The Drudge Retort was hammered yesterday, serving 10 gigabytes of traffic as thousands of people looked for exit polls and early election returns. The unit of measurement for traffic here is Janet Jackson's right breast, the exposure of which maxed out the shared SDSL connection on my old server. For seventeen straight hours, it served 144 kilobytes per second of traffic (1 Janet) to people on a fruitless search for celebrity mammary. Since that time, I have moved to dedicated server hosting with ServerMatrix. ... read more

Because I wrote the book on Radio UserLand, my decision to stop using the software on Workbench has raised a few eyebrows.By tradition, the first thing a weblogger must do with new software is publish a vicious excoriation of the old software, warning others to keep away, like a courageous relief worker marking a land mine.Textbook example: When Mark Pilgrim concluded that a Movable Type licensing change would have cost him $535, he declared the software a dead end, switched to WordPress, and donated $535 to its ... read more

Last week, I helped Jessamyn West fix a problem with the XML encoding of the RSS 2.0 feed on the Movable Type weblog she ran during the Democratic National Convention. West's feed couldn't be read successfully by the Convention Bloggers aggregator because of the following line: [more] This line produced output of this form: some entry text]]> [more] The block that begins with and ends with ]]> is character data in XML. The encode_xml attribute causes this encoding to take place, which ensures that text has been ... read more

I'm finishing a new book, Movable Type Bible Desktop Edition, by covering the subject I've been most eager to cover: plug-in programming. As you can do with UserTalk scripts in Radio UserLand, you can write scripts that enhance the functionality of Movable Type. The software can be extended with Perl scripts that are executed by placing HTML-style tags and attributes in templates, the same technique employed by the software itself. The script output appears in the rendered file. Plug-ins also can filter text on ... read more

I'm helping James Romenesko move one of my favorite weblogs, Obscure Store and Reading Room, to Movable Type hosting on TypePad. He's been hand-editing with HTML for years and decided to make things easier with a content-management system. The weblog offers two kinds of daily content, full entries with descriptions and a "plus" section of headline-only items, and presents six days on the home page. I haven't found a way using Movable Type's standard template tags to accomplish this layout. The full entries and ... read more

Movable Type 3.0 enhances the software's support for plugins, components written in Perl that add functionality such as weather information, author credits, and even direct MySQL access. With version 3.0, Movable Type can manage plugins, adding links to documentation and configuration pages on the Main Menu page. There's also a new callback system that enables plugins to be called when data is loaded or stored, a feature that sounds a lot like the hooks I've been using to extend the functionality of Radio ... read more

I submitted a change to the Feed Validator documentation that was picked up by Sam Ruby this evening: a new answer to the question "How do I make Movable Type output valid RSS 2.0?" that includes a revised RSS 2.0 template. Some old RSS 0.91/2.0 templates in Movable Type produce invalid RSS because date values aren't correctly formatted. The new RSS 2.0 template in Movable Type 3.0 doesn't have this problem, but it includes a new date tag attribute, format_name="rfc822", that isn't supported in Movable Type 2.661. ... read more