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Movable Type 3 Bible - Book Review

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Several months ago, author Rogers Cadenhead released the first book detailing MT3 - the Movable Type 3.0 Bible Desktop Edition. Since Anil mentioned the book in a MT news post on MT books, I thought I would put my 2 cents in about this book.

The first thing you should know is that the MT3 Bible is not a book for non-technically-oriented beginners. The book is filled with great information, but if you are looking for the simplified introduction to Movable Type, this isn't it. Many of Roger's instructions are in the form of Unix shell commands that you would use to manage files on a web server. In fact, the book's second chapter is on how to prepare your web server for Movable Type. If you're like me, someone who doesn't speak Unix, and would rather eat only lima beans for 3 days straight than to try to install MySQL or missing Perl modules on a Unix server, many of the instructions will not be helpful.

That said, the book is a step up in comprehensibility from the MT manual. If you've been struggling through the manual, the MT3 Bible may help provide clarity on various topics. In addition to preparing a web server, the MT3 Bible offers chapters on installing MT, configuring a weblog, writing a weblog entry, organizing a weblog, publishing photos, template tags, designing a weblog using templates, comments, trackbacks, backing up a blog using the export feature, adding search capabilities, importing entries from other weblogs, connecting to MT with XML-RPC, using plugins, publishing RSS files, the Atom syndication format, and how to design a plugin. Even if you've read all the tutorials in LMT, you may still find much of this book helpful. In particular I like the section that goes into detail on how to make use of various plugins that are available for MT. I also like the section that explains the templates in detail. The book is filled with useful tables of code that might be helpful if you do any customizations to your MT blog.

Comments (7)

robert:

Elise,

This is really a great book! I picked it up a month or so ago when I was starting to really dive into my MT install. It was helpful in finding out some stuff that I needed to know. Get the book, study the LMT site, and you're good to go!

robert

Lisa:

I enjoy reading the MT tips and lessons. Also really like the modifications you've made to the bottom line of the blog -- | Email to a friend | Comments(1) | Printer-friendly version ...
Are these the types of tips and modification information that we would find in the Bible?
Thanks

Jeffrey A. Miller:

Just a note: the author's name is Roger*s* with an *s* on the end. He's the only person I have ever seen with that name. Interesting.

fun:

In recent months, I have spent a great deal of time trying to learn Movable Type and it's hard work for me. I was sure with a title like "Bible" this would be my main resource for learning to design blogs. Absolutely not.

Many of the key technical MT issues are addressed and yes the manual is greatly augmented but not addressed in a practically applicable way. After a complete reading of the book, I was no closer to setting up blogs than before I read it. I have not picked up the book off my shelf once since finishing. I go back to LMT articles over and over again. This is not a commercial for LMT but LMT is the bible, not this book. Sure there are many other sites but after endless days reading all the websites and forums, LMT is the bible.

The Movable Type 3 Bible promo is misleading. It does not live up to what it promises but LMT does live up to what bible promises.

I hope for your readers sake you publish this. I think your review does your readers a slight injustice. I understand Cadenhead is your collegue but many readers like me hang on your every word. Usually, you say when you don't know something or are leaving something out and why. Cadenhead and the increadible number of MT enthusiasts who are going to be considering this book this year need to know. This book is a bad choice for anyone except the advanced or perhaps hackers if anyone.

As I said, you are the best,
Don

Robert Author Profile Page:

Don,

For beginners this is a tough book to figure out. I think I also learned more from LMT and trial-and-error than anything. The book was helpful with filling in some of the blanks and adding a bit of "tech" info, but you're right--LMT provides a tremendous service to those who want to modify their MT installations from the "out of the box" format.

FWIW, I also looked at "Sams Teach Yourself Movable Type in 24 Hours" and found the Bible a little more "friendly", but I'm curious to see what the "Hacking Movable Type" book adds to the mix.

Spend some time googling different MT sites, read through LMT, and enjoy! You'll have your site looking the way you want in no time... if it isn't there already. :-)

robert

Kachina Crowe:

"I think I also learned more from LMT and trial-and-error than anything."

Same here. I bookmarked LMT when I was first even *considering* moving over to MT.

I recently bought the quote, unquote "bible" after about a month or so of Movable Type thinking that I'd learn something. Boy. Was I disappointed. It was a waste of my money and if anyone would like to buy it from me used, I'll pay shipping.

Peace,
Kachina

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