StyleCatcher for MT

File under “Long overdue”: With the release of Movable Type 3.2 finally comes the ability to switch between installed template styles with a few clicks, bringing weblog customizability more into line with what WordPress has offered for quite a while.

Several nice ones in the library of styles Six Apart is offering in its first round. Oddly, three-column designs are conspicuously absent from the display of new styles, though they say that the designs work neatly in three-column layouts (hacking a two-column CSS design into three columns has traditionally been non-trivial for general users; one of those areas where table-based design is vastly easier). Now that MT styles can be neatly packaged for download / install, looking forward to seeing what kinds of contributions the user community comes up with.

I’m pretty content with the current Birdhouse design for now, though I do enjoy messing with things from time to time. But lately I’ve been almost begrudgingly recommending that customers setting up new blogs use WP rather than MT, primarily for this reason. StyleCatcher evens the score.

Music: David Bowie :: Moonage Daydream

8 Replies to “StyleCatcher for MT”

  1. I burned a lot of hours, as apparently have others, trying to use StyleCatcher on 3.2. Just filed my first ticket ever with MT. Very quick response acknowledging the bug with replacement code. Not sure why I violated my own “let others be early adopters” rule…

  2. Hey Jeb – Out of curiosity, what kinds of issues did you have? By “replacement code” do you mean the bug only applies to upgrades to 3.2 rather than new installations?

  3. While StyleCatcher showed up on the templates page correctly, when attempting to use it I got an unclear config page asking about template sources and then an error string:
    Can’t locate object method “load” via package “MT::Permission” at lib/StyleCatcher.pm line 99.

    MT support sent me a 1.01 version which included a nice Readme (confirming I had guessed installation correctly) and got me past the error above to the template picker interface. However, the templates would not retrieve from the SixApart library and generated a javascript error:

    [JavaScriptApplication]
    Error loading themes! — Status 200
    Pragma: no-cache
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ut-8
    Error: Unknown Content Type

    Waiting on MT support to respond to that one. I run a family blog with 9 different members, so I am looking forward to them being able to choose their own styles. (Only 2 of them are geeky enough to do it manually.)

  4. …oops… second part of your question: I have both an upgrade and new 3.2 install instance to test. Both shared the bug problem.

  5. Yeah, we definitely goofed in not having docs for StyleCatcher, but that’s being remedied shortly. In the meantime, if you want to generate (and customize the colors of) a 3-column style, I’d recommend Arvind Satyanarayan’s Style Generator.

  6. Jeb, yikes. Never ceases to amaze me how software can test well internally (well enough to announce anyway) and then encounter so many problems in the real world. Thanks for the report – will definitely hold off implementing for clients until that patch is released officially.

    Thanks for the tip Anil!

  7. Anil – Since the StyleCatcher docs say that one needs to work with MT default templates in order for the plugin to work properly, wouldn’t using Arvind’s style generator mess things up for StyleCatcher?

  8. Case closed.

    Yes, the screwed up default theme paths were the source of the problem, BUT, the real problem was that my admin login was not set to “System Administrator” (superuser was NULL.) This is why the Show Settings and More Settings were not showing under the System Wide plugins view.

    I used Cocoa MySQL to set my admin author to superuser = 1, and viola. I could fix the default paths, and StyleCatcher 1.01 worked fine.

    Perhaps System Admin is a property that didn’t exist way back, and I’ve never had that property? Who knows…

    My apologies to Anil and Brad.

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