About one month ago, I spent each evening in the course of one week, fidling with Movable Type 3.11, TextPattern 1.0RC1 and WordPress 1.2.1. Idea was to check the features and choose the one I will upgrade to. My goals were to:
Use dynamic publishing
I grew weary of daily, slow static republishing using MT 2.6x, each time when one spamming whore managed to pass through MT-Blacklist
Use nice URLs
I have changed my URLs once and realized I did brake a lot of links while doin' nothing to make them easier to guess. I want to use
Build custom templates
I want to craft my own way of index and archives display + have enough freedom to build custom pages for examples
These are the impressions I wrote back then.
I hate the fact that I have to register for TypePad just to be able to download free version. Took me three tries to force myself to do it. Eventually did it. Had high hopes. Really like the interface look&feel.
First attemp to import old entries stuck, without errors or anything. Simply stopped. I deleted the weblog, tried again, this time it worked.
I needed to read the help to figure out how to assign a formerly parent category as sub category of something. When you click “move”, you get the category you want to move listed alongside the rest of the categories; now, that is plain stupid.
There is no option to build everything dynamically. You can:
- Build All Templates Statically
- Build Only Archive Templates Dynamically
- Set Each Template’s Build Options Separately
No way to simply set all as dynamic. I need to go through each template and set it manually. Huh?! Is 6A trying to tell me that MT is so perfomance-weak it can’t handle being 100% dynamic?
Keep in mind that by using dynamic publishing, each un-cached page view will result in a number of database queries to build the page. Depending on the performance of your web server and the complexity of your templates, this may take anywhere from a fraction of a second to several seconds.
Yep, looks like they are trying to tell me exactly that.
Another new feature: page-level caching. This feature gives you near-static page speed. Kewl; where is that in the options? Err…nowhere. You need to manually create directory for it, then hack the templates by adding one line of code somewhere…It should be placed just above the line that reads “$mt->view();”“.
You got to be kidding me..? No, they are not. Moreover, to even use dynamic publishing, you need to create
templates_c directory in the web site root.
Why did not they created those dirs by themself? Why it is not in
/mt directory, where the code already have all the rights to do what is necessary?
I could go on and on…But it is late, and I have work to do. I’m very disappointed with what 6A published after so much time. I feel like they were working solely on TypePad/TypeKey services, and only recently started to do something with MT, and jumped to release too soon. Maybe I’m wrong. But since the final release is driving such thoughts, this is nowhere close to be good.
Look & feel entirely strange. After several days, I’m still lost and can’t get used to it. First thing I did was to turn clean URLs on. Then I did some other things, moved around. Imported MT entries using a modified WordPress importing script - worked like a charm. Then clicked “view site” and…nothing. Not a single thing, except two select boxes and two links.
Turns out that clean URLs require .htaccess. Well, I’m on a Windows 2003/IIS at home, which is my only web server. Installing Apache just to be able to build the blog is like using cannon to shoot the fly.
Easy gateway option was to build 404.php that will handle redirects localy (good enough for checking things out), and use mod_rewrite at the new server. However, I really, really dislike the interface and I felt that this was too much to do just to try things out. Maybe it’s just me, but it simply did not work for me.
Lots of people moved to this one after MT licensing mambo-jumbo. Matt is heavily promoting it, seems there’s a fine amount of development happening, with regular nightly builds.
Looks like interface designer just passed by it. Well, it’s better than TP, much less alien. Found permalinks option;
.htaccess again. Really frustrating.
Has built-in link manager with categories, exactly what I need. Importing entries from MT is standard option, quick and easy. No new tag set to learn. Customization is done by way of writing your own functions that work with existing content. Joollyyy…a chance to finally learn PHP.
If I don’t want to mangle with
.htaccess, I will need to create custom 404 page that will do the redirects. Or I should do static MT pages, like before. That’s not an option, actually. So, MT is out.
I’m left with two new blog apps. TP is very attractive with its
txp tags and separation of content and presentation. However, after working with MT tag system, I just did not feel like learning another.
WP is more straight-forward. You write regular PHP. Also gives you those damn
.htaccess rewrite rules, so I easily post them to my new *nix based server. TP does not give me this.
WP wins. Will see how it goes further.