January 30, 2008
Building Action Streams
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….
January 28, 2008
Movable Type Open Source 4.1 is Here!
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….
January 18, 2008
Totally turn-key web sites and blogs
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!…
January 17, 2008
Movable Type 4.1 Release Candidate 1
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…
January 17, 2008
Using template tag parameters
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…
January 17, 2008
Security Update for Movable Type
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….