I love Movable Type, but using WordPress on my personal site has highlighted two annoyances with the MT editing interface which are real problems. Rather than just being annoying, they really have an effect on the quality of writing and categorization.
Semi-WYSIWYG editing. In WordPress, you can “Save and Continue” editing an entry, and — when the page is refreshed — the entry as it would publish at that moment is printed below the editing interface. This means you can go down and read your entry, then scroll back up to make changes in the editing interface. Invision Powerboard does this too then you “Preview Post.”
MT, on the other hand, is archaic by comparison. If you click “Preview,” you go to another page. You start reading, find a typo, then have to click back to the editing page, fix it, then “Preview” again. It’s ridiculous. You end up keeping a list in your head of things you have to fix as you preview so you can fix more than one thing when you click back to the editing interface. (Amazingly, Basecamp — that hallmark of usability — does this too when you preview a comment.)
This really puts a wet blanket over your desire to create polished text (not that this site is a paragon of that…). The interface is clunky as hell, and you eventually quit and publish just to be done with it.
Actually, you usually end up publishing and using the published version as WYSIWYG in another window (which can be a problem if an aggreagator refreshes the feed before you’re done). I spent about 10 minutes polishing this entry after I published it, because it was just easier that way.
As a result of all this, I take more pride and care in my writing in WordPress than I do in MT. It’s a sad fact, but very true.
Multiple category assignment from the editing page. In WordPress, there’s a complete list of categories embedded in the editing interface. As you write your entry, you can click all the categories to which you want it assigned. The list runs down the side of the page, and includes indents for subcategories, so it doesn’t really matter how long it is.
In MT, you can set one category as you edit. To set more, you have to save the entry first (technically, this is so it can get assigned an id from the database). Then you get a little pop-up window where you can select multiple categories and hit “Close,” and then you rebuild.
This really, really makes good categorization hard. So many entries on this site should go in more than one category, but when you’re throwing them up at the frequency we are, you just don’t have time to fiddle with the silly interface limitations. This concerns me, because good categorization is really, really important when you get a lot of entries. This is something that has really suffered at Gadgetopia over the years.
So why don’t I just use WordPress for this site? Well, WordPress has other problems. It doesn’t cache pages (critical with our traffic), and it’s templating is a mess (rather, it doesn’t have templating at all, which is the problem).
You end up living with one or more limitations no matter what platform, but the two I mention above are absolutely tragic for an app as otherwise fantastic as Movable Type. Call me a whiner.