The folks over at SixApart have recently announced what might be some of the biggest changes in Movable Type‘s history. It certainly is making noise throughout the blogosphere. This release marks a significant change to SixApart’s license agreement as well. This is another attempt to persuade WordPress users to make the switch, but the features are so good that even I am considering installing a new blog on Movable Type. The gap between the CMSs in terms of functionality and usage is quickly closing up.
SixApart is talking a good game here:
Today is one of the most exciting days in the history of Movable Type. Our community’s hard work has yielded one of the most significant and important releases in Movable Type’s history: Movable Type 4.2. This new release is the fastest and most secure release of Movable Type ever.
The new primary features included in Movable Type 4.2 are pretty significant:
- Threaded comments
- An out-of-the-box solution for comment spam
- Live template previews
- Paginated search results and entry pagination for dynamically published blogs
- Redesigned template and widget management areas
- Simple, simple, simple templates for quick and easy site customization
Developers get to have some fun as well:
- Pluggable Search Backend – we have worked hard to make Movable Type’s search infrastructure faster, but we realize that some may want to swap it out with a home grown or more powerful search engine. MT 4.2 makes that possible.
- Extensible Search – by default Movable Type searches page and entries, but some users may want assets, comments, TrackBacks, users, or their own custom data types to appear in search results. MT 4.2 makes that possible through very simple, YAML-based plugins.
- OpenID 2.0 Support – Movable Type now fully supports OpenID 2.0, being among the only to support it right out of the box.
- Bundled OAuth Libraries – we recognize that open standards like OpenID and OAuth will become the underpinnings of technologies to comes, which is why we have bundled OAuth libraries into the core of Movable Type to make building plugins and applications that rely upon these technologies easier.
- Fully documented core template tags – a little overdue, we will be the first to admit, but all of the core template tags have been fully documented.
- Performance optimization tools – our performance logging framework can be used by developers to hone in on parts of their code that can be optimized.
Another announcement from SixApart is that they are releasing a Pro version of Movable Type called Movable Type Pro. It gives users full access to the platform: unlimited blogs, unlimited authors, unlimited community members, and “unlimited everything.”
The great thing about this is that the licenses are available for free to anyone who is “not running an official business.” I don’t really know how that truly translates to legal terms, but the blog has said that if you are attempting to make money with a blog, it is fine to use. Kudos to SixApart for making that clear.
Within 24 hours of the Movable Type 4.2 release, The Movable Type team announced that the feedback has been “wonderful!”
Now, I know many of you will be thinking: “Hmm, hasn’t WordPress already had many of these features for awhile now?” Yes—in most cases—you would be correct. However, the point is that as Movable Type closes the gap, the competition heats up. This, in turn, causes more improvements to be made as developers try to out due the competition. In the end, the people who use these products benefit.
Anyways, it is nice to see Movable Type and SixApart bringing the competition to WordPress. I’m a strong believer that competition is good—there are many ways in which WordPress could be challenged to improve itself further. I am also glad to see Movable Type improving as well.
I am hoping that the install is a little bit easier this time around. (Movable Type does not like my VPS server for some reason that I can’t figure out.)
I might give Movable Type 4.2 an in-depth review in the near future—keep a look out for it.
For now, you can check it out Movable Type 4.2—for free—at Movable Type.org.
If you are using the Movable Type CMS, share your thoughts about the new release!