Movable Type Upgrade

Six Apart announced the latest version of their Movable Type software had
been released. Version 4.0 has several features that look very interesting
which is part of the reason why I decided to take the plunge and upgrade
quickly. I’m not completely fearless though as I am not going to upgrade all of
my blogs. I did start with the largest one though when I upgraded Diary of a Diehard. I think I should have
had my head examined with that decision. It’s not that the upgrade was not
successful, it is just that it has nearly 1,000 entries so the upgrade process
has a lot of opportunity for failure. But I wanted to use the new CAPTCHA
feature of Movable Type 4.0 and that was enough to make it worth the risk.

The upgrade was relatively painless. I followed the instructions and backed
up the database and the files prior to starting the upgrade. Once the back-up
was completed I deleted the MT directory and the MT-Static directory then moved
the files across. At first I forgot to change the permissions on the .CGI files
but after getting several error messages I quickly eliminated that problem.
When logging in the first time the MT.CGI file recognized that the database was
still at version 3.35 and therefore ran the appropriate upgrade scripts to
update the database tables and fields. When completed the software went to the
new user interface which is substantially different than in version 3.35. It is
definitely going to take me a while to find where everything is at. The first
thing I noticed was that the upgrade did not modify any of the template files
leaving my blog in the exact same state as before the upgrade. This is both
good and bad. The good of course was that the blog remained up and running
without any problems. The bad is that the templates do not take into
consideration any of the new MT 4.0 features. I rebuilt my site just to see if
it would work. I had one error with a ATOM Archive template that I have no idea
why I was using. I deleted it and rebuilt again with no errors. I say no errors
but that is not entirely the case. During the rebuild process the script timed
out several times resulting in a 500 Internal Server Error. I think this has
more to do with my hosting company than with Movable Type but it was still a
pain. I had to reload the page when the error occurred but it did continue on
so it was hassle rather than a show stopper.
The main goal with the upgrade was to use the CAPTCHA functionality for
comments that is now built into the core application. I’ve spent 2 days on it
and I am no closer now than I was before. The CAPTCHA code requires ImageMagik
which is installed on the server but the CAPTCHA images do not show up. I am
working with hosting company to make sure ImageMagik is installed correctly so
time will tell. The comment code with the CAPTCHA piece is in a new Comment
template so I am also going to have to change the site templates which is a lot
more time consuming. The documentation around CAPTCHA is also a little light
leaving out a lot of information that would be helpful for troubleshooting.
Overall the new system looks good but it is definitely more than a slight
change and should be planned before it is executed.


2 Comments

  1. Jeff Summers says:

    You must make sure that you have ImageMagik configured to use PNG files in order for it to work.

  2. wow gold says:

    Wow, this is very useful.. Thanks for sharing this and hoping I could implement it too.

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