By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2004-09-20 Print this article Print

With the release of Movable Type 3.1, Six Apart Ltd. proves why its the market leader in providing Weblog software.

New authoring features in Movable Type 3.1—an update from the Movable Type 3.0 developer edition released in May—give users more control over the performance as well as the look and display of their Weblogs. The result is a polished and powerful personal publishing system that begins to blur the line between mere blogging software and a Web content management system.

However, in eWEEK Labs tests, it took longer to install Movable Type 3.1 than it has taken to install competing products, including Microsoft Corp.s SharePoint Services and Traction Software Inc.s TeamPage 3.5. This is because the Movable Type software lacks a graphical installer and has poor documentation.

Click here to read Labs review of TeamPage 3.5. The most prominent new feature in Movable Type 3.1—which runs on Linux, Solaris/ Unix, BSD, Mac OS X and Windows Server—is the dynamic page functionality that lets users choose between static page generation and dynamic pages. Using this feature, we were able to control the performance of our Weblog by making frequently requested pages and RSS (Resource Description Framework Site Summary and Really Simple Syndication) feeds static and making archive pages dynamic.

RSS is gaining support in the enterprise. Click here to read more. We also liked a new feature that let us set a time and date for when posts would appear. This means news under embargo or public announcements can be published automatically, according to schedule.

Because of the emergence of competing Web syndication formats, we were pleased to see that Movable Type 3.1 supports all XML syndication methods, including RSS and Atom. This ensures that blogs can be read in any third-party client or application that supports XML syndication feeds.

Click here to find out how Six Apart and Nokia are promoting mobile blogging. Movable Type 3.1 is a free upgrade for those who already have a license for Movable Type 3.0. A license for five users and an unlimited number of Weblogs is $200; a license for 50 users and an unlimited number of Weblogs is $1,300. For enterprises with more than 50 users who need access to the publishing system, Six Apart offers a customized solution. A commercial license includes technical support, access to fee-based services such as installation and customization help, and additional online support documentation.

Organizations that dont want to fuss with setting up and hosting their own Weblogs can use Six Aparts TypePad hosted service.

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As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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