Musings @musicandmeaning.com

I'm hiding out in the big city blinking.
"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Thursday, 23 December 2004

Upgrade to MT 3.14

I’ve thrown in the towel and upgraded from Movable Type 2.661 to 3.14, for the comment spam security. I’ve also upgraded Jay Allen’s MT Blacklist. Specifically to v. 2.03-beta, which was just released yesterday.

Speaking of comment spam, check out Elise’s excellent tips on combating comment spam on your blog. Same goes for Neil’s anti-spam arsenal.

Anyway, the upgrades of both pieces of software (MT and MT-Blacklist) went smoothly, except it appears that the comments aren’t working. At first I thought there was no problem — the comment count is correct on each blog entry. However, if there are any comments (e.g. the link says "Comments (2)"), clicking on it doesn’t bring up any.

So after looking in the config screens, it turns out that the status of all the comments are "pending" (even though the default setting had the moderation turned off) — and I’d have to manually approve everything. (That’s something for the wishlist…you can delete comments by selecting them (ticking boxes) and pressing a button, but you can’t (AFAIK) batch-approve comments.) I figured I’d screwed up the installation somehow. So, I tried approving a few comments individually, but…nothing. They still remain "pending."

I tried submitting a new comment. Previewing it looked fine. After I hit the Post button, the comment disappears. I get a notification e-mail saying that the comment was posted, so it’s not pending, right? But when I look in the comments section of MT, guess what? It’s listed as pending. And reloading the blog, the comment isn’t shown in the comment count, either. Hmm.

I checked all of the comment preferences, made sure that moderation is not on, deleted all of the old Blacklist 1.x files, and rebuilt everything. Still, no go.

So obviously there’s something up with either my Blacklist, my MT, or a conflict somewhere, or maybe permissions aren’t set correctly. I’m betting that it’s not Blacklist. It’s probably something I’m overlooking with MT. I don’t think it’s a database problem.

It’s a nutty hour (time flies when you’re troubleshooting), and my head isn’t exactly thinking at full capacity right now. So I’ve probably overlooked something during the installations or with the config settings.

That’s the long way of saying that the comments aren’t working, and I’ll try to figure it out, but don’t be surprised if it takes me a while of researching this and getting it done this week. If you try submitting a comment, at this point, all you’ll get is a blank comments page in return (although your comment will be e-mailed to me). So for this entry at least, I’m nixing the comment option.

P.S. Why didn’t I install WordPress instead? I have WP for another one of my blogs, but I wanted to see what the big fuss for the integrated Blacklist in MT 3.x was all about.

P.P.S. In re-reading this entry, my reaction was, "Oh wow, what horrible grammar." I’ll fix it sometime soon. Maybe if I fix the grammar, I’ll figure out how to fix the comments. Or not. (This is what happens when I need sleep.)

Update – 29 Dec. ’04: Comments are still not working. Also be aware that none of the previous comments are showing up. So, if you click on a link that says "Comments (2)" for example, there should be two comments, but they won’t display in the window. I’m still working on this, but it will take a few more days to sort out a solution (either fixing comments, doing a fresh install of MT, or even migrating to WP).

Update – later on 29 Dec. ’04: Yay! Comments work again! All previous comments should now display correctly, and new comment submissions will be processed correctly. I finally figured out what the problem was. I was all set to do a fresh install of MT into a new directory, but decided to try some things first with the current directory — after all, if I screwed up the current install of MT even more, then no worries, because I would be doing a fresh install anyway. Long story short…it worked!

I’ll explain the solution to my problem in a separate post, but first I need to work on my restructuring my blog archives a little bit (this had nothing to do with the problem, but I’ll explain everything in the forthcoming post).

[Update: Okay, so I won’t explain the solution in a separate entry…instead, I’ll just point to a post I wrote on the MT support forum. (Scroll down to the December 30 post, which explains how I got the comments working again.)]

Posted at 4:20 am | Filed under Tech/geek

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  1. Test: Just making sure the comments REALLY work now. If so…huzzah!