Movable Type: Run Away!

I’ve been thinking about it for months, but today’s announcement from SixApart sealed the deal.

SixApart, the makers of Movable Type blogging software, today announced a “mandatory” upgrade to all installations of Movable Type <http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/news/2006/09/mt_333-mte_103_updates.html>:

“Today [09/26/06] we are releasing required updates for both Movable Type and Movable Type Enterprise to fix a number of vulnerabilities affecting all previous versions of the platform…. This is a mandatory update due to the severity of the combined vulnerabilities…. If you are running a version of Movable Type older than 3.2, it is especially imperative that you to migrate immediately to version 3.33 due to the importance of fixes for the current issues as well as several significant security enhancements which have been made since your version was released.” (Emphasis in original.)

As I wrote in May, Movable Type leaves a lot to be desired:

“[In order to] keep blogs from scaring people… I submit that [SixApart will] need to make the terminology more understandable, the modules more pluggable, the APIs more useful. For example, I should be able to easily email a post to my blog. I cannot. I should be able to easily synchronize the look-and-feel of my website and my XML feed. I cannot. I should be able to easily integrate my blog with third-party services like Technorati and del.icio.us. I cannot. Sure, I can do all of these things, and I generally enjoy doing them because I am a hacker. But it’s not easy, not transparent, not non-frightening for the newcomers or non-techies. Translation: Six Apart, you’ve got some work to do. You need to encourage, nurture, and support your ProNet plugin directory . You need to incorporate more template modules into your default templates to eliminate unnecessary redundancies. You need to lose the idea that a weblog home page should look different from archive pages. You need to keep innovating or more Movable Type bloggers will move to WordPress. Otherwise, blogs – and Movable Type blogs in particular – will continue to scare the [heck] out of people.”

For SixApart, meaningful Movable Type plugin development seems to be an afterthought, and the most popular plugins seem to be features that should have been included in the core code in the first place. Plus Movable Type source is modifiable, but it’s not open source, which required me to do odd things (e.g. describing, but not distributing, my improvement) when I wanted to share a Movable Type code improvement. WordPress, on the other hand, is open source.

I started blogging in 11/2002 using Radio Userland, which was a dreadful piece of software, switched to Movable Type in 03/2003, and will be switching to WordPress <http://www.wordpress.org/> ASAP (fall 2006).

Evidence that Movable Type is losing ground to WordPress comes in the form of a LifeHacker blogging survey this summer in which WordPress received over 70% of the votes as the best standalone blog application <http://www.lifehacker.com/software/web-publishing/reader-poll–best-standalone-blog-application-183428.php>.

Google Trends also seems to support the conclusion that WordPress beats Movable Type <http://www.google.com/trends?q=WordPress%2C+Word+Press%2C+MovableType%2C+Movable+Type>:

2006-09-27-movabletype-vs-wordpress.png

Of course, this will be a nontrivial conversion. I have four, count ’em, four blogs that I’m running with Movable Type: Erik’s blog, my kids’ (password-protected) blog, my band’s blog, and an inside joke (which I’ll likely deep six).

A mandatory Movable Type upgrade? I think not. It is officially time to run away from Movable Type and switch to WordPress.

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