Need your reviews/opinions on Movable Type

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Hey guys, I'm working on a website to help designers/developers out there who are new to CMS's. I'm trying to create a resource where they can learn about different ones and hear from people who have used the CMS before.

Anyway, I'm looking for some of you guys who might be willing to submit a review and your opinions on Movable Type:


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  • Two minor fixes for you page there:

    1) It's based on PHP and Perl, not PHP and Python.

    2) 4.25 is the latest release.

    That said, what specifically are you looking for in a review/opinion?

  • Thanks, I've made those updates.

    As far as reviews, try wandering around the site and see what others have said about other systems. (the Textpattern people have really gotten into it)

    Basically just Strengths and Weaknesses that might help out someone who is considering all of the other systems. What do you wish you had known when you first started using Movable Type?

  • Mine is the view of a hands-on customer.

    I'm a longtime newspaper editor / oldtime bbs sysop who's been producing a newsroom website for 10 years. For the last four of them, I've been making MT blogs that transition newspaper reporters to live Web publishing.

    We have about 200 bloggers and several dozen active blogs, including a hugely busy breaking news blog with 20 or more posts and many thousands of pageviews a day, many sports blogs and random others.

    My job is to enable more function, and to display the results. I learned DOS, and I've learned the Template Tag language over the years -- I'm a blogger and an editor, I understand syntax and commands.

    Template Tags are the key to Movable Type. It can do amazing things, but you do need to learn how to describe what you want in an ordered way. Once you get the hang of it, there's a lot of, "Maybe if I do that... yes!"

    In the trenches of a large news organization, producers don't usually have many tools; new features require requisitions, priorities reviews, approvals, days. You will get a tool that does only exactly what you request. To change it, go through the process again.

    MT blogs can be quickly created (cloned), changed and repurposed on the fly by nonprogrammers.

    Jan. 19, a boss asked,
    Q. Can we have a giant Inauguration Day blog that shows inauguration posts from every blog? Just the first 50 words of each entry?
    A. Yup, within the hour.

    How? Create an index template (e.g. indexinaug.html) that aggregates, via the built-in Multiblog plugin, every post tagged "review" from every blog. This set of blogs is already defined the header as "$allblogs." The template code:

    <MTEntries include_blogs="$allblogs" tag="inauguration" lastn="100">
        <$MTInclude module="Entry Summary short"$>
    Now it's a template to make any blog on the fly from any unique tag change and copy it to a new filename.

    Q. Um...Can we put this blog's headline links on our main Website?
    A. Yup:

    Create an index template for x headlines as a javascript file you can link to from the main Website to display the latest n headlines.

    Template Tags are tools and parts like TinkerToys, a pile of pieces that can be combined in a formal, specific order by a nonprogrammer. Some of them link, some trigger actions, some define what's displayed.

    The MT staff keeps building out the engines, and the new functions come with new Template Tags. While the systems folks work out the install of Motion (MT 4.25) I'm thinking about what we're trying to enable for our bloggers and other users, and how to assemble the new tags without foreclosing some option I haven't yet foreseen. Movable Type is a puzzle you can put together in many ways.

  • Wow, thanks shenews, what a great review! Could you post it in full, or an edited version on the website I mentioned above?

    We're trying to gather opinions of different CMS's for people who are new to the whole realm. Your review would be very helpful!

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If you need to share template code, replace all the "<" signs with "&lt;" or use this utility.

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