Weekend Wrapup

I’ve got a couple of different things I want to talk about, but none of them warrant an individual post, so I’m gonna wrap ‘em all into one.

I’ve started using Meebo as my instant messenging program of choice. The only thing that prevented me from using it before was having to go through the trouble of actually typing in each account whenever I wanted to use it. A few days ago, however, Meebo rolled out a new update which included individual user accounts, so now all you have to do is sign up for an account, type your information in one time, and it will save it for future use. It rocks; I mean, I’ve only been using it for a few hours, but any time I can use a browser to accomplish something instead of a program, I’ll do it. Firefox has quickly become the home of everything I do on the computer, which I guess is going to be the wave of the future.

I’m thrilled about the prospect of getting back into the designing game. I know I’ve got a long road ahead of me in terms of catching up with all the new standards (CSS, XHTML, etc), but I’ve got three books coming in this week from Amazon that will get me back where I want to be. I’ve had a name in mind for my design company for five years, but haven’t ever done anything about it because I’ve been too afraid/lazy to try and learn everything that I’ve missed out on. Last night, however, I registered the domain name, and I’ll be taking it live in a few weeks time. I’ve got two clients already based on past work, but I’m waiting to start design on them until I feel like I’m proficient enough in CSS and layout to get them done the way I envision them in my head. One designer who has heavily inspired me to get back into the game is Derek Punsalan; his work is incredibly creative and a perfect example of where I’m going to be taking my designs.

Om Malik is reporting that Six Apart may have pulled in another 12 million in Series C financing. I understand that Six Apart has three of the biggest blogging platforms available (Movable Type, Typepad, and Livejournal), but is the company really worth over 100 million dollars? That seems incredibly pricey to me. Movable Type is pure junk compared to WordPress, anyway. Blog software should not have a “rebuilding” step in this day and age; it was fine when MT first released, but WordPress raised the bar and MT should have followed their lead a long, long time ago.

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22 thoughts on “Weekend Wrapup

  1. “Blog software should not have a “rebuilding” step in this day and age”

    Well, considering rebulding hasn’t been necessary in MT for a few years, that’s good to know. That said, lots of people choose MT’s generation of static pages because it helps their sites scale up without having as much database load on their server.

    Similarly, installing another entire copy of an application in order to have more than one blog shouldn’t be necessary in this day and age any more than you’d install another mail server anytime you want a new mail account. But, you know, sometimes software has flaws.

  2. I’m with you on the pain of having to install multiple copies of WordPress…but in the config file there is something about using a table prefix to have different instances…has anybody gotten that to work? It was a while ago when I tried it but I’m pretty sure I had issues…not sure if it was the software or an EBUAK ;)

  3. Anil, when I used to use Typepad it had to rebuild, as recently as a month or two ago. Shouldn’t that be the bleeding edge technology? If static pages help you scale up, why did the service keep going down?

    On MT I was able to do dynamic templates but the whole half PHP half Perl thing was weird and a lot of plugins didn’t work in right PHP.

    The multi-blog thing used to be a pain in WordPress, but I got MU running a few days ago and it’s really fast and has unlimited blogs.

  4. “Anil, when I used to use Typepad it had to rebuild, as recently as a month or two ago. Shouldn’t that be the bleeding edge technology? If static pages help you scale up, why did the service keep going down?”

    TypePad had the problems it had because it was becoming rapidly more constrained by its datacenter and lost the “race” to swap everything over to a new one.

    Luckily, that’s behind us and since then TypePad has had excellent uptime and has been incredibly fast — not compared to “the bad old days” mind you, but to the likes of Google.

    Given that, imagine how much worse it would have been if TypePad didn’t publish static pages but were instead a fully-dynamic blog hosting service. *shudder* There’s a reason Yahoo writes its directory out to disk to serve the pages from every night.

    Regardless of how you feel about static vs dynamic, there is an extremely strong case to be made for each one. Large publishers absolutely need the ability to scale and static pages give you that without database, CPU or middleware getting in the way. On the other side, personal bloggers (like myself) want the speed and responsiveness of dynamic pages and don’t really need to worry about scaling (aside from the rare SlashDotting or DoS attack).

    And you know what? They’re both right which is why Movable Type gives people a choice.

    On MT I was able to do dynamic templates but the whole half PHP half Perl thing was weird and a lot of plugins didn’t work in right PHP.

    I’m assuming that that was right around the release of MT v3.x? I have a hard time finding a plugin I care about that doesn’t run under either mode and I’ve been running with dynamic pages since the 3.1x days. The reason is because we have a massive and talented network of developers who have not only brought the useful old plugins up to speed, but are creating new, innovative and crazy useful plugins which take advantage of the amazing gains made in the Plugin API just since 3.2.

    So while the Swedish Chef text formatting plugin (and their ilk) made in 2001 may not work anymore, you can now manage just about every element of your published blog just by dragging and dropping (Sidebar Manager), you can quickly and easily add to or modify element of the admin UI just be dropping in a plugin (BigPAPI), you can get pretty crazy stats on your blog (StatWatch and Google Analytics), you can create custom fields for any type of object and template tags to publish the data with (CustomFields and RightFields), you can aggregate together feeds from all your local blogs as well as any external ones (Feeds.app), you can edit your entries and manage your comments/TrackBacks straight from your published blog (InlineEditor), etc. etc.

    In short, Movable Type has always been the most flexible and powerful bloging software on the web and it’s only becoming more so with every release. If you’re judging software by what it looked like years ago, you’re judging wrong software.

    The multi-blog thing used to be a pain in WordPress, but I got MU running a few days ago and it’s really fast and has unlimited blogs.

    While I certainly appreciate that Mu has probably made your life on WordPress better and it is a massive step forward for the platform, comparing it to the native multiple blog support that Movable Type has offered since back in 2001 is a bit of a stretch to put it kindly.

    With Mu, you still have multiple databases which eliminates just about all of the installation management possibilities that MT offers (manage/search/replace entries/comments/trackbacks/etc across all blog, etc etc). And with MT, there’s no limit to the number of blogs that a particular user can have or be a co-author on. Unless things have changed since I last looked, you’re limited to 1 on Mu. There’s a whole world of possibilities that that eliminates from the start.

    Anyway, I hope that that helped clear up some of the misperceptions.

    Jay Allen
    Product Manager – Movable Type
    Six Apart

    P.S. Why hasn’t someone hacked in a Preview button into the WordPress codebase yet?!

  5. There’s a reason Yahoo writes its directory out to disk to serve the pages from every night.

    If Yahoo’s pages are static like MT how do they change so much when I’m logged in? I don’t know your source for that info, but it seems doubtful in 2006 and with the creator of PHP working for them Yahoo still “rebuilds”.

    So while the Swedish Chef text formatting plugin (and their ilk) made in 2001 may not work anymore

    My fefureety ploogeen! Bork Bork Bork!

    (Just to clarify, I switched from MT about 2 months ago, and still have a install on Yahoo Hosting.)

    In short, Movable Type has always been the most flexible and powerful bloging software on the web and it’s only becoming more so with every release.

    This question is going to sound mean, but I honestly am curious. You guys seem to have everything in your favor, “massive and talented network of developers”, numerous paid employees, millions of dollars, free licenses for anyone on pronet, and you did everything first. Why has market share of MovableType plummeted in comparison to WordPress? Two years ago it seems like every blog I read was MT.

    And with MT, there’s no limit to the number of blogs that a particular user can have or be a co-author on. Unless things have changed since I last looked, you’re limited to 1 on Mu.

    Any number of authors across any number of blogs, like on wordpress.com. Some of the managament things in MT are nice, but it doesn’t seem to scale past a few hundred blogs before most admin pages start timing out, which is why I believe most new blog networks are using WordPress.

  6. Well, considering rebulding hasn’t been necessary in MT for a few years, that’s good to know. That said, lots of people choose MT’s generation of static pages because it helps their sites scale up without having as much database load on their server.

    The last time I tested an install of Movable Type was about six months ago, and it featured rebuilding any time you made an edit to a post. If I’m wrong, I’ll gladly retract what I posted, but I don’t think it’s been a few years since rebuilding was needed.

    Not to say you’re lying, Anil. I’m only going on experience here. And I guess the “pure junk” comment was a bit harsh. It was late and I was grumpy. :-) I’m actually eagerly awaiting Project Comet to see what it’s all about.

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