May 19, 2004


Tool. Heh.

Currently have three installs, two 2.66 and one 3.0b3, on one server, multiple domains (mine, all mine).

34 blogs total:

4 test blogs
12 blogs used by other people (4 may as well be dead)
2 group blogs (both languishing)
13 personal (11 active; some are cross-blog and -domain published)
1 for my class (dead as of next week)
2 unaccounted for

23 authors total - 8 relatively active, all family and friends, no one's paying

What's funny reading the other responses is that people are either saying, "limit the authors but not the blogs" or "limit the blogs but not the authors".

Very cool seeing what some other people are doing:
Christian Crumlish
Dru Blood

Posted by gwen at 01:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 16, 2004

But what about meeeeee?

1. I am trying to wrap my head around the idea that Anil Dash is not just reading every single one of the thousand-plus trackbacks to the MT3D release-related posts on 6A, but doing it on the weekend.

2. "And you can create as many posts/documents as you want on any blog, which might be a better analogy to documents in Photoshop. However, you can have 5 people use the lowest-end license of Movable Type, and there's no version of Photoshop that lets 5 people use it, to extend the analogy."

Photoshop doesn't offer a free license at all ;P but if you pay for five Photoshop licenses, five people can use it.

MT3's lowest-end personal license is one user, not five, and doesn't cost anything; in effect, when you move up to a paid license, you are paying for additional user licenses, as well as technical support and additional blogs.

I'm still arguing that that my analogy's better as is: the MT3 cost structure is out of line with software standards in that it levies aditional fees based on usage on a per-user level even after the application is paid for.

Commercial products more similar than Photoshop to MT in their purpose and scope -- the WYSIWYGs and CMSs that streamline web publishing -- don't do this (I'm sure you can find exceptions somewhere, but wading through the MS, Adobe, Oracle, and Macromedia licenses has worn me out); once you've paid for your license, that's it. You can create as many documents, posts, blogs, sites, or whatever you want to call them, as you like, and don't incur additional fees unless you're extending those capabilities to additional users.

Even MT's sister, TypePad, offers the unfettered Pro account, where you're limited on the hosting side -- the disk space and bandwidth -- but not by what you may do with it, the number of blogs you can create. (I realize it's an imperfect comparison since they're somewhat different products, TP Pro also gives you unlimited authors, and you pay monthly for TP, but I think it holds nonetheless; once you've made your payment, you are unrestricted in what you can do with the application.)

I'd really like to know the reasoning behind this deviation.

If the idea is that having cost-based blog restrictions will prevent people from cheating the system and making a buck without giving back, the license states perfectly clearly that that's a no-no. The people going that route are the same scurrilous rapscallions who are breaking their 2.x licenses by offering paid hosting, installations, etc., without paying for a commercial license, and still won't pay, no matter how strongly you word your terms, as long as the only thing stopping them is an honor code.

Personally, I would love the option of paying a flat fee for a one-user, non-commercial, completely unsupported account with no limit on the number of blogs. An option for the multi-user, non-commercial single blog would be a nice touch. I'm guessing several members of the elite other-15% crew might agree.

3. "We have substantial non-profit discounts available, just contact us."
Why isn't this anywhere besides buried in the FAQs? Why not slightly alter the wording on the Get MT page to something like, "Accredited educational and 501c3 institutions that make use of Movable Type are eligible for our discounted licensing program"?

(4. I'd like to take a final, brief moment to point out that Adobe and many offer software companies offer licensing structures geared toward both small businesses and big, bad corporations. Thank you. The end.)

Posted by gwen at 03:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

Take two

Snappiest trackback title to date:
600 Trackbacks Later, Six Apart Backtracks
(trackback on today's announcement)

I still haven't received any emails, though I've seen posts from people who have, and what they got seems to be the same content as what was posted on the beta blog last night, which is mainly a new licensing structure for personal blogs, 6A's refined definition of what they consider to be blog, and a discount for beta testers.

Someone points out what I've been thinking in response to the yay-sayers' numerous exhortations that this is a developer release and non-devs need to put up, shut up, and stay the hell out of it until the feature release is made available for the moronic masses: "developer releases aren't usually presented on the home page." Jay Allen responds by saying that "Apple already had an established developer network."

Forgive me, but I was under the impression that MT already had a rather large, established group of developers available.

(Incidentally, have spotted reference on MT site to as "our developer plug-ins site" (emphasis added) and noting 6A's official support, and am wondering what is up with that, since I can't find any explanation or announcment of this on 6A or MT-Plugins, except for something about a redesign of MT-Plugins. I'm thinking grab 'em before they implement a per-plug-in, per blog charge, kids.)

(I'm also wondering about this: In addition there will be a Member-only Knowledge Database that will be a central location for all online support resources. A Member-only Forum will be added in the near future.)

Have also had thoughts about 6A's definition of "user." A very basic take on the definition, based on my understanding and experience, which is far from complete :

In general, a user is one computer and/or one person.

If I have a one-user license for an application, I can install that application on my own computer, for my own use.

In most cases, I may allow someone else to sit at my computer and use that application.

Under some licenses, if I have two computers I switch between, I can install it on both with a single license, provided I'm only using the application on one computer at a time; if I want to install the application on a second computer to allow someone else to use it at the same time, I need to purchase a second user license.

There are no limitations to my personal usage of the application; I can use it 24 hours a day. With a Photoshop license, you can to create and modify as many images as is humanly possible, without incurring additional fees. Eudora doesn't cap the number of e-mails a single user can send and receive. A single FrontPage license allows you to build and publish as many godawful sites as you'd like.

What really bothers me about MT3's personal licensing structure -- I don't have a problem with the corporate licensing pricing except that it's not affordable for the majority of my clients, particularly the non-profits -- is that it redefines the standard and essentially penalizes you for creating additional documents. A base charge is fine, additional user charges are fine, but limitations on what I, personally, may do with the application are not.

Warning addendum 040516: There's a stanknasty slandering poser running around. Watch out.

Posted by gwen at 01:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

MT $99.95 and up, special intro prices starting at $69.95 for a limited time!

Initial thoughts on Movable Type 3.0D

I don't know why I signed up for the 6A/MT newsletters; I always have to find things out through sidebars. Sloppy.

I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner, but I'm shocked by the personal license fees. I don't think they actually talked to anyone about personal blog usage. $100 is an awful lot for what is a procrastinatory hobby for the masses.

It would have been nice if the beta group had been sent a notice, too. Yes, there's the blog, but I'm not obsessive about checking it like I am with the e-mail. It would have been nice if the test groups had been offered an incentive as a thank you for putting in month(s) of free QA, like 6A did with TypePad.

Going full-on corporate with no notice isn't the best way to endear yourself to your existing community.

Do any of the plugin developers besides the top six get a cut?
By entering the contest, the entrants...grants Six Apart and its authorized agents the right to reprint, display, reproduce, perform or exhibit the entry without limitation and without any further compensation

Not even a free 3.0D license? Will anyone update those 2.x plugins that break in v.3?

Think the beta folks are still going to post bugs, as we're exhorted to do? Anyone want to test next time now that you're a bit more informed?

How about the thousands of people in the forums who have presented solutions and workarounds that have widened MT's audience immeasurably? Do they get anything?

Is anyone who gets the 3.0D a developer? Can I add that to my résumé?

I wasn't planning on upgrading my main install any time soon anyway; besides the fact that I'm in the contact-us-about-special-corporate-rates pricing area, the idea of updating the templates on the 30 blogs (don't ask) to include the new commenting functionality, which, honestly, is about all that's any different with v.3, is a logistical nightmare -- my personal blog alone, which admittedly is my little playground, has 27 templates (you really don't want to know), and incorporates content from five other blogs.

Maybe I can slap one of those new AdSense image ads on here.

The blogs on the beta install are just going to stay beta for the time being. They're pretty stable at this point, and I'm tired of looking at them, though I hope you're growing more enchanted by the minute.

Entertaining elsewhere, perhaps more so

Mena's Corner: It's About Time (trackbacks)
3.0 Developer Forum

Movable Type RIP | Metafilter
Burningbird: For those about to move to Wordpress or Textpattern
O'Reilly Network: Movable Type 3.0 and Eating. [May. 13, 2004]
onepotmeal: Licensure Show me the money!

WordPress: New Pricing Scheme

added 040514 - Blog Development Tool Ships
By the general release of Movable Type 3.0, we expect to not only have a rich platform but also a great number of plug-ins created by the developer community.

Interview with Ben and Mena Trott
Mena Trott: Hi!
Ben Trott: Hi!

Liza Sabater: Timothy Appnel Doesn't Get It : Adding to the MT 3.0 debate

Phil Wolff: Scale-hostile pricing: Movable Type maxes me out

Jason Kottke: The end of free

Trackback on business sites | Blog |

D. Keith Robinson: Movable Type SOLD OUT!?!

Posted by gwen at 02:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 14, 2004

Sort by ID with lastn

I wanted to sort thumbnail include at top of pho to show most recently added rather than by date, since I regularly back-date posts.

The first thing I tried was sticking sort_by="id". That didn't work for me, but word on the street is that's because I want a specific, non-default number of entries shown, so need my lastn. If you're good with the default, it should be fine for you.

Maddy pointed me to a very similar question (I'm working on those search skills), where I found Brenna Koch's solution.

An installation of Movable Type running with a MySQL database
Installation of one Brad Choate plugin

Code and instructions available as a text file.

Please refer to the forum topic if you have questions.


My question on MT Forums
Sort by most recent links

Posted by gwen at 03:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2004

January 22, 2004

Individual archive navigation by category

I was looking for a by-category navigation option to use within the individual archives for a sectioned photo gallery for a client. I tried out several options, but settled on the simplest one -- you just install two plugins then pop a bit of code in your individual archive template.

The first post (by jlamos) has a script that almost works, except for a minor tweak suggested by Al-Muhajabah, "In the MTSQL code where you want the next entry in the category to show up, it should be ASC LIMIT 1 not DESC. Otherwise you get the most recent entry in the category."

An installation of Movable Type running with a MySQL database
Installation of two Brad Choate plugins
- IfEmpty

Corrected code available as a text file.

Please refer to the forum topic if you have questions.

update 040214: Phil Ringnalda's Previous/Next in Category plugin does this, too.

Sugarpuss Clothing: one blog, 5 or 6 categories used for galleries in various sections. Probably not worksafe, it's a clothing and lingerie show with lots of scantily-clad honeys roaming about.

pho: personal photoblog, uses prev/next chronologically and by category

These methods only use primary category, which is fine for Sugarpuss, where each entry is only assigned one category and goes in one gallery, but doesn't work so well on pho, where many entries have secondary categories.

Reminder to self: try sticking it all in an <MTCategories> list. Or ask someone more competent than me to figure it out.

Category navigation links
Ramblings of a Code Monkey: NOT Filter for Categories
Mark Pasc: CatEntries plugin

Posted by gwen at 01:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Movable Lomo 0.2 with category template

Gabriel Jeffrey of Uigui altered the original Lomo Wall script to work within Movable Type. I wanted categories, so I added a template.

You can see a demo here.

Download the scripts and templates

stuffed for mac (12k)

zipped for pc (12k)

Directions for installation are in the readme.

Posted by gwen at 12:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 19, 2003

Using SmartBody

I'm working on a site using MT for (among other things) a client's news blog. Today's dilemma was that entries would be either internal PR pieces or synopses of external mentions with a link, and I wanted to allocate one of the fields as a place where the end user would simply put the URL for the external story, then, in the template, have an href pointing to <$MTThatField$> only if that field had been populated.

My first thought was to use the extended entry field, because there's that handy IfExtended tag. Of course that didn't work, because we have to leave the entries set to 'convert line breaks' for the non-tech end users who don't know how to make tags (and that's okay; they pay me to do it for them), which resulted in hrefs pointing to "<p></p>".

My second idea was to use the excerpt field because it doesn't create breaks. All I needed was an on/off switch. I googled 'IfExcerpt' and came across Adam Kalsey's SmartBody plugin, which worked out perfectly, after a few mishaps.

What I started out with:

<a href="<$MTEntryExcerpt$>">Click here to read the full story</a>
The first problem was one already mentioned in the comments -- that when you use the MTEntrySmartBody tag it overrides the 'convert line breaks' and removes them from all the fields and leaves you with one big, ugly paragraph.
Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2
rather than
Paragraph 1
Paragraph 2
Kalsey suggests using Brad Choate's format breaks plugin, but I decided to try something else first.

Turns out that using a close tag -- </MTEntrySmartBody> -- lets the line breaks show up in the other fields.

<a href="<$MTEntryExcerpt$>">Click here to read the full story</a>
The problem now was that, while it was making a correct link and breaking where I wanted it to, it was also printing the full link URL above the link text:
Paragraph 1
Paragraph 2
Click here to read the full story

I still have no idea why this was happening. I tried several things, none of which worked, but eventually I tried removing the MTEntrySmartBody tags altogether et voila -- works perfectly, on both the index and in the archives.
<a href="<$MTEntryExcerpt$>">Click here to read the full story</a>
results in:
Paragraph 1
Paragraph 2
Click here to read the full story
(I should probably note here that I'm using MT 2.64 and have no idea if any of this is true with older versions.)

I also modified the SmartBody plugin to include an IfTitle tag, which works just like MTEntryIfExcerpt, except you use MTEntryIfTitle. See Kalsey's site for installation instructions.

download .zip file

Algonquin in the News
Don Harlow Reviews -- IfTitle for thumbnail, IfExcerpt for trailer link, IfExtended for pull quote

Posted by gwen at 06:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack