MT3: First Take

A new version of MovableType was released today. To say the announcement, which included a surprising twist with respect to licensing, was controversial would be quite the understatement.

Suffice to say, a lot of good points are being made, and are being expressed very passionately. Too bad the new licensing was such a shock to folks; apparently none of the alpha or beta testers had an inkling of the change.

It appears that the main problem affects folks with multiple blogs or multiple authors. License fees for the new version are quite a bit higher than expected. Also, if they tried the beta, (especially if they converted a primary site), they can’t update to the final production version and remain in compliance with the new license. I think something needs to be done about that, especially given that the license probably precludes continued usage of the beta past a certain point.

Overall, I also think the limits are too extreme, but am not really in a position to say much more than that. It is a complex issue. Certainly, the high cost of authoring will force some folks to use other solutions. Only the folks at SixApart can make the final choice as to whether they are losing too much business or not.

For my rather simple needs, it appears that MovableType 3 will work and will offer some improvements over the current version. The limitation of 1 author and 3 blogs isn’t a problem for me. I’ll still probably give WordPress a good look, but am not terribly motivated to move away from MT.

One of the things I was curious about was whether my old Recently Updated key would work, and I’m pleased to note that it does still work.

I also wanted to see the new comment system in action. I don’t yet have an opinion on the new TypeKey system, but am interested in comment moderation. I don’t get many comments, so the delay and work of doing moderation shouldn’t be a problem for me. I have to spend time cleaning spam now; I’d rather spend it approving posts instead.

In order to discourage comment spam, the URL provided by the commenter is hidden. Since I plan to block all spam, and don’t mind folks listing their sites when commenting, I will probably figure out how to disable that feature.

Overall summary: MT3 has some useful new features, though nothing earth-shattering. The free version meets my needs, though I may purchase a new license; I haven’t decided yet. I would be more inclined to do so if this was more of a feature release; I don’t mind paying a reasonable fee for features I use. Also, I guess I would like another tier in the licensing setup as I don’t need tech support and so don’t want to pay for it. I suspect we’ll see some adjustments in licensing terms in the near future, as that appears to be the main flaw with the new release.