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December 17, 2004

Herd Upgrade Update

As you may have surmised from some recent posts, the upgrade ran into several minor but very inconvenient bugs, mostly having to do with comment spam and the commenting system. Though G.'s post probably adequately sums up my occasional feelings of frustration, I have to say that I found MT's helpdesk staff friendly and knowledgeable. Through our conversations, it appears that we've solved at least some of the issues at hand, cutting down on a great deal of the comment spam that I had seen just after the upgrade.

I think that some better documentation for upgraders would have paid off in spades. Some of the problems were my fault through ignorance (they weren’t in the instructions, so how could I know but through experimentation and troubleshooting). Others were specific bugs in the installation (such as a missing line that should have been added into the mt.cfg file for TypeKey to work). So while I am grateful for the help, I would also hope that Six Apart plans to improve their documentation to make others' transitions less painful.

There are still some quirky things going on occasionally (such as the missing-and-reappearing comment on G's post), so please Herders - if you see something odd happening, please do let me know.

Here are a few things that I know will need to happen before the new MT will work properly. For those of you with truly customized templates, see Further Notes below. Note to those who updated only their Main Index Template and their CSS - you need to completely reset (as below) in order to get all of the templates that you will need. If you don't want to reset, look to Further Notes for more info, or search the wonderful website Learning MovableType for more advanced instructions.

1. Backup your old templates (especially Main Index and Stylesheet). You can do this by opening Templates and cutting/pasting Main Index and Stylesheet into individual files. Use a plain text editor like Notepad (Windows) or SimpleText (Mac).

2. (Notice: this will set templates to default, so any customizations WILL BE LOST - including headers, blogrolls, and so forth. You will use your backups to restore these items by hand in the new index template). Reset your templates according to the instructions here:

3. Rebuild. If you want to use a different style, there are 5 to choose from at this location. Make sure you use the 3.0 CSS.

4. Note the differences between the old and new CSS. The new CSS and HTML templates are much easier to work with generally speaking, because they avoid putting div tags within div tags within div tags, which was the tactic of 2.6 and earlier.

5. Re-insert important features of your old template, such as your blogroll, your biography, and so forth. Keep in mind that you can renew your blogroll code by logging into your blogroll account. G. put instructions for Recent Trackbacks here. G - did you use the 2.6 method for setting "Previous Comments" on the main index?

6. Check your work. Decide how you want to set permissions for commenters. The Blacklist has been working reasonably well the past few days, so that may be fixed. For the time being, I personally plan to set my comments to TypeKey post immediately; non-registered users moderated. If comment spam continues to be blocked, I'll likely open up my comments to a less restrictive setting.

Further Notes:
For those of you with custom templates -- there are instructions on the web on how to convert 2.6 to 3.*. Once I find them again, I'll post the links here so you can use them. If you just have a custom header (an image, for example), and different font and background colors, you might find it easier just to tweak the new CSS and Index instead of attempting to convert your old one.

If you need any help, just let me know. I'm usually on MSN Messenger and YahooIM if I'm online, or just send an email to my umd account.

Posted by Jason at December 17, 2004 5:29 PM

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Jason and everyone,

I'm trying to decide if it's worth the time to reset my templates immediately. Is this something I can put off for a while? I know I can't enable Typekey without the reset, but are there other major features I'm missing out on?

Jason, please do post those conversion instructions if you can trrack down the url again . . .

Posted by: kari at December 18, 2004 11:29 AM

Kari -
I suspect that you can put it off - I'm just not sure how wonky comments will/will not be. Have you noticed any issues with comment spam in the past few days?

Meanwhile, I think that the conversion process is discussed in depth at Learning MovableType:

Sorry, haven't tracked down the specific URL.

Posted by: Jason [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 18, 2004 1:55 PM

Many thanks, Jason. Spam problems have been minimal thus far . . .

Posted by: kari at December 20, 2004 8:43 PM

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