Movable Mindmeld

March 7, 2003

Most of my week was scheduled to work on a book project. The job consisted of mainly fixing what the original designer did. The goal was to pull a book out of the original Illustrator files and convert it to something more “printable”. I copy and pasted from Illustrator to InDesign, where I setup a master sheet with the styles needed. The whole thing took about 4 hours…..I scheduled a week. So the time I had that wasn’t exacly free time, but time I could devote to working on the work site and getting our development server back up to speed.

Our development server, held all of my test pages and databases from when i decided to use Movable Type for the site. It was holding strong at Movable Type 2.21. We also had a lot of the old version on that server, so we made a good backup and then I cleared out what files I didn’t need in the coming weeks. I then copied over our live database to the test server. Setup the paths and made sure it would work. Then I updated the Movable Type directory to the version we use on the Live server, 2.51.

I now have a good test server again, where I can actually experiment on the Movable Type databases instead of toying with them on a hidden portion on the live server…and occasionally trying not to corrupt the actual live site when testing a hidden site. Most of my experiments have been dealing with using Movable Type tags in our SSI files and playing tricks with our Events calendar.

Our event calendar is setup as a separate Movable Type blog. Every entry is a class. We setup every archive we can, daily, individual, category, and use a calendar as a monthly archive. If you go to the site, you will see a big calendar with the date class information. Click on the date and you get all of the classes for that day, click on the class in the calendar and you will see a description of that class. Both methods have a little link to the registration form, where it uses Movable Type tags to pre-enter data to that form.

We’ve been a little behind on adding other events to that calendar, because we didn’t want those classes using the registration mechanism we use for our main classes. So I setup a little way to remove the registration link from an individual entry if needed, and I’m using the MTEntryIfAllowPings tag. Mainly I surround the link in a div tag. I use the MTEntryIfAllowPings tag and a css file with “display:none” to remove that if needed. It’s not perfect, you can view the source and still register for that class, but the average person won’t do that. I know I’m using that tag in opposite of how you should use it, hide things instead of making them visible, but it works.

I’ve spent most of this week, staring at two things: Dreamweaver and a Movable Type screen. Dreamweaver, editing the templates, and then making the changes in MT. I’ve spent about 8 hours a day working in both. I wonder how many people (besides Ben and Mena) spend more than 20 hours a week behind Movable Type just working within MT aside from programming? I’m finding myself thinking more and more about the non blog uses of Movable Type.