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Movable Type 4.15 Beta 1 now available

By Byrne Reese
Posted April 3, 2008, in News.

Last month we told you of an effort to improve the performance of Movable Type that involved the entire community. The response has been amazing. We asked for people to contribute data collected by Movable Type's new performance monitoring framework. What we got were log files, entire data sets and even code contributions from numerous members of our open source developer community. The results of this work and collaboration with the community culminates today in the first public beta of Movable Type Open Source 4.15.

But a faster version of Movable Type is not all you have to look forward to. The community has also contributed new features to the product, and with their help and valuable feedback we have added a number of other new features as well.

Threaded Commenting

Arvind was kind enough to donate to MTOS one of Movable Type's more popular plugins: Simply Threaded. With this donation Movable Type will allow commenters to reply directly to one another and for designers to display nested and threaded comment listings on their blog.

Simpler, Easier Default Templates

One thing we have heard loud and clear is that our default templates, while powerful and flexible were too difficult for new users to wrap their heads around. So through interviews with our user community, through a series of focus groups with designers, we have completely rewritten our default templates with an eye to make it easy for people to get up and running quickly using Movable Type.

Beau Smith, the lead behind the architecture of these templates has also been working on documentation to help designers make the most of Movable Type.

» Creating Themes for Movable Type

Updated Navigation and Menus

New Nav Menu When we approached the issue of performance we didn't just look at the backend. We also called into question aspects of the front end that we felt didn't make our users as efficient as they could be in completing certain tasks. To help achieve this we made a number of important changes to our navigation, including an vastly improved Preferences Menu, as well as the addition of a Tools menu (available in Beta 2).

New Template and Widget Listing Screens

If you are a designer, then we are especially interested in hearing how you like the new template listing screen. With these changes we hope to achieve some very basic goals for people who live in this part of the application:

  1. Further unify widgets and widget sets, or "sidebars" into a single screen to make sidebar management easier and more intuitive.
  2. Redesign the template listing screen to show you all of your templates, archives, archive mappings and modules in one place.
New Template Listing ScreenWidget Management Screen

Template Previews

Hitting the save button on a template should never be a source of anxiety for anyone, but it can be if there is any doubt as to what your site will look like once the template has been saved. Therefore we have added the ability for you to preview changes you make to your templates before you save them.

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Faster, More Powerful Search -- and now with Pagination!

Aside from Movable Type's search feature getting a major overhaul, which in some tests has shown performance increases upwards of two orders of magnitude, we have also made the following enhancements:

  • full text search support - Movable Type now properly leverages features native to the database itself to surface more relevant results.
  • paginated search - search is one of the key ways people monetize their blog and pagination will go a long way to help increase search related revenue.

Even More Publishing Control

Aside from the raw performance improvements you get just by upgrading to MT 4.15, we also wanted to give users a greater ability to fine tune the performance of their site:

  • Server Side Includes - use PHP, JSP, SHTML or ASP to process and include template modules.
  • Template Module Caching - cache template modules to reduce database load, and speed up publishing times.
  • New Template Publishing Options - now every index template and archive mapping can be configured independently in regards to how that file should be published. Instruct Movable Type for example to publish monthly archives and feeds asynchronously, and everything else synchronously.
  • Publishing Profiles - select from a number of different publishing options, like publish everything dynamically, or everything asynchronously, or even build your own.

Download Now

Movable Type Open Source 4.15 Beta 1 is available for download now. Download it, install it, and let us know what you think!

Update: And if you experience any problems with the beta or need help from the community, feel free to use the 4.15 Beta Forums as well!




demonsurfer on April 3, 2008, 5:56 p.m. Reply

Sounds good, thanks. - Will pagination (mentioned for search results) also be available for comments and/or entries, or is that still something separate we will have to pay between $33 and $249 for at MT-Hacks? - Will these changes be coming in MT commercial version?

Paul William Tenny

Paul William Tenny on April 3, 2008, 8:15 p.m. Reply

Is the memory patch I saw recently included in this release?

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on April 3, 2008, 10:09 p.m. Reply

Yes indeed. The memory patch as well as a million other performance and memory optimizations. Brad spents days and days breaking apart the monolithic MT::App::CMS package into 20-30 different pieces to reduce memory bloat. More modularization coming too.

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on April 3, 2008, 10:12 p.m. Reply

Pagination is not generally available in the way that you describe, but rest assured that this is something we are working on. I strongly endorse and recommend Mark Carey’s pagination plugin.

Of course MT does do date based pagination, which for many is more than adequate. Some people even prefer paginating through daily archives.

The MT commercial beta will begin next week once we commit our last performance enhancements to custom fields - a fix that will allow entries and objects to be sorted and filtered by their custom field data!


Carlo on April 4, 2008, 1:26 p.m. Reply

I get this error when trying to open an entry for editing:

Can’t locate object method “editobject” via package “MT::App::CMS” at /home/8491/domains/ line 101. on April 5, 2008, 2:20 p.m. Reply

Hey Carlo, i had the same thing. i remobed the iMT thing for the time being, i’m guessing there is a bug with that code because of the new updates. take a backup, remove and it works fine. Certainly is more speedy. Chuffed, very new mt cms user!

Byrne are you open to suggestions for additional action stream stuff? - i’d like to track my, and others. is there an easier way to add them in - i would gladly help build it up if made simple for me to add them in. :)

Cheers. Phil.


MikeT on April 7, 2008, 6:43 a.m. Reply

So how does the module caching stack compared to something like Cache Block? Anyone done any performance testing with the built-in caching yet?

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on April 7, 2008, 12:35 p.m. Reply

Specific testing has not been done to compare CacheBlock and Movable Type’s native caching features. However the concepts are almost identical in nature. Movable Type does offer some advantages over CacheBlock, most notably the ability to define certain events that will expire the cache, but CacheBlock Pro has far more features than Movable Type - the ability to view and inspect the cache for example, as well as a number of other cache management functions.

Reed A. Cartwright

Reed A. Cartwright on April 7, 2008, 1:47 p.m. Reply

RE: Pagination

I’m working on a pagination plugin for comments that will eventually include a lot of ajax/jquery comment feature.

You can find a demo/test here:


demonsurfer on April 12, 2008, 11:18 a.m. Reply

Thanks for the update Byrne. There’s only a couple of entries on one of my blogs that have comments into the hundreds, which is what I was wanting pagination for, but since it’s only a couple of entries, I was hoping to avoid much (or any) outlay financially is all. No ill will intended towards Mark’s plugin at all, in case it came across that way.

Reed that looks ideal! I’ll keep an eye on your site :)


zehubert on April 24, 2008, 9:29 a.m. Reply

I started using HTML comments within entries and pages, i.e. !— commented text —> I noticed, that its content gets picked up by the MT search. With HTML tags inside, it even displays a part of the comment within the search results.

Is this a design decision or a bug and is there a workaround for this?

Tom Matt

Tom Matt on May 19, 2009, 3:17 a.m. Reply

There’s only a couple of entries on one of my blogs that have comments into the hundreds, which is what I was wanting pagination for, but since it’s only a couple of entries, I was hoping to avoid much (or any) outlay financially is all. No ill will intended towards Mark’s plugin at all, in case it came across that way.

stretch mark removal

stretch mark removal on November 28, 2010, 4:31 p.m. Reply

I guess there is a recent one now. But knowing that this new plug-in would greatly be a benefit of those subscribers. I would love to see some follow up updates on this one.


Fernando on July 7, 2012, 3:57 a.m. Reply

There newer versions of MT. Could I still use this one and not use the fifth versions?

Netti Vaiskulla

Netti Vaiskulla on August 3, 2012, 10:58 p.m. Reply

Is the security the only difference between MT 4 and MT 5. Could I stick with MT4 or it is recommended to upgrade?


sinrex on September 5, 2012, 3:39 a.m. Reply

I love how MT are always improving things and incorporating new ideas to make things quicker and easier. The more recent versions show just how far MT has come.

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.