November 10, 2008
Hacking the UI to make Movable Type better
One of the great things about Movable Type is the multitude of ways it provides for folks to modify the core user interface without disturbing existing functionality. In fact Movable Type allows virtually anyone to: easily skin any screen in the application without requiring you to touch a single line of code. And any developer to: transform the user interface on the fly with transformer callbacks - a system inspired by Greasemonkey, a popular Firefox add-on. define their own screens and seamlessly add them to the application via its menuing system, or through page actions. It is these systems that we can use to help prototype and test new functionality and concepts in a more agile way that allows us to be more responsive to the feedback we receive. Take for example one of our latest hacks: an improvement to the User Management area for a blog: This new plugin, available to users of Movable Type 4.2 and greater provides an improved layout and design to the user management area. There is not a lot of added functionality under the hood… yet. That is of course where you come in: what kind of added functionality would you like to see?…
August 16, 2008
Creating Drop-Down Navigation with Movable Type
A common question from Movable Type users and designers is, “how do I create nice navigation for my web site?” The Professional Website template set and even Mid-Century have navigation build in. But there are Movable Type themes out there that don’t have this feature and users want to know how to add it. This brief tutorial will show you how. The Objective The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to add category driven drop-down menus to your web site that approximates the look and feel below: What does this mean? Well, there are lots of ways to build navigation for a site. The method you will choose depends largely upon your content and implementation strategy. This methods are: category driven navigation - using category and sub-category names as the menu and menu item names page driven navigation - using page names as the menu and menu item names folder driven navigation - using a hierarchy of folders (folders contain pages) This article will focus on creating menus based upon your category hierarchy….
August 13, 2008
Movable Type Warm and Fuzzies
It has been less then 24 hours since we released Movable Type 4.2 and the feedback has been wonderful! I have been answering people’s questions about upgrading, installing and migrating to Movable Type 4.2 all day — its almost as if Movable Type and Movable Type Pro is the release everyone has been waiting for: “this just keeps getting better and better” and “I know I have not been a regular blogger for quite a while, but this new version really makes me anxious to get going again and become a more regular blogger. Who knew Movable Type could also help you with that kind of problem?” — Sara “My jaw is down there lost somewhere under the table… great work.” — dug “Just want to say WOW! The Pro license is great. Exactly what was needed for many like me, who has a commercial license, but not a business and needed more than 5 authors.” — Nicholas “6Aers, MT Team, and community contributors: thank you. This is great work all should be congratulated. But more important than that, this is a fun new toy to play with! Yay!” — Dan “I am pleased that MT Pro is being released…
August 7, 2008
Collating and displaying content from multiple sources using Movable Type
Nick O’Neill just published a great screencast and howto about using a plugin few people know about: Mark Pasc’s Order plugin for Movable Type. Order is a plugin that allows one to build and merge a list of content from various sources and then to sort and display them in a single list together. What is especially powerful about the Order plugin is the ability to not only pull together content form multiple sources, but also the ability to collate content of wildly different structures and types. In Nick’s screencast he shows how he used this plugin on his own Movable Type-powered blog to interleave entries from two different blogs, as well as actions from Mark’s Action Stream plugin into a single list on his homepage. He even makes available the code he uses on his own blog so that others can easily replicate it. Order Screencast from nick o'neill on Vimeo….
July 23, 2008
Movable Type 4.2 RC4 and some of our latest hacks
We have had some amazing feedback from the community since we started the public beta of Movable Type 4.2 - a release we consider to be one of the most important upgrades to Movable Type ever. Users of 4.2 can attest as well: Movable Type 4.2 is fast — never before have we seen performance increases of 100x for common tasks like search. Of course, improvements like that are only possible, I believe, when a team of people come together to stop using band-aids and focus intently on actually solving a problem in a fundamental way. Naturally with improvements like that in store for our users, the most common question we hear is, “when will Movable Type 4.2 be released?” With bug reports starting to wane and feedback slowing to a trickle, we think we are getting really close to a final release, and it is our belief that the latest, Release Candidate 4, will be the last release candidate prior to release. In the meantime, for those of you aching for something new, something cool, or something useful, here are some things coming out of our weekly hackathons that you might be check out: Template Set Exporter Tool Designers…
June 23, 2008
Turning Movable Type into a light weight desktop blogging client
Apple fans will love one of the latest tips from our community: how to turn your Movable Type blog into a seamless extension of your OS X desktop and operating system. In the first article Jesse Gardner explains how one can combine two technologies to create an awesome desktop blogging application: Movable Type and Fluid. Fluid makes it possible to turn any online application into a desktop app. Its free and dead-simple to use. Jesse and others use it for example to put GMail, Basecamp, Google Calendar, Flickr, Facebook and many other online applications right into their OS X dock. What makes Movable Type and Fluid work especially well together is the iMT plugin, which provides a beautifully designed user interface specifically for iPhone users. Coupled with Fluid’s ability to let any application it bootstraps to masquerade as an iPhone, Fluid can be used to bring all the benefits of the dramatically simplified iPhone user interface of the iMT plugin right to your desktop. And because iMT conforms to Apple’s own interface conventions and aesthetics, your Movable Type desktop client could not feel like a more natural extension of your Mac OS X environment….
October 11, 2007
Podcast with David Recordon about the Open Social Graph
In last week’s ProNet conference call, which is quickly evolving into a call-in internet talk show of sorts, I spoke with David Recordon, the man leading the effort behind the Open Social Graph Project, or “Glue.” If you are interested in learning more about: the open social graph what actually is the “social graph” what the goals are for the project what are the principals that govern its development what kind of products one might build with this technology what is XFN and what are the other protocols and standards that this project is taking advantage of Then this is a great podcast for you. Listen to it now (it is about 41 minutes long); and when you are done check out some of our previous podcasts posted to our ProNet Vox Community. During the call I also gave updates about the Movable Type Open Source project, the Movable Type product roadmap, new plugins like Template Hammer and Ghostwriter and much, much more. Remember our ProNet conference calls are open to the public. Anyone is welcome to join and participate in the conversation we have there….
September 7, 2007
Podcast with Dan Wolfgang
In this week’s bi-week community conference call we decided to shake things up a bit and change the format of the call. So, in addition to briefing the community of Movable Type news, the product roadmap and other Six Apart developments, I spent the majority of the time interviewing and getting to know one of the callers and members of our community. The lucky winner? Dan Wolfgang, the creator of one of Movable Type’s most popular plugins: Better File Uploader, “BFU” as the community calls it. In our conversation we talk about how he got started using Movable Type, how he became a developer on the platform and the process he went through in building BFU. He also shared with me what’s next for the MT4 compatible version of MT4, something he plans to release in the coming weeks alongside the multitude of other plugins our developer community is creating. Dan was a great sport in allowing me to put him on the spot as I did; for which we should all be incredibly grateful….
August 24, 2007
Listen in on our Bi-weekly Community Conference Call…
Every other Wednesday Six Apart hosts a public conference call with members from the Movable Type developer and professional community. These calls are a great forum for those individuals to talk with members from the Six Apart product team directly and for us in turn to give greater insight into our plans and roadmap for Movable Type, as well as some of the other products Six Apart produces. We record each conference call for those folks who are not able to attend, and for the benefit of the community at large. In each call we cover a wealth of topics, and this week was no exception: The release of the Movable Type 4.01 Beta New plugins recently submitted by the community to our Plugin Directory The upcoming release of Custom Fields and Media Manager for MT4 An overview of the Movable Type 4 Enterprise Pack A discussion about the Movable Type 4 Community Pack - what led us to develop the Community Pack, and what features are we planning for that product How to best organize documentation and manage contributions from the community Design goals of Movable Type 4 and how we built it to better serve its developer community…
August 16, 2007
Holy Moly! Graphical visitor stats for your blog.
Check out the latest plugin from the community: real time visitor statistics for your Movable Type 4.0 dashboard. Mark Carey, the developer of the plugin and the guy behind the very popular site MT Hacks has been busy building a number of different plugins specifically designed for MT4, not to mention updating some of his other popular plugins like Fast Search and some user interface plugins to customize the user interface to work better for him. And that’s not all, the community has produced a number of other great plugins in the last couple of days. For example, those of you pining for the olden days, Arvind has made a great retro dashboard widget called “My Blogs” which surfaces an MT3 style blog listing widget for your MT4 dashboard. Cool!And for those of you pining for the even older days, you might recognize the name of another one of our plugin authors: Ben Trott. His Refeed plugin makes it easier than ever to turn any RSS or Atom feed into posts on your blog. I know I plan to use this plugin personally to aggregate my twitters, my Flickr photos, my Vox posts into a single unified system.What plugins would…
August 16, 2007
The Movable Type community is positively buzzing with excitement. Plugins are being added to the new plugin directory every day and developers are busy at updating their plugins to take advantage of MT4’s new APIs and architecture. Plus we are hearing of more and more reports of people upgrading and switch to MT4 every day and every hour because, I mean - come on, what’s not to love?In fact you can show your love for MT with the awesome new desktop wallpaper created by Jesse of PlasticMind and MovableTweak, the designer behind the wall paper he created during the beta….