Movable Type Going Open Source

Web log software company Six Apart said Tuesday it had released a beta of the newest version of its Movable Type software, as well as announcing the platform would go open source by the end of this quarter.

The release of Movable Type 4.0 returns the software "to its roots," with the company relying heavily on its users to shape the next version of the software. Although many have treated the software like it was open source, in reality it was not.

With the release of MT3, Six Apart decided to enforce a licensing structure for the application. While users vigorously protested the move, it was essential for the company's viability. At the time it was the company's only product.

Since then, however, the company has expanded, and now has revenue streams through products such as TypePad, Vox and LiveJournal. Thus, it is now able to be more lax with its flagship product.

Altogether the MT4 includes some 50 new features, including a revamped user interface, support for publishing standalone pages, managing files, completely redesigned component architecture, and most important to developers, a commitment to open source.

"It begins today with the Movable Type 4 beta release, a real beta process that will collect your suggestions, improvements, feedback, and most of all the passion of all of you in our community," Six Apart CEO Anil Dash said in a blog post Tuesday.

Dash and Six Apart also hope to turn Movable Type into a social media platform by giving the program's users the option of letting their users participate in the content creation process through their own blog posts and uploading of multimedia content.

Writing for TechCrunch, Duncan Riley says that the newest version of the software may bring people back to the application that really put blogging into the forefront of the Web.

"The new version of MovableType looks wildly appealing to me as a blogger and the decision to open source the platform may well deliver broad numbers of WordPress converts back to the platform that started it all," he opined.

Movable Type 4 is available for download from FileForum.

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