We've just released the Developer Edition of Movable Type 3.0.
If you're a developer or if you want to know specifically why we have this developer edition, please read this post, Movable Type Developer Edition 3.0.
We've also just launched Plug In to Movable Type 3.0 Developer's Contest where we're awarding $20,000 worth of prizes to plugin developers.
If you want to know some of the thinking behind our new pricing and licensing, read Commitment to a Free Version, while getting our pricing right.
And, based on the early feedback we've received about the new licensing, we've written up a brief explanation clarifying some points and explaining a few of the changes that we've made.
Since yesterday we've received quite a bit of feedback about the new licenses. A lot of the feedback has been very constructive, and we thank everyone for taking the time to express their criticisms and support. Because we want to respond to them relatively quickly, I may miss some questions in this post.
One of the most valid comments we heard is that the personal licenses do not work well for many people who are currently using Movable Type. This surprised us because in a survey of 2500 people, a whopping 85% of respondents had 5 of fewer weblogs or authors. This help educate our final decisions about the weblog and author limits.
Below we'll clarify some misconceptions and miscommunications (from our end) and describe the changes we're making to the licensing structure that should make the licenses fit better for most everyone who uses Movable Type.
Here are some of the most common questions we received/heard.
If I'm using Movable Type 2.661 or lower, do I have to suddenly pay now for my current version or follow the weblog/author limits for my copy?
No. For anyone who is complying with the license of 2.661 or below, there is no requirement to upgrade to 3.0 or any future version of Movable Type. The license which was in effect when you downloaded your version of Movable Type is the one that applies to your copy.
Why is there a single CPU restriction in the license?
The single CPU usage statement was not intended to be in the license. It has been struck from the license, and everyone who has downloaded Movable Type 3.0 thus far can officially consider this change retroactive.
Why are there limits on the number of weblogs and authors I can have on one Movable Type installation?
One of the biggest criticisms we've heard thus far regards the limitation on the number of weblogs allowed at each tier of the new licensing structure. Our best explanation for the tiering is that we feel a personal user who sets up weblogs for 50 of his friends should pay more for a license than one who uses only one weblog for himself.
Weblogs and authors are two of the best metrics we have to measure the usage of Movable Type on a given installation; they're not perfect (more about this below), but we do believe that they are useful in constructing a license structure.
However, we have heard a number of criticisms that personal users feel they are locked out of using Movable Type, or forced into using a commercial license, if they have more than 10 weblogs. We created volume licenses to address these cases but they didn't sufficiently address a number of scenarios.
To address this, we're doing 3 things:
- We're adding a new "Personal Edition Add-On" package that gives someone who has purchased a Personal Edition license the ability to buy 1 new weblog and 1 new author for $10. You can purchase as many additional author/weblog packs as you want, each for $10.
- For the Personal Edition, we're increasing the number of allowed authors from 3 to 5. The number of allowed weblogs will still be 5.
- We're clarifying what we consider a weblog (see the next question)
We'll also be eliminating the Volume License options from the Personal Edition. But if you've already purchased one of these packages, your weblog and author limits have been increased as well to correspond to the author/weblog packs:
- Personal Edition Volume License I: 10 authors, 10 weblogs
- Personal Edition Volume License II: 13 authors, 13 weblogs
These changes will take effect early next week after we can devote some more engineering resources to the billing backend.
What is a "weblog" defined as? What if I have multiple "Weblogs" in Movable Type all used to create 1 site?
The question of what a "weblog" is is somewhat muddy, but the basic answer to the first question is that, if you're using multiple "Weblogs" in Movable Type in order to build 1 site, that only counts as 1 weblog towards the license limits.
In our licenses, we now address this with this language: "Weblog" means a single Web site viewable at a single URL (Uniform Resource Locator), consisting of one or more weblogs as generated by the Software via the "Create New Weblog" function of the Software.
To be clear, sub-weblogs that make up weblog sites shouldn't be counted toward your weblog total.
Here's an example:
If your weblog site is constructed from 4 "Weblogs" in Movable Type -- one for the main weblog text, one for a link list, one for a music list, and one for a book list -- this should count as only 1 weblog towards the number of weblogs you're allowed according to the license.
We realize that many Movable Type users do this, quite often; for example, the movabletype.org site is constructed from 3 different weblogs. We'll be working on making this distinction simpler from a technical perspective, but we hope this clarifies it.
Furthermore, it is not our intention to stiffle the creativity of our users. So, if you have a great weblog that uses 11 weblogs seamlessly to appear as one site or weblog, you should not be penalized.
It's our goal to make it easier for you to do all that with one weblog.
What if I have a weblog or author who's no longer active on my installation?
This was a less common question, but it's one that I think we need to clarify.
The limits in the license govern the use of Active weblogs and authors. For the purposes of the license restrictions, we're defining a weblog as "Active" if you've posted to it within the last 90 days (receiving comments do not count), and an author as "Active" if that author has posted within the last 90 days.
So, if you have a couple of weblogs in Movable Type that you no longer post to, but want to keep around for archival purposes, that doesn't count towards your license limit. The same goes for authors on your installation.
Do my prior commercial payments count toward a new commercial license?
Yes. Unfortunately, commercial users received a key that is undistinguisable from a $20 donation key. We will be honoring past commercial donation and will only need to know your Paypal transaction ID. Since we're still working out the discount, please be patient and we'll be sure to address your individual situation.
We hope that the above points clarify some of the most frequently-asked questions and criticisms. The fact is, this is a process--it took a lot of work, from both technical and business perspectives, to get to the point of release, but we know that there's more work to be done. We're sure more questions are bound to come up and we'll try to make sure to answer them.