Good News/Bad News time:
First the Good News: Six Apart announced the release of MovableType 3.0 Developer Edition today which is apparently just what they’ve decided to call MovableType 3.0 to emphasize that this isn’t a bunch-of-new-goodies release.
It will be available to everyone, not just developers; we’re calling it a Developer Release to emphasize the fact that 3.0 itself is not a feature release in the traditional sense. With this release we hope that the developer community will implement some great extensions for 3.0.
Since many of Six Apart’s employees are Apple fanboys/girls, we make the analogy to the first releases of OS X: the first releases did not offer that many new features themselves, only a more stable and robust platform for developers to build upon.
They’re also launching a Plug-in Developer Contest to help kick-start the introduction of cool new plug-ins as this will be part of what determines if MT3 will be a success or not. Top prize is a $7,000 computer system. Winning plug-ins will be distributed by SA in a Plug-ins Pack to promote the exposure of the coolest of the cool. They’re also setting up a Developer’s Network and changing the license for MT3 removing the clause that prevented consultants from charging for support of MT.
As mentioned above, we’ve changed our licenses for Movable Type 3.0, removing the clauses that don’t allow consultants to charge for supporting Movable Type. ?The new licenses give developers and consultants the chance to make a living around supporting, extending, and customizing Movable Type. And, Six Apart is dedicated to helping that community thrive.
As a kickoff to the network, we’ll be setting up an informal developer workshop to get a sense of what developers think we should be doing, their feedback on the direction of Movable Type, etc. If you?re interested, keep an eye out for an announcement in the coming weeks.
And no, there isn’t going to be a fee to join the network.
So it looks like MT3 is officially released as of right now and the MovableType homepage has been updated with a fresh new look. Which brings us to the Bad News:
Six Apart has definitely changed the license for MovableType and a lot of people aren’t going to be happy about it. Click on the “get it now” button and you’re taken to a page that outlines the new license deal. In short, the days of unlimited blogs and unlimited authors per blog are GONE. Now the number of blogs you can host and the number of authors depends on what level of license you purchase which comes in four flavors: A free edition, personal edition and two versions of a commercial license.
MovableType Free: Costs nothing. No support from SA. No access to paid installation. No access to “fee-based services” (whatever they are), No promotion of your blogs through Recently Updated list, No commercial usage, allows a max of ONE author and THREE blogs!
Personal Edition: Costs $69.95 for a limited time, normal price $99.95! Gives you a maximum of 3 authors and 5 blogs. That’s it.
Commercial Edition 5 Authors: Costs $199.95 intro price, normal price $299.95! Gives you a max of 5 authors and 5 blogs.
Commercial Edition 20 Authors: Costs $599.95 intro price, normal price $699.95! Gives you a max of 20 authors and 15 blogs!
Mena covers the new licensing structure in a post on Mena’s Corner which tries very hard to put a positive spin on this major change. The license page says that all paid licenses include, among other things, “Generous limits on weblogs and authors.” Right. As it stands right now even if I loved MT enough to pay for it I’d have to buy the second of the two commercial licenses ($600!) in order to replicate my setup as it stands right now as I host no less than 7 blogs with a total of 8 authors.
I guess the decision on whether to stick with MovableType or move to something else has effectively been made FOR me. Whether I like MT or not, I can’t afford it any longer. Good job Six Apart! You’ve managed to find a way to drive away MT fans in droves that is waaaaaaay more effective that what the uproar over TypeKey caused.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.