I would like to try something different than MovableType for online communication involving my classes this fall. MT is great, but it’s more complicated than is necessary for students who are required just to log on, type in an entry, and log out. Also, MT makes adding and editing the permissions of new weblog authors very tedious and time consuming. For me, two desired characteristics of an alternative software are that it must not require MySQL, because the server I have access to does not have it, and it should allow students to sign up for their own accounts, so I don’t have to do that work. Drupal would be nice, but it was designed for MySQL (although it will work with PostgreSQL); I don’t want to have to monkey around for hours to make it work. I also like WordPress because the interface is very much like a simple wordprocessor, but again, it needs MySQL.
Update: After more coffee, I remembered this “Blog Software Breakdown,” which I had referenced back in May. My ideal system would have flat-file data storage and open registration. Blojsom, MovableType, and Pivot meet the first requirement. Of these, only Blojsom meets the second requirement.
Update 2: Okay, Blojsom requires “Java 1.4 Servlet 2.3/JSP 1.2-compliant app server (e.g. Tomcat).” I basically know what that means, but they might as well be speaking a different language. Outside my expertise, unfortunately. I can handle XHTML, PHP, a little Perl, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. Beyond that, it’s like listening to the teachers in Peanuts: “Wa-wa wa wa wa-wa.”
If I upgrade to MT 3.0, is the multiple-author management easier?
Update 3: It looks like Blogger is the best compromise. I’m using the ftp option to transfer files to my faculty account. Check out http://www.americandialogues.us. (Note that you can buy your own domain names at NameCheap for $8.88 a year.