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141. 2.65 (2003.12.18)

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 21 KB, 366 words

2.65 (2003.12.18)

• Added Atom syndication feed template (atom.xml) and auto-discovery for Atom feed to main index template. • Added <MTIfNonEmpty> and <$MTEntryModifiedDate$> tags, and added a exclude_port attribute to <$MTBlogHost$>. • Fixed security issue with XML-RPC server. • Added proper handling of offsets in ISO-8601 dates in XML-RPC requests. If timezone offset is omitted, timestamps are assumed to be in the weblog's timezone already; otherwise, the timezone offset is first applied, then the weblog's offset is applied on top...

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142. How to Conceive a Layout

MezzoBlue, Tutorials, 12 KB, 760 words

I don't normally respond to CSS help requests, instead referring the asker to the css-discuss mailing list. It's mainly a time issue, but I'm also of the opinion that you can't learn if you have someone else doing it for you. I've never been one to ask for help if I could figure it out for myself. With Google and a few good books, I believe everyone can figure out CSS. It's not easy, it takes time, but it is do-able.

But the other afternoon I got involved in a dialogue and decided to answer a few questions anyway. Here's a patched-together result, which is very basic and easy to take for granted once you've learned it (and of limited...

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143. Web 2.0 Panel

Six Apart Mena's Corner, News, 12 KB, 264 words

I've got a lot to say about the Web 2.0 conference that I've been attending this week in San Francisco. But before I take time to write a longer post, I've just got to clarify one thing I said in my panel today.

During the course of talking about weblogging and how communication has evolved, I made a comment that (as usual) didn't come out as I planned. Instead, I sounded like I said using LiveJournal is like smoking pot. What I meant to say was a summary of what Andre Torrez said on his weblog the other day:

Webloggers of 1999 don't equal bloggers in 2005. I really need to accept it and move on. I recently found out that a few people had migrated to LiveJournal (yes, LiveJournal....

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144. Mobile Phone

Murky, Tutorials, 22 KB, 239 words

When I got my new phone last year, one of the first things I did was ask 'how does my page look?' Perhaps unsurprisingly for those who know about this sort of thing, it did not 'look' like anything as it didn't even load.

I did a little research today, and following a google search I found nicely toasted. Some editing yielded a movable type template for this site. The output file is here, but will only be readable on a mobile device (or firefox, with a wml plugin).

I have been trying to get a redirect for wml browsers to automatically go to this page, but I haven't been able to make it work without changing the url for THIS page. I didn't want to do it with...

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145. Target Resolution

MezzoBlue, Tutorials, 10 KB, 462 words

I was asked just recently why I chose to design this site for screen resolutions greater than 800x600. I was wondering when I'd get called on this.

The current design for mezzoblue features a luxuriously wide 900x45 pixel header graphic, and the rest of the site follows suit below it. If you compare to my previous narrower design, you'll see I was still targetting 800x600 at that point.

With this revision, I realized that my target audience knows better. I write about what I do for a living - it's a small community, but an educated. I can't imagine a web designer running at 800x600, and even 1024 is too small for the clustered palettes of Photoshop,...

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146. Serving Content

Don't Back Down, Tutorials, 10 KB, 546 words

I came across a post by someone who found something I wrote to be useful. That's cool. I'm glad someone is reading.

One thing that this post reminded me of, that I didn't mention previously, is the MIME type of the document being served. In the case of HTML, the longstanding tradition has been to serve the document as text/html. This is what we've always done, and this is what most people continue to do now.

The problem with this is that text/html is not appropriate for XHTML!

This is it in a nutshell: HTML is okay to serve as text/html. In fact, it should be served as text/html. The confusing part starts when you hit XHTML. XHTML 1.0 may be served as either text/html or the more accurate...

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147. Enhancing Category Tags

Don't Back Down, Tutorials, 11 KB, 601 words

I recently stumbled across David Raynes' excellent SubCategories plugin. This plugin allows you to define existing categories as parents and children of one another. For instance, I have a Movable Type category. This category has been defined as a parent of my SomeDays and ModCheck categories.

So when you go to my Movable Type category archives, you will see those entries (such as this one) that are entered directly into the category, as well as those entries that belong on the child categories of SomeDays and ModCheck. Meanwhile, SomeDays and ModCheck can exist as their own separate categories too.

The problem that I ran into while doing this is that the most excellent Supplemental...

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148. DHTML '05

MezzoBlue, Tutorials, 13 KB, 808 words

Mapping, CERN, and the possibilities that the XMLHttpRequest method is opening up for the web this year.

Simon Willison points us to a phenomenal demonstration of XMLHttpRequest usage -, an interactive map of Switzerland that pulls in satellite photos and allows you to zoom down from a high level (the entire country) so close that you can make out houses, boats, and trees.

Here's the kicker - it's DHTML. No Flash or Java is involved, it's all being pulled from the server real-time, and the interactive controls (Zoom and Pan both, try click + dragging the map) are something you'd have to be crazy to implement on dynamic data, but...

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149. The Web Really is an API

MezzoBlue, Tutorials, 13 KB, 878 words

Every so often I'm reminded of how the simplicity of the web is belying of the underlying power.

Generally speaking, the web provides a simple user interface that has the ability to power increasingly complex back-end interactions. The more I delve into the nuts and bolts of how things like HTTP work, the more I realize that the implicit transparency of it all creates prime opportunities for even know-nothing coders like myself to build more and more sophisticated interfaces and applications.

Once the data hits the server it's mostly smoke and mirrors to me. But the data that hits the client side is quite transparent, and easy to tweak at will. The web is built on...

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150. Update to "Attacked"

Learning Movable Type, News, 21 KB, 744 words

Updated again Monday night, midnight, Oct 4

This post is in reference to: Attacked!. I've posted the following update on that post and here.

One possible way that this attack could have happened is if someone else on my shared web server used a simple php script to read my database username and password. With this information, he or she could have accessed my MySQL database and made changes to the templates. I have sent a request to my web host to address how they handle PHP security. In particular, I was advised to suggest that my web host start using a PHP directive called "open_basedir" to restrict the files that PHP can open. The information on this directive can be found...

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151. Happy 4th Birthday to Movable Type!

geekmum {movable cafe}, Tutorials, 18 KB, 447 words

Congratulations to Ben, Mena and the 6A team AND to the awesome Movable Type user community. The blogging world is a richer place thanks to your efforts!

I became an MT convert about three years ago and will always fondly remember my first installation (I'm pathetic, I know) -- once I finally decided to take the leap to MT, it took another three days just making the decision to install it myself. Sweating bullets (on a cold winter night), I proceeded with fear and trepidation through the installation process. Although the installation was straightforward, I entered into it with a deficit of knowledge and experience in such matters. Thus ensued a bit of bumbling, a fair amount of...

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152. In the Beginning nothing but Problems

Movable Type Weblog, Tutorials, 17 KB, 623 words

Ok, I entered the weblog arena rather late. Initially I probably did not estimate the consequences correctly. For me blogging meant users who sat down in the evening for telling the world about their daily problems. There were cooking recipes here, and essays about presidential elections there. Sometimes interesting, sometimes boring - but nothing I was interested in doing myself.

When working and reading in the internet you can hardly avoid finding weblogs all over the place. Sometimes I quickly move on, sometimes I start reading a bit. But starting a weblog myself? I really had no interest in this.

This month I had found the way to Six Apart. Six Apart is a company offering products...

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153. The best Indian Business School Blog

Movalog, Tutorials, 26 KB, 500 words

This isn't related to Movable Type but here's another SEO contest but this time it is for Indian bloggers. The contest is called The best Indian Business School Blog and I entered it yesterday on my personal blog but thought of posting it here too.

On November 25, 2004, The Poseidon team will check rankings for The best Indian Business School Blog and will award prizes depending on google's ranking on that day (and pagerank is also considered, 6/10 for Movalog)

Prizes: * First prize: INR 7,500 * Second prize: INR 5,000

If you want to help me out win this contest, then link to this entry...

<a href="" title="The best...

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154. Six Apart - Movable Type News

Six Apart News, News, 16 KB, 570 words


Wisdom Wanted

Want to contribute to Essential Blogging, the O'Reilly book that Ben and I co-authored along with Cory Doctorow, Rael Dornfest, Shelly Powers and Scott Johnson?

Rael has issued a call for submissions from webloggers who have pearls of wisdom and anecdotes to share with the weblogging community.

Not up to writing? Well, Essential Blogging is holding a public review where you, the readers, can constructively comment on the book's content. Read more about the public review on the O'Reilly weblog of our editor, Nat Torkington.

Posted by Mena at 04:39 PM | Permalink


Default Templates and...

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155. My Week at Web 2.0

Six Apart Mena's Corner, News, 14 KB, 546 words

As promised, I offer some brief impressions of the Web 2.0 conference that O'Reilly held last week in San Francisco. A very worthwhile conference with a buzz I've never quite experienced before. There's definitely a lot of life right now in our space and O'Reilly and Battelle were able to capture it well.

That Stepford Feeling

Picture a combination of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Stepford Wives. But instead of aliens or robots, they were Yahoo! and Google employees. Where did all my friends go and who are these people now wearing purple and yellow?

On my panel I made a comment about how after this last week at the conference, I think Web 2.0 is about consolidation....

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156. Umlauts in Filenames

Movable Type Weblog, Tutorials, 18 KB, 605 words

Movable Type uses an entry's title for creating the individual archive filename. However, umlauts are not supported very well. But it would be a good feature, if the two-character substitutes (for example "ae" instead of "ä") were used in naming the file.

The dirifyplus Plugin

In Filename with Underscore or Dash? I described the dirifyplus Plugin and showed, how it can be used for creating Google-friendly filenames. The plugin just has the small disadvantage: umlauts are not supported.

The source code for the plugin is available. I do not know Perl at all, but as a software developer this task can certainly be solved.

Extending the Plugin

Open the file...

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157. Photo Sharing

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 22 KB, 778 words


I have found two great services for showing and sharing your photos on your website: Flickr and Photoblox. Of the two, Flickr is by far the easiest to implement, and what you put on your site links back to a larger social networking service based on photo sharing.

1. Flickr Zeitgeist

Flickr Zeitgeist is a fun little flash-based goodie that shows the most recent public photos that people have posted to Flickr, a photo social network. (Note: I had a little bit of trouble gettng this to work; the problem was that the MT entry template automatically put line breaks in the javascript code. I adjusted the code so there are no more line breaks and it seems to work fine.)

It's still in beta, but...

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158. Big, Stark & Chunky

A List Apart, Tutorials, 32 KB, 2919 words

Research shows that low-vision people need dramatically different web design. CSS lets you give them what they need.

Readers of A List Apart will by now be quite familiar with screen-reader users, the largest group of disabled web surfers whom standards compliance actually helps. In a previous article, for example, I examined how well image-replacement techniques work in screen readers (not very).

But - surprise! - most people with impaired vision can still see something, and a large but unquantified segment of this group sees well enough to use a computer with a magnified or zoomed display. We have not done a good job of catering to...

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159. Six Apart - Movable Type News

Six Apart News, News, 17 KB, 666 words


Movable Type 'nofollow' plugin

Today we are pleased to announce our full support for the rel="nofollow" attribute to hyperlinks introduced to address the main cause of weblog spam: the payoff of higher placement in search engine results.

This initiative, with announced support from Google, Yahoo, MSN (and surely more to come), will direct search engines to ignore links with this attribute set for the purposes of spidering or increasing search engine relevance or ranking.

For current users of Movable Type (note: this plugin is included by default starting with version 3.16), this support is implemented as a simple plugin ( zip [4K], tar/gzip [3K]-- tested on MT 3.x and MT 2.661). For most users enabling "nofollow" support involves placing a single file in your plugins directory. All links submitted by external users in comments and TrackBacks will then be modifed to add the...

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160. MOSe

MezzoBlue, Tutorials, 11 KB, 531 words

We're stuck with Internet Explorer for the next 3 years bare minimum, most likely 6. Let's start thinking about how we can move forward.

I've been considering enhancing my work somehow for browsers that can support it, and I'm not the only one. Steve Champeon, Mike Pick, and CodeBitch have all discussed the idea.

We now have a method and an example. View my latest Zen Garden entry, mnemonic for the example; carry on reading for my method, which I dub Mozilla/Opera/Safari Enhancement, or MOSe for short.

MOSe relies on IE6's inability to pick up child and adjacent selectors, or > and + as they're known by. As well, some basic CSS 3 selectors are becoming more and more usable in everything but...

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mgs | September 27th 2005