Yesterday brought the release of the Movable Type Developer Edition, so keeping with my reputation of being an early adopter, I upgraded immediately. The upgrade went smoothly, but I have to say that there doesn’t appear to be many new features, especially to warrant a 3.0 version number. The administration interface is cleaned up and nicer to look at, and there is support for the Atom syndication format (which also appears to be in version 2.65), and there is now support for TypeKey, SixApart’s single-login authentication system for weblog commenting, but that’s about it (unless I’m missing something).
The biggest news out of this release, however, is the hub-bub over the changes SixApart made to the Movable Type licenses. Many bloggers appear to be outraged that SixApart is actually attempting to make money on their creation. How dare they! And who cares if they still offer a free version – it’s crippled!
I have one word for these idiots: boo-hoo. SixApart developed a good product which people and businesses want to use and now want to make sure their company is fairly compensated for their work. More power to them. While I’m currently happy using the “crippled” free version which they still provide, if my needs change in the future, I may spring for a Personal Edition license, or I may look at one of the other web publishing systems (ExpressionEngine comes to mind). The point is, SixApart is not forcing anyone to upgrade to version 3.0 and it does not lock MT users into using their product forever – you can easily import all of your content into another system if you want to. I suspect that many of the angry users will choose to go this route out of protest, which is fine with me: let the marketplace decide.
Update: After more thought and reading, some of the criticism of SixApart appears to be valid. Like I said above, Movable Type 3.0 doesn’t have many new features and if I were in a situation where I required a purchased license, I might be upset too. What exactly are buyers getting for their money? Like some bloggers have pointed out, this isn’t Movable Type Pro, which hasn’t materialized yet. I don’t argue with SixApart charging for their product, but for goodwill’s sake, they should at least offer something new that compels its users to want to pay for the update.