Tinker Time, Movable Type 5 Beta is Up for Grabs
Team Movable Type (news, site) is "really stoked" about their latest announcement: a 2 month period of beta releases and official quality assurance testing for Movable Type 5.0, starting yesterday.

Beau Smith of Six Apart admits there are still some kinks in the code, but the development team was anxious to get it out and let the testing games begin. The plan is to release a new beta version every two weeks until it's stable (they're aiming for an official release some time in November) so feedback, as usual, is golden. 

The Journey

Before 5 there was 4.3 and the current stable build, 4.31. Both versions focused primarily on application performance, integrating popular plugins into the core product, and a documentation update. Meanwhile, the Japan-based Movable Type team worked diligently on an application interface makeover and the addition of the most requested features. The fruit of their labor is Movable Type 5.0, which reportedly focuses on three major areas:


  • New “website” object
  • Blogs are associated to websites
  • Pages can be added to websites
  • Rebuild website separately from the contained blogs.
  • App UI has the ability to move blogs between websites


  • User Dashboard: A starting place for users to quickly jump to any blogs and websites they have the ability to manage
  • Revision History: Revision history for entries, pages, and templates. Revisions contain all data related to the entry/page/template including custom fields values.
  • Custom Fields update: Custom Fields now has five more object types: Website, Blog, Comment, Template, and Asset. Additionally, there is now a Custom Fields by Category/Folder feature and an Export/Import Custom Field Data feature.


  • Apply a theme with a single click and then rebuild the blog/website to apply changes to published website.
  • Themes contain: templates, style-sheets, static files (images), widgets, categories, folders, and custom fields
  • Themes for websites and blogs.
  • Install themes just like plugins
  • Export theme from current blog and optionally include all or a subset of the custom fields, static files, categories, and templates currently associated with the website or blog

There are some areas beyond these that Six Apart has been working on as well, including the deprecation of the custom JS libraries, new permissions and allowing users to create and distribute their own design themes. Details on the whole shebang can be found here

Jive with Five

There's a handful of known issues with Movable Type 5.0. To save yourself the time it takes to report a bug, review the list:

  • Some administration screens are not displayed properly on Internet Explorer 6 and 7.
  • Some of the bundled themes are not fully functional.
  • Error message is displayed when you hit Enter key to create a new category and tag.
  • Backup and Restore are not fully functional.
  • Error occurs when you post page with Windows Live Writer.
  • Required field validation is not working on the comment and user custom fields.
  • Cannot insert asset when editing entries with Firefox 3.0
  • Side menu is cached on FastCGI environment

These issues are scheduled to be fixed in the next beta, but if you happen to find something that's not already noted, you can submit a report here.

But of course, first you have to download the thing, so, get goin'.