When Mena and I started working on Movable Type almost 8 years ago, one of the most delightful surprises in the project was how a passionate and creative community sprung up around the platform almost immediately. They even seemed to like the default name “Melody Nelson” we gave to the sample user that came with the application.1
Just a year and a half after the happy news of Movable Type’s release under the GPL license, Melody makes another appearance as we mark an exciting milestone for the community. Today, a number of long-time Movable Type community leaders, including some who supported MT right from that first release 8 years ago, are announcing Melody. In short, Melody is a project to catalyze the core community of developers who want to evolve the open source core of Movable Type.
Where our official Six Apart releases of Movable Type focus on great professional support, rock-solid stability, backwards compatibility, and broad platform support as core principles, we see the Melody community focusing on the equally-valuable ideas of bleeding-edge community-driven ideas, rapid iteration, and integration with the code of other open source projects.
It’s great news for the entire Movable Type community, as this new project uses the same themes, the same templates, the same plugins and the same publishing engine as Movable Type. And since it shares the GPL license with MT, it’s even a great way for these new developments to work their way back into the official versions of Movable Type itself.
The truth is, some of the greatest innovations in MT’s history have come from developers that make their own distributions of Movable Type, bundled with their own plugins or templates. Our own Six Apart Services team has done that in the past when it was the independent company Apperceptive, and continues the tradition today by releasing much of its best work as a series of Open Source plugins. (You can follow Six Apart on Github to keep up with the latest.) Maybe some of that code will find its way into the Melody project in the future as well, completing the circle.
I can’t wait to see what the independent community members who are the driving force behind Melody bring to the greater MT community in the future. While there aren’t regular downloads for end-users yet, there’s some promising first bits of code for developers to look at, and we’ll watching the project closely. Six Apart is also proud to have our own Anil Dash join the board of the Open Melody Software Group, to play our part in helping contribute to this new effort from our community.