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December 14, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 Delayed, Media Manager, Page Listing Hack, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! Disappointing news for those of us waiting for the official Movable Type 5 release: It’s been postponed till January 5. In the announcement, Six Apart only says that there are issues to resolve so they’re waiting till after the holidays to release. I believe this is the third official release date we’ve had, let’s hope it’s the last one.

Byrne Reese has announced a new version of the Media Manager plugin. The previous version was broken by a change to Amazon’s API. Rather than patch the problem, Byrne did a major rewrite of the software to take advantage of an existing Amazon API library. As a result, folks upgrading from a previous version will likely need to update their templates. read more

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December 7, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Updates on MT5

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Happy Monday, folks! This week, Six Apart posted a couple of blog entries updating us on the status of Movable Type 5. First thing to note is that the North American and European release will not be tomorrow. Instead, MT5 will be released on December 16. The reason given is they need more time to work on developer documentation. Since a lack of documentation has been an issue in the past, this is probably a good move.

Also for MT5, 6A’s Beau Smith wrote up a new installation and upgrade guide. This set of instructions covers a lot of different scenarios, with additional reference material so you understand what is going on. This is probably the most extensive installation documentation for MT I’ve ever seen. Good work, Beau. read more

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November 30, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5, Resetting Passwords, and Asset Gallery

Happy Monday, folks! Good news if you’re in Japan: You’ve already got the official release of Movable Type 5. The rest of us have to wait till December 8. Apparently there was briefly a Release Candidate 3, but it and all the other RCs were pulled when MT5 went gold in Japan. The list of changes in RC3 is short, which bodes well for the final release.

While Japan enjoys MT5, everyone can try Asset Gallery 1.2 from Endevver. Asset Gallery lets you embed slideshows in entries, user profiles, or pages. And it includes lots of options for customizing the look of your slideshows. Better still, Endevver is releasing it as an open source project.

Finally, Dax from GuruLabs posted instructions for resetting MT passwords using SQL. Dax includes instructions for both MySQL and PostgreSQL. If you just need to reset one password, it’s probably easier to do it from the MT admin. But if you needed to update several users at once, this would be much faster.

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

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November 23, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 RC2, Melody, StumbleUpon, and More

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Happy Monday, folks! This week, Six Apart put out the second release candidate for Movable Type 5. They mention a few highlights in the announcement, so let’s look at those here:

  • A lot of work to get the dynamic publishing in sync with the static publishing.
  • Updates to the Professional blog templates
  • Unbundling of Motion and Action Streams
  • The Entry/Page “previous” and “next” container tags now account for entries/pages with the same date-time, rather than skipping them.

The item on that list that catches my eye is the “unbundling” of Motion and the Action Streams plugin. This is the first I’ve heard of this. If you download the release candidate you’ll see that, sure enough, the Motion template set and the Action Streams plugin are gone. One has to wonder if this is the end of Motion or if it will be back as a separate plugin. If anybody’s heard more about this, let us know in the comments. read more

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November 9, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT5 Release Candidate, Event Calendars, Melody Update, and More

Happy Monday, folks! Well, after several rounds of beta testing, the first release candidate of Movable Type 5 is here. Lots of changes since the last beta, including:

  • New Pico theme.
  • Fixes for FastCGI bugs.
  • Lots of improvements for backup and restore.
  • A ton of bug fixes.

According to the schedule, there should be one more release candidate in mid-November, then a final release of 5.0 during the first week of December.

Besides the app itself, a lot of work is being done on the MT5 documentation. Beau Smith announced that the doc index and a page of recent updates is now available. Here’s hoping they have time to release a lot more documentation before MT5 ships. read more

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November 5, 2009

Microsoft shows off overhauled MSN home page

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Do you use some kind of information portal as your regular launchpad onto the web? There are certainly plenty of dedicated ones to choose from, as well as being able to choose any web page as your start page, of course.

Microsoft is hoping that it can increase the popularity of its MSN home page with a preview version of the new look just announced.

preview-msn

As you’d expect, the Bing search engine features prominently on the new site which, based on user feedback, is supposed to be less cluttered and easier to use than the current one. read more

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October 22, 2009

Bing and Google start to index public Twitter feed

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We’ve already reported that Microsoft’s Bing search engine had started indexing prominent Twitter users’ tweets, but now Twitter has announced official support for indexing of tweet content by both Microsoft and Google.

Microsoft has announced that it now has access to the entire public Twitter feed and have launched a beta of Bing Twitter search (US only at present). read more

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September 28, 2009

Movable Type Monday: New MT5 Beta, Single Sign-On, Easy Install Video, and Theme Tips

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Happy Monday, folks! Movable Type Monday took a break for a couple of weeks, but now we’re back with the latest from the MT community.

First off, there’s a new MT5 beta. Lots of improvements and bug fixes over the previous beta. But, if you haven’t installed it yet, you might just want to wait: I’ve heard that beta 3 is supposed to be released in the next day or two.

Next, Byrne Reese has a new plugin that implements OpenSSO. This allows you to use an OpenSSO server as a single sign-on solution for your MT installation. For more on OpenSSO, see the documentation from Sun.

Need help installing MT?, Sahas Katta has created a video to walk you through the process. His process includes a shell script that does most of the work for you. Thanks, Sahas!

Finally, Tom McGee wrote a post with several tips for customizing MT blogs. Tom’s tips focus on creating custom themes and modifying banner images in default themes. Good information for those less familiar with MT’s current theme system.

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

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September 7, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT 5, Media Manager, SEO

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Happy Monday, folks! Big news this week: Six Apart announced the beta for Movable Type 5. The plan is to have a two month beta period, with the release coming sometime in November. Let’s take a look at some of the big new features in MT 5:

* Websites — MT 5 will have the concept of a website, which includes blogs and pages. This makes it more of a CMS, and makes it much simpler to use MT to maintain your entire site.

* Revision History — Entries, pages, and templates will all maintain a revision history. I’m particularly excited about this feature. The ability to modify templates, and return to previous version, is very useful.

* Custom Fields — Custom fields are now available on more objects and can be imported and exported. Plus, you can map them to a category/folder, so that they only appear if an entry/page is within that category/folder.

* Themes — MT 5 will have a whole new theme engine, which allows the bundling of templates, CSS, images, etc. together as a complete website theme.

…and lots more. MT5 will be a huge change from previous versions, pushing the platform more towards a CMS and further away from being a personal blog engine. We should get more details about these other changes in the coming months. read more

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July 27, 2009

Movable Type Monday: 4.3 Features, Documentation, jQuery, and More

Happy Monday, folks! The Movable Type 4.3 beta continues with the third beta release this past week. Lots of bug fixes in this version. The final release is expected some time next week.

Over at MovableType.org, Matt Jacobs has been writing about some of the new features in 4.3. First, he has an explanation of the new entry asset manager. From a usability standpoint, this is a huge improvement over the previous system. And Matt shows how the new system can be used to generate slideshows for the images on each entry.

Matt also has a post about entry pagination in 4.3. With the new pagination system, your first page can be static, while additional pages use MT-Search to generate the results. One of the side effects of this is MT-Search now has some new options, such as searching by author or date. read more

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