A couple of years ago, I was still semi-interested in MovableType, and it’s ‘never-really-got-off-the-ground’ fork, OpenMelody. At the time, there was a fair amount of navel gazing around what the UI of Open Melody should look like and do (IIRC).

I posted this to the Open Melody mailing list – it turned out to be the last time I posted anything to a MT or OpenMelody group. Looking at Hacker News and seeing yet another post about a new static site generator triggered a memory of this email and it still feels relevant today.

I don’t particularly have a dog in this fight anymore – having mostly abandoned MT for new client work, but MT (and by extension Melody) is my first blogging love, so I want it to have a future.

I’ll just reiterate what my few posts to this mailing list have previously stated – Melody needs to focus on how and what to get the rest of the Perl community engaged and so that it becomes the blogging / site publishing component of choice. UI changes are nice, but, by and large, I *personally* don’t feel that this is the real battleground anymore.

Here’s what I’m seeing:

– An upswell of interest (especially amongst developers and early adopters) in static publishing engines such as jekyll and nonoc (partly driven by Github’s adoption of jekyll as the engine for Github pages.

– Despite Amazon Web Services’s recent outage, being able to serve up a website from S3 is very interesting.

– An increasing willingness to ‘outsource’ elements such as comments to the likes of disqus, intense debate and js-kit (echo).

All of the above play directly into Melody’s strengths – static publishing, template language and eliminate some of the weaknesses (comment load etc).

If I could code Perl worth a damn, I’d be making a play at the above – allowing the Melody publishing engine to just be a component, easier reading of template files directly from disk, publishing to the cloud options, direct support for popular comment services.

Having the publishing engine as a (CPAN??) component also directly brings the Perl dev community into play.

I really don’t have a sense of how easy this would be to do (my guess is not that easy or it would have already have been done), but it would result in having a coherent and competitive story for Melody, that satisfies existing needs, but also pushes Melody into a space where I feel it’s strong.

Didn’t get a single response to it, and over time, people just drifted away from OpenMelody.

Movable Type is trying to make a comeback, but apart from legacy systems and a few personal sites, I can’t imagine it’s going to be successful.

A real pity.