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Recently, I completed a number of arrangements to have more attention on a few projects that I consider the most important work for my continued vocation. 

That includes attention to my web sites, where I’ll be investing renewed attention, and my blogs, which need revitalization.

Although I have begun, I notice I’m not blogging about it.

That’s especially true at nfoCentrale Status

I know what the problem is in that case.  Although that blog tracks my activities and captures techniques to be reapplied elsewhere, the blog is not great as a reference.  The categories are out of hand and the archives are difficult to browse.  Then I let the setup fall into neglect, so now it is even more work to revitalize.

I have a solution for that.  It takes effort.  I will capture the important how-to techniques in web subfolders (what I call folios) so that there is an easy way to catalog and maintain the procedures and important clippings in an useful-to-me organization that I can always have access to.  That access is on the site and on my mirror of the site and in my source-code control system and system backups.  These provide mutual backups.  (My commitment to have the site and the blog serve static pages is part of that assurance.)

Besides nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut, the only functioning blog for non-development purposes is Orcmid’s Live Hideout on WordPress.  That blog is a stop-gap, created when Windows Live blogs were discontinued, strictly as an interim location until I manage to revive the intended permanent locations for those posts.  That has been delayed for a very long time.

There’s more coming.  It will be interleaved with other activities.  The ant is moving the mountain, one grain of sand at a time.  The ant is very determined.

[update 2010-08-23T04:14Z I realized, when posting about additional web-development categories, that I can seed the unseeded subcategories simply by using the seeding post: this one.  This repost is strictly to accomplish that.]

As part of the nfoCentrale anchor-site stabilization, I am seeding all of the new categories I have established.  This will cause each category subfolder to be created and populated as part of the nfoCentrale Status blog structure on the hosted site.  I will then bring those folders under the construction-structure management of the nfoCentrale anchor site.

I have been quietly repaving the nfoCentrale anchor, as part of bringing a systematic sites cleanup and repaving under a single coordination point.

I will also be experimenting with alterations of Movable Type templates here and on Spanner Wingnut in preparation and confirmation of the stages to be undertaken in the systematic re-animation of my now-dormant blogs.

Although this seems to be a diversion from the task of restoring blogs, and I have this pent-up urge to be posting anew on them, this repaving work is crucial for providing me a place where I capture my experience and arrive at a guide that I can follow systematically.  This is also a precaution against any future situation where I need to do more of this, whether because of upgrading to new releases of Movable Type, porting to a new hosted site, simply adding more blogs, or integrating with new, now-unanticipated content-management facilities.

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.

As of today, Spanner Wingnut is in stable, fully-functional condition.

The remaining sedated blogs will be preserved in their last Blogger-created state until further customization achieves that level where Movable Type cloning of Spanner Wingnut can be done without risk of burdensome retrofitting to maintain consistency.    

Ideally, future modifications of the multiple-blog layout and presentation styles will be accomplished by simple adjustments to mutually-shared custom templates.


[2010-07-04T20:58Z cross-posted from Spanner Wingnut as part of capturing a coherent history on nfoCentrale Status.  This also provides more Windows Live Writer cross-posting confirmation.]

Spanner Wingnut is now fully functional.  Format customization and authoring/maintenance improvements can now begin.  This is the foundation for all next-generation nfoCentrale blogs.

At this point,

    • Spanner Wingnut is operating as the second Movable Type blog implemented on nfoCentrale.
    • Comments and Trackbacks are fully functional
    • A stock Movable Type template is in place with no customization beyond basic layout choice and identification of some categories.
    • The previous, Blogger-generated Spanner Wingnut posts and archives are preserved in their entirety:

There is more to do.

Spanner Wingnut now becomes the laboratory for further customization of blogs, including

    1. Setup of Windows Live Writer for authoring
    2. Customization of Templates and use of plug-ins as a basis for cloning further blogs that are currently dormant
    3. Confirmation that a second blog under the same domain (e.g., can be created and operated successfully, now that multiple domains are working.

This update supercedes the fledgling status and the progression of difficulites that are now resolved

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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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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Spanner Wingnut's Muddleware Lab category.

Pursuing Harmony is the previous category.

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