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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 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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February 23, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Proposals, Affiliates, Themes, and More

Happy Monday, folks! We’re going to start this week with something that’s probably a little too “under the hood” for most people, but indulge me for a moment. On the Movable Type wiki, developers are discussing a proposal to refactor the variable tags in MT. Sure, it’s not flashy stuff, but if you’re a developer interested in how improvements are made to open source projects, proposals like this are interesting to read.

Now, on to the plugins!

BlogShow — This Flash photo slideshow sports an impressive selection of features, including keyboard navigation and cross-platform support. Created by ITDR, the download available in the plugin directory is a trial version that can be used for up to five galleries.

Yandex OpenIDAndrey Serebryakov continues to make MT more useful to Russian bloggers. This time, he’s added support for logging in using a Yandex account, the largest Russian web portal.

Automatix LightBox — This plugin makes it easier than ever to add Lightbox functionality to your blog posts. Submitted by Mixel Adm, the instructions say just install, upload, and rebuild.

EchoCurrent Affiliate Product Optimizer — EchoCurrent is designed to show your readers affiliate products selected specifically for them. Created by Mike Ruggieri, this plugin will make it easy to put an “APO Zone” anywhere on your blog.

Photo Gallery — Last week, we discussed the changes Byrne Reese was making to his Photo Gallery plugin. Well now he’s got a release out. The old templates have been replaced by the new theme, and there’s even an upgrade script for people still using the 1.0 version of Photo Gallery.

Finally, the CMR Movable Type Styles Blog has a new template set: iNove. Based on a WordPress theme, this comes in both Classic Blog and Professional Blog versions.

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

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February 16, 2009

Movable Type Monday: A Photo Gallery Theme and an Open Thread

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Happy Monday, folks! It’s a slow news week in the Movable Type community. The one item I want to point out is the Photo Gallery Theme from Byrne Reese. Byrne maintains the Photo Gallery plugin, and now he’s building a theme for it based on the Mid-Century Template Set. Nice work, Byrne! I’m looking forward to the release of this theme.

Since I didn’t run across any other Movable Type news this week, I thought we could use this as an open thread to discuss all things MT. What do you love/hate about MT? What are your favorite plugins? What have you struggled with the most? What features do you want to see in a future release? Whatever your thoughts on MT, let’s discuss them in the comments.

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January 26, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Switching Forums, Multiple Columns, Ajax

Happy Monday, folks! Probably the biggest thing to happen for the Movable Type community this week was the shutting down of the old forums to move everyone over to the MT-based forums. The forums on MovableType.org have been up for a while in something of a beta status. It was finally decided that it didn’t make sense to have two forums, and it was better to stick with something built on the MT platform. The MT forums look great, but still have some bugs and lack some features common to forums. A wiki page was started to address some of these issues, so be sure to check it out if you run into problems on the forums. read more

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December 17, 2008

Premium MT Themes: An Interview with iThemes Co-Founder, Cory Miller

iThemes

This is turning out to be a busy week in the Movable Type world. On Monday, Six Apart released Motion, their social networking application built on MT. Then on Tuesday, iThemes — maker of premium WordPress themes — announced the opening of their MT themes store. The availability of themes is one area where MT lags way behind WP. This is especially true when it comes to premium themes. That’s why it’s exciting to see vendors move into the MT themes market.

Yesterday I got in touch with Cory Miller, co-founder of iThemes, to ask him a couple of questions about the premium theme business and his company’s jump into the MT market. read more

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December 16, 2008

Six Apart Announces Motion: Roll Your Own Social Network with Movable Type

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Screenshot of a Motion social network

Screenshot of a Motion social network

A few hours ago, Six Apart announced a new social networking application: Motion. Built on top of Movable Type, Motion is billed as a DIY social network, as well as an aggregator for content from around the web. Motion allows you to create your own microblogging community with a simple posting interface for quickly blogging images, video, links, and more. It uses the Action Streams plugin to aggregate your users’ content from other social networks onto their profile page. And it supports Google Friend Connect, Facebook Connect and OpenID for signing in to comment.

I had an opportunity to try out a private beta of Motion. I have not installed the public beta that was released yesterday, so I can’t say what, if anything, has changed from what I tried. It was definitely a beta, so I wouldn’t advise putting it into production. I would suggest playing with it, though — this product has a lot of potential. read more

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December 15, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Pagination, Template Sets, Plugin Installation, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Since it is a Monday, let’s start things off with some complaints about Movable Type. Phil Gyford wrote a detailed piece on some of the annoying things he’s dealt with in MT. The great thing about Phil’s post is that he doesn’t just complain about MT, he explains how he worked around its issues. Hopefully this post will help others that have dealt with the same things, and inspire new enhancements to MT.

Now, let’s see what else is new in the MT community.

Plugins

Assetylene — Written by Brad Choate, Assetylene lets you customize the markup used to insert an asset into a post. If that sounds familiar to you, it should: Jay Allen wrote a similar plugin. Great minds think alike. If anybody’s tried both, let us know which you prefer and why. read more

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December 8, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Pownce, Notifications, HashMT, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! I’m sure by now you’ve heard the big news: Six Apart bought Pownce. The Pownce team will join 6A, and the Pownce service will shut down. It’s a shame they’re closing the site — it had some really nice features. Hopefully, we’ll see some of those social networking and microblogging features show up in a future version of Movable Type.

Speaking of MT versions, MT 4.23 — the security fix that I told you was coming over a month ago — has finally been released. This is just a security fix, so it should be an easy upgrade. If you’re using the community templates, though, you will need to update those. read more

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November 10, 2008

Movable Type Monday: White Space, Logging, and Documentation

Happy Monday, folks! I don’t know about you, but I sure was glad to see the U.S. elections finally come to an end. Of course, considering the past election season lasted almost 2 years, it may have finished just in time for the mid-term election season to begin!

I bring this up in order to share a bit of MT Presidential trivia: Both current President Bush (in 2004) and President-Elect Obama (in 2008) used Movable Type for their campaign blogs. Perhaps that will give them something to chat about as they are preparing for the transition of power.

Alright, enough politics, let’s get down to business.

This week, Brad Choate posted a proposal for trimming white space in templates. I love this idea, and hope it gets implemented soon. When you’re writing complex templates, it’s easy to have long blocks where all you’re doing is setting the values of MT variables. When your page gets published, you end up with lots of empty space. As an occasional Ruby on Rails programmer, I like the proposed implementation — the syntax is similar to that used in ERB templates. read more

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