Archive for the ‘Movable Type’ Category

When BS is so bad it hurts

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

It appears that Movable Type has been forked into a new project called “Melody.” Now this is why I love Open Source software, if something isn’t working right fracture the code, take some of the developers, and subdivide the user base. I understand that one piece of software can’t do everything. By all means it shouldn’t, but there doesn’t seem to be any driving goals of this project that aim to make it vastly different the Movable Type.

A quick read of the sparse About page and FAQ, seems to indicate that this fork is driven by the need to work with the community more. In other words they don’t have any unique design principles yet, but invoking the term “community” implies that we soon will have all that we’ve been missing from Movable Type. They suggest trying to be more like WordPress. Maybe that means documentation that isn’t habitually wrong. I’m not sure.

On face value it looks like some sort of internal fallout happened. When you drop all of the idealistic bullshit, thats the most common reason for a fork. Two people couldn’t agree and they go their own way but try to make it look all happy and mutual, as if this will somehow be “better for everyone.”

The way I see it, Movable Type has been trying to become a CMS and failing miserably. It’s once rapid rate of progress during the 3.x builds has become a snails pace under 4.x., and this fork may finally kill it or get SixApart off their asses and take a look at what their actually trying to accomplish.

Movable Type mt:IfCategory Broken

Friday, February 20th, 2009

In what is becoming a common theme, we’ve discovered that the mt:IfCategory tag that is supposed to replace the deprecated mt:EntryIfCategory cannot function in the same way as revealed to us by support:

Ticket Transcript:

On February 20, 2009 05:56 PM, you () said:

I'm unable to get mt:IfCategory to match either the name or label of a category assigned to an entry when it is within the context of the mt:Entries tag:

<mt:Entries category="NOT Events" lastn="7">
<mt:IfCategory label="Syndications">

Any article assigned to the subcategory "syndications" does not enter the IfCategory. The documentation seem to indicate that this should work.

On February 20, 2009 07:11 PM, Movable Type Customer Support said:

Hi -

If you change the <mt:IfCategory label="Syndications"> tag to <mt:EntryIfCategory label="Syndications">, then republish your weblog, does this issue still occur?


David Phillips
Technical Services

On February 20, 2009 07:30 PM, you () said:

Changing the tag to the deprecated mt:EntryIfCategory causes it to work as expected.

We are currently employing a much longer workaround using supported tags. I'm not sure if we are missing something as far as the mt:IfCategory, or if its just broken.

On February 20, 2009 08:43 PM, Movable Type Customer Support said:

Hi -

It may be that the MTEntryIfCategory is indeed intended to be deprecated in favor of the MTIfCategory tag (as indicated in our documentation), but I have examined both the static publishing (perl) and dynamic publishing (PHP) code for these template tags, and these tags currently do not behave identically in a template.


David Phillips
Technical Services

On February 20, 2009 08:50 PM, you () said:

I can only assume that you tried diligently to not answer my question. I had asked if we missed something in our implementation or if the new tag is broken. The documentation does not state explicitly how to make it work.

How do I make the mt:IfCategory tag function like the superseded mt:EntryIfCategory, and why is this absent from the documentation?

On February 20, 2009 09:35 PM, Movable Type Customer Support said:

Hi -

Unfortunately, the <mt:IfCategory> tag currently cannot be made to behave the same as the <mt:EntryIfCategory> tag.


David Phillips
Technical Services

On February 20, 2009 09:39 PM, you () said:

So in short, it's broken, the documentation is incorrect, and we should have thought more carefully before paying for a license.


Line breaks After Movable Type Tags

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Incase you were curious about suppressing the line breaks output after Movable Type Tags, causing them to behave like PHP tags. According to a response from support there isn’t any way to change this. Though an option may exist in the future.

The heavy reliance on evaluating data with “mt:If” tags (due to the limited capabilities of block tag attributes) only serves to make the occurrence of line breaks even more apparent. The end result is a lot of extra white space in the HTML source, or virtually illegible template code. Chalk up another disappointment to Movable Type.

Why Movable Type’s Documentation Sucks

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

All we wanted to do was spit out a list of authors and sort by a custom field instead of by name. Should be simple, right? Let’s check the documentation. Seems to state that this is possible… but no dice.

Oh well, that’s why we bought the commercial version, so we could have support monkeys answer these annoying questions for us, right? Let’s fire off an email to see if we are perhaps… missing something obvious.

To their credit, we got back a response relatively quickly. The only problem is, it’s a useless one:

From: Movable Type Support <[email protected]>Date: February 17, 2009 7:38:34 PM ESTTo: *****@firefallpro.comSubject: Response to Movable Type support ticket 'Sorting by Custom Fields'

Movable Type Customer Support has responded to your ticket'Sorting by Custom Fields'. This email notification has beenautomatically sent by Movable Type Customer Support.

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL. Instead, please click the link belowto view and respond to your ticket.

  Hi -

  Unfortunately, the <mt:author> template tag currently does  not support sorting by a custom user field.


  David Phillips  Technical Services

Movable Type Periodic Tasks (cron job) and cPanel

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

If you’re having issues getting cPanel to run the Movable Type periodic tasks tool through cron, try adding quotes:

Most documentation uses this example:
cd /home/username/public_html/mt/; ./tools/run-periodic-tasks

We had problems getting the script to execute till quotes were added:
cd ’/home/username/public_html/mt/’; ./tools/run-periodic-tasks