Movable Type 3.2 Upgrade and a "New" Design

I finally took the plunge and upgraded to Movable Type 3.2. As I expected, things didn't go quite as planned. Oh yes, and the upgrade pretty much broke my old design, so it's "hello again, default template" for a while.

The Upgrade

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure that any upgrade process should involve crossing fingers, prayer recital, and sacrificial offerings to the gods to help it go smoothly. For some reason, each time I go through the MT installation process (as best I can), I always feel the need to perform these additional steps.

And still things go wrong. Once I uploaded the new files I got a weird error message that was not referenced anywhere in the documentation (surprise). Fortunately, others had encountered it on the support forums and so I was able to resolve the issue by deleting all my existing system files and uploading the new ones again. So much for just dropping the new files on top of the old ones and hitting the "upgrade" button.

This time everything worked like a charm. I sure wish the process could be more straight forward though.

Sidenote: It's probably not a good idea to upgrade your installation of Movable Type at 10 p.m. on a Sunday, especially after a pretty tiring weekend.

Initial Thoughts

It was certainly worth the upgrade hassles as the new interface is a marked improvement. However, the key enhancement for me is the ways plug-ins are integrated. It's great to see them listed there on the page and to even be able to change their settings without delving into any arcane code.

Most significantly, I was finally able to install the BigPapi plug-in, which enables the use of other plug-ins to customize and enhance the user-interface, such as Custom Fields, improved Preview, and no doubt many more to come. This functionally is great, and long overdue. The Custom fields plug-in rocks and is going to enable some great things to be done with MT, I'm sure.

The New Design

One thing I hadn't noticed when I upgraded was that comments and trackbacks broke when I reorganized my scripts folder. Note to self: check that all the functionality on your site works once you upgrade. Silly billy. Moreover, I couldn't work out how to get them working again - for some reason they were picking up the wrong (old) path, I couldn't change it.

I've read a lot about the way that MT's templates have been improved and streamlined, and I had been considering reverting back to the default templates so that I could take advantage of these changes.

Plus, I wasn't that happy with the previous design of my site anyway, so, that's what I did. I'll likely be stuck with the default style for a while until I can find time to implement a new design - so sorry about that but bear with me.

Posted on: September 21, 2005 | 6 Comments

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6 Comments Posted

Thanks for this post. I run two separate blogs for my website's webcams -- an Eagle Cam and an Osprey Cam -- based at a wildlife refuge where I volunteer.

I created the blogs with MT 2.661, and I have three of the logs posted so far, each covering a breeding season.

I've wanted to upgrade, but I've been afraid of the problems I'd encounter when I did. I paid to have the MT people install the software originally, so I didn't even do that myself as I wanted it done right and I wasn't that experienced at the time.

Here's a potentially dumb question -- if I upgrade to 3.2, will it affect the old blogs I've already published? I assume it would not unless I try to rebuild them -- which I wouldn't since they're individual creations that I am no longer updating and that I've left online for archiving purposes.

But I worried that if I upgraded and then created a new blog for the new eagle season, that my old blogs might have problems or might behave differently when people tried to view them.

Lisa,

No, the upgrade will not affect your existing blogs unless you rebuilt them. However, it might affect some of the functionality - for example, if you have comments turned on they could break.

If you install MT3.2 directly over your existing MT files and don't move anything around like I did, you shouldn't have a problem.

If you do encounter the same error as I did, simply delete all your existing MT system files and upload the new ones again.

I would strongly recommend using Typemover to backup your blogs first though!

Thanks for the added info. I see Typemover only works with MT 3 and up, but I've stored all my files on my hard drive as a backup (I didn't have comments turned on), so at least I have the HTML files and graphics tucked away. Thanks again.

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