MovableBlog: Archives: May 2003

A weblog about the Movable Type Publishing Platform and other geekery

May 29th, 2003

Automatic Trackbacks Regarding Articles You've Linked »

memigo is a site that uses your RSS to determine which articles you link to, and uses Trackback autodiscovery to ping your weblog with more information about that article.

More details can be found on the 'how memigo interacts with your blog' page.

Posted by Richard at 07:19 PM | Category: Geekery | Comments (1)

May 28th, 2003

MT Maintenance Release »

Most true MT nerds have seen this already, but Movable Type has issued a maintenance release.

Update May 30, 10:30 AM: I forgot that upgrading overwrites the search templates, which can be seen at the search page of this site. D'oh!

Update May 30, 3:40 PM: okay, that's fixed, and I modified my mt.cfg to have it load a different default template than the one in future upgrade packages, which should prevent future overwrites.

Posted by Richard at 04:43 PM | Category: MT | Comments (0)

May 22nd, 2003

Slowdown »

I'm slowing down blogging on the main page for a bit. The reasons have to do with a suddenly busier schedule (work, height of dragon boat season, taking a summer class for which I'm already 3 weeks behind, out-of-town friends visiting soon, etc.). In the meantime, the sidebar links. called—and the pun is intended—Asides will probably be continuously updated. There is an index page that has more links, with easier-to-read quips that may or may not themselves have further links. The quips appear, without links, in the title attribute of the links on the sidebar.

There is also a blog search function. Enjoy.

Posted by Richard at 12:22 PM | Category: This Site | Comments (0)

May 18th, 2003

Edit This Entry in MT »

Excellent! There is a PHP solution to 'Edit This Entry' in MT. Now there can be 'Edit" links can be dynamically created based on a user's (you, the blog owner) IP address. A friend and I investigated using the cookie generated by MT to verify that a user is logged in, but evidently the script needs to be in the MT directory.

Posted by Richard at 07:37 PM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (1) | Comments (2)

May 17th, 2003

Edit This Page in Movable Type »

Dave Winer writes that MT doesn't have an 'Edit This Page' button. He is quite right, but there is a workaround, suggested here, which admittedly doesn't cover "every bit of text" as mentioned in his earlier piece on the subject. Just the weblog post text, and not any sidebar text etc.

It's not a new solution either. David Gagne has had it for a while now (scroll down to '"Hidden" Entry-Editing Link'). And it doesn't show up just for authenticated users, but for every user (the username and password is required if MT hasn't already set the cookie on the machine being used).

Here is the HTML I'd use (if I used it, which I don't):

<a title="this link is for admin use only" href="<$MTCGIPath$>mt.cgi?__mode=view&#038;_type=entry&#038;id=
<$MTEntryID$>&#038;blog_id=<$MTBlogID$>"> </a>

The above is placed somewhere between the MTEntries tag, preferably in the line that says "posted at" or whatever you have as tagline. It makes a space character into a link that edits the blog entry in question. (My modifications from David's code are to change &amp; to &#038;, target remove the Javascript elements and to replace &middot; with a space. Use whatever character you like.) As mentioned in a previous post, MT's public search function automatically generates an "Edit This Entry"-type link dynamically through the template.

So although Dave is correct that MT doesn't come with an "Edit This Page" button out of the proverbial box, something like it can be added with a little template tweaking.

Update 5:15 PM: I'm pretty sure I'm telling him what he already knows as to why it's happening, but Erik at nslog() reports his implementation of a 404 page which calls mt-search.cgi through PHP does not create an edit link for him dynamically.

Update 7:01 PM: just wanted to bring this more detailed tip, with extra 'security' measures using Javascript and CSS, to the front page. [via Trackback to this post]

Posted by Richard at 04:01 PM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (4) | Comments (1)

May 16th, 2003

Plural Comments »

Jesper has developed MTPlural [more info] [MT support thread] which will not only add an 's' to the end of your, but allows for alternate comments link text depending on whether there are a) no comments; b) one comment; or c) multiple comments.

For those that think doing this dynamically is a better idea (and it's not), here's the PHP code I use at China Weblog:

<p><a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>#comments"><?php

if (<$MTEntryCommentCount$>) {
print("<$MTEntryCommentCount$> comment");
if (<$MTEntryCommentCount$> > 1) print ("s");
else {


The plugin idea is a better one, since it cuts down on the processing the back-end needs to do each time a person visits your site.

Thanks to Paulo for the fodder heads-up.

Posted by Richard at 02:52 PM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (0)

China and the Tech Industry »

Over at China Weblog, I've mentioned several times that Asia Business Intelligence is one of the best weblogs for covering business- and technology-related news in China. Two recent posts are worth checking out for the tech-savvy crowd interested in China:

Update May 21, 2003 10:00 PM: the date of the webcast has been changed. See the announcement for details.

Posted by Richard at 02:05 PM | Category: Geekery | Comments (0)

May 15th, 2003

How to Make Me Read Your Weblog Part I »

One of the best RSS feeds I subscribe to is's recently approved feeds. Now, the signal-to-noise ratio isn't exactly high, but there are many an interesting weblog—and traditional site, for that matter—that have RSS feeds, and many of them go through a rigourous process of approval at Well, not so rigourous really: as long as your feed validates and the site is well-established, then the feed will probably get approved.

The main criteria for my wanting to even look at a weblog listed there is thus:

This is first in a series of something that will probably be limited to two or three posts on what I look for in a weblog, but goodness knows there's enough "what makes a weblog great" posts out there. I just think that Syndic8's recently approved feeds list is underused, both by the content providers and consumers.

Posted by Richard at 09:35 PM | Category: Weblogs | Comments (0)

New Installation »

There are some changes to this site, which those pinging the sidebar will want to pay attention to.

Posted by Richard at 07:37 PM | Category: This Site | Comments (0)

May 14th, 2003

BlogChatter in Beta »

There is a new real-time weblog aggregator now available called BlogChatter (I can't see the pings behind the proxy here at work). There are instructions on setting it up for Movable Type, which I have followed. This post will be the first to ping that service. [via MetaTalk sidebar BlogRoots]

Posted by Richard at 10:55 AM | Category: Geekery | Comments (0)

Canada to Extend Copyright for Unpublished Works »

Although I have been following copyright developments after the introduction of Creative Commons (and have yet to decide on whether to license my writing, such as it is, throught the Creative Commons framework), an expert I am not. This caught my eye though, and I passed it on to at least one expert in the field (and now, for some reason, feel the need to pre-empt him): Ottawa champions copyright -- or some of it. It's actually a brief article in The Financial Post, poorly headlined, which notes that the Canadian government is in the midst of extending the copyright to those unpublished works that evidently used to be covered by a perpetual copyright. It is doing so through an amendment to an act that combines the National Library and Archives. It's pretty sneaky, and although not exactly uncommon, Canadian legislatures tend to eschew rider amendments like those seen in the United States.

Posted by Richard at 10:10 AM | Category: Copyright | Comments (0)

May 12th, 2003

China Travelogue Now XHTML 1.1 »

In 2000, I went to China, and wrote a travelogue of the trip. It's been recently redesigned, but that's not the point (because the design isn't that exciting). The point is that it passes all three of the tests at the X-Philes:

  1. it validates XHTML 1.1
  2. all secondary pages are valid XHTML 1.1
  3. all pages, including the index, send application/xhtml+xml to browsers that accept it, text/html to those that don't. Actually, I went one step further by defining the charset in the HTTP header and not through a meta tag.

I've done XHTML 1.1 sites before, so it was also to prove I can do it. I hadn't done it with the right MIME-type before, so it was also a learning experience.

Posted by Richard at 10:08 PM | Category: Web Design | Comments (2)

May 11th, 2003

Note to self »

Self, when looking for a way to do something in MT, check to see if you blogged it already before asking someone.

Posted by Richard at 06:31 PM | Category: This Site | Comments (1)

May 10th, 2003

RSS 2.0 Getting Standardized? »

It looks as if RSS is getting standardized. Well, the process seems to be just getting underway in a semi-organized fashion.

This post by Sam Ruby is the best starting point and will lead you to all the pertinent info.


Posted by Richard at 10:40 PM | Category: XML | Comments (0)

May 9th, 2003

Rich Text Editing in Movable Type and Mozilla »

Pinder at Blogzilla has found a hack to the MT template which allows rich-text editing—which means you get buttons for bold, italic, underline and a link just like in IE—while browsing MT in Mozilla. Be sure to check his post, because evidently the hack as originally written didn't work for him.

(I don't intend to use this hack, because upgrading MT always requires re-hacking it, despite there being some really great hacks out there, I don't really want to keep track of them all and then figure out how to utilize them in any upgraded version.)

Update June 27th, 2003, 2:03 PM: Okay, I caved and installed the hack in two of my MT installations and will do so in the other two. That's the cost of using Mozilla full-time I guess.

Posted by Richard at 11:09 PM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (1) | Comments (0)

LYD Redesign »

little. yellow. different. redesigns, and moves from Blogger to MT. Ernie, the guy behind LYD, is really funny (even funnier in person!) but expect the unexpected from this guy. That's a complient. I think.

Some notes about his this site: Ernie has jumped on the side-bar mini links bandwagon, and it's a really great bandwagon to jump on. Problem is, it looks like I'll be turning down on the blog reading and turning up the book reading (that, of course, is due to the weather and my taking an English literature course over the summer, as well as other commitments). So instead, I'll probably stick with the periodic posts replete with links, like the one yesterday.

Another note: the URL for the sidebar Trackback may change in the near future. Hopefully that doesn't affect those taking advantage of it too negatively. I'm moving the installation of MT to, which will allow for a search function on this weblog.

Posted by Richard at 11:03 PM | Category: Web Design | Comments (0)

May 8th, 2003

Pre-Game 7 Links »

With nothing better to do before a big Game 7 for the local sports team, here are some links that need to be cleared from my bookmarks and aggregator.

Okay, almost time for the game.

Posted by Richard at 06:38 PM | Category: Geekery | Comments (2)

Mark's Matchmaker »

You may have already seen Mark Pilgrim's Matchmaker, which is a CGI script that creates a GIF of tiles with a pattern, and there is only one pair that matches. Mike's Matchmaker, inspired by Mark's, creates the same thing, but in CSS and PHP. Very nice, although he's right about it working well in Mozilla and not at all in IE.

Posted by Richard at 12:31 AM | Category: Geekery | Comments (0)

May 6th, 2003

Eric Meyer Interview »

There is a really great interview with Eric Meyer available at There's lots to like, such as how be got his current gig, what he thinks the major problem facing the Internet in the future (internationalization and character encoding, he says, don't work) and other goodies. [via his post on the recent CSS controversies around the web, hand coding one's site, and RSS, among other topics]

Posted by Richard at 11:07 PM | Category: Web Design | Comments (0)

May 4th, 2003

Defer Entries in Movable Type »

MovableTypeTrickle allows you to delay the publishing of a post. In other words, you save an entry to draft, and set the category to Deferred, change the date to some time in the future, then periodically run trickle, and it will publish those entries in that category after your specified 'publish' date. [via Anil]

This is probably a better alternative to my Tape Delay tip.

Posted by Richard at 04:13 PM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (0)

May 3rd, 2003

Movable Type Wiki »

Another Movable Type resource to check out: MT Wiki. I'm not really into wikis (besides, I have enough trouble keeping up with the MT support board, which is still the first place I go to get a question answered), but maybe this wiki will change my mind. [via scriptygoddess]

Posted by Richard at 08:38 PM | Category: MT | TrackBacks (0) | Comments (0)

Zeldmen and Haughey on Suppressing New Windows »

Jeffrey Zeldman and Matt Haughey have added some useful comments to my suppress new windows post at Blogzilla. After having given hundreds of introductions to the Internet (best summer job I had, for three summers no less), I can identify with Matt's comments especially, because new windows with 'broken' back buttons are confusing to new users. Zeldman takes the designer's perspective, and notes that designers who wish to force a new window in XHTML 1.0 Strict can do so with a workaround, but recomments sticking with XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

Posted by Richard at 12:56 PM | Category: Web Design | Comments (0)

May 2nd, 2003

Flash and Search Engines »

While chatting with a friend about a Flash-based site she's developing, I fell into what seems to be a common trap by asking, incredulously, how her site would be indexed by the various search engines. She politely pointed me to mr. web tech, who provides us with the following links:

Posted by Richard at 01:45 AM | Category: Web Design | Comments (0)

May 1st, 2003 Redesign »

The redesign to my personal site is officially live. The HTML is about 2/3 that of the original (thanks to getting rid of tables). The sidebar nav is done through inline CSS lists. It looks slightly different in Opera because it, well, doesn't work in Opera, so I used Mark Pilgrim's *7 hack to fiddle with the borders a bit.

Some tweaking still needs to be done to some sections of the site, and an RSS feed will soon be available for the sidebar of the front page, which has a link to the last post of mine in each of my ongoing projects.

A redesign (so to speak) of Vancouver Webloggers should go live this weekend.

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