work with Movable Type 4.25. I’ve been using Hot Date since its original release and I love it. It makes updating the timestamp on an entry very easy. This really comes in handy on those entries that take several days to complete — click a single button, and your entry date is updated to the current date and time.

Next, Beau Smith has a trick for manually ordering categories. His method will allow you to customize the order in which categories are output for things like menu listings. I’ve done similar tricks in the past, but his solution is far simpler and more elegant than mine. Thanks, Beau!

What have you done with Movable Type this week? Let us know in the comments.

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May 4, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Notifier, TaskMaster, and RandomEntries

Happy Monday, folks! This week it’s all Movable Type plugins. We have two new ones, plus updates to an old favorite.

First up is MT-Notifier. Chad Everett has released two updates to this blog notification plugin — 3.5.2 and 4.2.1. In 3.5.2, changes include:

Updated comment notification to address send after approval.

For 4.2.1, the following changes were made:

  • Added check for blog_id to search_api table.
  • Fixed problem with base_url correctly reading.
  • Removed extraneous permissions from list actions.
  • Standardized history write routine in history module.
  • Updated write_history_records routine.

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