Finally Upgrading to MoveableType 3.2

Finally Upgrading to MoveableType 3.2 (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

I’ve had a rather hellacious weekend. I upgraded the MovableType installation at blogs.setonhill.edu to version 3.2 on Friday.

The actual upgrade went very smoothly, but it took most of the afternoon for me to get the anti-spam protection to work decently.

The spam-blocker I had been using, MT-Blacklist, did just what I said — it blocked unwanted spam. But the built-in spam filter in MT 3.2 simply marks the spam as “Published, “Unpublished” (awaiting moderation), or “Junk.” But there’s no easy way for me to print out the last 10 “Published” comments that have been added to the system.

If you ask the system to give you a list of the n most recent entries that have been commented on, that list does not exclude the “junk” comments. The end result is that list is pretty much useless, because we’re getting hundreds of junk comments for every legitimate comment. The system works pretty well from the perspective of the individual blogger, but at the moment the upgrade has killed the “Recently Commented” feature of our blogs.setonhill.edu portal.

Well, not actually dead… but it takes so much time to wade through thousands of comments each time I want to update the main page, that I fear it will make people think the main page has frozen. I’m sure there’s some way to do solve this problem, but as much as I like that “Recent Comments” feature, it’s not crucial.

When I get some more time, I’ll submit an MT support ticket.

Far more frustrating was the realization that my curricular websites are broken. I finally tracked down the problem… in the past, it was apparently acceptable to use the MTEntryDate template tag in an archive template. Thus, when I wanted to print the date of an entry that appears in a list of all the entries that appeared in a certain month or on a certain day, I used MTEntryDate. A little time with Google revealed that MT 3.2 now requires me to use MTArchiveDate in those archive contexts. This took me several hours of work to recover.

My parents are in town this weekend, so fortunately I’ve had help with the kids, and I’ve been able to throw a lot of time into this problem. I even managed to get away with the family to a Slovenian dance hall for some polka dancing.

But on top of all this, I’ve spent even more hours this weekend working on two projects related to Colossal Cave Adventure.

One is a chapter on Adventure that I promised to submit to a collection of essays being published in honor of a former mentor of mine. I would have sworn that I sent in a rough draft of that essay weeks ago, but I got a very polite, very urgent letter asking me to please, please, pretty please submit something as soon as possible.

The other project had been on the back burner since classes started in the fall. Last summer I went to the real Colossal Cave, and while I wrote up some of those experiences in an article I submitted last fall to a forthcoming book on ecocriticism and videogames (“Playing with Mother Nature“), I have also wanted to publish some material online in venue that is readily accessible to online researchers. A few days ago, I learned that Will Crowther and Don Woods (creators of Colossal Cave Adventure) will be honored at the Game Developers Conference this week. Sadly, I haven’t been able to update my curricular website since January, so I won’t be able to update my own Adventure resources by then, but I figured this is a good time to start getting my notes together, just in case I encounter something in the press coverage that needs correction.