Melody, an Open Source Fork of Movable Type

melody_logo2The popular blogging script Movable Type (MT) has been forked into Melody by a group of ex-Six Apart staff and other MT community members. Anil Dash, whom we interviewed earlier, is one of the board members and together with his team of passionate developers, will further fuel MT’s development as a new community driven platform.

Movable Type was one of the first blogging platforms. This Perl based script has an interesting history – when launched in 2001, it was only available by paying a licensing fee and then in 2007 it became open-source and was available under GPL. Movable Type is still available for free, but you can also purchase support or buy other types of licenses for enterprise related features.  With Movable Type being forked into Melody, it will be interesting to see how the new development team leverages the code of this proven CMS.

For those not familiar with the concept of forks, a fork is when a software branches off as a distinct project under new management with a new roadmap. There have been a few successful forks that emerged from popular software – Joomla for example is a fork of Mambo, and PostNuke is a fork of PHP-Nuke. I personally like the idea of software forks; it aligns with the fundamentals of open source all the while bringing innovation to the product. But innovation always comes at a price: how do we deal with software inter-operability? Will we be able to upgrade from Movable Type to Melody? Will add-ons of MT work with MT and vice-versa?