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October 9, 2014

The future of PagedArchives

I was helping Nancy Chuang out with a problem she was having getting my PagedArchives plugin working on her installation of Movable Type last night (it turned out to be a compatibility issue between the versions of MT and PA) and had reason to look at the Movable Type website. I was surprised to see that it is no longer open source and has gone all commercial. That's kinda a bummer. Movable Type's been my first choice for blogging software for years now, primarily because I like the fact that the posts and so forth are all static -- the pages are stored on the web server as files rather than constructed on the fly by the blogging engine. It's rather sad that it's no longer freely available. There are many alternatives, of course, but none, IMHO, as good as MT.

The repercussions of this mean that I won't be able to upgrade my MT installation here to the newer version, which in turn means that if the PagedArchives plugin happens to break because something changes in the core application, there's nothing I can do about it. It's rather unfortunate, but in the end, this is a hobby and not something I can shell out that amount of money for.

Posted at 5:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2010

Paged Archives 1.4

[Paged Archives Logo]
I was totally not going to upgrade to Movable Type 5.1, but then I was emailed by German user Elisa Stulpe, who said that my Paged Archives plugin wasn't working in the new version of MT.

So. Long story short, I've just released a new version of the plugin, which you can download on the Paged Archives page. The new version only works with MT5.1, so if you're still running MT4.3 or what have you, stick with version 1.31 of the plugin.

I took the opportunity to fix a few things as well. One was that someone mentioned that <b> is a depreciated tag, and may stop pages validating. The current page in the page listing is now bolded using a <span> tag with a class of "pacurrent" set on it, so if you want to change the styling in your css, you can apply it to that class.

Also, there's a new setting that someone asked for a couple of years ago (Yes, that's how long it's been since the last version two years).

Also, now when PA writes the pages out, it runs them through MT's encode function with whatever your chosen Chartype is. This may seem an odd thing to need to do, as surely everything's stored internally in your chosen encoding, but apparently it's the right thing to do.

The only thing I didn't get done on my to-do list was to add documentation links to the tags. When you're editing a template, a list of available tags appears in the right-hand column. Normally the tags are linked to the documentation for that tag, but the tags for Paged Archives all point to Google searches instead. So far as I can tell, the only way I can fix this is by completely restructuring the plugin to use the new style "registry" introduced in MT4. Eh.

Tl;dr: There's a new version of Paged Archives, but only for people running Movable Type 5.1.

Posted at 2:53 PM | Comments (26)

February 13, 2010

Upgrading a server to Movable Type 5.1

As I'm informed by a user that Paged Archives isn't working under the new Movable Type 5.1, I'm going to have to install the new MT on a test server so I can fix my plugin. Because I know from experience that upgrading a Movable Type install is hideously tortuous, I'm going to document the process here in the hopes it may help someone who is going through the same process.

Step one, obviously, is to download MT51. I note as I do that the zip file containing MT5.1 is listed as 8.5MB 50% bigger than that for the previous version. Although that appears to be inaccurate, as the zip file I download is only 6.8MB.

Step two is to unzip the thing and rearrange the directories into a more sensible order. The contents of a Movable Type zip always seem to be in a strange order which never makes any sense to me and never configured how I'd expect a live server to look. Maybe this is why it doesn't have an inbuilt update system like Wordpress. Once I've shifted everything around, deleted the useless empty directories, the php directory (since I don't use dynamic publishing) and the plugins I don't use, I zip everything back up and upload it to my test site.

While I'm waiting for it to upload, I notice a box on the download page saying "Easy to use, easy to install - Movable Type is easier to use than ever before, with a redesign user interface and a brand new installation wizard." A "redesign user interface"?

The upload done, I log into my site's control panel and use the File Manager they provide to unzip the file. Of course, because I'm using zip instead of gz, it means all the scripts have to have their execute bit manually set, but at least unlike gz it doesn't default the file owner to something Apache can't access, as it seemed to do last time I tried that.

Step three, run the upgrade script. This gives me a screen with "Upgrading database...", an empty box and a spinning blue barber pole. I go do something else for ten minutes, and come back to find it in exactly the same state. I hit back and click the button again and go an play a game for ten minutes. The same thing happens. Uh, maybe the update was successful? I go to the main mt script, and it kicks me back into the updater which doesn't work. Because I'm insane, I humour it by clicking on the button again and getting the same result.

OK, maybe there's strange incompatibility between Chrome and MT's upgrader. I load up FireFox and do step three again. While that's running, I check the Upgrade Guide to see if it has any relevant info. And ten minutes on, Firefox is having the same results.

After catching up on Lost, I decide to try the "fresh installation" mentioned on the Upgrade guide, so I delete/rename the existing files, and extract the zip file again. This time, it works! Well, as far as things actually appearing on the screen goes, that is. Partway through it crashes to a halt with "Error during upgrade: Can't call method "site_path" on an undefined value at lib/MT/Upgrade/ line 417."

Luckily this page has information about the problem and suggests moving the "themes" directory into the directory where MT is. Even though I'm not using themes. Finally the upgrade script successfully completes and I can get to the MT back end.

Running the upgrade script three times seems to have the consequence that MT thinks I have three websites or something. There's probably a way to delete the extra ones, but since it's only a test server, I don't particularly care. It's installed, and I can test the Paged Archives plugin with it.

Now everything's ready, I go to the blog's plugin page and get the error "Can't call method "label" on unblessed reference". What? Assuming that there's some major incompatibility in PA which is hosing the plugins page, I delete PA. Same result. I delete the only other plugin I have there. No change. Another Google gives me this post from January, which describes the same problem, but is unanswered.

Aha, apparently it was related to the themes directory (again). I'd ended up with both of the themes directories from the zip in the same place. One was meant to be in the directory with my static files, the other was meant to be in the MT directory. Once I separated them into the right places, it worked again.

Now to get PagedArchives working with it. It looks like some of the functions I was relying on have moved. I suspect it may require a separate version of the plugin for MT 5.

Posted at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)

March 4, 2008

Paged Archives v1.31

Wow, I can't believe it's nearly nine months since the last PagedArchives update.

This version adds two parameters to the MTPASettings tag, and three new tags.

<MTPASettings numofentries="NN"> - PagedArchives does its best to work out how many entries there are on the archive page which it's splitting up. Sometimes it gets the count wrong, usually when the <MTEntries> tag has extra arguments to it. E.g., if you have <MTEntries limit="100">, you could specify <MTPASettings numofentries="100">. You can also use MT tags in the argument, such as <MTPASettings numofentries="<mt:EntriesCount />">

<MTPASettings pagelistlimit="NN"> - Normally <MTPAPageList> will just display a list of all the pages like "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10", but if you specify a pagelistlimit of, for instance, 5, it will only display the current page number and two pages to either side (As in our example "... 3 4 5 6 7 ..."). Naturally if you're at the start of the list, you'll get the first five pages: "1 2 3 4 5 ...".

<MTPAFirstPage>, <MTPALastPage> - These work in the same way as <MTPANextPage> and <MTPAPreviousPage>, but create links to the first and last pages in the sequence, respectively.

<MTPAEntryExtra entrynumber="NN">Some HTML goes in here</MTPAEntryExtra> - When used within the <MTEntries> tag, this will limit the contained HTML to only appear on the NNth entry on each page. For instance, if you want your Google adverts to appear after the first entry on each page, you could slip in a <MTPAEntryExtra entrynumber="1">(Advert HTML)</MTPAEntryExtra> before the closing </MTEntries>. Note: this currently only works if there are no line breaks in the enclosed HTML.

I think that covers all the changes! As always, you can download PagedArchives on the Paged Archives page.

[Edit: as first published the first argument was erroneously listed as "entrycount" which it should have been "numofentries". My apologies for any problems caused.]

Posted at 8:08 PM | Comments (79)

December 20, 2007

Movable Type commenting tweaks

After my post about Blogger supporting OpenID for commenting, I decided I should enable OpenID on here as well. This lead to me having to overhaul the comment form (bringing it into line with the comment form in the default MT4 templates) so that everything would actually work. Unfortunately doing this had the side effect that any comments I made appeared as "Anonymous"

Why? Because I don't have MT Native authentication turned on (I don't see the point in getting people to register on my site just to comment on my entries). However the comment form javascript happily detected my MT login cookies and assumed I was a registered commenter, which caused the "Anonymous" effect. The simple solution was to turn on MT Native authentication, or so I thought...

Continue reading "Movable Type commenting tweaks"

Posted at 11:32 PM | Comments (1)

December 4, 2007

Movable Type's OpenID server plugin

Last week Blogger announced they were adding OpenID to their commenting system, so I thought I'd try my hand at installing the OpenID server which comes with MT4.

In the "extras" directory of the MT4 install zip, there's Looking at the contents of that zip, 96% of the files appear to be useless Subversion cruft. WTF? Having installed it, I tried to use it to comment on the Blogger In Draft post, and discovered that Blogger was giving me the somewhat cryptic name of "www". Now, there are other comments from users apparently using OpenID on that entry who have names displayed which don't appear to be derived from their URL. This appears to be an extension of OpenID, which isn't supported in the MT server or, more specifically, the Net::OpenID::Server perl module. The good news is that this module is still under development (the last release was in September) so it's possible that the extensiony stuff will be implemented in it.

While the MT version of the OpenID server plugin hasn't been updated since August 2005, there's a newer version of the plugin on MT-Hacks. This also uses the Net::OpenID::Server module which, though it's a newer version, still doesn't seem to support the extension. After taking a good look myself, it's beyond me how to extend the perl module to use aforementioned extensions, so instead I'm going to take a look at implementing a FOAF file, as suggested on the MT-hacks site...

Posted at 8:33 PM | Comments (2)

August 16, 2007

OB Movable Type 4.0 upgrade post

Well, isn't this user interface spanky and new? I've upgraded this weblog to MT 4.0. Do I like it? Hmmm, I don't know.

Usually when updating, I have to laboriously upload each file, because I keep them in different places to where they are in the zip file Sixapart gives me. This time I thought I'd be clever, so I rearranged them on my PC, made an archive file, uploaded it and extracted it on the server. Unfortunately I forgot that when I create a tar.gz on Window XP and unzip it on Linux, all the directories get created without their execute bits, and everything breaks. Ho hum.

The second hurdle was that the update wizard would not recognise my mt-static directory. It turned out that this was because it was trying to load mt.js by going through the web server, and it was using a libwww-perl user agent, which I have blocked in .htaccess (because a hacker uses it when he tries to hack my server), so I had to amend my .htaccess.

My only other problem was getting it to recognise one of my plugins (archivedateheader), which was fixed by changing the directory and filename of the plugin to all lower case (WTF?).

Now, what are the odds that when I hit the "Save" button, the whole thing will come crashing down in a heap?

Edit: It worked! But where has the list of categories gone from my index page? :P

Editedit: Fixed, I had to turn the MTSubCategories tags into MTTopLevelCategories tags. :P

Edit³: When I try to rebuild all categories, it says "An error occurred publishing category '1': Publish error in template 'Category Archive': Error in <mt:HasParentCategory> tag". I think I'm done with wrestling with it tonight though.

Posted at 8:35 PM | Comments (5)

June 16, 2007

Paged Archives v1.30

This release adds in a MTPAEntryLink tag, which is a paging-aware version of the standard MTEntryLink tag - you can use it to link to the Monthly or Category archive page which an entry appears on. It assumes you're not using the MTPASettings tag to alter the number of items per page, and that the items are in reverse chronological order. I might add an argument later to allow for forward ordering as well. This tag was requested by Blogosfere.

According to the MT wiki MT4 plugin compatability list, PagedArchives is compatible with Movable Type 4* - hopefully nothing in this release breaks that. I haven't downloaded the version 4 beta to look at yet.

You can download this plugin on the Paged Archives page.

* Though it would have been nice if it was listed in the "rendered obsolete" section.

Posted at 4:46 PM | Comments (49)

April 29, 2007

Collapsible archive listing

The list of months in the right-hand sidebar on my index page there was starting to get a bit long, and I noticed that Jamas and Paul had neat little collapsible lists on their blogs, so I decided to have a go at doing the same thing in Movable Type. It was easier than I expected, because I was able to adapt the javascript I use on the NZDWFC forums page which does something extremely similar.

The first step was to add the year headers using a slightly modified version of the ArchiveDateHeader plugin, the second was to add in the javascript (which consists of some initial javascript to show and hide the appropriate parts of the list, plus a function which is executed if you click on a plus or minus). The part which took the longest was tweaking the stylesheet to make it look goodnon-crap. :)

Continue reading "Collapsible archive listing"

Posted at 12:17 AM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2007

Paged Archives v1.24

This is a minor release to fix some problems a couple of people were having with the previous version. It seems that MT sometimes reports the main blog URL as having a filename on the end and sometimes it doesn't, so I'm using relative links instead now. Also I discovered that the plugin settings were available at both the system level and the blog level (PA was only using the blog level setting), so now it uses both.

Also I made a spiffy icon, which appears in the right-hand column on the main page here, but I don't know how to add it to the plugin itself. Eh.

There's a reported problem with it working with the MTEntriesWith SubCategories tag (According to the MT changelog this tag is depreciated in favour of using the include_subcategories on MTEntries) which I haven't had time to look into yet.

You can download this plugin on the Paged Archives page.

Edit: Despite me updating the plugin entry in the Six Apart plugin directory, the PA page there still says it's on v1.2. And it's still listed as "Paged Categories" on the Archiving categories page. Slack!

Posted at 11:33 AM | Comments (18)

February 25, 2007

Paged Archives v1.23

My original intention was to completely rewrite the PagedArchives plugin, test it over the course of the next week or so, and release it next weekend. However, having done 95% of the rewrite yesterday, I discovered that when I rebuilt all the category files, MT would only run P.A. on the last file built. Since it uses the same callback as version 1 which works fine, I can't fathom at all why that would be.

So instead I'm releasing a revised version of version 1 with some of the more pending issues raised in the comments on the P.A. v1.2 entry. The main issue which should now be fixed is the construction of navigation URLs (rather than the crappy method I was using to construct them before, I'm now using either the URL MT gives me, or constructing one using the same method used by MT).

Not fixed in this version (but hopefully should be in version 2) is the problem zero had of running out of memory.

You can get version 1.23 on the PagedArchives plugin page. If you're using this plugin, please report bugs in the comments here.

Posted at 4:57 PM | Comments (17)

November 16, 2006

Paged Archive bug request

My Paged Archives plugin has been pretty popular. Of course, with the amount of use it's getting, there's bound to be a few bugs cropping up, but so far they've been relatively minor.

I've been trying to help people with one bug which has cropped up, and which seems to be related to the way that the software constructs URLs when Movable Type is run on someone's own system rather than a separate site. Unfortunately neither of the people who reported the bug have replied to the last email I sent them, so I'm not sure if the question I asked helped them solve the problem or not.

If you're encountering the same problem when running PagedArchives on localhost and are willing to help me track down the problem, please comment here.

Posted at 6:33 PM | Comments (1)

October 27, 2006

Paged Archives v1.22

And, in short order, another bug fix to a bug (caused by the previous bugfix), which Chris at Digital Voodoo reported. It appears I overdid the slash removal and ended up with one missing! It should be fixed now...

Actual real entry to come.

P.S. Dear Boing Boing, please quit editing the Borat entry. Every time I open up Bloglines, I'm hit with an eyeful of Borat in that insanely small swim suit. MY EYES! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING!

Posted at 7:12 PM | Comments (3)

October 25, 2006

Paged Archives v1.21

Minor bugfix to Paged Archives - there was a minor bug which on some configurations would cause page links to be constructed with double-slashes after the domain. A thank you goes out to Brendon Krueger who not only reported the problem but rendered assistance in establishing what was causing it. :)

Posted at 6:09 PM | Comments (2)

October 4, 2006

Paged Archives v1.2!

It's time, I guess, for my monthly Paged Archives plugin release! This will probably be the last one, barring any bugs... The main changes this time are some tags to handle date headers, which I'd neglected in previous versions, and a new way of constructing the URLs used in the page links (because it kept randomly using the Doctor Who archive URL for the Website Management pages. Weird).

You can read read about it and download it from the Paged Archives plugin page.

Edit: Please mote that the plugin will only work if you are statically publishing your blog with MT. It will not work if you are dynamically publishing using PHP files.

Posted at 6:40 PM | Comments (27)

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