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December 19, 2004

Templates and Stylesheets

Here are some of the MT 2.* templates translated into 3.*, including dave's favorite plain version.

Thanks to Learning MovableType.

Posted by Jason at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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 5:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 14, 2004

typekey and spam

I took the liberty of altering something in our MT-Blacklist. Under "Configuration" of MT-Blacklist I changed the setting for one option to "no":

Enable TypeKey "Free Pass" ?

If enabled, comments by TypeKey-authenticated users will not be scanned for blacklist matches, old entry moderation or max URLs. Duplicate check will still be performed if requested below.

Jay Allen suggests doing this to prevent TypeKey-enabled spammers from getting through.

Posted by ghw at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)

Completely Reset Templates

Proceed at your own risk :)

To completely reset your templates, log into MT, click on your webblog. Look at the URL. At the end of the URL, it reads something like "blog_id=#" where # is your blog ID #. Remember what that number is.

IMPORTANT: you will lose all personalized data, from links to blogroll codes - SO MAKE A BACKUP FIRST OF AT LEAST YOUR MAIN TEMPLATE AND YOUR CSS BEFORE PROCEEDING ANY FURTHER.

Paste in this URL, replacing BLOGID with your own blog #.


This will update all of your templates to the default 3.12 MT templates, including adding the ones that are missing from 2.61 configuration. A great shortcut for those who are not running customized templates (except for links and blogrolls, the code of which you can save and re-enter into the new templates).

Thanks to Movalog for the tip.

Posted by Jason at 9:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2004

Learning Movable Type

Elise Bauer has generously written some valuable documentation called Learning Movable Type, which includes wonderful advice about updating from MT2.6 to MT3.*. Look at, for instance, her wonderful instructions on how to update 2.6 templates in order to use the new TypeKey features.

A lot more is available in the table of contents, so check it out.

Posted by Jason at 5:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"recent trackbacks" on main page

If you want to put a "Recent Trackbacks" list on your main page, use the following code:

Change the "lastn" value to whatever you like.

Posted by ghw at 2:42 PM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2004


Seems not to have destroyed our blogs.

Please read the email I sent to all herders before attempting anything crazy (like random changes to your template).


Posted by Jason at 5:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Wordherders is upgrading to the newest version of Moveable Type around noon (eastern) today. There might be some delays, downtime, etc., so please be patient. Members of the herd, as per email request, please do not post after 12:00 Eastern until I post an all clear on the main Herd blog (that'd be this one). Thanks.

Posted by Jason at 11:06 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack