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June 8, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Photo Gallery, Google Maps, Template Sets, and More

Happy Monday, folks! We’ve got a few new and updated plugins this week, so let’s start there.

Byrne Reese released a new version of the Photo Gallery plugin. This version includes two new options for the “front door” of your gallery. You can now choose a grid or blog layout, and you can display a featured photo. Byrne also released an updated version of the plugin’s documentation.

SetOffset, written by Shinichi Nozawa, is an enhancement to the Movable Type admin. On the Manage Entries screen, it allows you to “jump” to a specific point in the list of entries, rather than have to page through them to find the one you want. read more

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June 1, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Themes, Plugins, and an Interview with Anil Dash

Filed as Features with 2 comments

Happy Monday, folks! We’ve got lots to cover this week, including an interview with Anil Dash from Six Apart about the WordPress plugins they recently released. But let’s start off with new stuff for your Movable Type blog.

First, Byrne Reese posted a preview of a new theme he’s working on: Hybrid News. This is a port of the WordPress theme of the same name. Byrne will release the theme under an open source license when it’s ready, and promises lots of new, MT-only features when it comes out. 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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May 18, 2009

Movable Type Monday: WordPress Plugins, jQuery Interface, Patches, and More

Filed as Features with 1 comment

Happy Monday, folks! Lots of people are talking about Six Apart’s announcement at WordCamp Mid-Atlantic. The makers of Movable Type are reaching out to WordPress users by releasing two WP plugins. The first is Typepad Connect, which allows a blog to accept Google Connect, Facebook Connect, and many other authentication systems. The other is Typepad Antispam, Six Apart’s comment spam blocker, similar to Akismet.

It’s an interesting move by 6A. Some people are calling this a win for WP over MT, but I really don’t see that. Automattic sponsored the first Akismet plugin for MT, and that wasn’t considered a concession. Over the past few years, 6A has made it clear that while MT is one of their products, their overall business is blogging. It makes sense that they would try to extend their reach into other platforms. I have no idea if they’ll have any success with Typepad Connect on WP, but I’d wager Typepad Antispam will win them some converts. I’ve used both it and Akismet, and Typepad does a far better job of identifying spam for me. read more

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May 11, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Hot Date and Custom Category Sorting

Filed as Features with 4 comments

Happy Monday, folks! We’ve only got a couple of things to tell you about this week, but I think you’ll find them both very useful.

First, Dan Wolfgang has updated his Hot Date plugin to work with Movable Type 4.25. I’ve been using Hot Date since its original release and I love it. It makes updating the timestamp on an entry very easy. This really comes in handy on those entries that take several days to complete — click a single button, and your entry date is updated to the current date and time.

Next, Beau Smith has a trick for manually ordering categories. His method will allow you to customize the order in which categories are output for things like menu listings. I’ve done similar tricks in the past, but his solution is far simpler and more elegant than mine. Thanks, Beau!

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

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May 4, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Notifier, TaskMaster, and RandomEntries

Happy Monday, folks! This week it’s all Movable Type plugins. We have two new ones, plus updates to an old favorite.

First up is MT-Notifier. Chad Everett has released two updates to this blog notification plugin — 3.5.2 and 4.2.1. In 3.5.2, changes include:

Updated comment notification to address send after approval.

For 4.2.1, the following changes were made:

  • Added check for blog_id to search_api table.
  • Fixed problem with base_url correctly reading.
  • Removed extraneous permissions from list actions.
  • Standardized history write routine in history module.
  • Updated write_history_records routine.

read more

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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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April 21, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Comment via Twitter and .htaccess Hacks

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Happy Monday, folks! First up this week, Mark Carey has released a plugin that allows you to comment on Movable Type blogs using your Twitter account. A user can sign into your blog using their Twitter username and password, and they can post their comments to Twitter. I’m particularly glad to see an oAuth version is coming soon, which will remove the need to have users log in on your site.

Also this week, Mark Kolich wrote a post with 10 .htaccess hacks for Movable Type. Mark has collected some very useful tips here for increasing both the speed and security of your site. Plus, many of them can be used no matter what powers your website.

That’s it for this week. What have you done with Movable Type lately? Tell us in the comments.

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April 14, 2009

Movable Type Monday: CSS, Template Tags, and Reblogging

Happy Monday, folks! This week, we have three new plugins to talk about, so let’s get right to it.

Reblog — A few years back there was a reblogging plugin that was part of the eyebeam reBlog software. That one was never updated to work with Movable Type 4. Now, Six Apart has released a brand new Reblog plugin. This one reads Atom and RSS feeds and creates entries for each one. This is particularly useful if you post to multiple blogs and want to pull all those entries to one site.

UnrecognizedTags — This is another Six Apart plugin. This plugin adds an option to the Tools menu that allows you to check all your templates for unrecognized template tags. This is something you’ll want to run after an upgrade, or when moving old templates to a new install. That way, you’ll know if your templates reference a tag from a plugin that’s not installed.

Custom CSS — And finally, another plugin from Byrne Reese. Custom CSS gives you a simpler way to edit the CSS for your blog. With this plugin you don’t have to change any templates or change your core CSS stylesheets just to change the style of your blog. Thanks, Byrne!

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

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April 7, 2009

Movable Type Monday: Etelos Partnership, Plugin Development, HTML Tidy, and More

Filed as Features with 1 comment

Happy Monday, folks! We talk a lot here about making Movable Type easier for customers to install. Many have hoped that MT would start showing up in some of the “one-button install” systems available to hosting providers. We’re starting to see that happen, most recently on the Etelos Marketplace. These kinds of easy installs go a long way in convincing businesses to give MT a try.

A couple of useful things this week for plugin developers. First, if you’re new to plugin development, David Raynes has started a series of posts on plugin writing 101. This looks to be especially useful if you have some Perl experience, but aren’t sure where to start with MT.

Also, for more advanced developers, Six Apart released their unit test suite for plugin development. To learn how to use the test module, check out the first full tutorial in David Rayne’s series.

Speaking of plugins, we’ve got some new ones to tell you about:

Tidings — Also from Six Apart, Tidings is a content filter based on HTML Tidy. You can use it to clean up HTML, XHTML, and more. It can be especially useful for ensuring user-submitted code doesn’t break your site.

SyntaxHighlighter — For those of you that blog about programming, this will definitely come in handy. Written by Makoto Kawasaki, this plugin lets you post syntax highlighted code.

MediaURLs — This plugin, created by Scott Boms, makes it easier to take advantage of separate domains and subdomains for different media files. This is an important technique for speeding up page loading, so it’s nice to see a plugin to simplify the practice.

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

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