Posts Tagged: Movable Type

Goodbye XHTML, I Love You. It Was a Good Seven Years.

Ok, friends, family, colleagues, and drive bys compliments of search engines, please be prepared for MAJOR BLOG CONSTRUCTION.
I am going to completely overhaul this blog in the next two days and switch from my somewhat modified XHTML 1.0 Movable Type templates to HTML5 code and templates of my own creation. As is my want for my own blog, I will be doing this live and not in a test dev/stage server type thing. Be prepared for a bit of a bumpy ride and you might see a peak behind the curtain, hang tight.
Wish me well, I am diving in.

SixApart, Fare The Well

In March of 2003, I heard Ben & Mena Trott talk about their blogging software that they started in 2001 after both lost their jobs in the DotCom Bust – Movable Type – and their new company named after the fact that their birthdays were only six days apart, SixApart, at SXSW 2003 and decided to try it out in April of 2003.
Seven years later I am still here, still blogging with Movable Type, still using it as a CMS for clients, and still hoping against bizarre hope that Movable Type and SixApart will continue to innovate in the blogging space. A silly hope now that WordPress has clearly won many hearts and minds, but I do like MT better for a variety of reasons.
Today TechCrunch leaked that SixApart had been bought out by VideoEgg for its advertising network and both would become a new entity known as Say Media.
Various bits of the blogosphere are a bit up in arms about this, although many SixApart / Movable Type veterans are warily watching what will happen next.
For a few months, I have been planning on moving my blog to a VPS, upgrading to MT5, and using HTML5 for templating. All of this planning would also include a major redesign to better integrate my mobile photo blogging with text blogging that I do.
Now these plans will be on hold. I will wait and see what is up. I don’t want to spend 40-80 hours on a major redesign and upgrade 7.4 years of blogging only to have the software be unsupported in a few months.
Just in case the new Say Media, formerly VideoEgg formerly SixApart, axes Movable Type, I went an purchased an Expression Engine license today, because I know EE already supports mobile blogging. Due to the complexity of a move and a whole new platform, as EE’s templating is rumored to be a pain, versus the free time I have to spend on such an endeavor right now, as well as loyalty to my favorite blogging engine, I will wait and see.
In the meantime, I would like to say a Big Thank You to all the SixApart employees, current & former, who over the last 7 years have made my blogging life happy: Ben & Mena Trott, Anil Dash, Mie Kennedy Yaginuma, Byrne Rese, Jay Allen, Tim Appnel, David Jacobs, Arvind Satyanarayan, Ginevra Kirkland, Beau Smith, and many others. As well as the whole community of Movable Type bloggers, developers, designers, and other enthusiasts who have weathered a great many storms together.
Thanks for a great 7 years, y’all rock.
Update from 9/22/10 at 8:10am : Maarten Schenk at Movable Tips reports that Six Apart in Japan will continue with the development of Movable Type. MT is very popular in Japan and as Maarten reports it has been the most active hive of MT dev and innovation for sometime, so it makes sense that they will continue on. Go read: Movable Type and “Six Apart” live on… in Japan!
Update from 9/22/10 at 8:48am: A tweet from last night as I was writing this article:

I really wish @sixapart had sent an official announcement out to bloggers, devs, & customers before the tech press leaked the buyout.

Actually, this morning this is the part that makes me the most frustrated, is why didn’t SixApart send an email to licensees and the ProNet mailing list before letting this get leaked to press? If everything is alright, then longtime customers and developers should be the first to know so that the rumor engine doesn’t get started.
Update from 9/22/10 at 12:59pm: Today at 10:33am, David Jacobs, the VP for Services and Products at SixApart, sent an email to the ProNet mailing list entitled “The Future”. I won’t reprint it here, but basically he reiterates that SayMedia will be continuing to support and develop Typepad and Movable Type, which should have been sent before Michael Arrington scooped the story. Don’t say to me, “How could they have know that Tech Crunch would have printed in the night before the announcement?” Companies need to tell their own story first before the press hears it from their sources and tells it for them, particularly in the Echo Chamber that is known as San Francisco/Silicon Valley.

Will the Moblogging Hack Work to Post from The Nokia N97 to MT4

Photo of Scruffy taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.
Sun 04.11.10 – Ok, I just got over the toughest part, I was able to upload the photo using Movable Type’s ‘Upload File’ with all thedialog box CSS hacks working.
I am able to save and now will hit publish. When you see this it means I was successful in hacking my Movable Type install to allow me to post and upload photos directly from the Nokia N97’s native browser with no plugins to MT or any 3rd party app or site. Wheeeeee…
Update from the N97 a few minutes later: YAY!

Mobile Blogging with Movable Type: Testing my New Mobile Button

Photo taken by Ms. Jen last evening with a Nikon D70s.
Sun 04.11.10 – I am currently hacking my Movable Type installation to allow for direct image upload from a non-iPhone mobile with a webkit browser (Nokia & Android). I am uploading this image from my laptop by pushing a new button on the dashboard that will by pass some of the tricky web/desktop browser javascript that chokes any mobile that is not a Nokia N900.
Next trick is to see if the Nokia N97 can handle this. Beyond altering the header.tmpl, I am also altering the CMS’s main css to get rid of all the fixed widths and absolute positioning in the dialog box css.
If this hack is successful, I will post all the code both here to this blog and to the MT Forums for other folks who would like to also be able to use Opera Mini or a mobile webkit browser to upload images from their mobile/cellphones to their MT blog.

iMT Plugin: Not for Moblogging, as it does not allow for Image Uploading

I suppose that if I owned an iPhone and used WordPress for my blogging software my life would be much easier as the wide boulevards of Apple & Automatic have many cross connections and tons of developers ready to create an app or plugin for the slightest sneeze.
But as a confirmed dissenter, descending from a long line of Dissenters, who purposely chooses the road less traveled, I have been having a DANGED hard time mobile blogging to this Movable Type blog with one of my Nokia cameraphones ever since Nokia discontinued Lifeblog in all the new mobile phones since 2008.
But I am a true optimist and remain ever hopeful.
And I keep trying new mobile apps, new websites, and new MT4 plugins that promised even the slightest chance of directly blogging from the Nokia camera phone to this Movable Type blog with no, and I mean no, stops or image storage at Flickr or PixelPipe or Shozu or any other 3rd party server or service.
This weekend I decided to revisit the Movable Type iPhone plugin, iMT, that allows one to access a stripped down version of the Movable Type administration area so that one can blog from the iPhone or Android platforms. I had hoped that the iMT 1.1 plugin would accommodate more mobiles than the iPhone or Android platforms.


Why, Yes, There Have Been Some Changes Around These Parts

Mon 01.18.10 – If you are reading this on a feed/RSS/Atom, then you haven’t noticed anything unless you click through, but if you are reading this on the website then you can see that I have made some incremental changes.
The changes I have made have mostly been an attempt to improve the speed of the site for you, the reader, as YSlow and Google’s Webmaster have let me know that this site was a bit sluggish.
I have noticed the slowdown the last year, of which I believe have been a combination of more and more entries, the shared hosting that I have my sites on, and a few blogging software configuration issues.
Today, I did the following:
1) I reduced the Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen index page to 6 entries rather than 12, as the home page is image heavy.
2) I combined some scripts and stylesheets, as well as eliminating a few that not currently being used but were legacy code bits.
3) I cleaned up the sidebars on the index and entry pages to reduce the http requests, as well as taking the Flickr Badge off the index page as it was causing a whole second of rendering time.
4) Plus a few other Movable Type template tweaks.
What I still need to do:
5) Combine as much of the javascript for the site, comments, and lightbox as possible into one script with out causing conflicts.
6) Figure out a better Movable Type to solution. The current one that I threw up in a day in January 2008 is slowing down the whole install.
Let me know if the site is faster for you and if the changes are good or not working. Thanks!

How to Change the Directory that Movable Type Uploads to When Using the Atom Protocol (Lifeblog, PixelPipe, etc)

I don’t know about you, but I have had a little list of blog upkeep items that have been on my to do list for ages, but haven’t had the time to research and then execute them. After thinking about a few of them for some time, oh like a couple of years, I decided recently to make a real paper list and make it happen.
Here are the things I wanted to do:
1) Figure out how to get thumbnails of images to appear in the excerpted version of this blog’s RSS and Atom feeds.
2) Think about how to keep the evil sploggers (spam bloggers who scrape feeds) at bay AND keep my regular feed readers happy with a good feed. I have had my private full feed for at least two years now & announce it frequently but folks who want a full feed didn’t know about it.
3) Even though Perl is not really my friend, I have wanted to figure out how to alter the Atom script for this blog so that when I use Lifeblog or PixelPipe to mobile blog from my camera phone to this blog that the photo will be uploaded into the file directory of my choice and not the default main blog directory.
A few weeks ago, I dedicated a few hours to attempting to bending the Atom and RSS feed templates to my will. Unfortunately, Movable Type 4.x is very dependent on the Asset Manager for knowing where the images are, and due to challenge #3, I was not able to fix #1 with any satisfaction, as all the fixes required the Asset Manager to know where all the images are and by default the Atom script uploads all assets/images to the main blog directory, which causes a messy main directory with my daily mobile blogging. To solve this, I have been manually moving images to a proper image directory and then updating the blog post later, thus the Asset Manager can’t keep up with me. Poor thing.
Persistent artist vs. computer program. Who is going to lose? In the long run, the program. Until I solved problem #3, problem #1 was a null point.
I solved #2 by resetting my public facing feeds to be a bit bigger excerpts that would show the images but would excerpt any article over a certain length. I use the .htaccess file to stop any lifting of images. And I still have the private complete feed for anyone who emails me and lets me know that they want the url.
Today, I decided to conquer the moblogging directory issue and attempt to make Perl bend to my will.