MovableBlog: Archives: July 2002

A weblog about the Movable Type Publishing Platform and other geekery

July 31st, 2002

Quake Fuck »

Re: quake beta? reply to a post

Warning: gratuitous use of the F-word. 46 times according to this concise rejoinder.

Posted by Richard at 10:29 PM | Category: Geekery | Comments (0)

Blockquote and XHTML »

One of my weblogs doesn't validate to XHTML Transitional because of MT and the over-use of the <blockquote> tag in my weblog entries. But I think I know how to get around it. Here's the standard HTML that MT produces:

I am so great, I am so great. Everybody loves me, I am so<br />

And so on. MT, if you have 'convert line breaks' on, inserts the starting <p> and ending </p>. But use blockquote in there, and you stick a wrench in the W3 XHTML validator machine. But the way I got around it was thus:

I am so great, I am so great. Everybody loves me, I am so<br />
The start <p> was created by MT, but the end </p> was typed in by me, as was the starting <p> after the </blockquote>.
I am so great, I am so great. Everybody loves me, I am so<br />

Again, the very first <p> and very last </p> are inserted by MT.

But we all know that trying to make your weblog validate to XHTML Transitional is a waste of time.

Uh, yeah.

Posted by Richard at 09:39 PM | Category: Web Design | Comments (7)

July 30th, 2002

TrackForward »

Now that's neat: TrackForward, a plugin to show the posts of the pings you've sent, rather than the pings that you have received from other posts (which is already included in MT).

Confused? Yeah, I'm a little confused myself. But it's reversing an already confusing (for some) concept (it took me 30 minutes to explain it to a person I met at a blog meetup, and I ended up confusing myself).

Posted by Richard at 03:18 PM | Category: MT | Comments (3)

July 26th, 2002

Hash Mark Hack »

Ask and ye shall receive. And persistence pays off. Two cliches which actually proved true in this circumstance.

Paulo asked on the message boards about using TrackBack with a hash-mark-using archive URL, and got a response about it here in the TrackBack group. Looks like he was actually persistent about it too, asking a second time (which puts the threat at the top of the list in a support group).

Posted by Richard at 10:09 AM | Category: MT | Comments (1)

July 22nd, 2002

MT Manual in Your Palm »

Have a PDA with Palm OS and PalmReader? Jason has converted the MovableType Manual so you can memorize MT template tags on the bus!

If there's a pun in that last sentence, I assure you it's unintentional.

Posted by Richard at 10:03 PM | Category: MT | Comments (0)

July 20th, 2002

Tape Delay »

Ever write something, but realize after sleeping on it, that you made a horrible mistake? Well, I have, so the personal blog, which is currently on hiatus (but returning soon), will have what I'm calling a "tape delay".

You know how some live broadcast events are delayed? I remember that some Monday Night Football games are tape delayed by about an hour to get the biggest audience possible, and that Howard Stern, when he was being broadcast in Canada, was tape delayed by a few seconds to give radio stations here a chance to censor anything inappropriate (which, apparently, was often).


Put this code somewhere near the beginning of your index template.


$now = time();

// for me, the above code is $now = time() - (3*60*60);
// because my host is on Eastern Time, whereas I'm on
// Pacific Time

$twentyFourHRs = 24 * 60 * 60;

// change the 24 to whatever number of hours you
// want to delay a post for.


Then, when you get to the point of your <MTEntries>, insert this code:



// the following if statement should be entered
// without line break, to make things easier for
// some reason, I forget why

if ( ($now - mktime(<$MTEntryDate format="%k, %M, %S, %m, %e, %Y"$>)) > $twentyFourHRs)




This has uses as a bare-bones editing tool for group weblogs, or even for comment systems (maybe) too. If someone posts something that you don't approve of, and don't want a lucky few who continuously press Refresh to see what they wrote, you could put it on "tape delay".

This is a early release of code of something that I'd like to have password override (for proofreading and making sure the HTML code is right) and maybe a more full-fledged moderating system for group blogs and comments, unless that's planned for a future release of MT *hint hint*. Also, similar code would necessarily need to be added for archives, but I'm planning on going without archives for a while after returning.

Posted by Richard at 11:45 PM | Category: | Comments (4)

TrackBack at MetaFilter »

Paulo made some good observations about TrackBack, and now MetaFilter is implementing TrackBack on its collaborative blog. I'm still under the impression that MeFi uses propriety blogging software, so this looks like a non-MT implementation of TrackBack to me.

Later tonight: how to "tape delay" your weblog using MT and PHP.

Posted by Richard at 05:59 PM | Category: MT | Comments (1)

July 18th, 2002

Better way to highlight most recently added? »

Is there a better way to highlight the most recently added entries in an alphabetically sorted (or any way other than by time) than what I cobbled together at this ungodly hour?

<?php $last_five = array(); <MTEntries lastn="5"> $last_five[] = <$MTEntryID$>; </MTEntries> ?>

<MTEntries sort_by="title" sort_order="ascend">

if (in_array(<$MTEntryID$>, $last_five))
<b><$MTEntryBody$></b><br />
{ ?>
<$MTEntryBody$><br />


For an example, see the sidebar here.

A plugin, with a tag like something like <MTIfMostRecent lastn="n"> etc., would be way preferable to using PHP (not that I don't like PHP!).

Posted by Richard at 02:53 AM | Category: | Comments (1)

July 16th, 2002

Message Board »

The support board at is on a different server, and a transfer of threads to a MySQL database has changed the message ID for each thread (oh, I think I confused myself). Regardless of what that last sentence I wrote means, the messages linked here will take you to a different message than originally linked.

It's Ben's fault, not mine :P

Posted by Richard at 05:50 PM | Category: | Comments (0)

July 15th, 2002

Found Out »

Things we (Bill and I, MT aficionados both) found out today. Er, yesterday.

- MT does not support nested tags (such as <MTTag attribute="<$MTTag2$>">)
- it would be exceedingly difficult (impossible?) to have PHP plugins for MT, since it's written in Perl.
- writing plugins for MT is hard if you don't know Perl.
- writing plugins might actually be a reason for learning Perl.

Posted by Richard at 01:04 AM | Category: | Comments (3)

July 12th, 2002

GirlieMatters »

Wow, since she posted all of 3 times in June, I had almost given up on the girliematters girl's tips site. But now that she has posted 15 times in July (!) well, let's just say I've attached the Stone of Shame.

But this weekend, I'm going to fiddle around with some of the newly created plugins. The neatest one looks like the MySQLEntries plugin. This site, alas, will be the guinea pig, which should at least make things interesting.

If successful in adding multitudinous plugins, maybe then will I remove the Stone of Shame and attach the Stone of Triumph!

Posted by Richard at 01:21 AM | Category: MT | Comments (1)

July 9th, 2002

MT Pay »

I'm responding to some comments in this post. They are well-thought-out comments and you should read them before reading this post..

The plugins are, if I'm not mistaken, just for creating new MT tags. For me to pay for a version of MT, I would not be too worried about any new tags it might deliver so much as the back-end stuff, like Mariann suggested, threadable comments (and TrackBack). Also, there are UI features I would pay for: a "WYSIWYG" preview (i.e. what the front page would look like to the reader, because some of us redefine tags such as <blockquote> etc.) and a spell-check similar to Yahoo! Mail's (where it takes you to just one screen, with all possible spelling errors flagged in textboxes to be easily changed or kept as is). I also think the Author editing screen needs an overhaul, with more finely tuned permissions (and a editor option, where an 'editor' can accept or reject posts before publication).

Of course, if Ben and Mena accept these and other good suggestions made by others, they risk getting into full-blown CMS territory rather than the current blogging-tool-slash-CMS-lite market they are doing well in. If the one-time cost for MT is close to the Blogger Pro *yearly* rate, they will at least have a paying customer in me (especially so if a major upgrade is included in the cost).

Full disclosure: I just donated, so, necessarily, I've already paid part of the cost of a future upgrade to the pay version, and have no ethical dilemma with that fact. In fact, I feel pretty good about myself for having done so.

Posted by Richard at 01:40 AM | Category: MT | Comments (4)

July 7th, 2002

Plugins »

It looks like I'll be spending a lot of time in the Plugin Development forum.

Oh. Baby.

Posted by Richard at 02:37 AM | Category: MT | Comments (1)

July 3rd, 2002

TrackBack Development Weblog »

TrackBack Development

Just started following the Trackback weblog on There will be threading and XHTML validity (I'm of the mind that XHTML validity, however desirable, is an elusive goal at best).

I will also enable TrackBack for this post, for those wanting to test it out (I'm testing it as well: hopefully I have all the templates right).

Posted by Richard at 01:52 AM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (1)

July 1st, 2002

MT External Resources » : External Resources

Excellent idea by Mena to put up external (or as I like to call it independent-as-heck) resources. Yours truly is honoured to be linked.

But it's not a blog powered by MT? Scandal!

(If it were up to me, I would use MT to manage the links, like I do for my main site and China Weblog.)

Posted by Richard at 06:11 PM | Category: MT | Comments (2)

MT Pro 2.3? »

MT 2.3 to be pay version?

According to Mena Trott, it may be "for a cost of between $45-$60". Looks like she's just speculating more than anything (MySQL and, to a lesser extent, TrackBack were conceived as 'pay' features).

Posted by Richard at 10:43 AM | Category: MT | Comments (9)