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The Road to Movable Type 4

By Byrne Reese
Posted August 7, 2007, in News.

While the Movable Type Beta started about 8 weeks ago, the road to Movable Type 4.0 began well over a year ago when we released a preview of what we had planned on being Movable Type 3.5, codenamed Wheeljack. That version was a test release available only through the Movable Type code repository, but was used by a number of users and it was then when we first as the first step to start collecting feedback about what would ultimately become Movable Type 4.0.

As 2007 approached, we began to feel strongly that Movable Type needed more than just a powerful new asset management system -- after five years of working with and learning from our community, it was obvious our flagship platform was due for a major rethinking. So we began engaging the community in a broader discussion about what you wanted to achieve with Movable Type. This is what we heard from you:

  • Better documentation
  • A larger, more vibrant community
  • A WYSIWYG editor
  • All the functionality you need without the need to install plugins
  • Better default templates and more template tags to make life easier on designers
  • A more intuitive install experience
  • More content management features
  • A product that felt new again
  • The innovation that got you excited and interested in MT in the first place
At the time we were considering releasing a 3.5 version of MT, but we made our plans significantly more ambitious base on what we heard. So we began work on a major re-architecture and redesign of Movable Type, with participation around the world by the largest team ever assembled to work on the platform.

A few months later, we released the first beta of Movable Type 4.0. Each week that followed saw the release of new beta releases, full of features requested by the community and countless bug fixes to issues reported by testers. After a few weeks of continuous development, we released our first release candidate and shifted gears to refining the most critical issues affecting users. Through that process, we've arrived at what should be the final release candidate: MT4 RC4, released last night.

This week we are focused on keeping the momentum and excitement around Movable Type 4.0 going. We started by releasing our newly rewritten user and developer documentation. We've rethought what the manual for MT should be too -- it's not just instructions on using MT, it's a guide to how to get the most out of your blog.

Tomorrow we'll hold our first "Upgrade-a-Thon": Chat with us on IRC and a live screencast to get help in upgrading your blogs to the latest version of Movable Type. Thursday, we'll host another all day event, but this time with plugin developers to answer your questions about upgrading older plugins to take advantage of the many new features and capabilities found in MT4. previewAnd if that wasn't enough, later this week we will be launching a preview of the completely redesigned Movable Type web site, a new plugin directory and a rethinking of the MT websites as radical as the reinvention of MT with version 4.0.

The Movable Type team has never been more excited and more proud. But we honestly could not have done any of this without our dedicated users and community who have been the driving force behind this release from the very beginning. And we're looking forward to your help and ideas during this last push prior to the release of MT4.

As the release of Movable Type 4.0 nears it feels like we are approaching the end of something. But to tell you the truth, we think it'll be the start of something amazing.


7 Comments on August 8, 2007, 12:04 a.m. Reply

Hi MovableType Team,

Congratulations for your recent release of MovableType 4.0 RC4. MovableType is a miracle for me, for both the product and the company, and I am happy to be with MovableType for five years. I started to use MovableType back in the year of 2002 (the first version I used was 2.21), and started my blog with the first entry on “How to Install MovableType on Windows XP”. I didn’t know that day was the first day of my continuous 5 years of blogging. Now, when I look back and re-read the 1700+ articles in the last 1700+ days, I just realized I open MovableType every single day and spent 30 minutes to one hour with it - seriously, everyday!

MovableType is a great software. I like it the first day, and the great improvement made by the team in the last 5 years was wonderful - it was always on the right direction, and adding the most important features for me. It is too easy to add too many features, but MovableType team did wonderful job to prioritize it.

Personally, I will definitely among the first to upgrade my production blog to MovableType as soon as it is released.

Again, congrats!

P.S. When I look down, I just realize I am wearing a MovableType T-Shirt!

R Gruyters

R Gruyters on August 8, 2007, 12:25 a.m. Reply

Congratulations with releasing RC4. I’ve already downloaded and installed it. Untill now works perfectly, although i’m still having problems with “markdown” markup and RSS feeds. (but, i’ve already posted a feedback message about this)


Bud on August 8, 2007, 5:28 a.m. Reply

The developer doc has taken a dramatic leap forward, the best I’ve ever seen it.

basil ok

basil ok on August 28, 2012, 4:36 a.m. Reply

If I have to pick a single thing that I like most of Moveable Type it will be the online version of WYSWYG editor. It is really cool.


Gore on September 19, 2012, 12:31 a.m. Reply

From the nine things you have pointed as a public desire I have to say that you have done a terrific job completing all of them. Not that I understand what does “A product that felt new again” mean exactly, but…

Mick Monty

Mick Monty on November 4, 2012, 11:29 p.m. Reply

Codename Wheeljack :) It is like a Stallone movie :) It is really cool. Now seriously, you are doing great, keep the good work with Moveable Type.

Garret DJga

Garret DJga on November 12, 2012, 11:16 p.m. Reply

I believe what we really need are many more ready made free themes, not just tags, because not many of us are so good with design and coding.

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese was previously the Product Manager of Movable Type at Six Apart, where he had also held positions as the Manager of Platform Technology and Product Manager for TypePad. Byrne is a huge supporter of the Movable Type user and developer community. He dedicates much of his time to promoting and educating people about Movable Type as well as building the tools and plugins for Movable Type that are showcased on Majordojo. He contributes regularly to open source; and he is an advocate for open protocols and standards like Atom and OpenID.