This is frustrating: I've spent the past several days digging, and I can't find an opensource replacement for moveableType. Why not MT? It's only $150 for the commercial license and it is 'opensource'! Well, it all comes down to trust: I can't use MT because I cannot trust software I can never own, and I can't place my company at the mercy of another. Been there, done that, got royally burned several times.
What this world needs is a good 10-cent cigar and a good GPL multi-user blog engine
We've had a website since 1993, and all our content management systems have eventually become modified from the original; some of our patches went into the original (we submit them all), but some do not. The point is, everyone is happy because we all had the freedom to do what we need to do. With restricted systems like MT, if they change the rules (the way MetaDot did when it dropped the GPL and went strict proprietary) we're screwed, and I don't want to go through that again. With MT, all you get is free-beer, and only if you're non-commercial and non-government; given their definitions, my guess is maybe half the MT sites out there are operating illegally. It's a great system, well thought out and intelligently architected, but if the Trott's have a change of heart, we're stranded.
MT does form an excellent spec of what a good blog system requires. What we need is
- multiple independent topic areas which can contain blogs, stories and static pages, and multiple categories within each blog area; this lets out greymatter.
- image/file uploading by users to seed new blog entries and create thumbnails.
- blog-owner controlled tags-based template and stylesheet layout configurable on a per-blog; this lets out drupal since it mixes PHP code with markup to programmatically generate a page instead of generating content and letting users determine the layout and selection.
- user-definable macros to short-hand common markup, for example, to build an amazon book hotlink with a single tag.
- modular construction with a rich set of modules for google/amazon and other xmlrpc hooks, trackback and ping support to multiple targets.
- page caching
- remote publishing via any of the standard blogger-like RESTful XMLRPC, and includes titles and categories.
- perl, but not mod_perl, or PHP based.
- installs in a user-account on a webhost (doesn't require messing with the apache config files or compiling new binaries. This lets out the mod_perl and Java-based engines.
I've been through most of the offerings on the blog comparison page and I've come up short on all the free software offerings. Of all those I've evaluated, Drupal comes the closest (and adds several other interesting features) but because it's based on programmatic page generation instead of tags-based and user-controlled templates, it won't allow different layout for different blogs, and even the smallest layout changes require a PHP programmer; the ideal blog engine would be GPL drupal-like, but dedicated to MVC. Any recommendations?