Let’s get the bad news out of the way: In an effort to reorganize and cut their expenses, Six Apart is laying off 8% of their employees. Hopefully, those affected will get back on their feet quickly. The thing to watch is whether this slows development of Movable Type and how it impacts community involvement and documentation efforts.
Speaking of our community, let’s see what folks have been up to this week:
ToI Planning released several plugins last week. Their descriptions in the Plugins directory are lacking in details, but from ToI Planning’s website and trying the plugins myself, I think I’ve figured them out.
- Locator — Allows you to associate a location with just about anything: blog, user, or entry. It also makes it easy to show a Google Map for that location.
- Period — Use this plugin to set a timeframe for an entry. The entry will be published when the period starts, and revert back to a draft when the period ends.
- QuickRebuild — Adds a drop-down menu to the MT admin for rebuilding different types of templates. This makes it much simpler to just rebuild your index templates, for example.
- StyledFields — This plugin lets you style custom fields on the entry form using CSS. Handy for making certain fields stand out on the entry editing page.
- FillInForm — A wrapper for the Perl module HTML::FillInForm, this plugin will populate forms with previously submitted data. For example, if a user submits a comment but doesn’t fill out all the required fields, this plugin makes sure they don’t lose what they’ve already filled out.
- Dumper — Primarily a tool for developers, Dumper will “dump” your entries to a text file in YAML and/or JSON format.
- CustomFieldsSearch — One important feature missing from the core Custom Fields is the ability to search on those fields. This plugin enables that feature, and allows you to choose which fields get searched.
- CustomDefaultFields — Allows you to rename the default entry fields. Handy for when you want a truly customized admin for your authors.
- CategorySearch — This plugin will enable searching the titles and descriptions of your categories.
Other new plugins this past week:
New User Management Prototype — I like this idea: Six Apart is working on a new user management interface, and they’ve released it as a plugin. Byrne Reese wrote about this plugin and 6A’s commitment to a customizable UI in a recent blog post. If you try it out, be sure to send them feedback.
Config Assistant — This one is for developers. Config Assistant will help you generate a config file for the settings page of your theme or plugin.
Also, Chad Everett released an update to MT-Approval, an anti-spam plugin that uses multiple techniques to stop comment spam.
Ok, enough with the plugins, let’s see what else has been going on:
Michael Hoskins gives an overview of some problems you might encounter when installing Movable Type on Windows Server 2003. I’ve never used Windows as a hosting platform, so I’ll ask you folks: Are these problems common when installing MT on IIS?
Finally, Jesse Gardner produced a screencast all about template sets. If you’re a designer looking to distribute your designs as MT themes, be sure to check this out.
Billy Mabray is a web developer in the publishing industry. Over the years, he's written with and developed for just about every blogging platform there is. Blogging is in his blood, but the doctors think he can live a normal life anyway.