Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The end is nigh?

After reading Les’ account of the new licensing for Movable Type 3, I’m seriously considering not upgrading and sticking with 2.661.

Starting with 3.0, several versions of MT are available, though only one is free. That version limits you to 3 blogs and 1 author. Now, while this installation only hosts 3 public blogs, there is another private blog with 7 authors that I’m also hosting. I don’t need to keep that one much longer, but if I did, because I have more than 5, I’d need to buy the top-rated package which is $700. $700!
Admittedly that includes tech support, but bar about two posts in the public forum I’ve never had to use it. And let’s face it, for $700 I could comission someone to write some software for me that would have no limits, like before.
The ‘personal edition’, which allows you 5 blogs and 3 authors, costs $70, but only for a limited time. People who donated more than $20 get this for free, but I only donated $17.50 if memory serves correctly so I won’t qualify for this.
While I could, in theory, upgrade to the free version and have no problems with my existing setup, I’d be pushing the package to its limits and would have no room to expand should I need to. For example, last year I let Andy login while I was away on holiday to make sure the comments weren’t left unattended – with only one author allowed, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
Of course, there’s no problem with the present system – at the moment. But what if someone finds a major security flaw in MT2.661, and Six Apart say that the only solution is to upgrade to 3.0? Then we’re in a pickle.
I am lost for words about how bad this decision is. I have no problem with them making money from commercial users. But this is pricing Joe Weblogger out of the market, and that’s bad. I’m seriously considering following Shelley and Dave‘s example and switching to WordPress, once it supports multiple weblogs. It’s open source, so if any experienced PHP hackers can contribute please do.
There’s a humourous take on this at OnePotMeal but it didn’t make me any less annoyed at this decision. But I’m not the only one complaining, and I really hope Six Apart seriously reconsider their decision.
See also this post-mortem from ***Dave, and probably just about every other A, B and C-list Movable Type weblogger.


  1. Well, ain’t that a kick in the groan?

    The Net has always had a sense about it that “the best things in life are free.” Looking for a…

  2. *breathes heavily*
    Join the dark side Neil… Use the WordPress (especially since 1.2 is due out next week)
    *breathes heavily*
    Oh… it’s Dave, not Mike. 😉

  3. And Mena’s own description of how credits for previous donations/licenses will work does not at all match what the MT store site says. The store says “$20 for the first key, $25 for your second key, and $20 for any subsequent keys” while Mena says the full amount of previous money given to MT will count as a credit.
    Well, which is it?

  4. The beauty of open source

    Over the next few weeks, the topic of Movable Type’s new pricing scheme for version 3.0 will most certainly draw very strong feelings on most blogs on the net. While I can understand SixApart’s their position in charging a good amount of change …

  5. Hmm, and there I was thinking about setting my new site up to us MT (as it’s reasonably easy to use). Looks like Drupal or Mambo for the new site then – bad Six Apart for turning “evil”.

  6. If MT 2 works for you, why not just stick with that? No sense in upgrading just for the sake of it.

  7. Harry – simple, security. What if a major flaw in MT was discovered and Six Apart only decided to fix MT3 and not MT2? We’d be wide open.
    I’m seriously considering writing my own search script for since that uses MT and would almost certainly need a commercial license if I upgraded it to MT3. The search script is the only script that needs to be publicly accessible on that site, so the others could be protected by Basic Authentification and this homemade one would be reasonably secure by its obscurity.
    On the other hand, I can good just say ‘bleh’ and upgrade anyway. Which I might do.

  8. MovableType 3.0

    MovableType released their new version of blogging software and just about everyone has gone through the roof. They’ve got a new pricing scheme and guess what? It’s not free any more. And everyone is whining. My favorite whine is: “it doesn’t have that…

  9. Swallowing my chill pill with my morning coffee.

    Wow, wasn’t yesterday a fun day in the blogosphere? OK, stupid question. It probably wasn’t all that enjoyable for most MT fans and was probably a particularly bad day over at Six Apart. Last I checked Mena’s entry talking briefly about the new license…

  10. Six Apart releases MT3.0D

    Six Apart took everyone by surprise today and released Movable Type 3.0D, the long awaited developers upgrade for it’s popular Content Management System more commonly know …

  11. The Whole MovableType Mess

    I’m a MovableType user. Version 2.661 powers this site. The software is great, powerful, and has worked well for quite a while. I, like most of the world, have been…