Dan Wolfgang has written a great article for Movable Type plugin developers that want to upgrade their old MT4 plugins so they work on Movable Type 5.x. Go and read it!
Gather round the campfire kids, and listen to this cautionary tale. If you are reading this blog you probably heard about Trendolizer, my trend-tracking website, powered by Movable Type. Recently I noticed the server load for it was constantly over 20, with multiple run-periodic-tasks instances running at 100% processor use all the time. Not good!
I just released a little plugin I needed for another project. It adds a 'bitlyfy' template tag modifier to Movable Type that lets you turn any URL into a bit.ly shortened URL directly in your Movable Type template code. Simply add bitlyfy="1" to any template tag that outputs a URL, and it will output a bit.ly link instead. Download the Bitlyfy Plugin here, docs and source are here.
Six Apart announced a new official product lifecycle roadmap for Movable Type on Christmas, and the most important news in it seems to be that support for version 4.x will officially end December 31st, 2013. If you don't upgrade to MT 5.x by that time you are basically on your own... For most installations, upgrading from 4.x to 5.x shouldn't be a problem. But not all plugins are compatible between 4.x and 5.x, so there certainly is some work to be done for plugin developers who want their code to keep working on the latest MT. Should you need any help with your upgrade, feel free to contact me!
Because I was at LeWeb in Paris for three days I missed the announcement, but Movable Type 5.2.2 is out (the first version using the new numbering scheme). The most important new features are the new 'Rainier' theme and an option to quickly add 'boilerplate text' to entries. The announcement & release notes are here.
Ok, something totally unexpected happened. Last saturday I was watching something on TV with my tablet on my lap, and someone I know asked a question about it on Twitter. I fired off a quick reply because I happened to know the answer:
@tombogman De huishoudster van de Sint, echtgenote van professor Van Den Uytleg,,,-- Maarten Schenk (@mschenk) November 17, 2012
And then inspiration struck me: there must be thousands of questions on Twitter that never get a reply.
I recently needed a quick way to use the values of a number of configuration directives in my mt-config.cgi file directly in a template. So I created a little plugin that adds an <mt:configdirective> tag to Movable Type. You can use it to do things like <mt:configdirective name="SearchThrottleSeconds"> for example. Warning: it can also be used to expose your database password etc., so don't install this plugin on a system where anybody can edit the templates. The plugin can be downloaded here: https://github.com/mschenk/mt-plugin-configdirective
Six Apart announced in New York that a raft of new plugins for Movable Type were translated from Japanese to English and would shortly be available. They made good on their promise, publishing the full list here. CMS Wire has more. I'm looking forward to trying out FacebookPoster, GoogleAnalytics and MultiUploader myself!
In my spare time I've been working on http://www.trendolizer.com, a site that automatically finds and posts stories, videos, images etc. that are trending on Facebook. I recently redesigned the site using the Bootstrap framework, and today seems to be an excellent time to point out that there is also a 'politics' section at http://politics.trendolizer.com where you can follow what is trending regarding the U.S. presidential election. Read on if you want to know more about the technical details.
Ok, a bit later than I had hoped, but here is a quick report about my recent trip to New York for the Movable Type Idea Exchange...
First things first: if you want to watch the video I took of the speakers during the event, go here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/movabletips-tv. I recorded and streamed the entire thing using an Android tablet propped up against a box, so the quality isn't 100% but you can clearly understand the speakers. Also, the stream cut out every ten to fifteen minutes so the recordings are broken down into many smaller chunks. My own presentation (about localizing Movable Type) starts about a minute or two into this video: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/26244097. You can also download a pdf of my slides.