Corrections and Clarifications

Published on 17 May 2004 in , , ,

Given the PR disaster that surrounded the launch of Movable Type 3, it’s perhaps not surprising that there have been some ‘clarifications’ (or backtracking, depending on whose opinion you read) about the new licensing.

What is a blog then?

Apparently a ‘blog’ (of which the personal license could have one), is actually a site. To quote:

The question of what a "weblog" is is somewhat muddy, but the basic answer to the first question is that, if you’re using multiple "Weblogs" in Movable Type in order to build 1 site, that only counts as 1 weblog towards the license limits.

If this was the intention all along, I would have to say I would have suggested saying ‘site’ not ‘blog’, given that ‘blog’ within the context of the application does not necessarily mean ‘one site’. It seems remarkable that no one thought of that in the beginning. Unless they did actually mean ‘blog’ (application) not ‘blog’ (site) in the first place. Make sense? Probably not!

What does this mean for me – well one of my original problems with the license was that this site consists of 3 (application) blogs, and Catherine’s will be at least four. Now we’re down to two (site) blogs so everything is a bit cheaper. We could get the $69.95 personal edition and be happy. Hey if it wasn’t for Catherine, I could get the free edition as there’d be only blog author.

And just to make sure no one else has a problem, Six Apart are changing their licenses.

In our licenses, we now address this with this language: “Weblog” means a single Web site viewable at a single URL (Uniform Resource Locator), consisting of one or more weblogs as generated by the Software via the “Create New Weblog” function of the Software.

Errr…. Yes… That makes it so much clearer… Hey, here’s an idea. Why not call "a single web site viewable at a single URL" a website instead of a blog. I mean, it wasn’t as if it was using blog in two different contexts that got you in the mess in the first place now was it?

What’s an author?

Anyway, moaning aside – what about the other problem… Oh yeah, that’s the other problem…. Authors… We have 46…

Okay, The F-Word is a bit odd in this respect cos it has 46 users who never log in. They’re not even assigned passwords (don’t worry, the install isn’t on the internet – it’s tucked behind the firewall here). They just sit there and are used for metadata purposes.

To be honest, the clarification in this case has got more confusing for me, but it’s down to the odd setup I did. Basically the clarifications bring about the notion of ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ users. Apparently an author as ‘Active’ if that author has posted within the last 90 days. where as elsewhere it says an author must have a username and password as well.

For The F-Word, the author is changed by the admin user. The admin user logs in as themselves and goes into power user mode and assigns an author to an article. So what does that mean in the scheme of things? Er. Good question. So good I had to email Six Apart and ask them. I’ll let you know when I get a response.

And what is the future?

The question remains – what now? To be honest, the whole saga has made me remember that most of the software I use is open source, because with non-Open Source software someone can come along and change the rules. And Six Apart did change those rules. Mark Pilgrim explains it better than I can.

It made me think that perhaps somewhere there’s something open source that I can use to power my sites, and to this end I’ll be doing some exploring and thinking over the coming months. This evening I tried Pivot but didn’t really like it – it doesn’t seem to understand the notion of distinct sites like MT does. I’m going to give WordPress a go next but that would probably require a change in the way I build this site (currently it’s built offline then ftp’d up), but try we will see.