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August 18, 2006

First Post Using Windows Live Writer

Windows Live

Greeting, using windows live writer to post to my blog from my computer using movable type webservice feature and Microsoft Windows Live Writer http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/ . Note that the image to the right is hosted on their site.

The first time I tried to save this post to my blog, it left some weird temporary thingy that said it couldn't be deleted. I went into the normal Movable Type admin and rebuilt and then it was ok.

Now I am using Windows Live to edit this same post again. I created another post and the temporary thingy wasn't there, it worked perfect. I used Windows Live to delete the post and no problems. I think this tool is nice. My guess is Microsoft will integrate this into Word or something.

August 5, 2006

Upgrading Movable Type from 3.2 to 3.3

software-movabletype.gif
I periodically check to see if movable type has updated their blog software. Today I checked and noticed they had version 3.3. out. Cool, upgrading should be a snap, right? I had to sign in to TypePad to download the latest software. I downloaded the tarball, and uploaded to to my server. Unpacking revealed no readme file. Version 3.2 had a README.txt, though it just pointed you to their website. I like the idea of having the latest installation instructions, but a simple text file with quick and dirty "./configure, make, make test, make install" type of instructions (ahh, the good old days) should still be included.

I poked around on their site and found http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/docs/Movable_Type_Installation-Upgrade_Guide.pdf. Awfully wordy and geared towards first time install, though there is a section about upgrading. My biggest gripe about open source software for linux is the upgrade process. You always end up running around, copying, moving chmod'ing, logging into your database and executing scripts, etc... I'm afraid Windows has a great thing going with setup.exe. Even a simple perl script with some simple text prompts would be nice. How about just uploading the new tarball, logging into the web admin, and it unpacks itself, makes backups for rollback and so on? I'll give Movable Type credit for the database part, which is done automatically for you via the admin console. This was nice. I could use that when upgrading HORDE applications like IMP (webmail). What a pain upgrades are for horde apps.

Anyway, here are the quick and dirty instructions to get you upgraded on linux/unix in a hurry:

Unpack tarball, backup existing executables
gunzip MT3.3.tar.gz
tar -xvf MT3.3.tar
mv /web/mt /web/mt.save
mv /home/brian/MT3.3 /web/mt
cp mt.save/mt-config.cgi mt/
cd mt
chmod 755 *.cgi

Backup Database
I have to admit, I skipped this step, but I already had a relevant backup. I use mysql so the quickest way is to just tar up your /var/lib/mysql/[blogdbname] folder.

Copy Static files
Ok you are almost done, and the admin may almost appear to work, but you will get some javascript errors and other problems. You need to overlay the contents of mt-static to your actual webroot. It's best to just dump the new mt-static contents over your existing webroot to preserve any plugins or other customizations you may have that are not in the database. Some of the plugin directory names were the same, so I just renamed the originals and moved over the new ones in their place. Once you move all the style sheets, javascript files, images and such, everything should be fine.

Log in to the Blog Admin
Log in to the admin and you will see an Upgrade button. Click it and the database is updated. Rebuild the site files and you are done.