Noggin Blogging and WP to MT permalinks

I don’t remember hitting my head at any time, but I have painful and biggish swelling a couple of inches behind my left ear, about the size of a lime; the scalp in front of it is numb, and my ear and jaw hurt a bit. I’d like to say that I went out on the town last night, indulging in all forms of vice, waking up in strange surroundings with a lump behind my ear, a rose in my hand, and no memory of how I got there – but I spent last night watching the movie, “Love Actually”. It actually wasn’t bad (interesting insight into what the Brits would like their PM to say to the US President), but it sounds so mundane. I also watched “Hellboy”, too. Double matinee.

I may have picked up another tick, and since I’m allergic to their bites, this reaction wouldn’t be unusual. Or perhaps I’ve been thinking so hard about tool independence in weblogging that I’ve sprained my brain.

Speaking of which, I managed to convert the main page template, in addition to porting one of my WP plugins to the new MT/PHP plugin environment. I’ll detail these in two separate posts, following.

I won’t get into installation issues, as these are documented at the Movable Type site. About the only problem I have with the new PHP dynamic pages is that accessing the directory of the weblog without giving an ‘index.php’ or ‘index.html’ fails within the current installation, as you can see clicking here. You have to access the page specifically. Since Six Apart has come out with a 3.11 release, and I haven’t installed it, perhaps this is fixed in that.

Turning to the move, now:

One of the areas of most concern when it comes to moving between weblogging tools is permalink breaks, as the tools handle permalinks so differently. When I get into moving the Movable Type weblogs into other environments, I’ll detail what you need to do to ensure a clean port in these environments, and it is a challenge, as is moving between other environments; but for once, the direction of the move today, from WordPress to Movable Type, is absolutely problem free.

The script I used to export WP entries also exported what is known as the ’slug’ – the filename given for the specific entry. This can be the title of the entry with dashes between words, or some abbreviation that an individual provides. The slug is exported as a MT keyword, and imported accordingly. Since the slug is exported with dashes, complete and ready to use as a filename, then it’s only a matter of providing a Archive File Template entry for the Individual archive:

<$MTArchiveDate format=”%Y/%m/%d”$>/<$MTEntryKeywords$>/

The above matches exactly with the recommended WordPress permalink structure of YYYY/mm/dd/slug/. No filename extension – none needed since the .htaccess entries handle file serving. An absolutely painless port as regards permalinks.

In fact, if we were pushing for standardization across weblogs, I think that WordPress set the direction on this one – providing a field with the entry where the person could put whatever they want for the entry filename. With this, no worries about dashes as compared to underscore, or titles too long, or anything of that nature. This is a simple addition to the databases, too.

Once the file structure is working, then it’s a matter of porting the template, covered in the next post.

I also spent time today reading the reactions of the guys out at the Yahoo Groups, MT Plugin Development mailing list as they basically beat the shit out of the new PHP-dynamic environment within MT. Personally, I rather like the new environment. And this gave me an idea: I figured since all these gentlemen aren’t interested in porting their Perl-based plugins to PHP, I would do it for them. For a fee of course. After all, they’re now part of the new Six Apart Professional Network; they’ll be rich as Croesus.

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