April 2010 Archives

A recent forum posting asked for an easy way to compare two lists in Movable Type, preferably using arrays.  I think it would be possible to do this via some arrays and/or some clever regular expression use with the 'like' attribute, but in my experience using a hash for this works much faster and doesn't depend on the values in the list behaving nicely in a regular expression context.  Here is an example I cooked up:
A few days ago Endevver announced a new plugin to the Movable Type community: Template Optimizer.  I just installed and tested it, and it looks impressive.  The plugin scans all templates of one or more blogs on your Movable Type installation and offers a number of suggestions to improve efficiency and speed of publication.
So you found this really cool video on YouTube about "Traditional Movable Type Printing in China" and you want to embed it in an entry on your Movable Type powered blog to talk about the origin of the name of the software.  So you fire up Movable Type's text editor and paste in the embed code YouTube provided for you.  And you end up with this:
Suppose you are running an MT installation with multiple (sub)blogs and multiple authors.  Wouldn't it be neat to be able to display a list of all your authors somewhere, along with the latest entry they published anywhere on the site?  Actually, it is not that hard to do... 
One of the neater functions of Movable Type is the whole 'Multiblog' system, which lets you take content from the various blogs on your system so you can combine it and use it anywhere you please on any other blog on your system.  Using it is real easy too: simply add the attribute 'blog_ids' or 'include_blogs' to certain tags with the relevant blog IDs as value, and off you go.
When creating a site with Movable Type, you might have seen the error above, or a variation.  The full text usually reads something like: "An error occurred publishing date-based archive 'Monthly20100301000000': Publish error in template 'Monthly Entry Listing': Error in <mtLink> tag: Can't find template 'archive_index'".  (or 'styles', or 'javascript', or 'feed_recent'...) So what to do when you get this message?

Even though I have been using Movable Type for years and I like lots of things about it (scaleability, performance, separation between design, content and code, 'native' multi-blog, multi-user system...), it is unavoidable that there will sometimes be frustrations.  Why can't MT do X, why do I have to click five times to do Y, why is the setting for Z so hard to find...