One of the biggest complaints (if you could call it that, really) I’ve heard about Movable Type is that it costs money. There’s little enough regard these days for the craftsmanship that it takes to put out good software, but to complain because a developer is trying to make a few duckets is a little silly – although Six Apart *does* ask for some steep numbers.
What I’m not a fan of is the $300+ price tag on some IDEs. That kills me. But I digress.
Anyway, while there’s a dearth of completely free (as in beer? I keep running into that. Sounds like a Stahlmanism) software out there for blogging, there’s another semi-commercial package that we installed on Sillysmart, and it’s actually worth taking a longer look at. I say semi-commercial, by the way, because they offer a ‘free’ license for a less-feature-rich version of their software alongside super-expensive ‘fuller’ versions. Anyway, I’m talking about Expression Engine.
Installation was a breeze – easily as simple and straightforward as MT (although nothing, nothing in the world, is easier than WordPress. It’s like, two screens.) Getting started is a tiny bit rough – the interface is clean and fast, but the paradigm isn’t the clearest. MT now has this big red “Write Entry” button that couldn’t be any clearer. Oh, and did I mention it was fast? Yeah, extremely fast. As fast as MT3 was, as fast as Textpattern.
It’s touted as being very flexible. I take this to mean a lot of things, but on a basic level, we’ll see how tough it is to skin correctly (this’ll inspire me to actually do something about my damn website. I keep putting off redesigning it.) I have to skin MT4 too, so I’ll be able to draw some comparisons, no doubt.
I seriously considered throwing MT4 on Sillysmart, but I like this decision. Expression Engine seems like a very well put together, very forward engine that hasn’t disappointed and (I hope) won’t. In the meantime, I have a pb&j to scarf down. Hack the planet.