Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Upgrade Madness

So this weekend I upgraded all the Macs in the house to Tiger and I upgraded Ephemera to Movable Type 3. It feels like my geek life has all new clothes. Curious to read what yet another geek thinks of ’em? Read on.

Disclaimer: What follows is just one guy’s opinions. I mean no one any disrespect, especially my friends and colleagues at Apple and Six Apart. I hope my comments are taken in the spirit they’re intended: constructive feedback on two software packages I use every day and love with all my heart.

Tiger Likes

System-wide spotlight is fantastic, and my most favorite part of the upgrade.

Mail.app is all growed up! Feels more stable and robust all over. The search and smart folders are incredible.

Safari RSS is gonna bring an new understanding of RSS to the masses. Wow.

Safari finally supports undo in textareas! And multiple undos, even! Cmd-Z me, baby.

Tiger Dislikes

Those bulbous buttons in Mail.app are the worst part of the new app. Please let me turn that crap off.

Dashboard? Meh. It’s a groovy demo, but so far I use it as much as I used Konfabulator, which is to look at it once, say “neato” and then never touch it again. And shame on Apple for co-opting a keyboard combo (Apple-space) that us Photoshop junkies use a million times a day. It was a bad idea when Quicksilver used it, and it’s worse when Apple does. (I know I can turn it off – I did – the point is it’s the default.)

Safari sometimes briefly flashes a seemingly random solid color behind a large gif as it’s loading. Distracting.

Safari’s form behavior seems to have changed. Hitting enter when in a dropdown no longer submits the form. This may be a better UI, but it’s annoying to anyone used to the previous behavior.

For much better Tiger insights, visit the ever-insightful Daring Fireball.

Movable Type 3.16 Likes

Comment approval is gonna be a lifesaver.

I’m so relieved MTEmbedImage still works. Thanks, Brad!

Movable Type 3.16 Dislikes

MT is still the best blogging platform out there. But it won’t be forever if they don’t start innovating on the platform. It’s disappointing to see how little has changed since the last version. (I’m aware that lots changed under the hood, but it’s nothing that helps me do what I do with MT.)

I can’t believe that MT still doesn’t enable users to turn off comments for multiple entries at once. If you’re in the middle of a comment spam attack (as I was this weekend, hence the upgrade) and want to turn off all your comments for a while, you’re out of luck. Inexcusable for a program so advanced in so many other areas.

I’m aware that enabling comment approval kind of solves this problem, but not well. I just want to be able to turn off comments site-wide if I need to. Greymatter allowed me to do this in 1999.

That Movable Type News box on the main screen is an inexcusable marketing intrusion. I can’t believe there’s no way to turn it off. Bad form.

Why is MT still using Javascript popup windows? It makes the app impossible to use in most wireless clients and it’s totally unnecessary in the UI (actually, it’s very inconsistent – some left-hand nav items are links, some are popups, and there’s no way to tell the difference short of clicking them).

And why is MTBlacklist still a separate, complicated install? Comment spam is a plague on MT-powered blogs and a default MT install is still not up to the task. Spam is always an arms race, and MT is not going fast enough.

One of the great things about the weblog world is that you never know when something you’ve written will find its way to someone who can do something about it. So if you’re that person, I hope you know that I only complain because I love this software and just wanna see it get even better. So thanks for reading. And if you’d like to talk more, feel free to contact me at the email address below.


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Flickr and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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