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Custom Fields are going to be interesting

Hello everyone! The UThink upgrade is still progressing nicely and is on schedule for the end of the month. We will soon be contacting some pre-selected testers to give the new interface a whirl and try to identify problems that need to be fixed. Exciting times!

Speaking of exciting, there is a new feature in UThink/Movable Type that deserves some further investigation: Custom Fields. Custom Fields will allow users to create their own input fields for their blogs and web sites. There are some fields that come standard in any new UThink site: Entry Title, Entry Body, Extended Entry, etc. But a lot of times you are creating a blog or web site with a very specific need in mind. For example, what if you wanted to create a site for music reviews? Well, you would probably like some fields for "Album Cover" or "Album review" or any other kind of fields around the idea of reviewing music. With Custom Fields you will be able to create new fields to match your data needs.

Here is another example. Being a librarian, I read a fair number of books and I almost always check those books out from a library (As a side note, did you know that the U of M Libraries is the 17th largest library in the country? You've got access to a lot of good books! I'm just sayin' ...). What I would like to do is create a site to review the books I read. As part of that site I'd like to document the Library Location and Call Number of the book I've read so I can keep track of where I am getting most of my books from. So, using Custom Fields I could create a field to do that. Check out the image below (click on it to make it bigger):

customfields.png

Not too shabby, heh? In fact, I am under the impression that a person could use Custom Fields to completely change how data is entered into Movable Type. A person could probably use Custom Fields to create all sorts of unique data types, and then alter the entry creation form to show only those new fields. That way, instead of a blog you could conceivably create an online database.

That is my impression. As I say above, this new functionality will need some further investigation. But the potential is certainly there. For more information about Custom Fields please see:

Custom Fields documentation
Custom Field Use-Cases

As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments!

Comments

Oooh, nice. For the first time in awhile, as a WordPress user, I'm jealous of Movable Type. :) WordPress has Custom Fields, but the interface is really ugly unless you code up a special plugin. Nice.

I hope I am a "pre-selected beta tester." I want to upgrade so bad.

I'm so seriously happy I stumbled upon this post. I've been trying to find this information for a long time now. How can i go about being informed of there are any new posts? I've heard that a number of personal blogs provide an rss feed or something of that nature? Forgive me. Me and computers do not mix very well.

Awesome information it is definitely. My girlfriend has been searching for this information.