MT Feelings

Soon after my problems with LANDesk, I decided to upgrade to
MovableType 3.2
(yes, I know, just hit me on the head now and save me the trouble
later). MT is the content management system that I use to run
this part of my website. I used to just hand code everything but,
over the years, I got tired of creating the links each week so I
looked for something that would do that for me. At the time, and
this was several years ago, MT looked like the best way to go
even though it was akin to using a sledge hammer to swat a flea.
But the worst part is that I still end up coding, although it's
more CSS related then HTML. But I digress.

So I downloaded, configured, and installed the latest version
and immediately got a 500 error when I tried to run it. Sigh.

A 500 error is a general error that can be caused by multiple
things. Since I got rid of Windows at home, I was using
Linux-based utilities to download, unpack, edit, and then upload
the files to my host server. Somewhere along the line, I must of
done something wrong. So I checked the configuration file but, as
far as I could see, all looked well. My next guess was that I
somehow uploaded the files in binary rather than ASCII format.
Now, you Windows folks out there are probably wondering about
what I'm talking about. First, let me say I'm not a
Linux/Unix expert, but from what I understand, Linux/Unix does
not use file name extensions to determine whether a file is a
binary executable application or an ASCII text file. Hence, among
other things, when you transfer a file, you have to tell your FTP
program which it is. If you don't, or if you get it wrong,
your application won't run. So I uploaded everything again,
making sure to use binary for the binary files, in this case the
binaries are image files, and ASCII for everything else. But I
still got the 500 error. Sigh.

At this point, I deleted everything in the MT directory,
downloaded the tar file again, unpacked, configured, and uploaded
everything again. This time it worked.

But that wasn't the end of things. Having triumphed,
hubris took over and I decided to upgrade the templates that
create the look and feel of this part of my site. Big

I chose to use a plugin that is supposed to automagically
change the templates and CSS for me. But it didn't work. It
copied the base CSS file into the wrong directly so the right
column of this page ended up at the bottom. Once I figured that
out, and moved the file to where it was supposed to be, most of
the page looked fine. Unfortunately, while the main index page is
okay, some of the archive pages have text that extend outside of
the column. After scanning the MT support forums, I find that
some of the CSS files have bugs. This does not instill trust in
my heart knowing that they released an application with obvious
bugs like this.

If that wasn't bad enough, even though this is only a
point update, MT decided to change the User Interface. Although
others are generally okay with this, I'm not. At least some
of the changes, like removing the link to viewing the site,
really don't make sense to me.

Perhaps after I cool down I may see the logic to the changes
but I right now, I'm thinking of going back to how I used to
do things. I realize that this reduces my visibility because I
would not be pinging the aggregaters (sp?) nor would I have an
RSS/XML feed. But I have to wonder if it's worth the trouble
to continue to work with MT. We'll see.


2 responses to “MT Feelings

  1. It should “automagically change the templates” but you know ut will “automanically change the templates ” … :°)

  2. Makes you wonder if it’s just worth sticking with the current stable version and leaving the new versions for the brave. I guess that mindset is probably why I’m still running Windows 2000 at home.