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61. Preventing Comment Bot Spam with MT-Approval

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 27 KB, 1534 words

Chad Everett has released a plugin called MT-Approval that presents an effective way to combat the comment spam brought on by spam bots that make up 99% of the comment spam most Movable Type users experience.

MT-Approval requires MT version 3.1 or higher.

MT Approval works by requiring that a comment contain an "approval hash" - a list of data that is generated in the comment form by a new template tag called <$MTApprovalHash$> on the comment preview template. Spam bots don't use the form on the preview template; therefore they are missing the hash when they try to post the comment directly to the comment.cgi and thus their comments never post.

MT Approval requires that you force a preview...

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62. Applying MT3 Style Templates to MT2.X

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 25 KB, 1498 words

Movable Type 3.0 ushered in a whole new look for its default style templates, based on what we've seen with Typepad default styles. The new stylesheets can be found here in the Movable Type documentation. The new stylesheets do not work with the default templates for MT2.661 or earlier versions of Movable Type. The old stylesheets are posted on the MT website here. You can update your MT2.661 (or earlier version) stylesheet with one of the new MT3 default styles (with or without updating to MT3), but if you do so, you need to change your templates so that they will work with the stylesheet. The new MT3 templates are posted on the Movable Type website here. The templates that you...

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63. Making the Most of SpamLookup

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 26 KB, 1619 words

This tutorial is written by LMT guest author Neil Turner and is cross-posted on Neil's World.

Since upgrading to Movable Type 3.2 I've dumped Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist and instead made SpamLookup handle comment/trackback spam on its own. The plugin is included by default on MT 3.2, and while it can do a good job as it is, you might like to try some tune-ups to make it more effective. Moderation and Junking

In Movable Type 2.x, comments just had one status - published. Any spam blocking system could only accept or deny comments and trackbacks. In MT 3.0x and 3.1x, comments gained an additional status - ‘moderated'. This was where comments could be held for human...

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64. Comment Highlighting: Static or Dynamic

MovableTweak, Tutorials, 30 KB, 1649 words

You've seen it before. An article gets hot and soon you have 50 to 60 comments attached to it. Getting in on the tail end of the conversation can be annoying with that many posts to wade through. So we create a handy little convention that will highlight (change the class of) the comments posted by the author of the post.

There are many, many ways this can be done (plugins, php, etc.) and even more ways to implement it (mutliple author highlighting, specific images for certain commenters, etc.), but we're going to look at two important facets: static and dynamic.

Static vs. Dynamic

This is a debate which we will leave to the professionals. I will only...

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65. MT-DSBL - Open proxy comment filter

Brad Choate, Plugins, 143 KB, 5586 words

DSBL is dead. Long live SpamLookup.

I happened across a WordPress plugin for checking the IP of a commenter against dsbl.org list and it was one of those "why didn't I think of that?" moments. So naturally, I ported it to MT.

Download: mtdsbl-1_1.zip

Requirements: Movable Type 3.1 or later (since it uses the MT 3 callback system and I think the ones I'm using here are new with 3.1). You should also have the CPAN Net::DNS package installed. It can also use the nslookup utility, but it's less efficient that way.

Installation is easy, just drop either dsbl_deny.pl or...

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66. Htaccess and Dynamic Publishing

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 29 KB, 1874 words

Co-authored by Arvind Satyanarayan and Elise Bauer Tutorial cross posted on Movalog and Learning Movable Type

With the release of Movable Type 3.1 comes a new and powerful feature - Dynamic Publishing. To take advantage of Dynamic Publishing, you need to edit or create a file on your Apache server called .htaccess as explained in the Movable Type Manual. htaccess files can give you extra control over your server, allowing you to password protect directories, enable server side includes, generate custom error messages, and block users by IP address among other things. (See this Guide to .htaccess for more information.)

Note: You should really know what you are doing before...

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67. How to Succeed With URLs

A List Apart, Tutorials, 16 KB, 1877 words

If you're building or maintaining a dynamic website, you may have considered the problem of how to get rid of unfriendly URLs. You might also have read Bill Humphries's ALA article on the topic, which presents one (very good) solution to this problem.

The main difference between Bill Humphries's article and the solution I will present here is that I decided to do the actual URL transformations with a PHP script, whereas his solution uses regular expressions in an .htaccess file.

If you prefer working with PHP instead of using regular expressions, and if you want to integrate your solution with your dynamic PHP sites, this might be the right method for you....

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68. Comments Archives

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 67 KB, 5029 words

Weblogs are not just a one-way medium for publishing. With the use of a singular, often conversational voice, enhanced by the loosely coupled nature of the Internet and lightweight syndication formats, weblogs are akin to conversations, regardless of the size and makeup of the audience. "A" writes about something on their mind -- an experience, the news, or a project's status. "B" reads it and expresses their take. "C" finds both posts interesting and notes something A and B has not mentioned and so on.

Not everyone has a weblog (sadly) and not everyone wants to make a post to their weblog for everything...

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69. Understanding the Category Listing Code

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 32 KB, 2089 words

This tutorial is co-authored by LMT guest author Chad Everett of Everitz Consulting and Elise Bauer of elise.com.

Movable Type allows you to create categories and sub-categories for organizing your entries. The default MT3.2 Main Index template includes code to list these categories in the sidebar section. This tutorial will attempt to explain the tags used in this code and how they work together.

Categories, Sub-categories, Parent, Child, and Levels

The only difference between a category and a sub-category is that the latter will always have a "parent" category. The sub-category is still a category, and everything else remains the same as any other category. But by having...

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70. Movable Type Friendly Web Hosts

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 25 KB, 1722 words

Updated October 16, 2004

The results of the LMT Web Host Survey are in! Thanks to all who participated.

The first step in installing Movable Type is making sure that your web host meets MT requirements. In addition to the basic requirements there are many other factors to consider, in particular the quality of support, the reliability of the service, and the degree to which the host's staff is familiar with Movable Type. Which web host you choose can make a big difference in terms of the ease with which you install and maintain your MT weblog.

What to Look for in a Host Provider

Absolutely Necessary: 1. Ability to run custom CGI scripts 2. Perl installed on server, version...

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71. Password Protect Entries

Movalog, Tutorials, 36 KB, 1821 words

This hack is deprecated in favour of the MT Protect plugin. Please use the plugin instead of this hack!

One of the biggest wants with MT is to password protect individual entries. There are several hacks and bits of code that allow you to password protect entries but many of them are long winded and many involve separate categories. I wanted a simple way to selectively password protect entries no matter what the category, what blog etc.

So I created a new field on the entry screen (click screenshot for a larger view) that would contain the password. For this to work you will need to be using MT 3.1x, mySQL and PHP. To see this in action see the front page on my blog, enter the password "password" and you will be granted access for 10 days....

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72. Configuration Directives Archives

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 191 KB, 7959 words

This section of the appendix details all configuration directives that can be defined in mt-config.cgi. Through use of these directives, you can control numerous aspects of the system.

Except for those which define things specific to your system (e.g. CGIPath and your database settings), all of them have defaults set by Movable Type. This means that not every directive will appear in mt-config.cgi. If you wish to override the default for a setting which does not appear in the file, simply add it and the desired value to your mt-config.cgi.

...

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73. Touch of Hope: A Technical Colophon

Brad Choate, Tutorials, 58 KB, 1826 words

The Touch of Hope web site is powered by Movable Type. It's more than your average blog site though. Don't let it's blogging slant fool you-- MT is a budding CMS!

The architecture is like this: • 1 blog for the site's basic content: welcome page, about page, Art for Hope page, request a site page, make a donation page, contact us page and the news and updates content. All of this is in...

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74. 2.6 (2003.02.13)

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 32 KB, 1681 words

2.6 (2003.02.13)

• Added Text Formatting options. Instead of a simple Convert Line Breaks checkbox, you can now set a different formatting option for each entry. Plugins can add new options to the Text Formatting menu, which allows for greater integration with the formatting within the system (for example, Text Formatting will be applied on the preview screen). • Added PostgreSQL and SQLite database drivers. • Incorporated Brad Choate's Sanitize plugin, adding an mt.cfg setting for a global default and a per-blog setting to override it. Sanitize is turned on...

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75. Backing Up Your Blog

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 30 KB, 1993 words

Updated

Occassionally databases get corrupted, servers fail or web hosts go out of business. So it's a good idea to back up your Movable Type blogs. There are many methods for doing so, a few of which I will cover here. The back-up process is much easier if you are using MySQL as your database, which, by the way, is one good reason to use MySQL over the default Berkeley DB.

TypeMover

TypeMover is a new plugin for the purpose of backing up, restoring, and/or migrating your Movable Type weblog. It is compatible with MT3 and later versions of Movable Type. From the TypeMover website:

TypeMover is a MovableType plugin. It adds backup, restore and migration features that let you get...

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76. Dynamic Pages & The .htaccess

Movalog, Tutorials, 37 KB, 2028 words

Co-authored by Arvind Satyanarayan and Elise Bauer Tutorial cross posted on Movalog and Learning Movable Type

With the release of Movable Type 3.1 comes a new and powerful feature - Dynamic Publishing. To take advantage of Dynamic Publishing, you need to edit or create a file on your Apache server called .htaccess as explained in the Movable Type Manual. htaccess files can give you extra control over your server, allowing you to password protect directories, enable server side includes, generate custom error messages, and block users by IP address among other things. (See this Guide to .htaccess for more information.)

Note: You should really know what you are doing before...

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77. ProNet: March 2005 Archives

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 52 KB, 4132 words

03.25.2005

InfoWorld review of Movable Type

InfoWorld has just published a review of Movable Type 3.15, with the ultimate conclusion that "Overall, Movable Type delivers a solid blogging experience." There's a useful overview of the platform's features, along with some legitimate points about what needs improvement, but we're just as glad to see users explaining why Movable Type is the right choice for them as well.

Posted by anildash in Press Mentions at 11:03 PM | Permalink | Trackback (0)

03.25.2005

Politicians with Permalinks

The Christian Science Monitor has a broad look at politicians using blogs to better communicate with their...

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78. From Table Hacks to CSS Layout: A Web Designer’s Journey

A List Apart, Tutorials, 32 KB, 4130 words

This is a journey from six years of conventional web design practice to the way we'll build sites in the future. Only it's not set in the future. You're soaking in it.

From the beginning, we've done whatever we had to do to make our sites work in every browser. In the world of non-standard HTML Design, we bolt every word, every image into place by manipulating table cells.

And we solve problems by replacing them with new ones. Netscape 4 ignores the CSS {margin: 0;} declaration? Extend the BODY tag with the Four Horsemen of Non-Validation: LEFTMARGIN, TOPMARGIN, MARGINWIDTH, MARGINHEIGHT. IE4 doesn't fully support the CSS border property? Fake it by...

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79. TrackBack Archives

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 41 KB, 2330 words

We should probably included a full explanation of TrackBack and how it works, but there isn't enough time to do it justice.

Needs refinement. This comes in out of nowhere. better define "resource" and "communication."

Weblog comments still require the use of that particular site's interface and the content is limited to that one weblog unless it is cut, pasted, and posted elsewhere.

Released in August 2002 as both an open protocol and new functionality in MT version 2.2, TrackBack was designed to provide a means of notification through a small message called a ping that establishes a link between...

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80. Flash Satay: Embedding Flash While Supporting Standards

A List Apart, Tutorials, 19 KB, 2306 words

I've worked with Flash for several years and have always been slightly dissatisfied with the markup needed to embed a movie in web pages. When I recently published a site in XHTML, my dissatisfaction with the markup grew as I realized that it simply wasn't valid in this context and was bloating my pages to unacceptable levels. A leaner, standards-compliant method of embedding Flash movies was called for.

The Twice-Cooked Method

Flash has always shipped with some method of generating an HTML page to contain Flash movies. Initially, it was a tool called AfterShock. Since the release of Flash 4, authors can export HTML pages with embedded movies from within the Flash...

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mgs | September 27th 2005