Originally scheduled for release Monday May 19, the newest release of Movable Type v4.15 is now planned for Wednesday May 28, 2008. Why the delay? They say all will become clear on release day. Until then, here are the enhancements in store for all you Movable Type users.
The Beta of Movable Type 4.15 is already hanging around out there — although not fit for production use. This latest version is all about improving performance, not just of the core platform, but also helping improve user performance by making things easier to do.
Many of the enhancements aren't things you can see, such as improvements to memory utilization and database performance. There are also a number of new features designed to give more control designers and administrators.
Part of the delay, according to Product Manager for Movable Type, Byrne Reese, was the inclusion of a few last minutes features that they believed needed to be included in this latest release. Two that Reese mentions specifically are:
- An overhaul to the Commenting capabilities: The engineering completely re-wrote how MT manages blog and admin sessions thus improving how commenting is managed.
- Global user banning: You will now have the ability to ban users on all your blogs using one new config directive instead of doing it on a blog by blog basis.
Additional Improvements within Movable Type 4.15
- Design Area:A single listing template screen and a combined widget and sidebar listing screen should make finding templates and widgets faster.
- Search: Search has been completely rewritten and now includes paginated search results, full text searching, support for the Lucene search query syntax and more.
- Commented Threading: With the donation of Arvind's Simply Threaded plugin to MTOS, MT is now able to allow commenters to reply to one and other directly and allow designers to show both nested and threaded comment listings.
- Simpler, Easier Default Templates: A completely rewritten set of default templates will enable a user to get up and running quickly
- Updated Navigation and Menus: There are a number of improvements to the navigation for MT including a new Tools menu and an improved Preferences menu
- Template Previews:Preview your changes before you make them - a very nice and required feature
- Even More Publishing Control: Administrators can fine tune performance through new template publishing options and publishing profiles
- Server Side Includes: The introduction of server side includes will help speed up publishing
- Template Module Caching: You can now cache portions of your site in the database. This can improve performance greatly because the templates don't have to be recreated every time it's called.
You can find lots of detailed information on each of these new features on MT's site, along with a number of FAQs for each features.
MT says that publishing time is cut in half from v4.1 just by upgrading. Performance can be further improved by leveraging some of this functionality like the server side includes and template module caching. Many of the new features also require changes to the some templates - search pagination and commenting threading being two of them.
All of these changes seem to reflect a move to much better content management for the Movable Type blogging platform. Performance is a critical factor to any CMS, not technical performance, but also administrator/user performance. Nice to see the gang at Six Apart recognize this and have made the necessary improvements.