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Movable Type Monday: MT5, Twitter API, Training, and More

Happy Monday, folks! As expected, Movable Type 5 was released last week. A lot has changed in this new release, as described in the official announcement:

  • A new user dashboard for both the website and blogs. This makes it easy for authors, editors, designers and other publishers to easily navigate between the two.
  • A new theme mechanism that makes it easy to apply a new theme across a website and blogs with a single click that proliferates changes throughout the published site.
  • Enhanced content management features that include revision history and new custom fields. There are five new object types for custom fields: website, blog, comment, template and asset.

There are significant changes to the UI, which have caused some to claim that Six Apart borrowed the design from WordPress.

First, a nitpick: The similarities are on the entry edit screen, not the Dashboard. Second, the main section and the right sidebar of that page haven’t changed much from MT4, so those similarities are almost three years old. And MT3 had a left-side navigation, which was replaced by the top navigation in MT4. A lot of users found the MT4 navigation confusing, so it’s not surprising they changed it in MT5.

Now, having said all that — yeah, they look a lot alike. the two apps keep trading features back and forth, so it’s not surprising that their UIs would evolve to look similar as well. Still, If 6A wanted to avoid the comparison they should have done more to differentiate the MT UI.

Next, we have a couple of plugins from Byrne Reese. First, his LinkToTheme plugin lets you link a template to a theme, which means that template does not have to be refreshed when changes are made. This has potential to greatly speed up design changes.

Also, Byrne is working on a plugin to allow blogs to support the Twitter API. Other hosted blog platforms have done this recently — by providing an API that matches Twitter‘s, these blogs can be accessed from some Twitter clients, like Tweetie and Twitterrific for iPhone.

For those of you looking to develop your own MT plugins, Mike at Code Monkey Ramblings has a tip for adding your own modes to MT::App objects. It’s done via the plugin’s config.yaml file, which I’m finding is a very powerful part of MT’s current plugin architecture.

Finally, the Melody project is doing another webinar this Wednesday, January 13. This time, they’ll be covering debugging and unit testing. Anyone interested in contributing to the Melody project should attend.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

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