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2008

December 4, 2008

Facebook Connect for Movable Type

By Chris Ernest Hall and posted in News.

Today we are pleased to announce the beta release of the Facebook Connect Commenters plugin for Movable Type Pro 4.23 and MTOS 4.23, following yesterday’s announcement of the Facebook Connect plugin directory as well as Monday’s announcement of Movable Type Motion, which includes the plugin as well. It’s available for immediate download from the plugin directory.This Open Source plugin adds Facebook Connect to any Movable Type powered site and allows any Facebook user to sign in, comment, and share their actions on Facebook.Using Facebook Connect, MT automatically displays a commenter’s Facebook user name and photo next to their comments. Â Then, Movable Type automatically lets all of a commenter’s friends on Facebook know about the comment via the mini-feed on that commenter’s Facebook profile. This helps to drive traffic to your blog — and your content — not just from your community, but from the social network of everyone who participates on your site.And Facebook Connect joins a range of other authentication options which use OpenID to allow commenters to sign in on your Movable Type site. From Google to Yahoo, AOL to LiveJournal to WordPress, or even our own Vox and TypePad services, almost any popular service can be…

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December 3, 2008

MT 4.23 is now out

By Chris Ernest Hall and posted in News.

In case you missed the announcement post on mt.com, yesterday evening we released Movable Type 4.23. Much thanks to the community members who submitted bug reports and code patches that contributed to this release. More details can be found on the change log, or you can just use the following direct download links to get MTOS 4.23:MTOS-4.23-en.tar.gzMTOS-4.23-en.zipPlease note that this is a mandatory security upgrade due to the fixes for XSS vulnerabilities that it includes….

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November 19, 2008

bugs.mt.org scheduled downtime

By Chris Ernest Hall.

Just a quick heads up that our bug tracking system at:http://bugs.movabletype.orgwill be unavailable from 9am to 1pm (pacific time) on Friday Nov. 21st as we migrate it to a new data center. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience. Update: the maintenance has now been completed, and bugs.mt.org should be available again….

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November 10, 2008

Hacking the UI to make Movable Type better

By Byrne Reese and posted in Hacks.

One of the great things about Movable Type is the multitude of ways it provides for folks to modify the core user interface without disturbing existing functionality. In fact Movable Type allows virtually anyone to: easily skin any screen in the application without requiring you to touch a single line of code. And any developer to: transform the user interface on the fly with transformer callbacks - a system inspired by Greasemonkey, a popular Firefox add-on. define their own screens and seamlessly add them to the application via its menuing system, or through page actions. It is these systems that we can use to help prototype and test new functionality and concepts in a more agile way that allows us to be more responsive to the feedback we receive. Take for example one of our latest hacks: an improvement to the User Management area for a blog: This new plugin, available to users of Movable Type 4.2 and greater provides an improved layout and design to the user management area. There is not a lot of added functionality under the hood… yet. That is of course where you come in: what kind of added functionality would you like to see?…

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November 7, 2008

What do you want to build using Movable Type?

By Byrne Reese.

Movable Type has a well earned reputation as an incredibly scalable, flexible and powerful publishing platform and is used by large enterprises, publishers and bloggers alike. Movable Type however was not designed exclusively for large publishers - Movable Type is in fact suitable for anyone wanting to create a web site, big and small. To help our users build the next generation of popular, innovative and ground breaking blogs we have begun to invest heavily in one of the community’s most critical resources: documentation. Movable Type’s developer documentation has already received an enormous overhaul, and now we turn our attention to our documentation for designers. In fact, our work has already begun on that documentation; but before we make too much progress, we wanted to first check with our community and see if we are covering the right concepts, tutorials and topics. We therefore invite you to check out our new Movable Type Designer Guide’s table of contents and give us feedback on the set of topics it outlines for our new designer documentation. Do you feel it will leave any major questions for you unanswered? Do you wish it would just cover one more thing? Let us know, we…

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October 31, 2008

Taking full advantage of template module caching

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

Movable Type offers a number of features to help administrators increase the performance of their system. Chief among them is template module caching. As the name may imply, any template module in Movable Type can have caching enabled, which causes Movable Type to store the output and HTML from the module in Movable Type’s database for later use. That way, if a template module is used frequently, then Movable Type will minimize the number of times it goes to the database to generate its content. To help our users take complete advantage of this important feature introduced in Movable Type 4.2, we have assembled the “Ultimate Guide to Template Module Caching.” It comes complete with: insight into why this feature can have such profound performance benefits sample code tips on what to look for when decided which modules to cache a detailed explanation of how this feature can be used in conjunction with server side includes information you may not have known about, like the ability to override the global cache context and create more granular and context sensitive module caches We hope to make this guide the most definitive source for information about this feature, so if you have…

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October 31, 2008

Taking full advantage of template module caching

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

Movable Type offers a number of features to help administrators increase the performance of their system. Chief among them is template module caching. As the name may imply, any template module in Movable Type can have caching enabled, which causes Movable Type to store the output and HTML from the module in Movable Type’s database for later use. That way, if a template module is used frequently, then Movable Type will minimize the number of times it goes to the database to generate its content. To help our users take complete advantage of this important feature introduced in Movable Type 4.2, we have assembled the “Ultimate Guide to Template Module Caching.” It comes complete with: insight into why this feature can have such profound performance benefits sample code tips on what to look for when decided which modules to cache a detailed explanation of how this feature can be used in conjunction with server side includes information you may not have known about, like the ability to override the global cache context and create more granular and context sensitive module caches…

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October 30, 2008

Making it easier to debug and test your templates

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

Sometimes there can be nothing more frustrating than trying to troubleshoot publishing performance. Often users must resort to the brute force method of debugging, such as: embedding print STDERR statements in Movable Type’s source code - but how many people know how to do that? blocking out huge swaths of code using the <mt:ignore> tag to hone in on the root cause - a cumbersome and time consuming process. turning on performance logging - a feature whose output was intended for machines and as a result is sometimes too verbose or difficult to read by mere mortals. To help our users find a more elegant and efficient way to debug their templates and optimize their system, we have developed a simple tool that can more quickly and effectively help users hone in on those aspects of their templates that are the bottlenecks in their publishing system. The tool is a simple command line tool that outputs four very useful things: the output from the template itself - very the accuracy of the template’s output yourself. a table of all the template tags invoked by the template - this table not only shows the template tag name, but also the average…

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October 24, 2008

Obtaining total transparency into your publishing system

By Byrne Reese and posted in Plugins.

Movable Type has proven time and time again that it can help some of the Internet’s most influential and most innovative blogs become some of the largest as well. Not every content management system is up to the task of publishing sites on this scale, but Movable Type is. One reason for that is that its publishing engine has tremendous flexibility in regards to how it can be deployed, allowing every site to fine tune its performance independently across as many machines as is necessary. One critical component often used by these large sites is the “Movable Type Publishing Queue” - a simple publishing service to which the system can offload the task of keeping a web site up to date. This in turn dramatically increases performance, and improves the stability of the entire system by distributing much of the work a content management system must perform to a set of dedicated and distributed resources. To give users the transparency and visibility into this critical system, we have begun work on a new plugin called Publish Queue Manager. This free and open source plugin provides its users with the following features: view a list of all the jobs in their…

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October 16, 2008

Google Sitemap and Template Caching Tips

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

On a recent call with the Movable Type Community we discussed and shared tips on how to best take advantage of Movable Type’s built in caching system. One of the tips I shared is something I have been doing on my personal site and on a number of customer sites with great success, and it relates to how to optimize the publication of a Google Sitemap in a sustainable way. Google Sitemaps have become an essential tool for bloggers to help optimize their content for search engines, also known as SEO or “Search Engine Optimization.” Google Sitemaps are files published by a web site that detail each and every page on the web site and give some indication as to the frequency they are updated by the system. This helps ensure that when the Google fairy visits your site to slurp up and index your site’s content that: Google indexes all of your content, and does not overlook any content that might be orphaned on your site because no other page links to it directly. Google is able to schedule additional visits of the Google Fairy when your content is likely to be updated. Anyone can publish a Google Sitemap…

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October 15, 2008

The Little Things: Comment Replies

By Anil Dash.

A lot of times, some of the most satisfying things about using Movable Type are the little touches that make managing a site easier or more convenient. One of those great, unheralded features that’s been around since MT4’s release is a simple ability to reply to any comment directly from the Movable Type application.The feature is documented as part of our larger guide on Managing a Community with Movable Type, but since it’s a handy shortcut, it’s worth calling out on its own. Simply point at any published comment in a comment listing page in Movable Type, and you’ll see a “Reply” link appear. (If you’ve set your display options for that listing page to “Expanded”, you’ll always see a Reply link next to the Edit link.)Click the Reply link, and a simple window will pop up with the full text of the comment you were replying to, along with a big space for you to type your reply.As soon as you click on “Submit”, your comment will be published on the relevant entry or page. If you’re using threaded comments on your site, Movable Type will automatically display your comment as a child comment of the one that inspired…

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October 3, 2008

Migrating from Right Fields to Custom Fields - the beta begins

By Byrne Reese and posted in Plugins.

Today we are happy to announce a public beta of a new plugin for Movable Type that helps users using Right Fields on Movable Type 3.x upgrade to Movable Type 4.2 using Custom Fields. There has been a great need in our community for this, which is why some of our veterans stepped up to assemble partial solutions to this problem. These solutions helped a great number of people, but were not able to address everyone’s need universally, because the solution to this problem was not trivial. Recognizing this, we began a process with the community to identify and document what the ideal solution would look like. Then we implemented it so that users who felt they couldn’t upgrade to Movable Type 4 could finally do so. The plugin is called “Linked Entry Custom Fields” because the plugin does not exclusively help you migrate from Right Fields to Custom Fields. The plugin also provides your version of Movable Type Pro with an additional custom field type: linked entries. Linked entries, a feature native to Right Fields, provides a way for bloggers to establish relationships between related blog posts. You can imagine using this feature for example to help curate a…

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September 10, 2008

Sandbox for Movable Type

By Beau Smith and posted in Design.

Ever thought about radically changing the look of your blog without much design work? Are you a designer who likes to work in semantic HTML and do amazing things with CSS? Maybe you’re moving from WordPress to Movable Type and want to keep your current design. Sandbox for Movable Type may just be what you’re looking for. What began as a hackathon project of between Bryan Tighe and myself a little while ago has yielded some great results: today we’re releasing Sandbox for Movable Type as a plugin that allows the many Sandbox themes to be used on Movable Type blogs as well. (BTW, Hackathons—the ability to spend every Wednesday scratching our own itches—are one of the reasons why I love working at Six Apart. The Vanilla Template Set was another of my recent Hackathon projects.) Sandbox is similar to the CSS Zen Garden in that it showcases the power of CSS—the ability to radically transform the look of a site without changing any of the underlying HTML. Movable Type has always supported this concept. Tools like the Movable Type Design Assistant have made it much simpler to customize the look of your Movable Type blog through CSS alone. And…

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August 25, 2008

FogBugz reorganization

By Chris Ernest Hall.

Just a quick note to say that now we have shipped MT 4.2, we are tweaking the way we organize the MT FogBugz instance. Since we launched the open-source project with MT 4.1, we’ve had two projects that have held current MT cases, MT Internal and MT Open Source. MT Internal corresponded to the packs and any other proprietary non-OS code, while the MTOS project held cases that involve the code that is GPL’ed. The MTOS project was visible to anyone with an account in fbz, while only Six Apart employees could see MT Internal.The problem with this approach was that there were some MTOS cases that shouldn’t have been public (because, for example, they might have a user’s email address or other sensitive information, or relate to security vulnerabilities that had not yet been publicly disclosed) There are also many cases that are MT Internal that non-Six Apart employees should be able to see, like bugs and patches that impact enterprise consultants and developers.Going forward, instead of MT Internal and MTOS, the MT fbz instance will instead have two projects, one public and one private, both of which can contain bugs in both the open source and proprietary portions…

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August 22, 2008

Connecting mixi Users with Movable Type Communities

By chrishea and posted in Plugins.

As we started to show with Movable Type Pro last week, blogging is evolving to encompass the world of social networking and connect to the rest of the web; merging publishing with community. Since the release of Movable Type 4.0 last year, we’ve built in native support for technologies like OpenID and now OAuth, to make it even easier for people to bring parts of their profile with them when they come to your blog. Last month we demoed integration of Facebook Connect with Movable Type which continues to make this vision a reality, though it isn’t enough to integrate with just one social network. mixi is Japan’s most popular social network (one in five Japanese web users use mixi) and earlier this week they launched support for OpenID. Six Apart’s Japan team participated in this launch and we are now shipping a plugin to make it easy for mixi users to interact with Movable Type powered communities. The mixiComment plugin brings the community of mixi to your site, giving commenters an even better experience by signing in using their mixi OpenID. Even better, the user interface takes advantage of new features in OpenID 2.0 so that normal people don’t…

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August 21, 2008

Important Update: Movable Type 4.21 now available

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

In recent days two significant issues in the Movable Type 4.2 release were reported by our community. One of these bugs can potentially result in some form of limited data loss, and the other could cause loss of some configuration data in some circumstances. We have reproduced these issues as quickly as possible, and created patches to remedy the problems. Most users are not at any risk from these issues, but here are the circumstances under which you may have been affected: Custom fields data. If you are upgrading from Movable Type Commercial or Enterprise 4.1 to Movable Type Pro or Enterprise 4.2 and you are using custom fields on any object in Movable Type and there are more than 100 rows in the table for that object, some of your custom field data could be lost in the migration. Archive mappings. If you create a new blog on your Movable Type 4.2 installation and you delete an archive mapping from one of the archive templates, this action will remove the rest of your blog archive mappings inadvertently. Both of these issues have been fixed and verified by our quality assurance team. The fixes can be found in the newly…

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August 16, 2008

Creating Drop-Down Navigation with Movable Type

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

A common question from Movable Type users and designers is, “how do I create nice navigation for my web site?” The Professional Website template set and even Mid-Century have navigation build in. But there are Movable Type themes out there that don’t have this feature and users want to know how to add it. This brief tutorial will show you how. The Objective The goal of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to add category driven drop-down menus to your web site that approximates the look and feel below: What does this mean? Well, there are lots of ways to build navigation for a site. The method you will choose depends largely upon your content and implementation strategy. This methods are: category driven navigation - using category and sub-category names as the menu and menu item names page driven navigation - using page names as the menu and menu item names folder driven navigation - using a hierarchy of folders (folders contain pages) This article will focus on creating menus based upon your category hierarchy….

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August 16, 2008

Another hallmark design for Movable Type

By Byrne Reese and posted in Design.

A lot of Movable Type users are about to be given another great reason to upgrade to Movable Type 4.2: the release of the Mid-Century template set by Jim Ramsey. Jim also designed the Professional Website template set (formally known as the Universal Template Set), which is largely regarded as one of the best and most flexible packaged designs for Movable Type and also comes bundled with Movable Type Pro. Jim is setting a new standard for design on Movable Type, not just in aesthetics, but in functionality. This may go without saying, but Jim is someone who knows design, and he is tuned into what people want. Combine those two qualities as Jim does and just look at the amazing feature list he has assembled: AJAX Commenting Auto-highlighting comments from the author Javascript photo gallery widget Unique archive listing design Tag clouds And more… We are also happy to make this wonderful blog design available to the world for free under an open source license to encourage others to build and expand upon it. Download the Mid-Century Template Set now, and when you have it deployed let us know with a comment so we can see what you have…

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August 13, 2008

Movable Type Warm and Fuzzies

By Byrne Reese and posted in Community.

It has been less then 24 hours since we released Movable Type 4.2 and the feedback has been wonderful! I have been answering people’s questions about upgrading, installing and migrating to Movable Type 4.2 all day — its almost as if Movable Type and Movable Type Pro is the release everyone has been waiting for: “this just keeps getting better and better” and “I know I have not been a regular blogger for quite a while, but this new version really makes me anxious to get going again and become a more regular blogger. Who knew Movable Type could also help you with that kind of problem?” — Sara “My jaw is down there lost somewhere under the table… great work.” — dug “Just want to say WOW! The Pro license is great. Exactly what was needed for many like me, who has a commercial license, but not a business and needed more than 5 authors.” — Nicholas “6Aers, MT Team, and community contributors: thank you. This is great work all should be congratulated. But more important than that, this is a fun new toy to play with! Yay!” — Dan “I am pleased that MT Pro is being released…

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August 12, 2008

Movable Type 4.2 is here!

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Today is one of the most exciting days in the history of Movable Type. Our community’s hard work has yielded one of the most significant and important releases in Movable Type’s history: Movable Type 4.2. This new release is the fastest and most secure release of Movable Type ever. Plus it comes packed with new features that you’ve been asking for: Threaded comments An out-of-the-box solution for comment spam Live template previews Paginated search results and entry pagination for dynamically published blogs Redesigned template and widget management areas Simple, simple, simple templates for quick and easy site customization However, there is another reason though why we feel this is such a significant milestone for Movable Type and for all of us who manage communities online: Today, we introduce Movable Type Pro. Movable Type Pro is the convergence of three critical Movable Type capabilities: blogging, content management and social networking. Movable Type Pro is now the only integrated social publishing platform on the market today. MT Pro combines the power and flexibility of the open source core Movable Type with the rich content management capabilities of the Movable Type Professional Pack, and all the community features of the Movable Type Community…

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August 8, 2008

Movable Type 4.2 RC5 and Security Updates

By Byrne Reese and posted in Security.

We’ve mentioned it on the Movable Type product site, but we’re proud that MT has a history of being one of the most secure publishing platforms around. So a big part of our effort in creating Movable Type 4.2 has been around ensuring that it’s our most secure release ever. And along the way, we’ve made some changes that will even improve security for older versions of MT. Today we release Movable Type 4.2 Release Candidate 5, the last planned release candidate for this version of Movable Type before its final release, and the culmination of the largest security evaluation effort ever for our platform, and possibly for any installable blogging platform. The diligent work of our team, joined by community contributors around the world, has found a few areas where we’ve been able to make Movable Type even more secure. In the case of Movable Type 4.2, that means its forthcoming final release will be the most secure version of MT ever. In the case of earlier releases, it means we’ll be providing updates to remedy these potential security vulnerabilities. It’s important to note that there are no known exploits of these issues, but we’ve chosen to preemptively address…

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August 7, 2008

Collating and displaying content from multiple sources using Movable Type

By Byrne Reese and posted in Hacks.

Nick O’Neill just published a great screencast and howto about using a plugin few people know about: Mark Pasc’s Order plugin for Movable Type. Order is a plugin that allows one to build and merge a list of content from various sources and then to sort and display them in a single list together. What is especially powerful about the Order plugin is the ability to not only pull together content form multiple sources, but also the ability to collate content of wildly different structures and types. In Nick’s screencast he shows how he used this plugin on his own Movable Type-powered blog to interleave entries from two different blogs, as well as actions from Mark’s Action Stream plugin into a single list on his homepage. He even makes available the code he uses on his own blog so that others can easily replicate it. Order Screencast from nick o'neill on Vimeo….

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August 4, 2008

Website outage update

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

On August 3rd around 11:30pm, the machine hosting a number of Movable Type web sites, including this one suffered a major hardware failure. We worked through the night and into the day in order to restore availability as quickly as possible. As of approximately 5:20 pm on August 4 we were able to fully restore the following web sites: www.movabletype.org plugins.movabletype.org forums.movabletype.org We will continue to work on fully restoring the following sites and services through the night: wiki.movabletype.org www.learningmovabletype.com www.thestylearchive.com www.thestylecontest.com Stay tuned to this blog post for additional updates throughout the night and into tomorrow as we bring our entire set of services back up to full availability….

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July 23, 2008

Movable Type 4.2 RC4 and some of our latest hacks

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

We have had some amazing feedback from the community since we started the public beta of Movable Type 4.2 - a release we consider to be one of the most important upgrades to Movable Type ever. Users of 4.2 can attest as well: Movable Type 4.2 is fast — never before have we seen performance increases of 100x for common tasks like search. Of course, improvements like that are only possible, I believe, when a team of people come together to stop using band-aids and focus intently on actually solving a problem in a fundamental way. Naturally with improvements like that in store for our users, the most common question we hear is, “when will Movable Type 4.2 be released?” With bug reports starting to wane and feedback slowing to a trickle, we think we are getting really close to a final release, and it is our belief that the latest, Release Candidate 4, will be the last release candidate prior to release. In the meantime, for those of you aching for something new, something cool, or something useful, here are some things coming out of our weekly hackathons that you might be check out: Template Set Exporter Tool Designers…

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July 22, 2008

Movable Type at OSCON 2008

By Byrne Reese and posted in Events.

Each year Six Apart sends a cadre of engineers to one of our favorite conferences: OSCON, O’Reilly’s Open Source Conference in Portland. We go because we love open source and because a large percentage of the people at the conference use and rely upon our open source technology to power their web sites and applications. This year is special, however. This is the year Movable Type will make its debut at the conference as an open source product. But we are not just there to celebrate this great Movable Type milestone, we are also there to celebrate the release of TypePad AntiSpam, a fully open source comment spam blocking service. TypePad AntiSpam sets itself apart because not only are its WordPress and Movable Type plugins open source, but the service is open source as well. Many of us will be on hand throughout the week to hang out and answer questions. Not only are we there to help you with any of our products, but we are happy to help you with any questions you have about open source in general, about how to best contribute to open source, and how to get your own projects started. We also there…

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July 3, 2008

Feeding Comments from your Friends to Movable Type

By chrishea and posted in Plugins.

As FriendFeed has increased in popularity throughout the blogosphere, many tech bloggers have started to express concern over how conversations are becoming fragmented. Taking a step back, FriendFeed is a social aggregator much like Facebook News Feed. It allows you to import your activity around the web (like Movable Type supports via the Action Streams plugin), chooses what to display to your friends, and allows rich conversations to emerge along with a simple “I like this” just like Vox has “[This is Good]”. While FriendFeed is great at encouraging new contributions by continually showing you active conversations, popular content your friends have created, and making it simple to contribute, these conversations don’t permeate their walls. FriendFeed isn’t trying to own these conversations — they do have a rich API — but comments that might have been posted on a Flickr photo, said on Twitter, or left on a blog post in the past are slowly occurring more frequently elsewhere. Last week, Mark Carey (a prominent member of the Movable Type Open Source community) released a plugin to help bridge these conversations. This plugin allows you to import all of the comments on one of your posts that readers have left…

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July 2, 2008

Quality is (still) a feature… Oh yeah, and so is speed

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Three years ago, at the same point in the life cycle of Movable Type 3, we took stock in what we had built, and turned our focus to product quality. That tradition continues today with Movable Type 4.2. Movable Type 4.2 is not a release of Movable Type narrowly focused on bringing more bells and whistles to the platform, but instead on making dramatic improvements to the fabric of the product in order to pave the way for more exciting things to come. And we are not just talking about performance, although that is a core focus of the release. We, learning from projects like Apple’s Snow Leopard, want this release to be about setting new standards of quality for the product. To that end, Movable Type 4.2 has been an opportunity for us and the community to make changes to our development and testing process so that going forward we can ensure an ongoing level of quality our customers and users expect and deserve. Here are just a couple of the things members of the team have been working on in effort to improve code quality: Mark Paschal, the creator of Action Streams, has been working on building the…

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June 23, 2008

Turning Movable Type into a light weight desktop blogging client

By Byrne Reese and posted in Just for Fun.

Apple fans will love one of the latest tips from our community: how to turn your Movable Type blog into a seamless extension of your OS X desktop and operating system. In the first article Jesse Gardner explains how one can combine two technologies to create an awesome desktop blogging application: Movable Type and Fluid. Fluid makes it possible to turn any online application into a desktop app. Its free and dead-simple to use. Jesse and others use it for example to put GMail, Basecamp, Google Calendar, Flickr, Facebook and many other online applications right into their OS X dock. What makes Movable Type and Fluid work especially well together is the iMT plugin, which provides a beautifully designed user interface specifically for iPhone users. Coupled with Fluid’s ability to let any application it bootstraps to masquerade as an iPhone, Fluid can be used to bring all the benefits of the dramatically simplified iPhone user interface of the iMT plugin right to your desktop. And because iMT conforms to Apple’s own interface conventions and aesthetics, your Movable Type desktop client could not feel like a more natural extension of your Mac OS X environment….

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June 20, 2008

Movable Type Security Update for 4.0 and 4.1

By Byrne Reese and posted in Security.

Cross posted from the announcement found at the Official Movable Type News blog: Today we are releasing Movable Type 4.01b and Movable Type 4.12. These are free mandatory security updates for all Movable Type 4.x users. These updates resolve a vulnerability which has not been exploited, but was reported to us by a third party on June 16. We have addressed the issue with these updates, and are providing new, fully-tested versions for all affected versions of Movable Type in all supported configurations. A detailed description of the vulnerability can be found below, but in short a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability has been found in Movable Type’s built-in search feature, which could be exploited by malicious parties to execute javascript without permission. We have no record of a user having been affected by this vulnerability, and there are no known public exploits. The release candidates of Movable Type 4.2, currently in testing, Movable Type 3.36 and Movable Type Enterprise 1.5 are all unaffected by this issue. Here’s the Update Advisor, which summarizes the issues found and provides a guide for updating your installation of Movable Type. Movable Type Update Advisor: Version 4.01b and 4.12: Release Type: Security Release. The potential…

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June 12, 2008

More Reasons to Upgrade to Movable Type 4.2 and RC2

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Yesterday we release Movable Type 4.2 Release Candidate 2. This was an important milestone because this is the first release of MT 4.2 that our internal QA teams have fully certified to work against postgres. Release Candidate 2 also contains a number of important bug fixes and brings us one step closer to a full-fledged release. Just by upgrading from Movable Type 4.2 from 4.1, and doing nothing else, we have seen performance increases of 33% while publishing. However it is possible to optimize your Movable Type installation even further by taking advantage of a number of the performance optimization and tuning tools built right into the product. To help our users understand how to best take advantage of these features and to obtain performance increases 45% and higher we have published a Movable Type 4.2 Upgrade Guide to the community wiki. When MT 4.2 is officially released, this guide will be incorporated into our official documentation, but for now we are seeking help from the community to review, refine and make it better. In the meantime, allow me to give you a number of new reasons you may not have heard about to upgrade to Movable Type 4.2: PostOffice…

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June 3, 2008

Survey: How do you have Movable Type configured?

By Byrne Reese.

Since the day we released Movable Type Open Source, the software has been downloaded thousands of times per day. Wow, that is a lot of people trying Movable Type out, and because MT supports multiple environments and multiple databases like MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, Microsoft SQLServer and Oracle, that is a lot of different ways in which Movable Type can be configured once it has left our showroom floor. Having this information however is very important to us because it helps us to better understand our users’ needs and to build a product that is optimized for the most common usage scenarios. Therefore, we have created a very simple, multiple-choice, anonymous survey that will help us collect this valuable information. So, if you have a moment, we would appreciate it if you could take the survey and help us understand how you use Movable Type!…

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May 29, 2008

Welcome Movable Type 4.2

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Today is a great day for Movable Type users: We’re announcing the release candidate of Movable Type 4.2, a new version which takes the top three most frequently requested features from our community and builds them right into the platform: A faster and more efficient user experience More design options and our simplest and most powerful templates yet The best, most effective anti-spam solution So today we are incorporating all of the work that’s been done on the MT 4.15 betas so far and are happy to announce the availability of the first release candidate of the newly rechristened Movable Type 4.2. A Faster Movable Type Speed isn’t just about making the code faster, it’s about looking at the tasks you do every day and making them all more efficient. Refined navigation - The primary navigation for getting around Movable Type has been refined and expanded to make getting to the page you need to far more efficient. Fewer clicks means faster blogging. Template Preview - Now you never have to wait to see what your site will look like when you tweak or edit your templates. Every Movable Type template can be previewed with a 100% accurate live preview…

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May 21, 2008

Join us for the first-ever “MT Day,” with free beer to follow

By Byrne Reese and posted in Events.

Update: The day long event has been postponed in order to find a time more convenient for all of those who have expressed interest in coming, but cannot on the designated day. We will still be holding the Meetup at Jade and hope to see you there! This month is a big month for Movable Type as we work on wrapping up development of Movable Type 4.15, a version of Movable Type that has more contributions from the community than any other release in Movable Type’s history - ranging from bug fixes galore, to larger feature sets and contributions like comment threading. The growing community of Movable Type contributors has made us realize how important it is that we organize more formally as a community to share product ideas, our knowledge about the product, and to shape the future of this product we all love. Therefore we are happy to announce “MTDay,” a day long event taking place on May 30, 2008 at the San Francisco Public Library. We are planning presentations about the current state of Movable Type, plus sessions and tutorials on plugin and theme development. We will also be discussing how we can better organize ourselves as…

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May 14, 2008

Mapping Movable Type’s Motion

By dave and posted in Plugins.

One of the coolest areas of innovation on the web over the past several years has been in the realm of mapping and geolocation. So we’re excited to introduce two new plugins for Movable Type, released just in time for this week’s Where 2.0 Conference here in the Bay Area. Both enable MT users to plug location data (like latitude and longitude) right into your blog entries, and both use the Google Maps API to find locations and display them as custom maps on your blog. And both of these free plugins automatically create new template tags for your blog, making it super easy to publish geocoded RSS feeds, custom layer (KML) files for Google Earth or customized content channels for the new LightPole Mobile Publishing Platform. If you just want to grab the code, here’s the links to these two free plugins: GeoSpatial Simple was developed by Six Apart’s own Bryan Tighe, and is available for Movable Type 4. GeoType was developed by LightPole in conjunction with Six Apart Services, and is available for Movable Type 3.3 and Movable Type Enterprise 1.5. In the spirit of Open Source, the plugin includes contributions from Jef Poskanzer of acme.com and builds…

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April 20, 2008

Mark Your Calendars: Movable Type at the Web2.0Expo

By Byrne Reese and posted in Events.

Next week is the Web2.0Expo is San Francisco, an event for just about anyone who is participating in the creation of the next-generation of the Web. Six Apart is a sponsor of the event and you can find us there in a number of different capacities: Come visit us at our booth on the Expo floor - free passes still available! See Six Aparter’s and some our esteemed Alumni speak: David Recordon - Comparing Social Platforms, OpenID, OAuth, Data Portability, and the Enterprise, Open Platforms in Web 2.0 Artur Bergman - Failure Happens: What Broke Since Last Year (and What We Learned from It) David Hornik - Launch Pad But you don’t have to be a registered conference member to come chat. We will be holding Open Movable Type Office Hours on the 2nd floor mezzanine of Moscone West Wednesday and Thursday from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. The area is open to the public so come by to meet with a number of Movable Type Open Source Ninjas, including Byrne Reese, Beau Smith, Jim Ramsey and others from Six Apart as well (look for all the people wearing Six Apart t-shirts and the Movable Type sign!). We look forward to talking…

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April 14, 2008

Did you hear about the latest Movable Type beta?

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

If you were tuned into the Movable Type Twitter channel last week, or into the MTOS-dev or ProNet mailing lists, you may have heard that we released Movable Type 4.15 Beta 2. As with every beta, we managed to sneak a couple of features in as well in response to user feedback: revised the “Preferences” menu to allow users to navigate more quickly to the settings screen they are looking for. added a blog level “Tools” menu to more easily import and export content, create backups and view the activity log. added the ability to sort entries by the number of comments and TrackBacks received providing a good way to list your most popular entries. added the ability to make a copy of a template. In keeping with the central theme of this release, we also made Movable Type faster (again) by further optimizing the publishing engine to not only be faster, but smarter as well. But speaking of the ways you might have heard about this release, you might want to consider making a regular visit to The Blog Herald every Monday for “Movable Type Mondays.” A new series they are running to give Movable Type fans their weekly…

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April 8, 2008

Awesome: apt-get install movabletype-opensource

By Byrne Reese and posted in Community.

Movable Type just got a whole lot easier to install for Debian users thanks to newly available Debian packages. But what makes this addition to the Movable Type Open Source Project so great is not the fact that installing Movable Type can now be as simple as typing “apt-get install movabletype-opensource” (then again that is pretty awesome) but the fact that it was a project undertaken and completed by the community itself — and one person in particular: Dominic Hargreaves. We caught up with Dominic shortly after he announced the availability of the packages he created and conducted a brief interview with him in an attempt to help us all get to know a little bit better those who give so freely to our community. What drew your interest to MTOS and the MT community? I’m very much an FOSS-inclined person. For many years now I’ve almost exclusively used free and open source software - in fact, MT was a rare exception when I first installed it. When I decided to go against my normal ideals and use MT, it was because it seemed to be far ahead of any FOSS alternatives, and the pragmatist in me won out. I…

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April 3, 2008

Movable Type 4.15 Beta 1 now available

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Last month we told you of an effort to improve the performance of Movable Type that involved the entire community. The response has been amazing. We asked for people to contribute data collected by Movable Type’s new performance monitoring framework. What we got were log files, entire data sets and even code contributions from numerous members of our open source developer community. The results of this work and collaboration with the community culminates today in the first public beta of Movable Type Open Source 4.15. But a faster version of Movable Type is not all you have to look forward to. The community has also contributed new features to the product, and with their help and valuable feedback we have added a number of other new features as well. Threaded Commenting Arvind was kind enough to donate to MTOS one of Movable Type’s more popular plugins: Simply Threaded. With this donation Movable Type will allow commenters to reply directly to one another and for designers to display nested and threaded comment listings on their blog. Simpler, Easier Default Templates One thing we have heard loud and clear is that our default templates, while powerful and flexible were too difficult for…

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March 14, 2008

We Want You!

By Chris Ernest Hall and posted in News.

While we’re not exactly Uncle Sam, SIX APART NEEDS YOU to come train at Camp Trott and join us as we fight for the right to publish blogs and rearrange widgets. And by that, I mean attend our next Movable Type Open Source hackathon and build the kind of cool stuff that made you fall in love with blogging and coding in the first place. However, first there are some minor tactical details we need to settle on. We are thinking of some time in early April, but before setting the exact date we’d like to know whether a workday or weekend day works better for those of you in the community.If the hackathon is held during a workday, it would probably begin in late morning, and continue on into the night, so you could show up after you finish your day job, if you choose. A weekend hackathon might take place all day Saturday or Sunday; or even, if there is enough interest, on both days. No matter when it is held, though, rest assured, you will be adequately supplied with everything you need to fight, and fight well (ie, free sodas, coffee, tea, salty snacks, wired and un-wired…

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March 4, 2008

MT @ SXSW

By Anil Dash.

If you’re headed to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival this week, join us on Saturday, March 8th, as Six Apart hosts KICK! the unofficial kickoff event of the SXSW Interactive Festival. KICK! is a fun, free playground-style kickball game that is a great way for you to meet and mix with attendees of the Interactive festival and other bloggers who use Movable Type, TypePad and Vox. Here’s what you need to know:When: Saturday, March 8th at 10:30amWhere: Palm Park, behind the Austin Convention CenterWho: Everyone’s invited! It helps if you’re a geek or a bloggerWhat: Kickball. A simple game, tons of fun, and nobody gets picked lastHow: Just show up with some shoes you can run in, and we’ll handle the restSix years ago, KICK! was started as a way to welcome the community of early bloggers that had just begun to adopt SXSWi as an informal annual homecoming. Join the tradition by coming out to play some ball or just drink some Progress coffee and eat some breakfast tacos.If you plan on joining us, please leave a comment to this post and be sure to RSVP on KICK!’s Upcoming page. And be sure to check out the MT-powered…

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February 25, 2008

Help Make MT Even More Bulletproof

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Some of the largest properties on the web power their sites using Movable Type. Not just the biggest blogs, but some of the biggest sites, period. You’ve seen ‘em: The Washington Post, The Gothamist, Boing Boing, The Huffington Post and thousands more. Each of these sites rely on Movable Type to keep their web sites and blogs up and running, and one of our most important goals for Movable Type is to make sure your MT-powered site stays bullet-proof and reliable, no matter how big traffic gets. There are a few different features and capabilities of Movable Type that make this kind of scale possible: Background publishing and task management - Movable Type can offload the work-intensive parts of publishing to a separate task system which handles the heavy lifting. Multiple supported and scalable system architectures - Movable Type can run across a number of servers, splitting tasks like comment management and publishing onto their own dedicated infrastructure. Static publishing - Movable Type’s has always defaulted to publishing completely static HTML pages, which serve up faster with less work needed by your web and database servers. And static pages are a lot more forgiving of transient problems with a database…

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February 8, 2008

Where Movable Type is Going in 2008

By Anil Dash and posted in News.

In case you missed it, you’ll want to check out Six Apart CEO Chris Alden’s post MT in 2008: Open, Powerful and Easy. It’s a great look at the vision for the MT platform going forward, and offers a compelling look at the philosophy behind the huge investment in MT over the past year:So, back in 2006, we made some decisions. First and foremost, we were going to compete. MT has brought more to blogging than any platform in history — it was the first professional grade blogging platform (when it launched) and the first enterprise grade blogging platform (with MT Enterprise) — but in 2006 it was time to double down or take the chips off the table.We decided to bet on the future.Central to this effort is Movable Type 4, a completely re-thought version of the software designed to address the way the web and social media have changed in the past half-decade. We wanted to improve the ease of use, the user interface, the installation process, and the content & community management capabilities. We also greatly enhanced our advanced capabilities, launching an Enterprise Solution, making MT unrivaled in its power for large customers who need to run large…

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February 7, 2008

Introducing the Movable Type Design Assistant

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

For years now, Movable Type has had a powerful “Style Catcher” built in, which lets you browse a number of different style libraries all over the Internet, and then apply a style to your blog with just a click. It’s really simple, but as a company that’s always cared a lot about design, we wanted to give you more power, more personalization, and more control over the way your site looks. So behold, the Movable Type Design Assistant, a beta of a new tool designed to help you make beautiful sites, easily. We started with a few of our most popular default styles, which cover a wide variety of visual looks, and which also offer a range of different choices for the number of columns of content you have on your site. But what if you like one of the default styles and just need to make a few tweaks to it here and there? Or what if you want to start from a clean slate, working with a completely unstyled blog and adding in your own look and feel? The Design Assistant makes that easy, too. Jim Ramsey, Movable Type’s lead designer and someone who’s done some great thinking…

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February 5, 2008

Website maintenance tonight

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Tonight, February 5th, at approximately 9:00pm PST the Movable Type [dot org] web site will be taken offline for routine maintenance and to expand the machine’s capacity. The outage should last for approximately 30 minutes. The following services will be unavailable during this time: The movabletype.org Web site Movable Type Documentation Movable Type Forums The Style Archive The Plugin Directory Learning Movable Type Access to MTOS nightly builds Access to MTOS stable builds We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience….

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January 30, 2008

Building Action Streams

By Clifton and posted in Plugins.

As my LiveJournal friends know, I’m reading Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam’s 2001 book about the decline in civic engagement in the US since the generation that fought World War II. Without going into his arguments, he shows that the behavior we expect from a civil society has been evaporating since roughly the dawn of television, leaving us with brittle institutions and less resilient lives. There are both a mighty need and a grand opportunity for us to knit our society back together, and I expect us to use the internet to do that. Putnam mentions the idea that the internet lets us connect in ways we haven’t before, but rightly views the utterly unproven possibility with skepticism. I’ve yet to adequately articulate myself on the topic, and I’m still not able to do so here, so instead let’s discuss a meager tilt I took at that windmill: the new Action Streams plugin for Movable Type 4.1….

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January 28, 2008

Movable Type Open Source 4.1 is Here!

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Last week Movable Type passed one of the biggest milestones in its history: the first stable version of Movable Type Open Source was officially released. Technically, Movable Type has been available under a GPL license since December. But for so many of you who were waiting in the sidelines for an officially blessed, officially tested stable version of the product, we are happy to say that it is finally available for download. Since our original announcement, we’ve been paying close attention to your questions about MTOS. So instead of summarizing all of the new features that have been introduced in MTOS again, I thought I would take a moment to revisit some of those questions. This should also help explain the motivations behind the MTOS project and how it relates to the other Movable Type products available from movabletype.com….

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January 18, 2008

Totally turn-key web sites and blogs

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

For the last several weeks, Jim Ramsey has been developing a new web site design using Movable Type 4.1’s new template set and theming infrastructure. His goals were simple: make it easy for users to create not just a blog, but an entire web site create a web site that guides the user through customization right out of the box architect a set of templates that is more intuitive to customize The result of his work is pretty incredible - so much so that we decided to include the new template set, called the “Universal Template Set,” with the new Professional Pack. Users will be able to get a sneak preview of the feature next week when we release Movable Type 4.1 Release Candidate 2 announced yesterday. Or if you can’t wait that long, we have created a short screencast to demonstrate how Movable Type’s new template set framework functions and some of the many features found within the Universal Template Set. Check it out!…

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January 17, 2008

Movable Type 4.1 Release Candidate 1

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Tonight we released the first release candidate for Movable Type 4.1. This release signals that the product is converging upon a final and shippable version of the product. You can download it now from http://movabletype.org/beta/. Important changes in this release include: a clean upgrade path for user’s of the Custom Fields plugin wishing to move to Movable Type 4.1 a fix that addresses a vulnerability posted about previously userpics are now embedded by default in Movable Type’s default templates a change to Movable Type search results template has sped up search results considerably Read the complete change log to familiarize yourself with all the other fixes found in this most recent release. In the spirit of full disclosure we are planning a release of a second release candidate early next week. The scope of this release includes one final and additional feature for paid users of Movable Type in addition to our final translations and localization changes for Movable Type 4.1. But even if there is one more release candidate planned, this is still the perfect opportunity for all those people waiting for a more stable release to try out the latest features of Movable Type. And here’s a tip…

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January 17, 2008

Using template tag parameters

By Byrne Reese and posted in Tips & Tricks.

From the “I didn’t know you could do that” department: So I was working with Beau on the implementation of a performance enhancement to Movable Type’s search results and he showed me this really amazing trick that I doubt anyone knows about. What we needed to do was suppress the comment and TrackBack counts from the search results page because a user in our community found that by removing them he dramatically sped up search results! However, we also wanted to use the same template module for displaying an entry’s summary that we use everywhere else on the site. I thought we were going to have to create a special module just for search results, but then Beau showed me the following. Did you know that you can pass parameters to template modules you include? I didn’t. Within an include tag you can add any attribute and have that attribute passed to the included template as a variable. For example the include tag that includes the entry summary in the search results template would look like this: <$MTInclude module=”Entry Summary” hidecounts=”1”$> The hidecounts is a parameter that will be passed to the “Entry Summary” module as a variable. Then within…

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January 17, 2008

Security Update for Movable Type

By Byrne Reese and posted in News.

Cross posted from the “announcement”:http://www.movabletype.com/blog/2008/01/movable-type-security-update.html found at the “Official Movable Type News blog”:http://www.movabletype.com/blog/: Today we are releasing a mandatory security update for all Movable Type users, to address a potential security issue which has been reported by a third party. A detailed description of the vulnerability can be found later in this post, but to summarize: In affected versions of Movable Type, there are certain circumstances in which a blog template may be rendered dynamically via CGI in an otherwise static publishing context. If you use Movable Type to publish PHP files (or JSP or ASP pages) and have embedded within your Movable Type templates sensitive information (such as database connection information), then that sensitive information could potentially be exposed and viewed publicly. There is no record of a customer having been affected by this vulnerability. Here’s the Update Advisor, a simple scorecard to let you evaluate this new release. Movable Type Update Advisor: Version 4.01a and 3.36 Release Type: Security Release. The potential vulnerability has not yet been exploited in the wild. Mandatory? This is a mandatory update for all users of Movable Type. Performance Implications: None. Plugins Affected: None. Templates Affected: No changes in your templates are required….

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