Silence of the A-List

I've been reading a lot about the Movable Type license change. I already noted that I'm unhappy about this. I think this was handled extraordinarily poorly. I've been reading a lot on the issue, not just to see people's responses, but also to pick up hints for possible replacement tools.

While reading the responses, I'm stricken by the complete lack of comment on the matter among the A-List bloggers—at least the ones I follow. I suspect many of them have been placed in an awkward position. They may see the move as ill-advised, but don't want to talk trash about their friends Anil and the Trotts. So rather than comment on this important development, we're hearing a lot of silence.

It's almost like we've got our own little form of media consolidation in the blogosphere.


Comments have been closed for this entry.

re: Silence of the A-List

I'm not sure who you're reading, but I've seen comments by Dave, Kottke, Don Park, Timothy Appnel, and Scoble. Granted, all the conversation seems to have happened in the past little while, but a lot of people are talking about it now.

re: Silence of the A-List

Thanks, Blake.

It appears that Dave finally broke the logjam by posting his "y'all want something for nothing" strawman and the others are piling on behind.

Looks like I was wrong in my rant. I thought A-List cronyism was going to prevent people saying bad things about their friends. It appears, instead, it is blinding them to the problem.

re: Silence of the A-List

I'm not entirely sure you're wrong in your rant, Chip.

It seems like there are a bunch of things that people aren't sure about. (Is this license only for the Developer's Version? Is the company giving tacit approval to personal sites that happen to go over the restrictions? Are they willing to change the licenses?) Certainly the reasonable thing to do in your situation would be to stay with 2.661 as long as possible, and explore other (I can only hope Open Source, so that you don't run into this problem again) alternatives.

Two more things, while I'm here. First, a little pimping: Dan is the guy who's writing the VM for the next version of Perl, and he's commented on this issue. Also, if you do switch, you might want to look into PyBlosxom. (I'm a part-time developer on it.)

Secondly, would you consider adding comment support in your rss feed, ala this page, so that I can see when you reply to me from my rss reader?

re: Silence of the A-List

Further followup on the A-List watch... As I noted above, most have been lining up behind Dave Winer, calling us whining freeloaders. Mark Pilgrim has broken ranks and explained why he is leaving Movable Type. It's a good article.

re: Silence of the A-List

Blake, I did look at Blosxom. Many of my projects require a posting front-end that supports multiple-users. That didn't do it.

I had assumed PyBlosxom would be similar, but I'll check. I really do like the static rendering feature. That's the piece of Movable Type I'm going to have the most trouble giving up.

With regard to putting comments into RSS, sorry, won't happen anytime soon. I don't want comments in the primary RSS feed. I read some blogs that are that way and it's really annoying to see an article that I didn't care about the first time I saw it pop up again and again as people leave comments. I thought about adding a "subscribe to this article" feature so people could get notified of comments, but I thought it was imprudent to be doing MT 2.6 development while 3.0 (and a new API) were around the corner.

Right now my main priority is migrating to another platform. Maybe once IJTLCSH is moved, I can look at adding a second RSS feed with commments.

re: Silence of the A-List

Hmm, Mark Pilgrim coming out of the opposite side of an issue from Dave Winer. This must be my surprised face. Heh.

Some PyBlosxom comments:
1) It doesn't have any front-end, but it does support a couple of the more popular blogging tools (blogtk and gnome-blog on *nix, and w.bloggar on Windows are the ones I know it supports). I'm not sure how well it deals with multiple users, but if you needed that functionality, I bet I could hack it in for you in an afternoon.

2) Static rendering is one of the things we're adding for the 1.0 release. The code is all done, and works on the machine of the developer who wrote it, but it could use some more testing.

3) If you check out my site, you'll see that the comments aren't included in the RSS feed, but rather they have a separate feed of their own (one per entry, if I remember correctly), and the url to that feed gets included in the main RSS feed. My reader is smart enough to fetch the comments, and put them in the right place while leaving the original entry in it's place in the list. It sounds like it would be just like the "subscribe to this article" feature, but with people able to automatically subscribe. However,

4) Migrating is obviously a bigger priority. I know that PyBlosxom is able to import from MT, but I'm not entirely sure how. I also believe that someone is working on getting a document explaining the process ready right this second, for obvious reasons.

re: Silence of the A-List

I made the switch to WordPress from Moveabletype today and it was relatively painless, about a 15 minute install. It looks pretty clean and has most of the features I need.

I was prompted to do this by this discussion. I don't want to get hooked in to MTs new licensing structure.

- Terry

re: Silence of the A-List

Also, migrating from MT is not a problem with WordPress.

re: Silence of the A-List

I found a great comparison chart and discussion of blog software at

Here's what he said about his chart and his thought process in selecting blog software:

"Blog Software Breakdown

Even before the whole Movable Type fallout, I had been trying to decide which of the many weblog CMS packages would be best for my needs. (Choice made!) I got tired of flipping back and forth between each of the sites, especially when not all of the answers to my questions were apparent from simply reading the main web page.

This chart displays attributes of different user-installed blog software packages side-by-side for comparison. Only server-installed scripts will be included in this list. (Sorry, no Radio, Blogger, etc.) I created this chart to help figure out what blog tool best suited my needs. Hopefully, it will be useful to the self-hosted blogging community as well." is a great resource for anyone going through a blog software selection process.

I was glad he validated the choice I made to replace MT on my various blogs.