16 Jan 2007, 04:03

Time for a change

Well, I figured it was about time to upgrade my blogging technology from early 21st century to… um, slightly later 21st century and jump to MT 3.33 (at the same time that someone else decided to jump ship). Actually, I’d gone ahead and done the upgrade last month, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it left all my templates unchanged and mostly functional (my recent tracks display broke down due to some conflicts with plugins). It was a much smoother upgrade process than I’d anticipated overall. I just decided this past weekend I might as well chuck the old templates for good and start taking full advantage of the new features and plugins. Hence the new look, which will probably undergo a bit more tweaking. The main reason I broke down and decided to go for it was the problems I’d been having with MT-Blacklist lately, and MT 3.x promised the ultimate in spam fighting goodness. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be my experience thus far. In theory, the SpamLookup plugin should be just as good as MT-Blacklist and then some, but unless I just haven’t figured something out yet it’s not quite panning out that way. I mean, yeah it can check IP addresses against some online spam clearinghouses but one of those seems to have gone down, and at any rate spammers have a pretty much inexhaustible supply of addresses to go through from the compromised machines they use to send the spam. SpamLookup can also do the same regex based scanning of comment text that MT-Blacklist did, but even though I fed it the same collection of regex-es that had been driving MT-Blacklist fairly well I was still getting a pretty constant stream of uncaught junk. I’ve had to resort again to changing the name of my comments script, but that only works for a couple days at a time anymore. There are still a few other plugins and tricks I might try, but so far MT 3.33 hasn’t delivered on its promise for out of the box spam blocking. Maybe I’ll just require authentication for comments and be done with it…

Other than the spam, I’m pretty happy with the new version so far. The widget manager and its ability to easily make sidebar widgets out of RSS feeds is nice, and I’m looking forward to playing around with the MediaManager plugin sometime soon. The built in system for managing installed plugins is pretty handy as well. If I can get the spam under control, I’ll be a happy camper.


Comment by Neal on 2007-01-16 06:18:56 +0000

If you need to implement a login system, you should consider OpenID. There has got to be a way for Movable Type to support it.

Also, I like the new look.

Comment by Byrne Reese on 2007-01-16 10:02:59 +0000

There is an Movable Type Akismet plugin. It works like a charm I must say. In some respects you can get the best of both worlds: good spam fighting from Word Press and superior blogging software from Movable Type. :)

Although I know I am inviting people to disagree with me.

I am glad you decided to stick with Movable Type. You won’t be disappointed.

By the way, since you are using the default templates you should take a look at style catcher. You can get some pretty killer styles for your blog and it is as easy as point and click.

Comment by Will on 2007-01-16 21:19:57 +0000


Yeah, it looks like there are a couple of different options for OpenID plugins for MT. I’m not too familiar with OpenID but that’s definitely something I’d consider upon exhausting other spam fighting options.


I’ve heard some good things about Akismet already and that’s probably going to be the next thing that I try. Thanks for the tip and for the work on all those useful MT plugins.

Comment by Ash on 2007-01-19 08:15:50 +0000

Woah!!! You’ve upgraded the latest MT, hehe. Awesome. Yeah man, sorry I jumped. I tried but the SPAM thing was just really annoying. Akismet does seem to work pretty well, but lo, its only been a day, so let’s give it some time.

I love how easy WP is to use.

Your new skin looks cool, did you design it? You could try a graphic element at the top instead of a blue bar, to make it more visually interesting. But, whaddo I know, I’m just a second semester design student.. 😉

MT2.X Flutter is dead. Long live the Flutter!

Comment by Will on 2007-01-19 22:18:33 +0000

Nope, this is just the default stylesheet, only modified a little to make it a bit wider for the 3 column layout. I’ve been messing around with the StyleCatcher plugin a little but haven’t settled on anything yet.