Following Ben and Mena's demonstration on Friday at the BlogOn conference, we're glad to give everyone a small peek at what's coming in Movable Type 3.1. Though Movable Type 3.0 was a Developer Edition, this release will be available for general users, and we'll be making it available as a free update for licensed users of 3.0.
First, here's a quick summary of what's new, followed by a longer explanation of what it all means.
Key new features in Movable Type 3.1:
* Dynamic PHP publishing, controllable on a per-template basis: You can control whether you publish a dynamic or static page on a per-template basis, letting you balance the publishing and traffic for your weblog. For example, high-demand documents like XML syndication files can be static, for maximum speed and lower server load, and individual post archives can be dynamic, eliminating the need to rebuild pages when making a global template change.
* Post scheduling: Allows authors to set a time and date for posts to appear, permitting automatic updates to your weblog. Keep your weblog community up to date even if you're not at your computer to create new posts.
* Subcategories: A new category management interface gives you fine-grained control over the organization and display of your posts. You can even easily move a subcategory from one parent category to another.
* Application-level callbacks: Plugin developers get even more control, allowing plugins the ability to hook events like rebuilding and extend them with custom functionality.
In addition to the above features, we'll be releasing a plugin pack for Movable Type 3.1, featuring these winning plugins from our Plug In to Movable Type contest:
* MT-Blacklist: a comprehensive spam-blocking and management system for comments and TrackBacks, with an advanced interface and remote importing of blacklist entries.
* XSearch/Plus: A system which allows you to plug in alternate search engines for Movable Type. This includes a working implementation of a powerful Plucene-based search engine.
* KoalaRainbow: A visualization engine for Movable Type which uses its own query language to generate graphics based on arbitrary queries of data in your Movable Type system.
* MultiBlog: A plugin which allows you to include template content from one weblog in any other weblog in your Movable Type install, including full control over whether an update in one blog should trigger a rebuild in another.
* Markdown: A simple text markup language which allows you to create posts in plain text and have them display in semantically correct valid XHTML.
* Notifier: An email notification system which lets your readers subscribe to be notified whenever an individual post, a category, or even an entire weblog is updated. There's also a complete system for managing subscriptions.
This release of Movable Type is currently scheduled for release on August 31. Since getting from the 2.6 release to Movable Type 3.0 took about a year, we're glad to be able to do a significant update to 3.0 just three months after our last release. We're anticipating that future updates will come at this new quicker pace as well, reflecting the additional resources and focus we've been able to put on Movable Type.
In addition to the features listed above and the plugins which will be released as part of the plugin pack, we expect to see an even greater number of plugins on the new, updated Movable Type plugins directory. Many of the contest entries which didn't win a prize will be appearing on the directory in the days to come.
We'll be posting more information on Movable Type 3.1 in the weeks to come, including screenshots, so keep checking back in.