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Well, yes and no. 

I’ve just become one of the authors for the newly-created Apache blog

As I write this, the blog’s main page is blank.  I didn’t intend to have it be that way any longer.

Today’s lesson: Never ever do initial creation, pondering, and linking of a blog post using a browser.   At some point, I will do some fat-fingered fumble that causes the in-progress post window to close and be lost forever.

I will now collect myself, pour another cup of coffee, and check to see what is going at Apache email lists (not necessarily in that order). 

Cooled down, I’ll  maybe take another shot at creating off-line text that I can paste into the browser-based blog editing window without mishap.  The Apache Software Foundation blogs are housed by Apache Roller.   I have no idea whether there is a way to use Windows Live Writer to author for it.  Absent that, I suspect plain old text editing (via jEdit in my case) will be sufficient.  That seems to be a common foundation for the various ways of producing content for Apache projects.  It has something to do with document-management of everything via Apache Subversion and oversight by viewing change-commit logs.  This is a serious dog-food operation, and I haven’t quite got the taste for it yet.  (And folks think Microsoft NIH is excessive!).  I’ve concluded that tool-crafters, and I’m one, are a dangerous breed.

So, When Will Orcmid Get the Lesson?

Now, I already know to author wiki articles this way.  But it seems that this lesson is one that I will need to relearn every time I think I have a new way of intruding myself into cyberspace.  (Don’t ask about Google+, that is just too confusing.)

Fortunately, I was gifted with this lesson in my first attempt and I didn’t lose too many of my beautifully-crafted paragraphs.  (Sob.)

PS: I don’t propose to blog about the soap-opera around ending up in the incubator at the Apache Software Foundation.  You can get a taste for that in the related articles, below.  I intend for that to be the final mention I will make of that.

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As part of the acquisition of Six Apart by VideoEgg to become SAY Media, Ben Parr foresees Movable Type being abandoned.

So, I maintain my record of keeping all of my blogging eggs in obsolete but stable authoring products.  Hey, I am still using FrontPage 2003.

I suspect that the change in direction into advertising is going to be more significant with regard to Movable Type 5.  Movable Type 4 appears to be stable and in essentially maintenance mode.  It was also the best product for my transition from Blogger, since I wanted to continue having static pages and archive folders and not ones generated dynamically on access.  This also lets me find ways to blend in my pre-Movable Type archives in a coherent manner.

I will stick to that for now. 

Golly, I haven’t even brought my dormant blogs back to life on Movable Type yet.

I may at some point need to move to an Open Source fork of Movable Type, but I will not do that just yet.  I’ll be paying attention though.  I’ll continue keeping an eye on the Open Source development and only go to a forked distribution if this disappears.

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As part of moving operation of the main nfoCentrale blogs to operation with Movable Type, the original blogs have been placed in various flavors of dormant state. 

Proof-of-concept confirmation of Movable Type workability has been completed.   Customization for the desired style and templates of the main nfoCentrale blogs is now under way.

Meanwhile, here is the the alphabetical run-down of the current status for all of the blogs.

Kiln Sitter’s Digest [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

nfoCentrale Status [Active]

This is a new blog created for confirming Movable Type installation and configuration.   It is now used to provide status information for nfoCentrale blogs and for the ongoing development of nfoCentrale sites.  It’s customization is only loosely-connected with that for the other blogs of this family.

Numbering Peano [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Orcmid’s Lair [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This, my original blog, is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Orcmid’s Live Hideout [Unwanted: to be scavenged and then abandoned]

This blog was an experiment using Windows Live Spaces.  This blog is dormant pending its eventual retirement.

Professor von Clueless in the Blunder Dome [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Pursuing Harmony [Dormant: to be revived under Movable Type]

This blog is dormant pending introduction of a Movable Type version with comparable style.

Spanner Wingnut’s Muddleware Lab [Active]

This is the first dormant Blogger-generated blog to be revived as a Movable Type blog.  Its revival confirmed the creation of multiple blogs under different domain names under the same web server account.  This blog is used to confirm blog configuration and template customizations before the arrangement is used to clone the revival of remaining dormant blogs.

Blog customizations continue to be explored using Spanner Wingnut.

There was apparently some serious comedy of errors where I had the wrong password that I kept trying over and over.  Even when I changed the Movable Type Web Services Password myself, I got it wrong in my local safe.

There is also some sort of weird latency that happens when trying to change it that tripped me up.

Now I just hope I have retained that password where it will work for me.

I even see that my wlwmanifest.xml is being processed, showing me my hierarchical categories.

I haven’t figured out how to enter tags yet.  I also don’t know what to do about images.

Let’s see how well this much works.

[update 2010-06-20T01:18Z This post is reposted via retrieval into Windows Live Writer, adding to the Windows Live Writer and Movable Type categories, and reposting.  There is no indication of any tags on the original, and I don’t think there are any images either.  This post may have come from Windows Live Writer in the first place.  That’s fine.  I apparently was able to retrieve it and we’ll see now whether it reposts properly, still dated 2010-06-01-19:19 local time.]

[update 2010-06-20T01:49Z This original post was created directly in Movable Type by using the MT browser-based editor.  This update was accomplished by retrieving the post into Windows Live Writer, now that it’s operating with Movable Type.  This retrieval and repost is part of my Movable Type forensics work.  I see that the images in this post are retrieved to Movable Type just fine.  It appears those embeddings will simply be preserved.  On the other hand, there is no indication of the tags that were on the original post.  This repost will determine if they are preserved or not.]

I am struggling in my efforts to have Windows Live Writer work with my Movable Type installation.

The easiest place to attempt the setup is right here on nfoCentrale Status.  There are a few things more to try, but what seems to be simple for others is just not working for me:

F10xy01-2010-06-01-1740-WlwError.pngI use the Web Services password, but that doesn't do it.  Using an actual account User ID doesn't work either.  Hmm, it says name.  Do you think they really mean the name field.

Well, I don't know.  I do know that variations I've tried don't work, and that includes adding a wlwmanifest.xml along side of the rsd.xml that is already there on the blog.

The problem is that the use of a browser form is just not my idea of a good time.  And this form is very small.  The Zemanta service also causes delays from time to time.  All-in-all, this is not a great experience: 


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[2010-07-04T21:26 updated to use blog development categories and provide more history for the Movable Type configuration effort.]

After a number of mistaken changes to mt-config.cgi that ultimately had my Movable Type dashboard fail to come up properly, I managed a set of changes that work for blogs whether under the main site, such as this one, and whether under other sites, such as Spanner Wingnut on

Here are the final working settings:

F10xx96-2010-05-29-1948-mt-config-0.08.pngWhat I did was remove any ##-comments at the ends of non-comment lines.  Those are not recognized as comments.  I also shrank the white space between the name of the configuration settings and their parameter values.

Since I had attempted so many different changes before I figured out how I was going wrong, I don't know which of the mt-config.cgi changes were necessary to have comments working for Spanner Wingnut.  They appear to be sufficient and I am keeping it this way for now. 

I will also symbolically link at least cgi-bin/mt/ and perhaps mt-static/ into every domain in which I bring up other Movable Type blogs.

Having accomplished Plan B, for now, I will look at customization of templates for Spanner Wingnut.  I also want to see what it takes to hook up Windows Live Writer.

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My efforts to have comments working on blogs other than this one have been completely frustrated.

My suspicion is that the JavaScript that deals with comment registration and brings up the registration form is confused by the other blogs being under a different domain.  It is all right to reach the Movable Type code by absolute URIs of the different nfoCentrale anchor-site.  That is apparently not good enough for comment handling.

Plan B involves having each nfoCentrale-anchored add-on domain have its own cgi-bin/mt/ directory, and even mt-static/ directory, for the blogs that are operated under that anchored domain.

Plan B involves magical directory-linking, not by actually duplicating the installation (that being the much-despised Plan C).

The first problem is to learn how this is done in Linux, and to then see if I can actually do it with the privileges I have for manipulating the web-hosting account as the owner of the account.

So, first to hit the books and do some practice in SSH.  Then we'll see if I can make any improvement this way.

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[2010-07-04T21:34Z updated to use blog development categories as part of capturing coherent history of the Movable Type installation and configuration experience.]

At this point, nfoCentrale has one installation of Movable Type.  The idea is to use that one installation to implement all of the blogs operated on the different sites anchored on nfoCentrale.

I'm expecting that to work because all of the anchored sites are actually operated in folders of the single nfoCentrale web-hosting account.

The first blog brought up on nfoCentrale was easy, once I realized that I had to give permissions to the MySQL user account that I gave Movable Type to use.  That is this nfoCentrale Status blog.  It worked easily becaus that blog is situated at the root of the nfoCentrale web site and is in the same domain.

The second blog, Spanner Wingnut's Muddleware Lab, turned out to be a challenge.  There was no styling of the pages and none of the links and buttons that involved Movable Type functions (such as search or leaving a comment) functioned properly.

The difference is that Spanner Wingnut is accessed under the domain, not the nfoCentrale domain.  When I examined the generated pages I discovered that the pages are produced as if the Movable Type software is at and    Apparently, Movable Type uses the domain of the blog location as a way to infer other URLs:  The Trackback link reveals that supposition:


F10xx68-2010-05-24-1051-SpannerTrackment.pngThere was other evidence in the broken links to images and other provisions:

F10xx62-2010-05-24-1032-LocationAssumptions.png My prayer was that I would not actually have to replicate the Movable Type installation or do any kind of directory-linking magic.  I trusted that there was some setting that I could find for using the same Movable Type installation from all of the blogs in sites anchored on nfoCentrale.

Fortunately, practically the first setting I stumbled on was the Movable Type CGIPath and what its default is versus what it can be set to have.  Looking at my automatically-produced and minimal mt-config.cgi file, I could see that blog-domain-relative location is indeed the default.

Fingers-crossed, I "commented-out" the generated settings for CGIPath and StaticebPath and substituted the single locations that I want to rule them all:

F10xx79-2010-05-27-2126-mt-config-0.02.pngOnce I uploaded the changed mt-config.cgi to the nfoCentrale  Movable Type installation, and then republished Spanner Wingnut, everything, including trackbacks, worked a great deal better.

I don't seem to have broken anything with this adjustment, and there have been no consequences for nfoCentrale Status posting.

Comments are not working on Spanner Wingnut though.  I suspect this has something to do with the use of cookies as part of that process.  I am going to work on that next.

Once I have the basic operation of Spanner Wingnut in ship-shape, I can start dealing with cosmetic issues, arranging plug-ins, micro-content, and templates the way I want for further operation.  Then it seems that I should be able to use the Movable Type "Clone Blog" function to bring up the remaining nfoCentrale blogs under Movable Type, adjusting the cloning of each one to achieve the different personalities of the blogs.

And then there will be two matters of great interest to me. 

First, being able to use Windows Live Writer for authoring will be much more productive to me.  I must go through the special additions to Live Writer that are needed to accomplish that. 

Finally, though not the least important, the documentation and installation materials for Movable Type recommend several precautions for improving the security of nfoCentrale and its hosting of Movable Type.  I have more to learn before I can reliably accomplish that.

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[update 2010-05-26 Yesterday, I did determine how to have Spanner Wingnut fully operational.  There is more to be concerned about, but Movable Type configuration should now permit any number of additional blogs in nfoCentrale add-on domains to be created.]

I have had only partial success creating a second blog.  The blog is being produced, but the styles and images are not being located properly. 

This may be a consequence of

    • the incorrect location I had set up at first and had to republish out of, and/or
    • the fact that there is reliance on materials that are not in the domain.

I must research this further:


It is time for the next step in cutting-over all nfoCentrale blogs to Movable Type: Adding a Movable-Type overlay to the Spanner Wingnut blog.

This will accomplish two things:

    1. Confirmation that the Movable Type setup can manage blogs that are reached from those domains that are anchored to sub-directories of the nfoCentrale site
    2. Verify that my deployment model is sufficient for the changed configuration and that I have the correct setting for directing Movable Type to create the blog in the appropriate place.
This is the fingers-crossed moment.
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