Movable Type 3.0

It seems like everyone with a weblog has been talking about Movable Type 3.0, so I guess I may as well chime in with my two cents. This weblog has been running Movable Type 2.64 with the same set of plugins and templates for almost a year now, and I have no immediate plans to upgrade to any newer version of anything. I went through an initial phase where I was hacking weblog software, writing tons of plugins, but once I got my weblog the way I wanted it, I haven’t had occasion to change it, and nothing I’ve seen about Movable Type 3.0 convinces me otherwise.

A lot of people have complained about the pricing model, but I’m neither surprised nor disappointed. From the beginning, it was clear that Movable Type was free only for limited personal use. In fact, it always bothered me that you couldn’t purchase a commercial version of the software—I was always worried it would turn out that the MT content management system would turn out to be so useful I’d want to use it for business purposes, and until now, you just couldn’t do that. For a business that needs software like this, $300–$700 really isn’t all that much. The “Personal Edition” price of $100 seems steep, but I suppose they want to encourage people to think about TypePad instead. If they’re going to provide good support, I suspect $100 is probably about what they need to charge; there are a lot of people who will try to set up a weblog and will need hand-holding through the complicated parts. For those who like to tinker with their own weblog, the Free Edition is still, well, free, and it’s the same software.

That said, it’s always bothered me just a little that I wasn’t using open-source software to host my weblog. Especially given the time I put into writing plugins and hacking on software I didn’t have the right to redistribute or use in non-prescribed ways. I picked Movable Type because it was the best weblog software at the time, and it did everything I was looking for and more. I certainly don’t begrudge Six Apart their commercial success; I regret not having donated $20 to them when I had the chance. I always meant to, but now they’ve taken down the donation links. Oh well.

However, if I ever decide to change this weblog (and I’ve been thinking about it; the look is getting stale, and the mess of plugins I’m using feels over-engineered for what I want to do,) it will probably not be to Movable Type 3.0. These days, you can hardly turn over a rock without hearing about new weblogging software, and I’ll probably try something different (and open source). I’ve always liked the idea of blosxom; maybe I’ll give that a try.

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