Movable Type drops support for Safari?

I’ve been an enthusiastic user and advocate of Movable Type since version 1 in 2001. I can’t remember any statement from Six Apart that has shocked me more than this one, made by Jun Kaneka on the MT support forum on 9th December:

Just to be clear, MT5 should work fine with Safari. Actually, the UI designer mainly uses Safari to develop MT5.

On the other hand, supported platform is defined by
the platform which QA team conducts their test. It is now

* Mozilla Firefox 3.5 or higher

* Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher

He slightly elaborates on this on the MTOS-dev mailing list, also on 9th December:

That’s the difference between “Supported” and “Should work fine”.
I’m sorry that the System Requirements page on MT.org
is not precise on that part. We will fix it.

The System Requirements page for MT was last updated on 10th December. The “Web Browser” section currently reads:

As Movable Type is a modern web application which uses Javascript and AJAX extensively, it requires a modern web browser. We strongly recommend the latest version of the following browsers. Browsers are free and easy to upgrade!

The Movable Type is tested and supported on the following browsers:

  • Mozilla Firefox 3.5 or higher
  • Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher (We STRONGLY recommend the latest version).

Movable Type should work fine with other modern browsers, but is not tested with these browsers:

  • Safari 3 or higher
  • Opera
  • Chrome
  • etc.

As a web developer, I completely understand the difference between “supported” and “should work”. Yahoo’s Graded Browser Support policy, with its definitions of A, C, and X-grade browsers codifies this concept neatly. With limited development and testing resources it is impossible to fully support every browser.

But for a company like Six Apart to restrict their list to IE6+ and Firefox 3.5+ is mind-boggling. First of all, there is a huge contradiction between the two platforms they do support: IE6 is eight years old, used by a small and rapidly declining percentage of users, and is widely known as the least capable browser platform still in common use today; Firefox 3.5 is one of the most advanced browsers currently available, but it was released a mere six months ago. Secondly: no Safari. Safari is the browser of choice for the vast majority of Mac users, and enjoys significant use on Windows, too.

The only thing I can think of when I look at that list is: enterprise. Movable Type has now completely abandoned its former user base of hobbyists, bloggers, and geeks, and wants to concentrate on selling into the corporate market. The vocal minority of people who will be pissed off by the absence of official Safari support &mdash the trendsetters, the evangelists, the plugin developers, the tutorial writers — are not the people 6A is interested in reaching any more. To be honest, most of them left for WordPress, Drupal, or ExpressionEngine a long time ago. For several years now, Movable Type has been lacking in product momentum, community, and cool factor, but damn it, it’s a great product with a fantastic feature set, and it’s an awesomely stable platform on which to build a site.

But if MT is abandoning me (I’m writing this in Chrome — not Safari, but part of the Webkit family), I don’t think I can continue to recommend it any more, and this makes me very sad.

2 thoughts on “Movable Type drops support for Safari?

  1. For several years now, Movable Type has been lacking in product momentum, community, and cool factor, but damn it, it’s a great product with a fantastic feature set, and it’s an awesomely stable platform on which to build a site.

    Consider then joining the Melody community – a group of Movable Type fanatics hell-bent on reviving the community and recapturing the lead in the open source CMS market.

    http://openmelody.org/

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