Movable Type Goes Paid

More or less, at any rate. As you all know, I’ve been beta-testing the new version of Movable Type; the software that runs the news system on G&T. The first version of MT3 was finally publically released yesterday. And we have a problem.

Before now, MT was free for personal use; commercial users still had to pay a fee. Whilst MT3 has a free version, the license now doesn’t allow you to have more than one author and three weblogs. Having a “commitment to a free version” (as told in this post in Mena’s Corner) is all very well, but as you will have noticed, G&T has two people at the h-hheeelm. I’ll say that again, to make it sound like English. And this is forgetting the fact that the current system also runs three other sites; four blogs, and three authors. Meaning I’d have to pay the grand sum of $119.95.

Now, unlike certain other people, I don’t begrudge Six Apart the money. They’ve put a lot of effort into the software. And it is their software; they can do what they like with it. But on the other hand, G&T is not a money-making enterprise; and there are plenty of other free tools out there anyway, which I’d rather use. See the comments on this blog entry for some of them. (The ethos of free software is good; and it can and does work in practice, when there are enough people developing it.) And all this “commitment to a free version” seems rather disingenuous when the license is so restrictive.

It’s not just this, mind you; if the software did everything the way I wanted it to, I’d probably just pay up. But recently I’ve been worrying; I’ve not been convinced by the way MT3 does things. A Javascript logging in system for registered comments? It seems unpleasant, really; I’d rather not use Javascript unless absolutely forced to, and doing something that there is no other way to do. Logging into a website isn’t one of those things. I was going to mention this to the MT people, but I’m not sure it’s worth it now.

It’s not definitely decided yet, but we may well move to a new system in the future; probably when the site relaunches. I’ll be taking 3 days off work in mid-June to do this, so expect it to happen then. In the meantime, I’m investigating other systems. As for comment registration, that won’t happen until at least the relaunch now; I just hope I can find a system that does it properly, along with everything else I need it to do…

Meanwhile, it’s article writing weekend for me. See you later!

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