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The pain and joy of moving from MovableType-3.14 to 3.33

This blog didn't accept comments due to excessive comment-spam for a long time. And paid a heavy price.

But that is history. I upgraded to the latest and greatest MovableType-3.33 today. Well, it was more like destroying the old blog and creating a new one! I had to install 3.33 from scratch, export all the entries from the previous installation and import them into the new one. Managed to keep the main page, but individual entries got new URLs. Thankfully, the archived copies are still around at their old URLs, though they look weird due to the CSS link to the new installation (here is an example -- contrast it with the page served by the new installation). I will have to do something about it.

Besides this, and a couple of othe hiccups, which I will talk about in a minute, the migration was quite peaceful. The comment filtering capabilities of MT-3.33 appear quite impressive and hopefully would allow me to accept legitimate comments without too much of a bother. For the time being I plan to just stay with built-in filter SpamLookup but am open to try out others such as Akismet or Comment Challenge, a text-based CAPTCHA plugin for MovableType.

Besides comments and trackback filtering, this version has many other nice features that I have already started appreciating:

  • Faster builds of static pages. Though this may be due to use of MySQL. The earlier installation used BerkleyDB.
  • Nicer editor to post entries. Allows resizing of height.
  • Many more administrative options with intuitive navigation. This combination is actually quite rare!
  • A style gallery and a plugin to try out and choose a new style with just a few clicks! I tried out this feature but am sticking with the default for the time being!
So, overall I am quite happy with the upgrade!

Comming back to the hiccups I referred to earlier:

  • I got an error message on pointing browser first time to mt.cgi after setting the configuration values in mt-config.cgi, saying that connection to MySQL failed via /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock. I knew that my server had this at /var/lib/mysql/4.1/mysql.sock, but didn't know where to specify that. Found the answer at MovableType Knowledge Base -- set the option DBSocket to the right socket path.
  • I was first getting a blank page and then the ATOM feed at the main blog URL after doing a site rebuild. Apparently, the newly installed Movabletype is creating both the main page index.html and ATOM feed file index.xml in the same directory and my sever's Apache settings give preference to index.xml over index.html. This was fixed easily by creating a .htaccess file with single entry
    DirectoryIndex index.html
    Note: this is not good for performance, but I rely on shared hosting and cannot edit the main configuration file.
Hopefully I won't have to do another upgrade anytime soon!

Comments (1)

Hey do you know if there are CAPTCHA plugins for MT 3.14? Not sure I want to do a full rollover to 3.33 just yet. I'm really getting slammed with span. Thanks!

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