Friends don’t let friends use TypePad?

There’s some Typepad vs WordPress.com going on. Again. I jumped in and left my two cents worth.
At first, I used Movable Type for my blogs, but I dropped it as many people did when WordPress came out. WordPress is GPL, and at the time, this wasn’t particularly important to me, but as time went on, I began to value this more and more. Upgrading WordPress is a pain, and there are updates too frequent for my liking.
So, I moved to WordPress.com — adding a domain name to the site was easy, and cheap. I didn’t like the restrictions and the pay structure of WordPress.com, and when I realised it is run on a proprietary web server, I decided I needed to try and find an alternative.
Should I go back to self hosting? Yes. Should I go back to using WordPress on my server? No.
Movable Type had gone GPL. Movable Type was free software now! Initially, I had some problems with configuration, getting things set up. But now I’m really happy using Movable Type.
There are some really good features in Movable Type:
* Static HTML — renders your blog as static HTML files on disk. I can’t express how much I love this.
* Multiple Blog by default — WordPress MU. Meh. No thanks.
* Good set of themes by default — WordPress needs to ship with some better themes.
* Infrequent upgrades — 150 or so days since the last security update to MT.
Problems with Movable Type for me:
* The name — ‘Movable Type Open Source’ is too long, and too confusing. Movable Type SHOULD be the name for the product. It shouldn’t be a different version, or different name for the free software version. I’ll admit I don’t like the term ‘open source’, which adds to this.
* Not enough themes out there — WordPress has pwned MT on this.
* Too many confusing editing modes — Markdown, Textile, etc.
I’d like to see WordPress address some of these. I’d like to see MT address them too.
What annoys me is what feels like name calling. It seems a little weighted on the MT side — far too much WordPress bashing for my liking. Matt has been better about this, but I’ve seen a fair amount of it from both sides.
I’d like to see a service — Akismet or MT AntiSpam released as GPL, and soon. I want to run my own version for my own blogs. I don’t want to send all my comments to a third party.
I’d also like to see both projects contribute directly to getting good, up-to-date packages of their products into GNU/Linux distributions like Debian and Fedora. They’re already there, sure. Given the number of updates from WordPress, they should be distributing their own Debian packages. Movable Type should do the same.
Run a repository, do it right.

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2 comments

  1. Benjamin Mako Hill · June 26, 2008

    I don’t know how MT AntiSpam works but I don’t see how running your own Akismet would help you much.
    Akismet works because it has a centralized database of all recognized spam. It’s a collaborative project that is effective only because everyone sends their comments to a single third party.
    Saying you want to run you own version of Akismet is like saying you want to run your own version of Wikipedia without the database and without the groups of users contributing. Having Mediawiki is great and useful for a whole lot of things — but it’s a long long way from a distributed encyclopedia that’s successful on WP’s terms. It’s the community created (and reinforced) by a centralized system that makes both systems work and access to source code alone does very little to help most users.

  2. Matt Lee · June 26, 2008

    Mako: That may very well be true, but I still don’t see a reason to not run my own. I already have about 12 blogs running in Movable Type. Those 12 blogs attract a fair amount of spam, for the amount of genuine comments they attract.
    It’d be possible, I think to run my own Akismet/MT AntiSpam, much in the same way I want to run my own Gmail, my own Wikipedia and my own Launchpad.
    As we discussed at the weekend — I’m now in the position where I’d prefer to run my own free encyclopedia, and have 30 entries than contribute to Wikipedia. Why? Because Wikipedia is a power struggle, and stuff gets deleted when it shouldn’t.

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