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December 28, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Smileys, GPS, Title Length, and More

Filed as Features with 4 comments

Happy Monday, folks! This week we’ve got a handful of new plugins for you. I have not had a chance to try these personally, so if anybody has, please let us know what you think in the comments.

AutoSmileysSebastian Böthin has written a plugin that replaces text-based emoticons with images. The plugin comes with a default list of emoticons to replace, but you can customize that list as much as you want. And AutoSmileys can be used just about anywhere — entries, comments, pages, and more.

Garmin Connect Action StreamGarmin Connect is a social training log that lets you track and share your training activities using Garmin GPS devices. This plugin from Scott Hill adds those activities to your Action Stream. read more

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August 24, 2009

Movable Type Monday: 4.31 Released, Plugin Profiler, Action Streams, and More

Happy Monday, folks! The minor update to Movable Type we talked about last week was released a few days ago. It fixes a number of small bugs, including a problem with the asset manager and custom fields. Be sure to check out the release notes to see everything that was fixed.

We’ve also got a handful of plugins this week. First, Byrne Reese has released the Template Profiler. This plugin will give you data on what’s happening when your index templates are published. Publishing speed is one of those ongoing issues with MT. This tool can help you find bottlenecks in your templates that need to be optimized. read more

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May 27, 2009

Movable Type Mon… er, Tuesday: Action Streams, Mac Installation, Quick Fixes, and More

Happy Tuesday, Folks! Apologies for the late post — the Memorial Day holiday here threw me off. We’ve got several things to cover this week, so let’s get right to it.

Like most weeks, Chad Everett has released an updated to his popular blog notification plugin: MT-Notifier 4.2.3. This releases fixes a problem that was causing some people to get errors, so if you were seeing those errors you should upgrade now.

Anil Dash of Six Apart published a “mini FAQ” of common issues people have with Movable Type. Anil addresses the category bug we talked about last week, as well as problems with the text editor, scheduling posts, and using the Publish Queue.

Also this past week, Beau Smith published two tutorials on his blog. First, he has a snippet of template code for only publishing entries with a future (or past) date. I’ve found this sort of thing particularly useful when using MT to publish an event calendar.

Also from Beau, a guide to installing MT on a Mac. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step instructions for installing ImageMagick. That’s a beast I’ve fought on multiple platforms, and a guide like this would have made it a lot easier. Thanks, Beau!

Finally, some new documentation for those using and developing with Action Streams. If you want to add a blog to your Action Stream, this document will show you how. And for developers, an Action Stream recipe for creating your own Action Streams plugin.

What have you done with MT lately? Let us know in the comments.

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April 28, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Comment Authors, Stock Quotes, Github, and More

Filed as Features with 1 comment

Happy Monday, folks! We have some new Movable Type plugins to tell you about, plus some documentation to help you operate your MT blog better.

Comment Author Context — This plugin, from Six Apart employee Brad Choate, allows you to use the various author-related template tags to output information about a commenter. This can be especially useful if you’re wanting to use custom fields in your comment section.

Stock Quotes — Are you a business blogger? If so, this plugin might be for you. Based on the content of your post, it suggests stock quotes you might want to include. The ticker symbols will link back to Wikinvest, makers of the plugin.

Github Action Streams — In case you don’t know, Github is a source code repository provider. With this plugin, created by Brendan O’Connor, you can add your actions on Github to your Action Stream.

Finally, Byrne Reese has added another chapter to the Movable Type Open Source Operations Manual. This chapter covers the MT Publish Queue, and how to use it to reduce redundant publishing, offload publishing jobs to another server, and speed up commenting. Lots of good information here.

What have you done with Movable Type this week? Let us know in the comments.

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February 2, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Action Streams, Exporting, Installing, and More

Filed as Features with 2 comments

Happy Monday, folks! Let’s start this week off with an installation tutorial. Gregory Tomlinson explains how to install Movable Type 4.23 on Mac OS X 10.5 It’s a short tutorial, but it gives you the information you need to get up and running.

Plugins

SlideShare — This plugin, created by Mixel Adm, makes it easy to embed SlideShare presentations in entries. For those that have used the WordPress version of this plugin, the syntax is the same.

Selective ExportMike T. released this plugin, which adds an option to export one or more selected blog posts. I can see several uses for this, like spinning off a set of posts as a separate blog.

Russian Action Streams — Written by Andrey Serebryakov, this adds 24 Russian services to the Action Streams plugin. I don’t know Russian, so if anyone does and has tried this, please let us know about it in the comments.

Share — I mentioned Share — a plugin for adding an “email this” function to your entries — a few weeks ago. Since then, Dan Wolfgang has had an official launch and created Share Lite, a free version with many features from the original.

MT-Notifier 3.5.2Chad Everett released a small update to the 3.5.x version of MT-Notifier. I have to hand it to Chad — maintaining one version of a plugin is hard enough, but he’s consistently releasing updates for both the 3.5.x and 4.2.x versions of MT-Notifier. Thanks, Chad!

What have you done with Movable Type lately? Let us know in the comments.

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December 1, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Archive Uploader, Action Streams, Disemvoweller, and More

Happy Monday, folks! Before I get into this week’s news, I wanted to mention a blog post written by Chris Alden, Chairman and CEO of Six Apart, a little over a week ago. In it, Chris discusses the effects a US recession will have on blogging. His theory is that a down economy will encourage people to “invest in themselves,” which will mean spending more time blogging.

Whether or not Chris is right remains to be seen, but if he is, it should affect more than just blogging. Most blog theme and plugin creators are independent developers. Investing in themselves means creating more designs and writing more code. If Chris’s theory holds we should see a lot of new blog tools in the coming months.

Speaking of which…

Plugins

Archive UploaderToI Planning released ArchiveUploader, which allows you to upload a zip, gzip, or tar archive of files to load into the Asset Manager. This is a great tool when you’ve got several pictures to upload to your blog. read more

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October 27, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Publish Queue Manager, ShareThis, Security Issue

Happy Monday, folks! We told you last time about this being Movable Type’s 7th birthday. The celebration concludes this week with a huge party at MT HQ. If you’re going to be in San Francisco, don’t miss it.

But before the party starts, we’ve got work to do. On with the MT news!

Plugins

MinifierHirotaka Ogawa released Minifier, which adds block tags for minifying CSS and JavaScript. If your CSS and JS files are already templates in your blog, this shouldn’t take you more than two minutes to set up and should significantly reduce download time for those files. read more

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September 2, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Cumulus, Action Streams and MTOS Proposals

The release of Movable Type 4.2 seems to have breathed new life into the Movable Type community as today’s post will reveal. The past week gave us a series of new proposals from the open source community (covering topics from new and deprecated templates tags to major code refactors), a number of new plugins (including several Action Stream plugins) and a slew of tutorials!

Welcome to Movable Type Monday! read more

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August 25, 2008

Movable Type Monday: Movable Type 4.2, Pro, Mid Century Theme, Tutorials Galore!

It’s been a while since I last posted a Movable Type Monday (and during that time, I’ve been in three different countries!) and there’s been a lot of Movable Type activity! Most importantly, Movable Type 4.2 was released and introduced one of the largest licensing changes since the MT 3.0 debacle – the introduction of Movable Type Pro, what used to be two separate products (the professional pack and community solution) is now one, and is free for bloggers (which is another way of saying “unincorporated entities”).

Movable Type Pro lets you turn any site into a full social publishing platform, combining all of Movable Type’s abilities as a blogging and CMS with social networking features like profiles, ratings, user registration, forums, following, and more.

Another, less obvious, change was with the open source side – the name “Movable Type Open Source” seemed to generate a lot of confusion for new users and so, in an attempt to make things simpler, has been renamed to simply “Movable Type.”

Movable Type 4.2 was shortly followed by 4.21 after the community found and helped patch two important bugs that surfaced with 4.2. None-the-less, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive! read more

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