I’m now on my way to update my blogs from Movable Type 3.33 to Movable Type 4.01. The basic update was fast and easy. My templates still work and the sites can still be viewed after a total rebuild. At first the commenting functionality was broken, but that problem was resolved after the initial update through the help of the SixApart support department. So now the basic update is done. I’m currently investigating how and what new features of MT 4 to use in my blogs.
One of the features I already enabled is the possibility to log into my blogs with an OpenID for commenting. So if you have an OpenID, you can use it here to comment and don’t need a TypeKey-account to comment on my blogs. OpenID is a big topic and I’m currently looking into setting up my own identity provider. As soon as I’m done with that, I’ll post more about OpenID on this blog.
Besides this change that is apparent to the readers of my blogs, there’s also lots of changes only visible to to the blog owner. MT got a new polished UI, which I like very much. The UI of MT 3 looked somehow outdated. MT4 uses AJAX where it makes sense. For example the entry being currently edited is auto saved regularly. So it won’t get lost when somehow my Internet connection breaks and I have to re login after a time.
MT 4 has also syntax highlighting in the template editors and it discovers all module templates used in a template and provides a menu of them for direct navigation. There is no autocompletion support in the template editors, but maybe they’ll add it for MT 5 ;)
There’s also a new WYSIWYG editor for blog entries, which I don’t use because the generated HTML-code look horrible, but fortunately my preferred Markdown with SmartyPants is now integrated into MT. The editor used for typing in entries with Markdown offers some Markdown specific features like link creation and image insertion. That provides part of the convenience of the WYSIWYG editor with good HTML-code produced by Markdown.