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Movable Type

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I'm installing Movable Type to see if it'll be a more user-friendly journaling system (for a nontechnical friend who wants a journal) than my homebrew system. So far, it seems really really cool. All these features that I've been vaguely considering adding to my system for ages (like the ability to save drafts and preview before posting, and the ability to mark entries as belonging to a particular category) are already built in, plus a whole lot more—and, of course, the resulting journal is much much prettier than my system.

If I had known about Movable Type back when I first created my journal system, I would've used it instead of building my own. I don't regret building my own—I learned an awful lot about PHP and MySQL, skills that were directly relevant to my day job at the time and that led directly to my creating the SH submissions database, among other things. And I later learned a lot about CSS from applying it to my journal, which contributed to my being able to help with the CSS for the SH redesign. And so on.

But I gotta say, looking at Movable Type, I'm tempted to see if I can find a way to convert all my old entries to use it. It's so pretty! And so powerful!

(I know there are plenty of other pretty and powerful options, especially the most excellent JournalScape. I'll also be pointing my friend to that as an alternative. But it looks like MT allows multiple users to post to a single journal, which is something that would be useful to my friend, and that would take some time for me to implement in my system, and that I don't think JS has yet either.)

8 Comments

My only caution is that everyone I know who has moveable type based journals also have huge problems with comment spam. (Not tech savvy enough to know why, but it does seem to be a recurring problem)


Thanks for the plug! No, JournalScape doesn't have a good way to handle multiple posters to one journal. We're still a pretty basic system for the user who doesn't want to fiddle with too much.

Movable Type has always looked to me, too. If not for JournalScape, I'd be using MT.


In a weird kind of synchronicity, I'm looking into setting up a blog for Daniel, and am currently trying to decide between Movable Type and WordPress. Did you consider WordPress at all? If so, I'd be curious to know what you thought of it.


I fled Movable Type for Textpattern and am now migrating to WordPress. I do not recommend Movable Type at all, to anyone. The comment spam issue is a problem for site owners, obviously, but it's also a huge issue for server admins because MT's method of handling spam is absurdly resource-intensive. I'm also not fond of the license changes made to MT last year.

Both Textpattern and WordPress are easier to set up and use. (They're both open source as well, which makes life easier.) I love them both. Their big disadvantage is that neither will handle multiple blogs without some trickery, but it can be done.


The comment spam thing can be a big problem with MT, but the good news is that the MT-Blacklist plugin is pretty fab for managing it. Highly highly recommended.


More generally, Six Apart (the MT company) provides a pretty good Guide to Comment Spam that explains a variety of approaches to stopping MT comment spam, and the pros and cons of each.

The main things it doesn't discuss are why spammers post comment spam (my understanding is that it's primarily to increase the spammers' pages' PageRank), and the new use of nofollow.


I like Movable Type a lot. I use an archaic version and have no real interest in upgrading. I rolled my own tool which solves the comment spam problem to my satisfaction, as described here, combined with another hack I did to the code which sticks in that "are you human?" radio button.... I can send you that if you like. The latter also is good for Stephanie's sysadminny concern about resources -- it stops the vast majority of blog comment spam (blam?) before MT ever goes and hits the database.


Oh, the other thing I should say is that there's now something even more insidious than comment spam -- trackback spam! I havent created a solution for this yet, but it doesnt bother me as much, since I dont really use trackback myself much.