Goodbye BookQueueToo, Hello MediaManager

It has been exciting seeing my friends and collegues pull together what promises to be a great product and tremendous improvement to the MovableType platform. The MovableType product has matured so much in the eight months (has it really been that long?) I have been at Six Apart. I remember Jay on his first day - there were hundreds upon hundreds of untamed, unsorted bugs in our bug database tracking everythig from typos, to bugs, to feature requests, to random ideas. The list was intimidating to say the least. I certainly was glad it wasn't my responsibility to make sense of it all.

Fast forward eight months...

MovableType 3.2 has been the culmination of all those bugs, all those issues getting organized, and a vision for the future of the product beginning to really come into a sharp focus. And seeing the product is exciting. It is awesome. I am excited for Jay, Ezra and Brad to be able to finally release 3.2 because, as not only a friend and co-worker, but also as an MT user and plugin developer, it is great fun to use.

That is a long prelude to what this post is really all about, BookQueueToo. The upcoming release of MovableType 3.2 inspired me to bring some long needed enhancements to the BookQueueToo product. Not only have I introduced some major UI enhancements, I have introduced some major new features as well. I have been showing folks at work, and the concensus is that "BookQueueToo" is no longer an appropriate title. That ever since I introduced the ability to add any type of item from Amazon's catalog to a queue, and especially after the latest round of feature enhancements, that a more appropriate name for the plugin would be "Media Manager."

Byrne, for crying out loud, stop rambling and tell us what is so special about this upcoming release!

First, I have completely overhauled the look and feel of the queue to fell a lot less like a form, and more like an application.

bqt1-before.png
Before

bqt1-after.png
After

The application itself has been redesigned to borrow all the new UI conventions and styles of MovableType so that the plugin is a more seamless extension of the MT platform (stay tuned to Pro Net for previews of all the new UI enhancements).

Also, Media Manager will allow you to create reviews for items in your queue. It has a dedicated posting interface that allows you not to simply link to pre-existing entries as in BookQueueToo, but to compose your own reviews right there in Media Manager.

Furthermore, Media Manager will allow you to select from a number of predesigned Media Manager Review Templates so that the posts you create about your Media Manager items look awesome.

Media Manager also utilizes code from my Amazon Image Hacks project to create visually distinct and interesting reviews/posts each and every time. Add a drop shawdow, rotate the image, or resize the image right there in the posting interface using a real time preview mechanism.

Media Manager also incorporates a lot of what I have learned by working with such great designers and engineers - especially in terms of JavaScript and CSS. Media Manager uses javascript to show and hide form elements so that your screen does not turn into one giant form for no good reason.

There are also new template tags and fixes to bugs that have annoyed users for a while now - include a bug that causes the template tags not to filter out specific item types (e.g. "I want to show a list of all of my favorite DVDs and only DVDs"). I mean, come on. Duh.

There is so much to tell really. All I wanted to do was to let users of BookQueueToo know that some major cool stuff is coming. Media Manager will be made available in beta form the same day as MovableType's release. Be patient, there are still a lot of enhancements and improvements I am making. But when it is released I will be anxious to hear everyone's feedback and comments.

In the meantime, use BookQueueToo, and rest assured that BQT is not really dying, it is just getting a name change.

1 TrackBack

BookQueueToo, it is a-changin' from geekmum {movable cafe} on July 12, 2005 8:40 PM

As if there wasn't already enough to get excited about with MT3.2 just around the... Read More

1 Comment

Looking forward to the new version.

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