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September 5, 2007

5

Mephisto vs Movable Type

by Dan

Recently, I changed the software I use to create my website from Mephisto to Movable Type. After using Movable Type for a few weeks, I want to say that I’m happy with the change. I really like Mephiso, but the new Movable Type 4 is just better.

First, Mephisto is written in Ruby. I love Ruby as a programming language, but it’s horribly slow right now. Using Ruby also limits my choice of where to host my site because Ruby support is still rare. Since I’m hoping to spend my time writing articles instead of programming blog software, I decided that the implementation language doesn’t really matter.

Second, Movable Type will “publish” my site by creating static pages instead of constructing each page dynamically. Because the web server doesn’t have to do as much work each time someone wants to read something, my site performs better.

Third, Movable Type has a much larger user-base. Anytime I have a problem or need a bug fixed or want to change something about my site, my chances of finding a solution are higher with Movable Type. Mephisto development has dropped to almost (but not quite) zero over the last 6 months.

Fourth, my biggest complaint about Mephisto is that it doesn’t support pagination, and that it’s authors don’t intend to add it. Pagination is those links at the bottom of an article that point to other articles. Not having them is a big pain.

I haven’t finished setting up my site the way I want it — the look of the site needs a lot of help — but I have found Movable Type to be much better at supporting what I want to do than Mephisto was.

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5 Comments
  1. Sep 18 2007

    Hey,

    Did you create a custom converter from Mephisto to Movabletype? As I want to do the same conversion and I’m searching a converter before I start implementing one on my one.

    Thanks.

  2. Sep 18 2007

    I used MarsEdit to download my articles from my old site and upload them to the new one. I had to copy them by hand to new one though, because MarsEdit didn’t seem to be able to move an article between blogs.

    I didn’t have very many articles — maybe 25 — so it didn’t take too long. If I’d had a lot of them, however, I probably would’ve needed something else. The other issue that came up was the Mephisto content ended up in both the “body” and “extended” part of the entry in Movable Type, so I had to clean that up.

    The easiest way might be to dump most of the columns from the Mephisto article table and then tweak the SQL to insert into the MT table.

    If you find a good way to do it, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

  3. Sep 18 2007

    I have about 140 posts, so I created a script to do the conversion. It was easier than I thought. I’ll post a link to the script as soon as fixed some glitches.

  4. Sep 18 2007

    That’d be great.

  5. Sep 21 2007

    Ok, it seems to work now. I wrote a short guide here: http://code.gelens.org/projects/website/wiki/Mephisto2Movabletype

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