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Meet Melody

By Benjamin Trott
Posted June 23, 2009, in News.

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.

1 A reference to Serge Gainsbourg’s album “Histoire de Melody Nelson”.



François Nonnenmacher

François Nonnenmacher on June 22, 2009, 11:52 p.m. Reply

Bravo, but it might be time to remove the login/password challenge from this website.


Atomboy on June 23, 2009, 3:27 a.m. Reply

As François Nonnenmacher says, a bit difficult to know where things are as the site needs a known login/password.

However, if I have read this right, it is good news.

It seems that the Movable Type open source project will not properly gain traction compared with the overall open source community until there is something which properly splits it away from the paid version.

Yes, I know that on the face of it this is the case, but anyone looking at the usage and licencing restrictions of MT Pro are more likely to go elswhere if they are not committed to MT than bother to worry about whether they need to pay or not.

Obviously, whether it looks like a poor business model or whether it looks like horrible people grabbing something for nothing, the payment factor will have a major impact on the decision.

I have been playing with BuddyPress, WordPress Mu, Elgg and Drupal and only cursorily looking at MT for the simple reason that the split into a proper and full open source version does not seem to have been made culturally, even if it has cosmetically.

Best wishes.


Lolajlb on June 23, 2009, 4:56 a.m. Reply

I would dearly love to find out what Melody is all about, but … nobody gave me the username/pwd to access the referenced link.


david on June 23, 2009, 5:10 a.m. Reply

Francois, Lolajib, Atomboy, the OpenMelody team will be lifting the password requirement soon.

Jay Allen

Jay Allen on June 23, 2009, 6:36 a.m. Reply

Ben, thanks for the kind words. We’re looking forward to the future because we know it will bring great things for the Melody and Movable Type communities and for 6A. Without you, none of this would even be possible.

To All: The password protection is now disabled! Go forth and peruse!

Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston on July 7, 2009, 12:50 p.m. Reply

I’m very pumped about Melody, it’s another excellent avenue with which Movable Type can reap the benefits of cross collaboration (i hope). Looking forward to updates on it’s progress. I am closely monitoring it for CMS Critic


sommop on July 13, 2009, 2:11 p.m. Reply

Bravo, but it might be time to remove the login/password


Harland on July 20, 2012, 1:17 a.m. Reply

Do you know what is going on with Mena? I haven’t seen this name for really long time.

Romeo Johnson

Romeo Johnson on September 2, 2012, 8:18 p.m. Reply

Hello, like Lola above I couldn’t understand what Melody is all about. Probably as a new member of Moveable type platform I have missed some kind of information, but could you tell me what is Melody? Thank you in advance.

helen kriss

helen kriss on September 19, 2012, 11:29 a.m. Reply’t work when I tried to open it. Is this working at all?

Emma Coleman

Emma Coleman on October 29, 2012, 12:16 a.m. Reply

What password are you talking about. I just went to the site and I was able to go free without entering user name nor password.

George Vraca

George Vraca on November 15, 2012, 5:32 a.m. Reply

What stays behind the name of Melody Nelson? A person or probable combination of the names of two persons?