MUniversity of Minnesota

August 05, 2005

Give Movable Type 3.17 a try!

If you haven't noticed, we are really going slow with this UThink upgrade to MT 3. With over 1,400 individual blogs to upgrade it is very important that we work out all the bugs and test the new system so we don't make an inadvertent mistake and royally screw something up (technically speaking). So, having said all that, I would like to invite you to try MT 3 on our new test UThink system:

Again, this is a TEST system. Please do not post anything "for real" on this system (known as "blog-dev"), but please take this opportunity to test it out. Blog-dev is actually a snap-shot of UThink from a couple of weeks ago so blogs created up to two weeks ago should be a part of the system. When testing pay particular attention to these aspects of the new system:

  1. First of all make sure your blog(s) look right. If not, let me know.
  2. Rebuild your entire site. Does everything still work/look like it should?
  3. Create a new post for your test blog. Does it show up properly on your blog?
  4. Create another post, but this time make it a Future post. Set the post for at least 1 day into the future. Does the post show up on the next day?
  5. Create a new blog (remember this is just a test system). Did the new blog create properly?
  6. Within the new blog visit the WebLog Config -> Preferences section and fool around with the Comments functionality. Does the system allow you to configure the "comments pending" functionality?
  7. Visit the Categories section of the admin interface. Create categories and sub-categories and create new entries in both.
  8. And, of course, explore more on your own in both your existing blog(s) and newly created test blog. Let me know if you see any problems (

Known Issues

  • The test system is slow. I do not expect the system to be this slow when we move it to the production server. However, due to the slowness within this test environment we are looking at ways to make the production system as fast as possible.
  • Dynamic Publishing is not working properly: Within the Templates section of MT 3 there are some new options to dynamically publish some of your templates. This functionality does not currently work. Feel free to mess around with it, but please keep in mind that for now it doesn't work!
  • Comments Pending Template on existing blogs: Due to the fact that all of the blogs currently on UThink are MT 2.661 blogs, some of the templates within this MT 3 test environment are empty. This is because your current blog(s) do not have some of these MT 3 templates. The big one is the Comment Pending Template. If you want to test the "pending comments" functionality of MT 3 (a great for keeping spam off of your blog), you will need to manually populate the Comment Pending Template. Visit the MT default templates page to copy and paste the code yourself.
  • MT Templates and the Template Changer: Some of the new functionality of MT 3 depends on blogs using MT 3 compatible templates. As I said above, all of the existing blogs on UThink use MT 2 templates. For some of you this will continue to be adequate, but some of you will want to bring your blogs up to speed. Within the test environment you can use the default templates from MT/Six Apart to switch your blog around, but when we move into production I hope to have the Template Changer ready to go with all the necessary changes. You'll note that in the test environment of blog-dev, the Template Changer is not there (yet). I still have to code it up for MT 3. Have no fear though! It will be there.
  • No Plugins: One of the best things about MT 3 are all the great plugins being created for it to expand its functionality. However, right now we have only installed MT-Blacklist. This means that none of the current plugins we have on MT 2.661 are a part of this test system. We will be adding them slowly so that we can test whether or not they are compatible with our system. So, if you have been using some of the plugins on your existing blogs, you may see some problems within the test environment. If this happens to you, please let me know and I'll see about getting the plug-ins you need pronto.

One more thing, if you have recently created your first UThink blog, it may not be a part of the test environment. If that is the case, don't worry, we will transfer all the existing blogs again when we move into production. Until then, please feel free to create a new blog (or blogs) and help us test the system.

Well, we are almost there folks. Thanks for all of your patience. If you see any problems or if you have any questions or comments about the new system please leave a comment below or send me a note at Happy testing!

Posted by snackeru at August 5, 2005 01:25 PM

Okay, what a geek I am! Already testing out the new system!

So far--I like many of the new features. But, I have to ask, in my mad obsession--where is spell check?!! Don't let me down, Shane! Tell me it will be there somewhere!

Posted by: Laurene at August 5, 2005 03:54 PM

Ha! Laurene! Always keeping me on my toes. Spell check is a plugin. Thanks to your comment, it will be one of the first we test out! I promise you!

Posted by: Shane at August 5, 2005 03:59 PM

Rock on, Shane. The new system rocks. Everything I tried worked without a hitch. I'm looking forward to using it on the production server.

Posted by: Aaron Westre at August 5, 2005 05:00 PM

All is OK with my stuff! I look forward to the new options!!! Keep up the good work!

Posted by: DouglasG at August 8, 2005 12:06 PM

All looks good, Shane. We've been using MT 3 on our server at home for our little family blog, and it's such a huge improvement over MT 2 -- I say, bring it on!

Posted by: stacie at August 11, 2005 02:58 PM

Hi Shane,

We had exactly the same problem with Comments Pending. The upgrade script would create the Comments Pending Template in each blog but wouldn't populate it. I tried a bunch of different things, and finally made a couple minor edits to mt-upgrade30.cgi and mt-upgrade31.cgi and got all the Comments Pending Templates to auto populate on upgrade. If this is useful to you, drop me a line and I will happily send over what I have. :)

(Funny thing about our upgrade - notifications seem to be borked with long notification lists, but not with short ones. Argggh.)

Take care!
- m

Posted by: mitch at August 20, 2005 04:33 AM


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Posted by: Shane at January 27, 2006 10:56 AM
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