The new pricing for Movable Type (the software that runs this blog, along with a zillion others) is out. The previous release was free for non-commercial use. The new release is free–if you only have one author and fewer then 3 blogs. Any more then that, and you need to pay. The cheapest license is $99, marked down to $69 for the moment, and that only covers 3 authors. For commercial users, pricing starts at $299 (on sale now–only $199) for 5 authors, and goes up to $699 ($599) for 20 authors/15 blogs.

Needless to say, this is causing a bit of an uproar, and a lot of people are looking at switching from MT to other systems.

I guess I’m probably one of them. I’ve been half-heartedly looking for a different system for a while, but my needs are kind of unusual (as usual :-). Here’s a short list of what I’m looking for:

  • Simple, customizable blog engine, supports RSS and Atom, as well as at least one API supported by Ecto and NetNewsWire’s editor. Atom API support would be nice, but not all that critical, since I don’t have an Atom-aware editor yet.
  • Trackback and comment support. Preferably threaded. I actually like the concept behind Six Apart’s TypeKey, but that’s too much to ask, probably.
  • Support for non-blog pages. Take a look at for an example. Most of the pages are auto-generated, but I’d like to be able to share the template with my blog, and it’d be nice to be able to use the same comment engine.
  • Support for the Markdown markup language. I’ve found it to me vastly easier to work with then writing raw XHTML. That’s not to say that HTML is hard, but Markdown really lowers the amount of effort required.
  • Decent comment-spam tools. Admittedly, most comment spam is keyed to MT’s comment system, but that’ll change.
  • Tools for converting from MT. I don’t mind spending a bit of time on this, and I only have 190-ish posts here, but I’m not throwing them away, and it’d be nice to save the comments and trackbacks, too.
  • A photo gallery system that doesn’t suck. Since I haven’t found one that doesn’t suck yet, this is a difficult requirement. My goal is to be able to maintain one big master index in iView MediaPro on my Mac, and then sync the pictures and metadata onto my server from time to time, mostly using rsync and xml. Then, I want an automated script to pre-render thumbnails (on-demand thumbnails of 6 MP images are too slow for my poor server) and lay everything out. I’m currently using Album, but I’m not particularly fond of it. It just works better then anything else I’ve used. Systems that require manual, non-scriptable uploading of individual images need not apply.
  • A semi-integrated Wiki’d be nice, but I doubt I’d use it any time soon.
  • It needs to be scriptable and easy to enhance. Ideally, it’d be written in a language that I’m comfortable with; Ruby’d be best, and Perl’s okay. I can cope with Python and PHP, but I don’t really like either. A decent XML RPC/SOAP/REST interface would be nice, too.

If anyone has any suggestions, please leave comments. I suspect I’ll hear at least one recommendation for Drupal, but it’d be nice to hear other suggestions too. Can Drupal handle semi-static non-blog pages easily?