Movable Type is a CMS

There is an O'ReillyNet article by Scot Hacker that describes how he used Movable Type to power this site. It's a site set up for journalism students at Berkeley University, specifically for covering the 2002 election.

The article goes into some detail as to how this was done, in spite of some of Movable Type's limitations. They had to create special "author" records that are in fact for multiple people (showing both names as the "nickname" but with a single e-mail address). Boxes and Arrows takes this approach too. Another thing that puzzled me is they publish the weblog index to a hidden file. The actual index page of the site is manually built using hand-picked stories from the weblog. That's really weird. A better approach would be to add the "top story" articles to a "Top Stories" category. Then the home page can be built dynamically by listing the entries in that "Top Stories" category.

But Scot is quite happy with the result. And the site looks very good-- professional in appearance and in content. Movable Type is a content management system, even though it is mainly used by bloggers for blogging.

Not surprising, but Dave Winer doesn't approve with Scot's methods. He'd prefer Scot used Manila. Granted, Frontier/Manila is a more capable CMS, but it's been around for a while (in development since 1988) and has had time to mature (by comparison, MT has been around for just over a year). So it doesn't do everything out of the box-- that's ok, it will before long. And maybe Scot didn't have $299 to spare.

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3 Comments

luke said:

The Morning News is powerd by MT. It makes me happy.

http://themorningnews.org

Erica said:

*giggle*

Brad, someday I hope to be as geeky as you. (That's a compliment, btw.)

I think we'd get along well in meatspace. :)

Chris van Hasselt said:

A major piece that differentiates MT from a full-blown CMS is workflow. It seems to me that if you can define multiple authors with MT, you should be able to define some simple relationships between authors.

For example, if Joey writes an article, her boss Zoe gets an e-mail asking for her to approve and post the article. I haven't looked under the hood to see how hard this would be to do, but it seems like all the pieces are there.

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This article was published on November 6, 2002 10:55 AM.

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