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August 17, 2009

Movable Type Monday: 4.31 On The Way, Image Cropper, More Custom Fields

Happy Monday, folks! If you’ve upgraded to Movable Type 4.3, you may have encountered a bug related to custom fields and the new asset manager. A fix has been developed by Six Apart and is currently being tested. The upgrade, 4.31, is expected to be released this week.

In plugin news, Byrne Reese has announced Image Cropper — a new plugin that lets you crop and resize images to make more interesting thumbnails. Be sure to watch the screencast to see how it works — the interface looks very nice.

Finally, Dan Wolfgang has an updated version of his More Custom Fields plugin. This version adds a “Selected Entries” custom field, which can be used for things like custom related entries lists.

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

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August 3, 2009

Movable Type Monday: 4.3 Release, Sharing Your Posts, and More New Features

Happy Monday, folks! Well, it’s here: Movable Type 4.3. Lots of new features and performance enhancements, so you’ll probably want to upgrade to this one. Here’s a summary of what’s new, taken from the official announcement:

  • Performance for all publishing is faster than ever.
  • Your readers can now find content by author or date range (something Google’s site search doesn’t do) with the powerful new search feature.
  • You can create a new site based on an existing one in just a few clicks with smarter blog cloning.
  • Page views can increase by more than 50% with the new flexible pagination for comments and entries (based on the testing of one of our clients.)
  • It’s faster to insert and re-use photos in your posts, and simple to create slide shows, with the most powerful asset manager ever.
  • Documentation is more comprehensive and easy to access than ever before.

Some impressive claims there. I hope after people have had time to kick the tires they’ll let us know how it really performs. read more

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July 27, 2009

Movable Type Monday: 4.3 Features, Documentation, jQuery, and More

Happy Monday, folks! The Movable Type 4.3 beta continues with the third beta release this past week. Lots of bug fixes in this version. The final release is expected some time next week.

Over at MovableType.org, Matt Jacobs has been writing about some of the new features in 4.3. First, he has an explanation of the new entry asset manager. From a usability standpoint, this is a huge improvement over the previous system. And Matt shows how the new system can be used to generate slideshows for the images on each entry.

Matt also has a post about entry pagination in 4.3. With the new pagination system, your first page can be static, while additional pages use MT-Search to generate the results. One of the side effects of this is MT-Search now has some new options, such as searching by author or date. read more

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July 21, 2009

The GPL and Themes/Plugins

HeckertThis is a continuation of the Blog Herald’s Guide to the GPL License series. You can read part one and part two here.

One of the more common misconceptions about the GPL is that it is “viral” in nature and can “infect” any software that touches it.

While it is true that the GPL does have a viral component, it is only to ensure that derivative works based upon GPLed code are also released to the GPL. It is possible, and even common, for GPL applications and proprietary ones to co-exist side by side. For example, there are many proprietary programs, including Skype and MyDropBox, that run on Linux, which is GPLed.

However, when one delves into plugins and and themes, something of a gray area begins to emerge. Though a WordPress theme, for example, might not be based upon a GPL theme, it relies upon a GPL application to function. As such, it has been widely held that they are GPL-licensed, even if they haven’t been explicitly licensed as such. read more

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July 20, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Version Announcement, Twitter Comments, Custom Styles, and More

Filed as Features with 1 comment

Happy Monday, folks! Sorry for the lack of updates last week — I was out of town and didn’t make it back in time for Movable Type Monday. Which was a shame, since we got a couple of pieces of really exciting news. First, the beta for MT 4.3 has begun. A few of the new features include:

  • Entry Pagination via MT-Search
  • Clone a Blog’s Structure Without the Content
  • Comment Pagination
  • Per Entry Asset Management

Plus lots of bug fixes. The new asset management is what interests me the most — it means the end of the awful form tags currently used to associate an image with an entry. If you’re the beta type, download and try it today. read more

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July 14, 2009

Why GPL Blogging Software is Important

HeckertThis is a continuation of the Blog Herald’s Guide to the GPL License series. You can read the first part here.

It is easy to see why GPLed software would be of great interest to developers. GPL software, though not always free in terms of the money charged, always has to come with its source code and the ability to edit and customize the work.

This means that, if a developer obtains a GPLed application and needs to fix a bug or add a feature, they can do so. They are then free to distribute the fix under the same terms and, in doing so, are ensured that all future modifications are treated the same way. 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.

read more

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June 29, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Melody, Installation, and Edit Links

Filed as Features with 2 comments

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

Filed as Features with 2 comments

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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