Movabletype 2 blosxom

Posted on September 13, 2006

Can this be true? Is this guy talking about moving away from Movabletype and into Blosxom in this day and age?

I sure am and I did do it. If you want to know more about the move just read on!

Simplicity. That’s the name of the game.

Movabletype is a fine platform for blogging, to be sure –I’ve used it for my blog for many years now and I still use it for some other blogs I’m involved with on a technical decision-making capacity– but I’ve gotten a little fed-up with a few things about the way it works.


First off, Movabletype is very complex, and getting more so as time goes by.
Each new version adds more features and, of course, introduces the added complexity necessary to support those features.

Blosxom is a script and a bunch of (totally optional, of course) plugins written in Perl (yes, this brings out the rabid squirrel in me).


This is an indirect problem. Spam –both on comments and track-backs alike– is a plague that infests all types of blogs and Six Appart do their best to cope with it, but at the end of the day the solutions they provide all depend on a lot of work for their users, either because people have to always catch up with their software’s latest release (or else lose the protection afforded by the previous version) or because even if users are in fact on the cutting edge, there is still the inherent mechanism of detection and protection that is built upon users being spammed, acting on it and that information being fed back to a master server and then scattered to other users so as to allow these later ones to be protected from the new spam.
Anyway it is always a lot of work for people getting targeted with new spam waves (as I find myself being for some reason I cannot fathom –it’s not as if I am a big time blogger or anything like that)…

This problem got so annoying in fact, that I decided to “outsource” the feature to professionals and right now I’m using Haloscan for all my feedback, both comment and track-backs.
Of course this could be easily integrated on my Movabletype platform, but if I’m not going to use this feature than it stops counting as a factor for the platform.

Upgrade, upgrade, upgrade

The Movabletype upgrade cycle I’ve mentioned before is annoying for multiple reasons. Not only because I have to do it in order to get the latest spam-protection afforded by the platform I can’t just let the software be, but also because each new version traditionally brings along with it a new licensing model that get closer each time to losing the free customers’ bit, which is definitely a must for me.

Local vs Remote

One of my main reasons for wanting to change platforms is the model that Movabletype (and most other blogging packages out there) follow of a server hosted somewhere which not only displays the content but is also used for editing it.
This is fine for a lot of uses but I don’t like to have to be on-line to edit my blog. I know there are several programs that allow me to create and edit content off-line and later “replay” the actions on to the server (I actually use one of them, namely ecto), but this only allows me to edit the content and preview it for HTML entity correction sort of thing, not for real publishing as it will appear later on the server.

Also the fact is that I still feel a lot more confortable just editing text files around (be it in my laptop or in the server via ssh) and I do believe this kind of interaction with the site will allow me to write if not more stuff, than at the very least better stuff –more thought out and relevant.

So for all these reasons and more, I’m now on Blosxom and, so far, I’m quite pleased.