Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery

Time for a Change?


Speaking of Movable Type…a few days ago, Six Apart—the company behind Movable Type—announced that they were being bought out by some marketing company called Video Egg. I say Six Apart is “behind Movable Type”, but long before this, I wasn’t so sure. For the past few years, Six Apart has seemed to focus their efforts regarding individual bloggers towards TypePad and concentrated their corporate MT horsepower toward enterprise customers. A quick read of the comments of the above post shows that current TypePad customers aren’t too excited about this move.

It is true that Six Apart released an open-source version of Movable Type ( some time ago and their statement today read, in part:

“After the recent announcement about Six Apart, some of you might have been wondering about the future of Movable Type. We can be very clear about that: of course we will continue development and support of this platform that now has a decade of history behind it.

  • Movable Type 4 remains rock-solid blogging software for all uses.
  • Movable Type 5 is a new step up for managing multiple sites.
  • Melody is driven by the most enthusiastic community of bleeding-edge developers.”

A quick Google search of “is movable type dead” reveals more than a few results in the affirmative, including in MT’s own forums. I tend to agree. Plug-in development for MT has stagnated. Numerous MT-specific blogs have gone quiet in the last year or more and multiple bloggers have left MT for WordPress.

I also find it interesting that MT’s statement mentioned Melody, which is another fork of open-source Movable Type that is independent of Six Apart, but includes former SA employees working on it.

”…we believe that by listening to and empowering our community we will unlock the true potential of open source and begin to advance the platform at a more rapid pace.”

Their initial release is almost a year late.

All this—to include an upgrade to MT5 that didn’t really add any functionality for me (see previous post also) and having to delete a trainload of spam comments every day—has me thinking of swtiching to WordPress as well. I have a copy of installed on my local machine to mess around with, and so far I’m impressed. The user-interface is much better than MT’s, there is an active plug-in and support community and it is much easier to find answers to problems.

That’s not to say that switching is a done deal. Good or bad, I coded this site from scratch and I have a pretty good handle on MT’s template and tag system. I’m not too excited about having to port this design (or a new one I’m toying around with) over to a brand new template/theme system. Other issues include ensuring my existing permalinks remain intact (on initial investigation, this is probably not going to be easy) and I’ve yet to find a good WP plug-in to replicate my ‘Elsewhere’ sideblog without having to do some major surgery on how each entry is structured.

But who knows. current statements notwithstanding, Movable Type’s days may be numbered and I may have to bite the bullet.

P.S. Lemme see if I can fit one more cliched metaphor in there.