Ever since Lorelle began her “WordPress Wednesday” series, I’ve been eager to see a similar column for Movable Type which is why I’m particularly excited to be writing here today! Before I dive into Movable Type news, let me briefly introduce myself. I’ve been an active member of the Movable Type community, having written a number of popular plugins, co-founding The Style Contest/Archive and building the new plugins directory.
So lets plunge in.
Movable Type 4.15
The biggest Movable Type news this past week has been the launch of the Movable Type Open Source 4.15 beta test, codenamed Cal (after a pilot from the team’s favourite television show – Battlestar Galactica!). Don’t let the version number fool you. It may seem like only a bug fix release but v4.15 is chock full of performance fixes and features including:
- Full comment threading – whereas previously, only entry authors could reply to comments (from the MT interface), MT 4.15 incorporates the popular Simply Threaded and now allows readers to do so too
- Template Previews – a feature that will undoubtedly save a lot of time, no longer do you need to rebuild a template (or create a “test” template) to preview changes you have made.
- New Search Engine – Movable Type’s search engine began as one of the first plugins for the platform, written by Jay Allen, and had seen little updates since then. MT 4.15 introduces a completely new search system that is faster and more accurate than before.
- Beefed Up Publishing – MT 4.15 gives you a great new interface for better controlling how your templates are published with an interface for Server Side Includes (something that has always been possible but is easier now than ever before!), Module Caching and Publishing Profiles (a simpler way of choosing the best publishing strategy for your website).
And this is only touching the tip of the iceberg. The announcement entry lists several more features including new, simpler default templates and large updates to the admin interface.
The MTOS (Movable Type Open Source) mailing lists have been incredibly active with members reporting issues, filing bugs and submitting patches. For example, the new search engine and template listing screens in MT 4.15 were a direct result of community discussion and Hirotaka Ogawa, a member of the MTOS community, was the driving force behind a number of the performance fixes found in this release.
MTOS Roadmap: Also seen this week was the beginnings of the Movable Type Open Source Roadmap posted by Byrne Reese, the product manager of Movable Type at Six Apart. The next version has been codenamed Fireball after the Battle Star Galactica callsign with an estimated release date of Summer 2008. Keep an eye on that page, it will undoubtedly see updates once the MT 4.15 beta test nears conclusion!
Debian Packages: Since the announcement of MTOS, there has been a push to make it easier for people to install and upgrade MT. Dominic Hargreaves, who been spear-heading the effort to create a Debian package, announced that Movable Type will be available with the next release of Debian under the name
Movable Type Hackathon
There are several threads of the MTOS-dev mailing list to finalize the date and details of an MTOS Hackathon or Sprint. The most popular option so far appears to be a two-day event in San Francisco proposed by Niall Kennedy. Tentatively to be held towards the end of April or the beginning of May, Niall pitches:
I believe the most productive in-person first meeting of the MTOS
community will blend presentations on the current state of the MTOS
publishing platform with in-person development collaboration on
desired features and enhancement.
Editor’s note: I’m very happy to have the talented Arvind Satyanarayan on board, so please welcome him! Expect weekly Movable Type coverage from now on.