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Another hallmark design for Movable Type

By Byrne Reese
Posted August 16, 2008, in Design.

A lot of Movable Type users are about to be given another great reason to upgrade to Movable Type 4.2: the release of the Mid-Century template set by Jim Ramsey. Jim also designed the Professional Website template set (formally known as the Universal Template Set), which is largely regarded as one of the best and most flexible packaged designs for Movable Type and also comes bundled with Movable Type Pro. Jim is setting a new standard for design on Movable Type, not just in aesthetics, but in functionality.

Mid-Century Home

This may go without saying, but Jim is someone who knows design, and he is tuned into what people want. Combine those two qualities as Jim does and just look at the amazing feature list he has assembled:

  • AJAX Commenting
  • Auto-highlighting comments from the author
  • Javascript photo gallery widget
  • Unique archive listing design
  • Tag clouds
  • And more...

We are also happy to make this wonderful blog design available to the world for free under an open source license to encourage others to build and expand upon it.

Download the Mid-Century Template Set now, and when you have it deployed let us know with a comment so we can see what you have done with it.




Sara on August 16, 2008, 8:54 a.m. Reply

Wonderful. I’ve been waiting for this one before deploying 4.2 Now I can finally go full steam ahead with my planning and redesign :)


salguod on August 17, 2008, 8:34 p.m. Reply

I like it. Where can I find other themes or tempate sets? Clicking on the ‘theme’ link in the breadcrumbs on the Mid Cetury page gets a 403 error and clicking on either the ‘template set’ or ‘theme’ tag links gets only the Mid Century theme descriped here. We need more themes like this!

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on August 17, 2008, 9:17 p.m. Reply

We’re working on it. For one you can find the Professional Web Site theme in Movable Type Pro.

There are also a number of themes we haven’t released because they are still in development. These can all be found in subversion. Their names are:

  • Vanilla - a TS for demonstration and documentation purposes
  • MTDefaultTemplateSet - this contains the 4.1 template set that is really modular, and an MT3 compatible template set

Others include:

  • Photo Gallery - available from

More are coming though. Just be patient! :)


Mindtrain on August 18, 2008, 2:47 p.m. Reply

Byrne, I have been a MT user for over two years. I am a paying customer with an educational license for MT Pro. I upgraded to 4.2 last week and … none of the wonderful new features you have been touting on the web have been available to me. I finally heard back from MT support today (after several days) and it turns out that this is what the problem is:

Because I paid for MT Pro, and the features now available in the free blogger licensed version of MT 4.2 were not included in the version of MT Pro that I purchased, I will now have to download and install the free version of MT (after I have already had 4.2 Pro upgraded). Do you understand how ridiculous this is? Did anyone at MT even consider what you were doing to your paying customers by doing things this way? Do you have any idea how thoughtless and … I see that MT is trying to go more open source and more user-friendly, but these are your paying customers and they are being punished for buying a license from you. It makes absolutely no sense. Please consider why you are doing things this way and the message it sends to your paying customers.

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on August 18, 2008, 4:53 p.m. Reply

@Mindtrain, I am almost certain this is just a misunderstanding. You are entitled to all of the features you paid for. We made a free update available to all paying customers, and if the product “Movable Type Pro 4.2” is not in your account, then this is purely an oversight. There is a very good thread on that has answered similar people’s questions, that I will quote here for your benefit:

Everyone who previously purchased Movable Type 4.0 and 4.1 Commercial License will automatically be upgraded to Movable Type 4.2 under the same terms, but without the community features. But also, those folks will also be offered a free upgrade to Movable Type Pro 4.2 with the community features. Users are free to download and install MT Pro provided that they accept the new terms of service associated with this update. Given that our licensing terms now include a limit of 5000 profiles, we didn’t want to put anyone in a position where by virtue of our releasing new software and them upgrading, they would be in a position where all of a sudden they would be in violation of their terms of service. That would be bad — a lesson we learned long ago. So we decided to give everyone an option to continue using Movable Type Commercial under their existing terms, while still being able to take advantage of all the security and performance enhancements we had made to the core. While also giving them an option to MT Pro under new terms. That is why customers see two products in their account: Movable Type 4.2 Commercial License, and Movable Type Pro 4.2.

In summary, I am very sorry you had problems upgrading, but I assure you it does not appear to be the norm, leading me to believe that something has gone wrong with your account. Please let me know how I can help. on August 22, 2008, 6:37 a.m. Reply

Got the following message when trying to deploy:

Statement has no result columns to bind 
(perhaps you need to successfully call execute first)
at .../cgi-bin/extlib/Data/ObjectDriver/Driver/ line 128 on August 22, 2008, 6:39 a.m. Reply

For the record, I have the following MT installed:

Movable Type Pro version 4.21-en  with: Community Pack 1.6, Professional Pack 1.2

Su on August 22, 2008, 11:53 a.m. Reply

This is a post about a new theme’s release. If you’re having problems installing the application, use the forums.


gregwythe on August 24, 2008, 1:55 a.m. Reply

Belatedly celebrated my blog’s 6-yr mark with a tweak of the Mid Century template: on August 25, 2008, 12:14 a.m. Reply

My problem is about the theme. When trying to re-public with “Mid-Century Template Set” I get the following message:

Statement has no result columns to bind 
(perhaps you need to successfully call execute first)
at .../cgi-bin/extlib/Data/ObjectDriver/Driver/ line 128

All other template sets are working fine.

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on August 25, 2008, 6:43 a.m. Reply

This is definitely a bug. However this is often caused by trying to limit or filter a list of entries based on category or tags - and having the resulting dataset be empty. Check to see where Mid Century might be doing this and comment out that code.

Michele Neylon

Michele Neylon on August 31, 2008, 11:03 a.m. Reply

Very stylish template! I wish I’d found it sooner.

I just used it today to launch :)



netflow on September 25, 2008, 2:44 p.m. Reply

Installed it about a week ago. Great template and easy to tweak. It got me motivated to write some new entries.


rdouthit on October 12, 2008, 4:40 p.m. Reply

Building out a new site using Mid-Century as a base, and I’m having an issue with the AJAX comments “breaking” when I try to run other, rather common, AJAX components — such as Lightbox 2 (important) and MT-Hacks’ Ajax Comments (not so important). I’ve tried different orders in the HTML head, but either the comments post to an unformatted comment page (as opposed to inserting above the comment box like they’re supposed to) or it breaks the aforementioned components in similar fashion. His is confirmed by commenting out each item and checking them individually.

Any suggestions? FWIW I’m using Movable Type Pro version 4.21-en with: Community Pack 1.6, Professional Pack 1.2

Michael Cottige

Michael Cottige on June 27, 2012, 10:17 p.m. Reply

Just installed the Mid-Century template and I can say that I’m pretty impressed with it! Looking forward to some other new designs!

chnlove asia

chnlove asia on July 11, 2012, 6:09 p.m. Reply

Really good post which help me a lot!Thank you vey much!

Isabel Nikol

Isabel Nikol on July 20, 2012, 9:16 a.m. Reply

Jim Ramsey has made really cool design. +1 from me :)

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.