The Quandry

The new version of Movable Type is now out as a developer edition. I’ve been beta-testing it for weeks. It’s a great improvment over 2.661. It has some nice features.

It also costs way more money than I want to spend, and I’m not entirely sure I can use the free version.

I’m seriously considering ditching MT because of the license change. I’m not going to give up BlogAds (even though I don’t make any money off of them) for an upgrade. I’m not going to live with a piece of crippleware either.

I knew that eventually there would be a commercial version of MT, which is fine and expected. What I did not expect is that Six Apart would suddenly leave so many bloggers in the lurch like this by changing the license so suddenly. I have been recommending and singing the praises of MT for quite some time, but now I feel like I’ve been let down in a way. I understand that Six Apart has the right to license their software as they want, and they deserve to make some money off of it. However, I’m not going to give up the features of my site, and there’s no way I can afford the license fees they’re asking for.

So here’s my quandry. Theoretically I could use MT3.0, and probably keep my BlogAds as well since they’re ancillary to the site and I’m not using them for commercial purposes, and there’s a clause in the MT license that reads:

Affiliate or associate fees that are earned by a personal blog site and are payable to a single individual and that are earned through activities incidental to the main purpose of the site are permitted under the Non-Commercial Purposes of this Agreement.

That may cover my current site organization and allow me to use MT3.0 – until I start adding authors and/or blogs. Granted, maybe I’ll never use that functionality, but I’d rather have the option of having it there nevertheless.

The other option is to migrate the site to WordPress or Drupal. Both are open-source and won’t be pulling a sudden license change. However, I’m not so sure they’re significantly scalable to meet the demands of this site. Since being repeatedly Instalanched over the last few weeks my traffic is running significantly higher than it was. The beauty of MT is that each page doesn’t make a call to the database but rather rebuilds a static page – meaning that a large site like this won’t overload the server with database calls. It also makes it easier for later adding dynamic content.

Preferably I’d like to see the blogging commuinity come together and create a new open-source blogging system that has the features of MT but will remain forever free for non-commercial use. Hell, I’d even volunteer to help out.

So, for the time being, this site will remain with MT 2.6 until I either decide to migrate over to MT 3.0 and accept the crippleware license or find a tool that meets my needs, or a replacement tool comes up that offers an easy upgrade path from MT and uses static rather than dynamic pages.

As always, any pointers would be appreciated.

2 thoughts on “The Quandry

  1. Unfortunately Drupal doesn’t import MT entries and comments (at least not yet), which means it just isn’t feasible to switch over right now. At this point WordPress is the only package that offers a painless path from MT – in fact, installing and importing the site into WordPress took less than 10 minutes, which is incredibly fast for a site whose database is now nearly 10MB of plaintext.

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