MUniversity of Minnesota

October 2004 Archives


October 28, 2004

More templates added to the Template Changer

I've added some more templates to the Template Changer, however, what makes these unique is that they are Movable Type 3 templates I've reconfigured to work in UThink's version of Movable Type (2.661). So, now there are 21 different templates to choose from, and more are on the way. Again, to change the look of your blog, give the new Template Changer a try. Just login to UThink, click on "Templates," and then click the "Template Changer" button at the top of the "Templates" page.

Just to give you an idea, here is a couple of the new designs I've put on the Template Changer today:

Independence Style
Independence Style
Chalkboard Style
Chalkboard Style

If you'd like to give the template changer a try, but are afraid of what it might do to your blog, just create a new test blog. Again, the Template Changer tool won't erase any of your posts or entries. It will only reconfigure your templates. Let me know what you think!

Posted by snackeru at 11:20 AM

October 27, 2004

Template Changer Beta

We've created a new tool that will help new users pick a new look for their blogs called the UThink Template Changer (beta). With this tool UThink users can easily change the look of their blogs using a wide variety of blog designs. To access the tool simply login to your UThink blog, click "Templates" in the left hand menu of the administration inteface, and then click the button at the top that says "Try the New UThink Template Changer Beta!"

Please note: it is not recommended that you use this tool if you have already made changes to any of your templates besides the Stylesheet Template. The Template Changer will erase any modifications you've made to your templates, including any links that you've added to the Main Index Template. Please use this tool with caution! For example, if you have added links to your Main Index Template and you'd still like to use the Template Changer, you could copy your links and then paste them into your new templates. The Template Changer will not erase posts or entries, categories, or anything besides the templates.

If you haven't made any changes to your templates, or if you are not interested in keeping the changes you've made to your templates, then give the Template Changer a try. There are about 15 designs to choose from and more on the way.

Lastly, if you have skill as a designer please consider creating some new templates for UThink and the Template Changer. Hopefully as time goes on we can have a whole bunch of templates for people to choose from.

Posted by snackeru at 02:52 PM

October 05, 2004

Changes to UThink

UThink has recently gone through some changes that you should be aware of. First of all, I have changed the default template to the "Clean" template (it looks like this) due to some problems with the old template. The "Clean" template is actually the "out of the box" default template that comes with any Movable Type 2.661 install. Of course, you may change the look of your blog using any of the Template Stylesheets provided on this site. In fact, I would encourage you to do so!

Secondly, we have installed MT-Blacklist on the UThink site. Comment and trackback spamming have become problematic on UThink, and MT-Blacklist is a plugin that does a great job of stopping this type of activity on your blog. MT-Blacklist includes a huge "blacklist" file that blocks known blog spammers. Unfortunately new spammers are created every day, so this is something we'll have to keep current. You'll notice now that whenever you get a comment you will have the choice of deleting it through the MT-Blacklist interface and adding the offending URL to the blacklist. While this anti-spamming method isn't perfect, it will definitely diminish the amount of spam on UThink blogs. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Posted by snackeru at 11:25 AM

October 01, 2004

How do I show a list of my most recent comments?

Did you know that you can show a list of the most recent comments to your blog. In that way, you can demonstrate to a new reader what entries have received the most discussion on your blog. It is actually very simple to do:

  1. First log into UThink.
  2. Click on the blog you'd like to create a list of the most recent comments for.
  3. Click on "Templates," and then on the "Main Index Template."
  4. Find the code in the Main Index Template that prints out the Search box.

    If you have created your blog after November 28, 2005, add the following code:

    <h2 class="module-header">Recent Comments</h2>
    <div class="module-categories module">
    <div class="module-content">
    <MTEntries recently_commented_on="7" sort_order="descend">
    <a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>"><$MTEntryTitle$></a> (<$MTEntryCommentCount$>)<br /><MTComments lastn="1">
    <$MTCommentAuthorLink spam_protect="1"$> wrote:
    <$MTCommentBody trim_to="50" remove_html="1" convert_breaks="0"$>...[<a href="<$MTEntryLink$>#<$MTCommentID$>">more</a>]<br /><br /></MTComments>
    </MTEntries>
    </div>
    </div>

    If you have an older blog, right under the search box, add this code:

    <div class="sidetitle">
    Recent Comments
    </div>

    <div class="side">
    <MTEntries recently_commented_on="7" sort_order="descend">
    <a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>"><$MTEntryTitle$></a> (<$MTEntryCommentCount$>)<br /><MTComments lastn="1">
    <$MTCommentAuthorLink spam_protect="1"$> wrote:
    <$MTCommentBody trim_to="50" remove_html="1"
    convert_breaks="0"$>...[<a href="<$MTEntryLink$>#<$MTCommentID$>">more</a>]<br /><br /></MTComments>
    </MTEntries>
    </div>

  5. Click on "Save" and then "Rebuild" and you should now see your most recent comments in your side menu section.

Give is a try and let me know how it works for you!
Posted by snackeru at 03:09 PM