The makers of Movable Type, the software I've used for years on end to host this blog and a few others, announced today that they have an AWS appliance version of their software. The "micro" instance is free, but anything beyond that is either $0.07 per hour or $499 a year.
I suspect that's as close as we're going to get from here on out to a free-to-use version of the program, especially now that the open source version is on life support and is only receiving security patches. An earlier, single-user license of the commercial product has been entirely discontinued, and looks like it'll never come back. I'm not shedding any tears; I'm just dismayed.
Once upon a good long time ago, I considered forking MTOS. That idea died screaming, not least of all because that would have required me to become an expert in
structured line noise Perl. Sorry, if I'm going to invest that level of effort in anything, I'd rather it be a forward-thinking effort. The sheer amount of technical debt involved there meant I might as well start from scratch — and if I was going to do that, why not do it on my terms, not someone else's?
When I first started taking seriously the idea of creating my own blogging engine / CMS, I had no delusions that I was going to unseat anyone, or get away with anything that radical. Nor did I particularly want to: the audience that creates and uses WordPress is a diverse and valuable one. But I felt like there was a missing space in the market, a spot for a user-friendly blogging system, written in Python, that had learned as many good lessons as possible from its more widespread ancestors.
Even if such a space was sensed by only one person, me — and if I filled it for myself, at the very least I'd be winning in two ways. One, I'd have freed myself from ever having to depend on anyone else's project; two, I might well be able to allow others to benefit from it. A third possibility — that I in turn might benefit from having a culture of contributors — is also possible, but I'm not banking on it.
To that end: Watch this space for details. When life hands you lemons, extract the acid from them and burn through your chains. I'm hoping to have some commits in there by the end of the year.