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Quick Fixes for Common Itches

By Anil Dash
Posted May 22, 2009, in Tips & Tricks.

Every once in a while, if you use Movable Type long enough, you can run into little glitches or things that are confusing. We thought we’d round up a couple of random ones that have seemed common lately, with the hopes that it makes things a little more fun and a little less frustrating.

Filtering entries by category name gets weird if my category name has spaces!

This one cropped up in Movable Type 4.25 (the release where Motion was introduced). If you have a category name like “Diamonds & Pearls” and you set <mt:entries category="Diamonds & Pearls">, you get an error instead of your entries! No good. So, we made a quick little patch (link outdated) to fix it. Just follow the outlined steps there and you should be set.

Sometimes I can’t click into the text editor when writing an entry or page!

Oooh, tricky. What’s probably happened here is your mt-config.cgi file lists the full path for your site’s MT install, something like StaticWebPath but you’ve visited your MT install at, without the “www” part. Because of the web browser security works, MT can’t load the editor part of the Create Entry screen, and that makes everybody sad. You can get around it immediately by making sure to visit the address you have set up in your configuration file, or solve it more permanently by using a relative path instead of an absolute one. In this example, you’d replace something like  StaticWebPath StaticWebPath /mt/mt-static/ so that MT won’t be so picky about what address you’re using.

Bonus Tip: The mt-config.cgi configuration options are listed here. Handy to bookmark for future reference!

Halp! My scheduled entries aren’t publishing as scheduled!

You usually have to do one additional step to get scheduled tasks going on your Movable Type install. Movable Type uses a scheduling system to trigger these events. If you’re simply doing scheduled entries, you can actually get Movable Type to run scheduled tasks by subscribing to your System Activity Log’s feed. This is a cool little under-promoted feature that gives you an RSS feed of everything that goes on in your Movable Type install, and as a side benefit, every time your RSS reader or browser requests the feed, scheduled tasks are run.

I want to set up a queue to do my publishing for me!

Got a bigger site, or just want a more robust scheduling system that can handle things like a Movable Type Publish Queue? Then you’ll want to set up MT’s Run Periodic Tasks system. Don’t worry — if you know your way around your web server, it’s not too complicated. Once you’ve got all that running, grab Byrne Reese’s Publish Queue Manager plugin and you’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on with the system.

We’ll try to share more tips and tricks as they pop up, but in the meantime here’s one last gem to bookmark: A great page on the Movable Type wiki offering up template tag recipes to do all kinds of cool things on your site. No plugins needed, and the sky’s really the limit for the ideas people have shared.



Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese on May 26, 2009, 9:59 a.m. Reply

Also, those interested in learning more about Publish Queue should consult this article I wrote entitled, Everything you wanted to know about Movable Type’s Publish Queue.

Craig Colon

Craig Colon on July 9, 2012, 8:48 p.m. Reply

This was my problem - “Sometimes I can’t click into the text editor when writing an entry or page!”. Thank you for the solution.

Elena Rosberg

Elena Rosberg on August 6, 2012, 11:18 a.m. Reply

There always will be bugs but it doesn’t change the fact that Moveable type is one of the best platforms on the net. Thank for that.

Alex Dimitrov

Alex Dimitrov on September 11, 2012, 7:26 a.m. Reply

If you can’t click into the text editor when writing an entry or page it can be a result of old mozilla version. If you use one of course. I had this problem before, but then I got the newest version and I don’t have any problem since then.

Liam Mi

Liam Mi on September 11, 2012, 12:24 p.m. Reply

Even if you found a confusing thing you can always relay on the support of MT or to ask in the site through the comments.

Forum Fetele Norocoase

Forum Fetele Norocoase on October 1, 2012, 6:49 a.m. Reply

It was always fun to use this platform and now that you’ve solved most of the glitches, even more so. Frustration comes only when there is no solution but that has never been the case with MovableType. The team is doing a great job at fixing bugs and releasing updates.

Lampioane Zburatoare

Lampioane Zburatoare on October 1, 2012, 7:05 a.m. Reply

Nice article, good tool, thanks for sharing it free. Great job.

Lampioane Zburatoare


Josh on November 13, 2012, 8:02 a.m. Reply

Thanks so much! Fixed my text editor problem.