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Movable Type 4.1 Beta, and a new Reseller Program

By Anil Dash
Posted December 13, 2007, in News.

This week's launch of the Movable Type Open Source project was huge news for our community. But as part of that announcement, we promised even more news to come. So today, we're introducing some of the next steps that will outline how we're going to fueling that community in the coming weeks and months.

  • We're beginning the beta of Movable Type 4.1 today, with tons of new features.
  • We're announcing the Professional Pack, the first of the extended benefits that paid users of MT will be receiving.
  • We're launching the Movable Type reseller program designed to offer resellers a 30% discount that you can pass on to your customers or keep for yourself.

Each of these announcements on its own would be big news, but one of the things we wanted to demonstrate was how much we value our paying customers who've supported MT's development (the Professional Pack and MT 4.1 will be a free upgrade for all paying customers of MT 4.0), as well as how having an open platform will help benefit everyone who uses Movable Type.

Enough talk -- let's show you what's coming!

What's new in Movable Type 4.1?

Here's what you can look forward to in MT 4.1:

  • It's Faster! We've made performance improvements across the board for everythign from publishing to reducing the size of the scripts that load when you want to write a post.
  • User Interface Improvements. There are minor tweaks all over the application to make creating and managing your content easier.
  • Global Templates. Now you can easily create templates or widgets that are shared across all the blogs in your system.
  • Avatars/User Pictures. Authors and commenters can upload an image or icon for themselves that will show up next to their entries and comments.
  • Asset Editing. Whether it's audio, photos, videos or uploaded files, you can view and edit information like the size of a file and its tags, and even see which entries or pages that asset appears in.
  • Template Sets. You can create, share and use entire sets of templates between different Movable Type blogs, including all of the stylesheets and feeds for your site. For designers, it's a great way to deliver a design to your clients.
  • Smart Template Tag Documentation. Just use any of Movable Type's template tags in designing a template, and the system will automatically provide you with a link to the documentation for that tag -- handy!
  • Better API suport for Pages. Using tools like Windows Live Writer, you can now create and manage Movable Type's pages just as easily as you work with your entries.
  • Tons more. There are lots of little improvements all over the platform -- like the ability to replicate published content across multiple servers, or to plug in your own rich text editor like FCKEdit.
You can check out the full details about the MT 4.1 beta on the beta home page.

What's in the Professional Pack?

We'll be revealing the full details of the Professional Pack as the official launch of MT 4.1 gets closer, but here's just some of the benefits for paid users of Movable Type:

  • Professional help ticket support direct from the Movable Type team.
  • New integrated Custom Fields for Movable Type:
    • Customize the fields for all of your blog entries, with support for uploading images or assets, and creating text fields, pull-down menus, checkboxes, radio buttons, and more
    • Define fields on a per-blog basis
    • Change the order in which fields are displayed on any entry screen
    • Define custom fields not just for entries, but for pages or even folders and categories
    • Completely customize the fields used to describe users in your system -- build on MT4.1's Avatar support
    • Easily embed any of your custom fields in your templates using template tags that the system provides for you

The first beta release of the paid commercial release of MT 4.1 with the Professional Pack is available now. This is an early beta -- upgrading from 4.0 isn't supported yet, and of course betas shouldn't be used in a production environment.

The Movable Type Reseller Program

And finally, we've completely revamped the Movable Type reseller program, and we've tripled the cut you get for selling MT. The Reseller Program is a way for all of you who design, develop and deploy Movable Type to get the most benefits from the buzz around MT4. The way it works is simple:

  • You get a 30% discount off the retail price of Movable Type
  • You choose whether to pass all of part of that discount on to your customers, and pocket the rest.

When you're accepted into the Reseller Program, here's some of what you'll get:

  • A Free Movable Type Commercial 5-User License
  • Listing on our MT Reseller Partner page
  • Discounts on qualifying Movable Type products
  • Direct Technical support from the MT team
  • Downloadable product and sales sheets
  • Exclusive use of the sexy new Movable Type Reseller logo

Signing up for the Reseller Program is easy -- just fill out the application form and we'll read over it and get you into the program as quick as we can. (If you'd worked with our affiliate program in the past, don't worry -- we're handling our resellers ourselves now, so you don't have to worry about a complicated third-party affiliate system.)

It's just getting started

So far, 2007 has been a momentous year for Movable Type: MT4 was released, the Enterprise and Community Solutions launched, MTOS was kicked off, and now we're off and running towards MT 4.1 with a kick-ass new reseller program backing it up. But we think 2008's going to be even more amazing, and we hope you'll be there with us because even after six years, we're just getting started!




demonsurfer on December 13, 2007, 6:58 p.m. Reply

Wow you people have been busy! Great stuff - looking forward to the speed tweaks too (re Media Temple tweaks mentioned fairly recently). Cheers.


demonsurfer on December 13, 2007, 7:07 p.m. Reply

Have not looked at beta yet, but a suggestion - allow multiple assets to be selected and uploaded at once, rather than having to upload one by one.


Sara on December 13, 2007, 9:53 p.m. Reply

So if I am a personal single user who would like to get my hands on Custom Fields I will either have to buy a 5 user commercial license to the tune of $200+ (current pricing), wait for the pack to be released and hope it’s not to the tune of Enterprise/Community pricing or hope it will eventually show up in MTOS.

Mark Carey

Mark Carey on December 14, 2007, 6:07 a.m. Reply

“performance improvements across the board for everythign from publishing to…”

Great to hear. Other than the new database indexes, what publishing improvements have been made?

Ps. small typo: “everythign” ;)


culturesnob on December 14, 2007, 6:29 a.m. Reply

“the Professional Pack and MT 4.1 will be a free upgrade for all paying customers of MT 4.0”

This is confusing. So will you be unable to get MT4.1 for free unless you paid for MT4.0? Please clarify.

Also, I think it’s unfortunate that Custom Fields will be a separate add-on. Many of us who paid Arvind for Custom Fields have been waiting for bug fixes, and he’s announced that he’s stopped development. So we’ll have to pay twice to get the proper functioning of Custom Fields, and that sucks. Or am I misunderstanding something?


hudson on December 14, 2007, 10:07 a.m. Reply

Has Movalog support ended now that Six Apart has taken over Custom Fields? Will Six Apart support non-MT4 Commerical pack users? I’m in need of some answers for my current (non pro-pack) Custom Fields installation.


culturesnob on December 14, 2007, 10:19 a.m. Reply


Arvind has answered those questions:


demonsurfer on December 15, 2007, 8:45 a.m. Reply

It seems that for personal users who have been using customfields in their existing blogs, you will not be able to upgrade if you want to keep using that functionality, unless you pay at least $235.95 (the lowest commercial license fee). This is clearly not going to be acceptable for most casual personal users.

Please Anil / Byrne / anyone at 6Apart, will you respond to this concern and offer some way around this? Even if it means reintroducing optional personal licensing again, but obviously for a fee less than commercial licenses, and then includes support etc. Alternatively, a small fee to ‘purchase’ the right to download MT4.1 with customfields, via TypeKey as you did back when MT3.X was charged for personal use (yes, I paid the $79 or whatever it was back then for personal use, which basically enabled me to ask a few questions to support and that was pretty much it).

For sites that depend on that functionality, the only other option will be wordpress (blasphemy!), or wait and hope someone develops a plugin again, which is not really an option at all.

Really appreciate at least some consideration on this. Thanks.


MikeT on December 15, 2007, 9:41 p.m. Reply

When are we going to get support for private entries by default?! Why is it that WordPress has had this feature for so long, but Movable Type conveniently keeps skipping it in every official release?


Sara on December 15, 2007, 11:21 p.m. Reply

When is the projected release date? And will the current advertised discount for commercial licenses run until official release?


Carlo on December 17, 2007, 1:54 p.m. Reply

I just installed the beta and I can see a lot of changes. The changes I first noticed were obviously the small design changes. The changes for the new entry screen are simple great. I didn’t like all of the fields at the bottom, it felt messy and just didn;t look good. Moving those to the side is the best choice they could have made. Now when adding custom fields to the bottom it all looks clean and streamlined. It’s a lot more functional.

Now my BIG worry is that custom fields won’t be available for the personal and MTOS versions… that will be a huge disappointment for me and so many other loyal MT users.


Shanx on February 6, 2008, 8:25 a.m. Reply

Custom Fields is not available in the personal version of this software. RightFields, which was the alternative, is not going to be upgraded for MT4. So basically people using this functionality are probably in a fix.

I’m probably one of the thousands who loved MT for its customization functionality. I am already looking for alternatives.

Tried EE, and found it needlessly painful (although quite powerful in its design).

Wordpress’ templating is not as professionally designed imho but it’s extremely functional and the poof-and-you’re-done functionalism of changing themes or installing plugins is absolutely fabulous. It offers, for FREE, everything I want from my sites: a professional class photo gallery, different templates for different categories, easy blogroll, quick response to new stuff like Tumblr feeds or Flickr integration…and so on. WP’s biggest problem has been its PHP and MySQL heavy generated sites, but the 2.3 trunk is superb (which I update automatically btw through a simple Subversion cronjob, which MT only allows for nightly builds—why not for the releases too??!) and the WP-Cache plugin basically resolves that issue.

I would very much like to get back to MT for my CMS needs but Six Apart seems to be making it really difficult. When you spend years learning a platform, you invest in it, and from the looks of all the wavering in the MT camp, one wonders whether this is a sensible long term solution.

MT really, really needs to let Custom Fields and other such basic paraphernalia be included without cost in its very FREE version, otherwise having a free version is merely perfunctory.


Su on February 6, 2008, 1:58 p.m. Reply

Hi, Shanx. You might remember me from pointing out more of your factual errors at Khoi’s.

CustomFields is available for personal use, just not for free, by adding on the Professional Pack, which pack being the difference between a personal license and a commercial one. I’m not interested in engaging you on the assumption everything should be handed to you gratis, especially considering you cite RightFields, which was and will likely continue to be paid software for any use.

Who told you RightFields wasn’t going to be updated for MT4? Kevin himself told the Pronet list that it would be. Ideally, you will be providing a link to back this up.


Shanx on February 6, 2008, 7:41 p.m. Reply

Thanks for the discussion Su. I didn’t follow your point about “Khoi’s”. What is that?

Anyway, I don’t mind paying for software, but a blogging platform, especially the kind where I wish to maintain ONE install and use that to serve various domain sites, some more sophisticated than others (and not always “blogs”), requires a significant investment of time and effort and I want it to be stable.

Setting MT up to use in this fashion has not been easy. I followed the instructions similar to and — but just when I was beginning to use MT to do this caliber of stuff, off goes CustomFields.

Expression Engine’s “Multisite Manager” is a charm to set up as I have seen in a commercial setting. When we pay for that, we also get stuff like Custom Fields built in. Wordpress’ MU is a little less professionally coded, but like WP, the plugin and theme functionality is absolutely charming (and we can use SuperCache or some such to induce static functionality with WP MU as well).

I still keep coming back to see what’s up in the MT camp, despite all the CGI and spam woes, because of it’s static publishing. My single most top priority because we run some hugely popular websites. Also, MT is the only one that supports PostgreSQL out of the box.

But the new licensing thing is only creating a market for more and more payment. If I invest in the MT platform and run, say 15 sites off it, with the kind of plguins that really should be in the MT enterprise install anyway but are available from guys like for even more money, then it doesn’t seem to be a very clever investment.

Here’s the functionality I need today, and I’m evaluating all the three platforms (EE Multisite Manager, WP MU, and MT Open Source version) —

  1. Need to run about 15 sites from the same installation on my root server, with Aliases set up for “/cms” or something like that for different domain names (not subdomains) with their own Opendir protection.

  2. Each of these 15 sites would have totally different designs and templates, but the overall installed menu of themes (template sets/template groups) and plugins will be SINGULAR. Each domain “cms” will simply pick from what I have installed ONCE on the root server, so I only ever need to manage ONE piece of installation.

  3. Features required:

    • an easy photo gallery that allows upload of a zip file and unpacks it instead of one-by-one uploading of images, or something that recognizes a folder name as an input where the folder is the one I have ftp-ed my 150 image files into;

    • multiple blogs for each domain;

    • different theming possible for different “categories” (WP wins hands down in this area with it’s clean “Template Heirarchy” stuff, which means no more complex if-else conditional loops for different category looks)

    • a theme engine that in fact works with one click (and availability of sophisticated themes, for FREE or very low cost…a theme shouldn’t be $99.95 unless it itself something worth that much)

    • built-in system template tags to show me most recent articles (along with excluding or including only certain categories), the most recent comments, the most viewed entries/posts..

    • ability to define “global templates” for use across all blogs and if possible across all domains

    • superlative spam protection (Akismet is about 95% there)

    • subscription to comments and threaded + paginated comments (which show up fast if not caught by the spam filter such as Akismet)

    • in fact, in-built pagination for all elements of the site including comments/entries

When you start comparing the three apps from this perspective, the preferences quickly become clear. MT is lagging severely behind in these areas. Many of the top blogs I visit that run MT4 have a painful commenting system, and many have “fcgi” failures, or systems that require a beast of an effort to set up. I despised WP for the longest time, but it’s hard not to love the fact that stuff just works, and works very well and fast.

I don’t mind investing both time and money in good software, but it must stand to its costs. Even MT’s “support” on its own forums is miserable in comparison to the active and highly responsive communities of WP and EE. These factors make a tangible real world difference.

As I said, I’m looking for reasons to stay in the MT camp, as it’s the one I’ve grown most familiar with (even if a nontrivial chunk of the innards have now changed), so I would love to hear your thoughts.

PS. I’m not revising this post, it’s a long meandering one and I hope it makes sense.


Shanx on February 6, 2008, 7:52 p.m. Reply

Notice how I cannot edit my comment here, or subscribe to it, or see it threaded to understand who responded to whom.

Just as an example, this kind of functionality took me 5 minutes to make work on a WP MU install with plugins whose code is pretty easy to tinker with and make work on any site these days because it is all PHP. No CGI woes or FCGI setup nightmares.

Anyway, I repeated the URL in my previous comment. The second one I meant to include is

Arvind Satyanarayan

Arvind Satyanarayan on February 6, 2008, 9:00 p.m. Reply

Notice how I cannot edit my comment here, or subscribe to it, or see it threaded to understand who responded to whom.

True, false and false! Whilst you may not be able to edit your comment (and as a blog author, I’m not sure I’d want to allow commenters to edit their comments after posting it), subscribing and comment threading are available through plugins.

Both of these are available right here on this blog (for example, here I am replying to you, I just hit the Reply link and the comment should thread and I’ve checked the box to subscribe!)


Shanx on February 6, 2008, 9:32 p.m. Reply

Thanks Arvind. Funny that I don’t see the Subscribe to comments box. Also, the Reply doesn’t show up threaded, nor has any reference at least in the website I’m seeing right now that says “In reply to xyz”.

Appreciate the link to those plugins. You may want to update the screenshot:

This seems to be quite a common occurrence on websites running MT these days. Also, for the Comments-Subscribe plugin, I see in the comments “I get an error 500, internal server error when anyone tries to unsubscribe, and yes I have made sure that the cgi has 755 permissions” — I’m a bit spoilt because while using WP or EE, I have never seen these 500 errors from the 1990s.


Carina on February 10, 2008, 3:03 a.m. Reply

Arvind, please give a hint on how to get Simply-threaded to show which comment I am replying to as the manual does not cover that part as the functions with does not work on the MT4.1 version.

I got the threaded comments working but I would somehow like to show whom I am replying to or perhaps even better the comment I am replying to.

How do you get the quotes showing in reply to a comment?

Also Reply does only work if you are not logged in and there is no were it says that you need to be logged in to be able to reply to a comment. This should not be required as for example I am allowing anonymous comments requiring emails and they can never reply to a comment.


Su on February 10, 2008, 3:22 a.m. Reply

Carina, there are other, more appropriate places for that sort of question, where once responded to other people may also find the answer rather than trawling through blog posts on completely unrelated matters.


Shanx on February 10, 2008, 3:24 a.m. Reply

Yeah, that would be good advice if the forums ever really catered to anyone with problems or provided the right and timely advice.

Anyway, this thread is far from “completely unrelated” despite your thinly veiled attempt at a dig. This is a post for a Beta page of MT. Talking about its pain points is perfectly relevant in this thread.


Su on February 10, 2008, 3:33 a.m. Reply

[That was quick. And totally expected.]

So, your explanation for not using the forum is that people don’t use the forum? That’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Incidentally, someone just the other day posted a question amazingly similar to yours above regarding subversion. I wonder if it got anything like a timely response. And whether the original poster then did anything further.

Talk about all the MT pain points you want. Carina on the other hand is now asking for detailed help regarding a third-party plugin. Maybe a better place to ask about that is the forum provided by said third party?


Shanx on February 10, 2008, 3:41 a.m. Reply

I think if you read carefully, my reason for suggesting that the forum is increasingly useless (and has been, for over six months or so) is that people don’t reply. You get no response. There’s no self-fulfilling or self-perpetuating prophecy there.

There’s nowhere near the action and helpful in the community that we had in, say, 2003. Hope this is clear.

This is why people like myself and other posters post our questions on any place where we can find people like Anil or Arvind. But as often happens, the questions go unanswered.

In the specific case of Carina, yes, I wasn’t talking about Movalog forums, which is indeed a good place to find commentary until that plugin is also shoved into the paid version of MT. But Arvind has posted here (and quite promptly, on one occasion) so I’m not surprised that Carina thinks she can ask here and expect a response.

Anyway, my point is only about Movable Type forums, which is where the general support ought to be, but isn’t.

Thanks for the discussion.


Su on February 10, 2008, 4:02 a.m. Reply

I give up. You’re right. The forum’s pointless and nobody, especially not OtherNiceMan or myself, ever responds to anything. In fact, I’ll do my part to show you’re correct by not responding even more than I don’t already.


Carina on February 10, 2008, 4:20 a.m. Reply

I am very sorry that I started this flame. My intention was not this. I also think that the forums are the main place for any issues, 3-rd party or not.

Why I asked here was that I know that Arvind is short of time and feedback takes some time. The MT forum might have been the best place as I know that both Su, OtherNiceMan, Dan and some more do reply. I have been replying myself during the first betas of 4 but lately lacking that time.

Have a nice Sunday, I will.




Shanx on February 10, 2008, 5:06 a.m. Reply

Carina, I’m in the same boat as you when it comes to help with MT. I’m all but giving up.

Su, it seems you’re interested in plunging on anyone who says the remotest negative thing about MT. Sorry, it just doesn’t work. If you choose to reply even lesser, well, it’ll hardly be any surprise. If anyone — Anil, Arvind, you, anyone — can point me to a place on the web where discussions about MT and its multitude of woes are being responded to in a timely manner, I’ll take my discussion there. Until then, either be prepared to counter the tangible stuff that people are having issues with on a daily basis or feel free to follow the lament you implied in your post about silence.

To those who want to engage in a meaningful discussion, here’s the post before this puerile offshoot to this thread.


Anu Gupta

Anu Gupta on February 10, 2008, 6:33 a.m. Reply


Carina is acknowledging that this is not the right place for support, especially for a 3rd party plugin.

I’ve done a search for Shanx in the MT forums and see nothing by or from you. Are you active there under a different name ? The likes of Su seem to be doing a lot more than you to give back to the community.

Communities are about giving as well as taking - so if you’re concerned about the lack of “action” in the forums, hey, roll up your sleeves and help, rather than just whine from the sidelines and post unsubstantiated gripes about the “multitude of woes” that people are experiencing.

If you’ve got real issues, and you’ve paid for a license, then raise a support ticket. If you’re moaning about what’s not present in the OS version, then hell, dive into the code and start fixing stuff, or engage with the community to see what’s possible, or pay someone to develop something.

And yes - take this discussion over to the forums - rather than an old thread about an MT beta. Or else join the Pronet mailing list, or mtos-dev. Some of the stuff you’ve want seems reasonable, some of it just seems clueless (MT4 has global templates) - but this particular post isn’t the place to have this discussion.


Shanx on February 10, 2008, 6:40 a.m. Reply

I’ve been a huge evangelist of MT over the years. From friends, to forums (yes, under a sobriquet), on blogs and BBSes, and in professional settings.

We had been using MT for a Web 2.0 product backend with a large install base of CustomFields. That is why it hurts so much. Please read my post above that details why I would go for MT in a blink if some of the things are addressed.

As for “dive into code and start fixing stuff”. Sorry, but in 2008, I’m among the million who prefer to do that with products that are based on modern technologies such as PHP. CodeIgniter, EE itself, WP. I’m done with 500 server errors.

I’m not clueless about global templates, or the mt-hacks version of it. When I listed my requirements above, I did not specifically note where MT shines above the rest.

Funnily, I’ve had better response in this Old Thread than in the MT forums lately. But I’m done here. Thanks.


clarknova on February 15, 2008, 8:38 a.m. Reply

It seems that whenever or wherever you happen to try to look for help with MT you’re bound to find yourself in a pointless argument with the ubiquitous Mr. Su.



Pouya on September 7, 2008, 4:05 a.m. Reply

mt 4.1 is best


farshad on September 9, 2008, 11:51 p.m. Reply

I give up. You’re right. The forum’s pointless and nobody, especially not OtherNiceMan or myself, ever responds to anything

Tor Sterten

Tor Sterten on July 6, 2012, 11:24 p.m. Reply

I have a strange error on my log. It says maketext doesn’t know how to say: USAGELIST as needed at lib/ line 1553. Any ideas?


Edmund on August 5, 2012, 10:15 a.m. Reply

How does the resseler program work? If I bring a friend of mine of MT community I will get a 30% discount, right?