l l i i a a dot com

Last week was the tenth birthday of Movable Type, the content management system that powers this blog. I'm currently on version 5, and have used every single available version over the last nine years—my license key is so old that it predates Six Apart's hiring of Employee #1, a.k.a. Anil.

All this time later, Movable Type is still solid in many ways [1], but looking back at its history is basically one object lesson after another in what not to do [2] when creating something you actually want people to use. For instance, it's both tragic and hilarious that years after both Blogger and Wordpress started paying professionals to design gorgeous themes, Movable Type was and is still stuck with hideous default themes. It's celebrating its diamond anniversary and the goddamn thing still doesn't have pagination built in—a feature people now expect as standard behavior, that Wordpress & Blogger made default years ago, and that Tumblr has had since launch. I wonder how many people switched away from or never chose it because of the lack of pagination, which is killer for upping page views. Oh, and it still doesn't have a native mobile version of either frontend or backend. What?

It's weird that I feel weird about the fact that I still really like using Movable Type to build client sites, right? But it still works really well, and still meets my needs more often than any of its competitors. I wonder if anyone's as sad as I am that when I publish this post, I'm going to get an error back that says

Ping 'http://www.movabletype.org/update/' failed: HTTP error: 302 Found

[1] Seriously, I can't think of a high traffic site running MT that's ever gone down because of it. Can you? Daring Fireball routinely kills other people's servers—usually running Wordpress—with a single link, but has never crashed that I can remember.

[2] Written by Movable Type's former Project Manager, this had me wincing multiple times.

This entry currently has 2 Comments.

There was something resembling a theme contest last year but given that the Twitter account referenced doesn't exist and there was never a follow-up post, I'm guessing there wasn't much response.

October 16, 2011 2:19 PM

Leave a comment?

(You may use HTML tags for style; a preview will appear below the text box as you type.)