Tonight, I upgraded the works behind this website to use the latest beta of Movable Type, and I’ve gotta say I agree that it’s the easiest upgrade I’ve done. Here’s what moving from version 3.1 to version 3.2 beta 2 involved:

  1. First, I downloaded 3.2b2.
  2. Then, I upgraded my configuration file, and copied all the new files into place.
  3. After that, I hopped over to my regular Movable Type control panel, which gave me a cryptic message about an invalid DataSource directory. I remembered reading that this was a symptom of the old config file still being in place, so I went back and deleted it.
  4. Reloading the control panel, I was alerted that an updated version was in place, and that Movable Type needed to finish the upgrade. I OK’ed that message, and watched the upgrade info scroll by, a process that took about 2 minutes.
  5. That was it for the upgrade!

I really like what I see in the new interface — search boxes appear pretty much everywhere, and the control panel of MT 3.2 is much cleaner and more intuitive than its predecessors were, bringing MT a lot closer to TypePad in terms of usability. Since my site’s setup is anything but simple, I found a few small bugs (like a couple of errors that result from MT 3.2 using new defaults for the names of its archive files, and a trivial — and trivially solvable — problem with MT-Blacklist), but all in all, I’m impressed.

(By the way, I also noticed a wee little tease during the upgrade — a new field, “entry_atom_id”, in the database table which holds weblog entries. The field doesn’t get populated yet, for either old entries or newly-added ones, but it’s nice to see that the people at Six Apart are moving towards storing permanent IDs that can be used to create permanently-valid Atom feeds!)