Movable Type 6 Released

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With all the excitement at the Movable Type Idea Exchange, I totally forgot to post about this: Six Apart has released Movable Type 6 yesterday.  There don't seem to be any release notes with this announcement, but the two major new features are the Chart and the Data APIs.  The first one replaces the old flash-based dashboard widget and enables all kinds of visualisations about the sites and blogs in an MT installation, and the second one allows external applications to talk directly to MT so they can post/update/delete/extract/query... the content inside MT.

I'm in New York today for the Movable Type Idea Exchange.  All presentations are being recorded, but if you can't wait here is my low-quality livestream:

Holiday and a lot of catch-up work interfered, so I am a bit late with the news: Six Apart launched a beta version of the new Movable Type Theme & Plugin directory and a thoroughly renovated www.movabletype.com.  It looks gorgeous.

Yesterday Six Apart announced the beta of MT6. It sports several cool new features like a new web/JSON-based API and a graphing library + Google Analytics integration. However, the biggest bombshell was in the license change announcement (or rather, the clarification to the announcement), specifically these two lines:

  • Dropping MTOS offering - discussed in-depth on expanded post
  • MT Pro and MT Advanced - Will be under MT commercial license

In plain English this means that after ten years there won't be a free version of Movable Type you can download anymore (not as in beer and not as in speech).

Hot on the heels of MT 5.2.6 Six Apart released MT 5.2.7 today to fix a few bugs that were discovered in the last version.  Release notes are here.  The most important bug seems to have been with the treatment of the <mt:ignore> tag, something with "invalidating the MTIgnore's block tag's opening closing tag", according to the announcement.  I have no idea what an 'opening closing tag' is actually, but as soon as a proper English translation for the term is found I will let you know :-)

It was announced last week while I was away on business so I couldn't write about it until now.  Movable Type 5.2.6 is out, and it comes with two big new features and some smaller ones: a new theme called 'Eiger' which is fully responsive (and a good base to build responsive sites on), and a revamped mobile version of the dashboard that lets you blog on smartphones on tablets.

Dan Wolfgang has written a great article for Movable Type plugin developers that want to upgrade their old MT4 plugins so they work on Movable Type 5.x.  Go and read it!

Gather round the campfire kids, and listen to this cautionary tale.  If you are reading this blog you probably heard about Trendolizer, my trend-tracking website, powered by Movable Type.  Recently I noticed the server load for it was constantly over 20, with multiple run-periodic-tasks instances running at 100% processor use all the time.  Not good!

I just released a little plugin I needed for another project.  It adds a 'bitlyfy' template tag modifier to Movable Type that lets you turn any URL into a bit.ly shortened URL directly in your Movable Type template code.  Simply add bitlyfy="1" to any template tag that outputs a URL, and it will output a bit.ly link instead.  Download the Bitlyfy Plugin here, docs and source are here.

Six Apart announced a new official product lifecycle roadmap for Movable Type on Christmas, and the most important news in it seems to be that support for version 4.x will officially end December 31st, 2013.  If you don't upgrade to MT 5.x by that time you are basically on your own... For most installations, upgrading from 4.x to 5.x shouldn't be a problem.  But not all plugins are compatible between 4.x and 5.x, so there certainly is some work to be done for plugin developers who want their code to keep working on the latest MT.  Should  you need any help with your upgrade, feel free to contact me!

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