Movable Type 4

mt4platform.pngSix Apart just announced Movable Type 4. 6A VP Anil Dash’s passionate post makes very interesting reading.

The image shows an arrow going to MT4 from each of 6A’s other three products. Anil explains the relationships as follows: “we can take their technology, and the lessons they’ve taught us, and bring them back to Movable Type.” It’s not clear to what extent this will be reflected in shared code. In particular, will there be a 6A platform on which all products are based?

What is clear to me is that MT4 is to a large extent about community:

  • Version 4 brings in to MT some of the things 6A has learned about community from the acquisition of LiveJournal and from the development and launch of Vox.
  • An open source version of MT4 will be released under the GPL later this year.
  • What begins today is “a real beta process that will collect your suggestions, improvements, feedback, and most of all the passion of all of you in our community.”
  • MT4 is an olive branch to those past and present members of the MT community who felt outraged by the enforced licensing of MT3.

Duncan Riley’s post at Techcrunch is particularly interesting in relation to the last of these points.

As a vocal critic previously I can now say in all honesty that a leopard can change its spots. The new version of MovableType looks wildly appealing to me as a blogger and the decision to open source the platform may well deliver broad numbers of WordPress converts back to the platform that started it all.

Read/Write Richard posts as a MT blogger who has “looked on rather enviously” at WordPress, and indeed is running new blogs in his network (e.g., last100) on WordPress. Of course, both Duncan and Richard devote more of their posts to objective analysis than to personal reflection.

I’ll look forward to detailed comparisons between MT4 and WordPress, particularly in terms of their relative attractiveness to third parties. My feeling is that MT has a lot of ground to make up, but that MT4 represents a determined effort.

Finally, 6A veteran Anil frames the new version in terms of the heritage of MT and 6A. But the manager in charge of MT is Chris Alden, who came on board nine months ago when 6A bought Rojo. At the time, Valleywag saw the $5M as the price for Chris, with the rest of Rojo being along for the ride.

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