Putzing Around

I’m bored and feeling like doing something dorky, so, I’ve been playing with Movable Type. It’s supposed to be the Lexus of blogging software. The interface is nice and clean and makes sense, but, it’s kind of like Photoshop: so powerful it’s hard to learn. There are quite a few structural differences between MT and Drupal… and since I want to play with this “Extended Entry” part, I’ll continue it down there.

Movable Type is a relatively unique system in the way it is designed, implemented, and most importantly, licensed. It is written in Perl and generates mostly static pages with some dynamic content. What this means is when I hit save, it creates a normal html page from a template and saves it with a .html name. The page content is not created automatically from that point on. It has links to dynamic content, such as TrackBacks (basically, ways for blogs to comment to each other when someone references your blog entry on their site) and comments… when you fill in a comment and hit submit, the Perl script processes it and updates the static HTML page with the new comment.

Most importantly, in my opinion, is the license. Movable Type is not free software. It has a proprietary license. They give away a no-cost personal license that allows one author and three blogs, but, a license for a five author, unlimited blog site is $69. For a large license for a corporation, it’s like $1,500. Some people have problems with this, because they are selling a product into space that is typically held by free, open source software.

Some of the big open source blogging systems include WordPress, Drupal, and Geeklog. I used WordPress for a week or so. It was alright but wasn’t impressive. It did what it needed to do but wasn’t slick or otherwise cool. So, I canned it and went to Drupal.

Drupal is open source, dynamic content management system written in PHP. By dynamic, I mean that every time, every page is created automatically by the software. This means that you can do a lot more with the content and you don’t have to “rebuild” your site every time you make a configuration change. The downside is that it consumes more resources. In my case, I have a box doing nothing but hosting this site and my e-mail, so it’s got the spare CPU cycles. Drupal has a modular design that allows you to add and remove features as you need. For example, if you want to turn it into an E-Commerce site, you can by adding a plugin. Book reviews? Check. Community Story writing? Check. xml-rpc interface for ecto and other editors? Check. It’s pretty slick and complete.

So, why am I even looking at MT? Like I said, dork boredom. And, since MT is such a standard, it might prove to be useful knowledge in the future (doubtful).

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