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28 August 2005


Anil Dash

To be clear, we've made StyleCatcher a plugin because it doesn't have the level of polish, testing, and (forthcoming) documentation that we expect of the Movable Type experience. So I'd honestly understand if you were disappointed with your StyleCatcher experience, but I'm surprised if you're not much happier with the experience of working in Movable Type on a day to day basis with the improvements in version 3.2.

If you'd like more of an overview of those points, I'd love to find time to talk about them.


Thanks, Anil. Interesting what you say about StyleCatcher. That certainly is not my impression from reading the description of what it's supposed to do. No indication on the website that it doesn't have the polish, etc. On the contrary, the site extols the plugin's coolness as a great way to easily change the look-and-feel of your blog. For example:

"And while we're very proud of the work that goes in to making an attractive style, we realize it can still take work to apply a design to your blog. So we've reduced the work of switching styles by making StyleCatcher, a new plugin that lets you change designs with just a few clicks, any time you want."

Well, it doesn't work in my MT 3.2 installation, sorry. It's a pity because I would just love to do what the page says - switch styles with just a couple of clicks (which is similar to what I can do now with WordPress). I did have quite a job installing it in the sense of not knowing where on my server the various files in the zip go - no documentation in the zip you download to give you any indication on what you're supposed to do to enable the plugin in your MT installation. Maybe you sort of automagically know this if you're a long-time MT user.

I'm a newbie, I'm afraid, and I do need a little bit of help. And therein is the root of my disappointment with 3.2 post installation. Installation itself was pretty easy thanks to the excellent installation guide in the new 3.2 manual. But for me, that was about as good as it got.

I would just love to get cracking with 3.2. But if you read the posts I've written over the weekend in my MT experimental blog, you'll see a lot of frustration in not being able to find *any* helpful documentation on doing simple stuff in 3.2. Like, for instance, being unable to find out what the tags are for adding stuff to your sidebar. I posted my frustration about that one (and filed a help ticket asking - no reply so far).

I really don't understand why you shipped the release version where the content in every single help page you get to from within the installation just says 'Coming soon...' Inevitably you will get a lot of keen but frustrated users, even long-time ones judging by blog and forum posts I've seen over the weekend.

I've read about all the improvements and new things in 3.2. And I will unequivocally say - it looks a terrific product, one that you and everyone at Six Apart should take great pride in. And I congratulate you for developing such an advancement in the MT publishing platform (or do I call it now a content management system?). Yet I'm not able to make use of much of any of this yet. I really do want to but not with these hurdle jumps.

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