Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


Just recently announced is Melody, a new open source content management system based around the blog concept that is derived from Movable Type, the software that has powered this site for nearly 7 years. It has been developed with Six Apart’s blessing, and by several former 6A employees; its development is guided by the Open Melody Software Group which counts Anil Dash from 6A as one of its directors.
The system will stay API-compatible with MT, so that plugins will still work, but may drop support for lesser used features like Trackback and PostgreSQL databases (Update: These may be spun off into plugins, not dropped altogether – see comments). Focus will be on improving development and support of weblog themes (which has always been a little clunky in MT), but ultimately the aim is to generate a community around Melody which guides the development process. MT will stay on as a product of 6A, and while there will be some code-swapping between the two Melody is essentially a fork.
It all sounds like good news and I wish the team every success with the development of Melody – once a more stable release is available I may well switch to it. WordPress has, rightly or wrongly, stolen the limelight from MT in recent years so a proper, community-driven open source alternative could pull users back to the MT/Melody platform.
(Incidentally the default user name for a new MT installation is ‘Melody’ – not sure whether that was used as an inspiration or not)


  1. You’ve got it all backwards… WordPress hasn’t stolen a thing… Six Apart GAVE THE LIMELIGHT AWAY! They lost focus with all their new projects and acquisitions, and MT suffered because of it. I am desperately hoping that Melody will get people caring about the MT platform again, because it really does deserve it.

  2. but may drop support for lesser used features like Trackback and PostgreSQL databases.

    Personal statement here. This is Su(I am not a huge URL!):
    I want to temper this a little bit. The intent is not necessarily to drop support, but more likely to—maybe—decouple some things from the core. If you were paying attention a bit before 4.0, there was a big proposal to split MT into a bunch of modules. Something like that.
    I, for example, have been campaigning for a long time to have TrackBack functionality snapped off into a plugin. I can’t remember the last time I used it or that any client asked for it. I don’t want it to go away, because some people like and use it, but I would like to ability to remove it, similar to what I can do with StyleCatcher, since all my work is custom. Clearer?

  3. This is the big proposal Su refers to:
    It’s details are somewhat dated and only some of it got implemented. It best to read it and think about the concept and not the details it may communicate. I think Melody needs to take that plan in to consideration for its future efforts as it’s more relevant than ever to distributed community development of the software.

  4. I’d also agree that MT wasn’t paying attention and little ole WordPress came in and stole the show. That being said I love both platforms however the deal breaker for me is simply the lack of “premium” themes for MT. The theme community/marketplace that has developed around WP is amazing.
    There are many things that MT does better and vice versa, and both can still be even better….Hopefully this project will just make the MTesque platform even better.