Movable Type 4.0

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Movable Type 4.0

Movable Type 4.0 logoMovable Type just announced Movable Type 4.0 beta. The big news about this announcement is that Movable Type 4.0 will be open-source. TMC's blogs run on the Movable Type platform, so I am very excited over this news. First, a brief history lesson... A few years ago, Movable Type became the fastest growing and most popular blogging platform, but MT was quickly supplanted by Wordpress, an open source blogging platform, soon after SixApart decided to enforce a licensing scheme. This enraged many MT bloggers, many of whom switched to the open source and 100% free Wordpress CMS / blogging platform. Now we turn to the present... Today, Six Apart is a very successful company with several revenue-generating products, including TypePad, Vox and LiveJournal, so Six Apart has decided it can offer Movable Type as open source and 100% free to anyone to non-commercial entities. This is a major change for a company-for-profit to switch to open source and could have ramifications for the entire software industry.

So what's new in Movable Type 4.0? Well, it features a completely reinvented user interface with a Dashboard overview of how all of your blogs are doing. It has support for publishing standalone pages and managing file assets and images right within MT. It also has brand-new community features like OpenID, and a built-in user registration system. MT 4.0 has a completely redesigned component architecture that they claim makes MT faster and more scalable than before. I sure hope so since MT 3.33's search is unbearably slow when using the InnoDB MySQL engine. I should mention that Six Apart's goal is to make MT 4.0 a social media platform.

Here's the Dashboard:

MT4 includes more than 50 new features  including an installation and upgrade wizard, easier and more powerful template management tools that speed site development, all new default templates and themes to help users create great looking blogs in minutes, and a completely redesigned user interface focused on streamlining common tasks. For the first time, it will feature-built in advanced WYSIWYG composition and editing. Now I won't have to install a third-party plugin for WYSIWYG blogging in Movable Type. Sweet!

Here's the MT4 editor in action.

Here's a rundown of some of the other new features: 

• MT4 is a social media platform that allows users to turn their audiences into communities. Readers can become members of a website through Movable Type’s community management features, with rights to post alongside authors and to add and share rich text and media posts with photos, videos, and audio. MT4 also expands community with a new ratings framework to enable a variety of recommendation features. Look for more information later in the beta period about an optional functionality pack with even more community features, as well as further details about Movable Type’s vastly improved capabilities for fighting blog spam.

• MT4 saves users time by allowing management of many blogs and many users in a central interface. Users can install, manage and publish thousands of blogs with one installation. The Movable Type aggregator pulls multiple blogs into a single blog, while customizable roles and groups enable more effective user management. Look for more information later in the beta period about an optional functionality pack with enterprise capabilities for Movable Type.

• MT4 can power an entire web site – not just a blog. MT4 provides the power and flexibility to build web sites that are easy to manage and easy to update at a fraction of the cost of traditional content management systems. New content and asset management tools make uploading and revising photos, documents, and videos incredibly easy. Users can create standalone web pages that automatically inherit the design of the blog, to ensure the entire site has a consistent look and feel. Easy-to-use template management tools put the focus where it belongs: on content, not on code.

• MT4 scales to meet the needs of growing organizations with the most advanced technology, power and performance. Six Apart runs some of the largest sites on the Internet, and has brought the technology that powers these world class sites into Movable Type. MT4 leverages open technologies developed at Six Apart that help scale and build community in Vox, LiveJournal and TypePad, as well as Web 2.0 sites from AOL, Microsoft, Digg, Wikipedia, Craigslist and Facebook. These technologies include database caching through Memcached and authenticating of users with OpenID. Movable Type can be run in multi-server environments, with broad support for operating systems (Linux, Windows, and Solaris) and databases (MySQL, PosgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server).

• MT4's new component-based architecture lets users choose product extensions that enable advanced functionality. MT4 introduces a new architecture for the Movable Type platform that unifies its commercial and enterprise product lines while enabling advanced capabilities with optional functionality packs. Making use of Movable Type’s open plug-in API, Six Apart has architected the platform to accommodate full-featured packs that support enterprise integration, community management and other complete solutions.

You know you want to download Movable Type 4.0 beta to try it out. I know I do. Click here to download it. If you notice any outages in TMC's blogs, it's probably me fooling around with the new version. ;)

Anil Dash's blog entry on Movable Type 4.0
Check out Read/WriteWeb's detailed article.

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