New blog lookPosted: April 20, 2008
I spent some of the weekend working on a new style for my blog. My goodness, Movable Type was a serious pain in the butt. It’s the first time I really used the new 4.0 version. Six Apart did a pretty big refactor in how the templates are put together. Basically, you start with an index template with only about 10 lines of code. Here’s where the headache begins:
$MTInclude module=”Entry Summary”$
Yes that’s right, those simple includes, turn into more includes, which in turn into yet more includes. Six Apart componentized all the template code into small pieces. I suppose maybe to OO types this seems logical. But it makes it ridiculously long to track down exactly what code you want to update. Then there’s the CSS. It’s already tough enough reading CSS someone else wrote. But rather than simply opening up a single style sheet, you’re greeted with something like this:
Yes, that would be includes for CSS. I can see there must of been an architecture astronaut at work here. And as an extra bonus, you can’t edit either of the primary CSS files directly. They’re stored in some mystery directory on the server. You need to override them with your own CSS include via the Movable Type UI.
The icing on the cake is Six Apart’s documentation is terrible. Bob setup our server to handle Action Streams, so our blogs can report on our other other RSS data sources. Documentation was almost completely non-existent. I had to Google for bits and pieces. To learn how the heck the Movable Type admin interface worked, again had to Google for that. Thank goodness for Learning Movable Type.
All and all I was completely underwhelmed with the latest Movable Type release. It’s neither tailored to the non technical user nor the technical. Makes me think that there could be a market for an easy to use blogging system. No small company is going to want to use tools like this. I wonder if WordPress is any better?