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October 2008

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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