A Movable Type Intranet

Keith Robinson shares an interesting experience of creating a Movable Type intranet for an hospital, dubbing the exercise as pushing Movable Type beyond the blog (Matt Haughey, along with others, has done that one before). Digging into flexibility and scalability issues, he rightly notes that, even so MT creates static pages by default, the fact that it generates code from templates when posts are created or modified, not when they're viewed, allows one to use whatever "dynamic" technology afterward. MT will happily generate code that include PHP, ASP, JSP or whatever server-side language is used to perform the dynamic rendering of pages.

Keith and others (read the comments on his first post) mentions the issue of the administrator interface of MT, which is not configurable yet (it will be in the upcoming version 3). While I can easily argue that haven't seen many CMS so far that clearly beats MT in terms of user-friendliness AND performance/price ratio, I still maintain that the best user experience can be achieved by using a desktop application and in the future, this application will be your Office tool. Right now, tools like NetNewsWire (Mac OS X) and ecto (currently Mac OS X with a Windows version forthcoming), provide a much simpler experience for posting than the web interface of MT and allow you to prepare content offline (the padawan confesses having no experience with equivalent tools on Windows, as he seldom touches this OS, please post examples in the comments below). These applications are not free but I reckon that an organization will immediately recover the cost by saving on the training costs, plus they include an aggregator which, I argue, becomes a definitive must-have especially if your intranet generates RSS or Atom feeds.

On the issue of tweaking the admin interface, I remember having seen something similar done for the redesign of Adaptive Path but can't find where anymore (unless it was on a different project but still, this is another great example of experience sharing on the same subject, plus you can see the resulting site!)

I should mention that MT is certainly not the only weblogging tool that one can "push beyond the blog" and use as a CMS. pMachine, WordPress and surely many more are interesting candidates. And we're still waiting for the now delayed MT Pro...

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