May 14, 2004

New Version of MovableType

MT has upgraded to v3.0 - at least in an early-adopter version. I will check this out, but I have a few reservations on the surface:

  • Price - At $100 for 5 weblogs/3 authors - and we'll want the 6/8 option eventually because of our large family, at $150 - this is getting to be expensive software. (Yes, there's a free version - but it's far too limited on users/blogs for my family's needs.) On top of that, this is a price that doesn't include major-version upgrades (not too surprising). With the introductory price and the credit for previously-purchased keys, we would end up paying about $25 for the lowest-end personal license (with the two older kids having a shared account for their blog), or $75 for the license we'd really need. Frankly, I'm not sure that's worth it to us, when in extremis we could just use 2.661 from here on out - it serves.
  • TypeKey - Why do I have to register for TypeKey to even download the product to try it out? I'm not sure I want to do that and I am sure that I don't have time to investigate it in the near future.
  • LDAP - There is still no LDAP database support, which would if implemented be enough of an incentive to get me to upgrade regardless of other issues.
  • Comment Spam Features - I cannot see any effort having been put into the product to fight comment spam. I don't want to implement user registration (which I seem to recall seeing on the feature list) because some people want to be anonymous, and that kind of thing is a headache. It would be nice to be able to, say, delete and comment and block it's IP at the same time, though, or to integrate shared IP blocking among participating blogs.
  • Comments and Trackbacks - I see no indication that there are improved features to view comments or trackbacks (similar to, say, the edit entries function). This is a major pain right now for comments or trackbacks that are not among the last 5 entered.
  • Blogrolling - Blogrolling - particularly detection of recently-updated blogs - should be integrated into the product. It doesn't appear to be, so I'm still stuck editing the template by hand instead.

In short, I don't see any compelling reason to upgrade, I do see some reasons not to upgrade, and it won't be as easy for me to try out the software as I'd like. As a result, I'll probably give this a miss for the time being.

And judging by the feedback, I'm not the only one.

It's nice that they've finally fixed their licensing so that people can make money supporting MT, designing sites and the like. And it's nice that they've apparently improved the interface for plugin developers. That's not compelling to me, though it will doubtless be compelling to those who will gain increased revenue from this.

UPDATE: It should be noted that much of the feedback is coming from people who don't want to pay for software. As someone who makes his living in IT, I certainly don't feel that way. I'm willing to pay for good software if there isn't free software that is as good, and if the software's licensing meets my needs. While I prefer unlimited authors and blogs (and certainly see that as the way to go for 6A from a business perspective), my minimum is 6 authors/6 blogs. I can't afford their price for that, so unless they change, I'll continue with 2.661, find an alternative, or build my own.

UPDATE: The other interesting feature is how many MT users are recommending or investigating alternatives to MT in their commentaries.

Posted by Jeff at May 14, 2004 04:37 PM | Link Cosmos
Comments

I moved to WordPress a few months ago, and it was the best thing that happened to my blog. I wrote a How To move from Movable Type to WordPress over at my blog, which might be of interest to you.
WordPress lets me do everything MT did, and the support and user community positively rock!

Posted by: Carthik on May 14, 2004 09:13 PM

I looked at WordPress' site, and it looks nice. The only problem is that it only appears to support one blog per installation.

Slashcode is too much.

I'll likely stick with MT and roll my own extensions if they don't fix their licensing and features.

Posted by: Jeff on May 15, 2004 12:25 AM
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