Just recently announced is Melody, a new open source content management system based around the blog concept that is derived from Movable Type, the software that has powered this site for nearly 7 years. It has been developed with Six Apart’s blessing, and by several former 6A employees; its development is guided by the Open Melody Software Group which counts Anil Dash from 6A as one of its directors.

The system will stay API-compatible with MT, so that plugins will still work, but may drop support for lesser used features like Trackback and PostgreSQL databases (Update: These may be spun off into plugins, not dropped altogether – see comments). Focus will be on improving development and support of weblog themes (which has always been a little clunky in MT), but ultimately the aim is to generate a community around Melody which guides the development process. MT will stay on as a product of 6A, and while there will be some code-swapping between the two Melody is essentially a fork.

It all sounds like good news and I wish the team every success with the development of Melody – once a more stable release is available I may well switch to it. WordPress has, rightly or wrongly, stolen the limelight from MT in recent years so a proper, community-driven open source alternative could pull users back to the MT/Melody platform.

(Incidentally the default user name for a new MT installation is ‘Melody’ – not sure whether that was used as an inspiration or not)