I’m now running Movable Type 4.0 RC1, and in doing so blatantly ignoring the advice about not installing over a production environment. That said, I have backed up all 20 megabytes of the database, just in case.
MT4 is big – around 13.5 MB when unzipped – and on my 2 megabit connection took around half an hour to upload. Thankfully it’s pretty easy after that as the upgrade is very simple, although as this is an early release quite a few plugins haven’t been updated yet and so I’ve had to disable quite a few of them; though none of them are particularly big or important.
So, if you can read this then the upgrade was a success and most things are working. The interface is very different but I’m liking it so far.
Update: It’s taken me a little while to get things working properly, mainly because of a MT template tag used in the wrong context on one of my custom templates (<$MTArchiveDate$> in the Entry template) which MT 3.x had no problems with but MT 4 seems to throw it’s toys out of the pram over. To be honest it’s not really MT’s fault as the tag was in the wrong context, but it would be nice if this was told to me when the entry was saved. As it happens, it just said everything was okay and then didn’t rebuild me pages for me, though thankfully I found out when doing a manual rebuild what the problem was.
Of the plugins I’ve had to disable, Fast Search is the one I’m going to miss the most – until it’s updated for MT 4.x we’re back to MT’s default CGI-based search which is much slower. I’ve also had to disable the plugin which crossposts entries to LiveJournal for the time being – sorry LiveJournal people.
Other plugins which I’ve previously used have been folded into MT’s core. OpenID Comments is now built-in, and so when you sign-in you’ll have the option of using OpenID, TypeKey, LiveJournal or Vox to authenticate your comment. There’s also the ability to add user accounts and so you’ll be able to have your own account with this site in future if I enable the option, but as I’ve previously mentioned I’m sticking with allowing anonymous comments for the time being. Markdown and Smartypants are now built-in, as is SCode for providing image CAPTCHAs, although I’ll still be using Comment Challenge which still seems to work okay in 4.0. Some plugins that are still enabled may or may not work, such as MT-Notifier which sends out the email notifications of new comments.
Rich text editing is now included, so you can format posts without having to use HTML, and it seems to work pretty well too – I’m using it for this post. In particular, adding images to entries is far easier than it used to be. There’s also the ability to preview your entries as they would appear when posted (i.e. with your blog’s design) and not just how the text will look.
I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it, mainly because I’ve spent most of the evening retro-fitting my templates into the new software, but so far I’m really impressed.