MT3, Template Mods

Now that MT-Blacklist is available for Movable Type 3.1, decided it was time finally to go for it. But upgrading the back-end and keeping the old templates locks you out of some of the coolest new features. And I’ve been wanting to move to the new date/slug-based URL format (rather than entry ID-based), so that URLs are not broken when databases are re-populated (e.g. when moving to a new host, or running an export/import).

Rather than mess around upgrading old templates, decided to start fresh with all-new templates. Which in this case look shockingly like the old templates. A few tweaks remaining, but good enough for jazz. Apologies to anyone who tried to leave comments today.

Cosmetic changes aside (comments on the new look welcome), this change lays the groundwork to enabling MT3’s PHP hooks, so I’ll soon be making permalink and category archives, monthly archives, and comments dynamic, which will mean near-zero delays when commenting, and reduced server load on publish.

Most glaring remaining bug: Old comments are in the database, but not showing up attached to existing entries. Hrmmmm…

Update: I’ve found the comment problem – I wasn’t missing all comments – just comments dating from June, when I first updated to the MT3, then went back to MT 2.6. From that point on, the comments_visible field in the mt_comments table was NULL rather than 1. No idea why, but I fixed this with a quick SQL statement, re-exported, and the missing comments since June 4 are now visible in the export. Now I need to do some surgery: remove all entries since then, trim the export file to just the affected entries, and re-import just those. Tomorrow…

Update 2: Comments from June 4 to the present have been restored.

Music: Julieta Venegas :: Casa Abandonada

7 Replies to “MT3, Template Mods”

  1. I wondered what the deal was with the appearing/disappearing entries lately.

    New design looks cool – could be time for me to upgrade my own MT install, I’m still struggling with mt-bayesian and splatting a half-dozen new spams every morning.

  2. Why do you have the “column” width locked down so much? On my 1280×1024 screen I have a good two inches on either side of the content wasted…

    This seems to be a common trend among *shiver* bloggers… Please don’t do this.

  3. Columns – Yeah they’re locked down and I have space on the sides, but the body of the blog doesn’t suffer for it. Plus if he padded it out, it could look like the post is only a few lines long.

    Overall the look, like you said, is very similar to the pre-MT3 version.

    As another MT-er how was the upgrade to 3x besides the comments issue? Does it upgrade your posts/entries to name automagically, prompting you if one matches another? Or is it a more manual process?

    Hmm, noticed the ‘preview comment’ doesn’t really preview your comment well. Yes it allows you to sit back and read it but it is not formatted as it would normally be (paragraph breaks and such) I’m assuming it will post ok though since the previous two commentators had breaks/paragraphs. I even tried putting in the p and br’s to no avail.

  4. Sean, thanks for the feedback. I don’t consider the guter space wasted. I’m not sure if this is a trend or a response to lots of usability studies about how people read content on the web — it’s much harder to read when lines are long, and people digest better when the columns are narrower. Magazines and newspapers use narrow columns rather than the whole page width for the same reason. What you’re looking at here is the new default MT template, with my own backgrounds and colors added in. I had actually been planning to move to a design like this for quite a while, and this gave me the opportunity to do it more easily. I’m pretty happy with the gutters, but will continue to listen to feedback.

    Les, aside from the comments problem, the upgrade was pretty effortless. There is a new option in the preferences to use old-style URLs for compability. If you start a new blog, you get the new style URLs automatically. If you upgrade, it stays on the oldstyle by default. Thanks for the headsup on comment preview – I hadn’t yet tested that, will fix tonight.

  5. Help me if you can. I’m seeing the same thing. I’m getting one blog that won’t show comments till I approve, it was created towards the beginning of mt 2. I have one that is working fine and it was created last month under 2.6. I’m seeing the null and 1 thing in the comments in the database, but don’t know why its doing that. Any help would be great. Thanks!

  6. Hi Tom –

    To fix this you’re going to need to run a SQL statement against your database (using phpmyadmin or similar):

    update mt_comment set comment_visible=1
    where comment_blog_id=x

    where x is the ID of the blog you want to fix. Then rebuild the site and you should be golden!

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