For those wondering if the now-dormant blogs will every see the light of day anew, here are the dreary steps that will be confirmed before going farther:

  1. The procedure for configuring and maintaining images uploaded via Windows Live Writer will be fully documented on nfoCentrale Status.  The accuracy and completeness of that procedure will be verified by adding the support to Spanner Wingnut and also maintaining it there..
      
  2. The next visible changes will involve learning to adjust the sidebars on the blogs, including customization of plugins, templates, and styles for individualization of the different blogs operated under the single MovableType engine.  This will also be seen on both nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut.
      
  3. There will be some invisible work to support how a blogs features are adjusted over time but a record of changes and the progression can be maintained.   This will be accompanied by infrastructure adjustment as part of the deployment model for the various blogs, starting with nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut, with the big test being restoration of an existing, now-dormant blog.  The prime candidates for first restoration are Orcmid’s Lair, Pursuing Harmony, and Kiln Sitter’s Diary.
     
  4. There is also more work to complete and stabilize the nfoCentrale site as the repository of all of the procedures and template-development work that is promulgated across all of the blogs and sites.
      

My current thinking is to have this completed enough by the end of the year that additional blogs start waking up and there are useful developments on those blogs and their related sites.

Categories ‘R’ Us

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For reasons that I am uncertain about, I created a structure of five categories on this blog.  I don’t need those particular ones.  I might not need any (well, maybe just two, plus the no-category top level).  In particular, some of the current categories are usurped by comparable ones over on nfoCentrale Status such as blog development and Movable Type.

The current category miss-fires do provide an opportunity, however.  I want to be able to retire categories while retaining the content in their category archives.  For example, if I were to retire the category of blog development, I would like to retain the archive of category pages that existed up to that point, just as I have retained the Blogger-counterpart of the category from the previous existence of Spanner Wingnut.  I’d also like to retain use of the category for those posts that were assigned to them, even though the categories would not appear in the brief (or long) category index on more-recent blog pages.

This conflicts with the ability to republish the site.  I don’t believe removing a category has any impact on the archive for that category: it and its content will remain (though template changes accomplished by alteration of CSS files and Java scripts may be imposed retroactively).  But for pages still under Movable Type management, republishing the site, or republishing a page, will lead to removal of any deleted-category associations.

So the misplaced categories here on Spanner Wingnut are going to be my laboratory for seeing how to retire categories while also preserving them as much as possible. 


This situation also applies to changes of format as well.  So if I want to preserve pages in the format they were originally posted in, I must desist from those pages being republished for any reason.  Although I can avoid mass republishing of everything, I can’t prevent republishing of a page as a side-effect of something (track back, comment, simple updating of the post, etc.).  For archive and category pages, any addition or update to one of the archived posts will lead to republishing.  Also, I think changes to templates that involve the CSS and JavaScript files pages refer to will be perpetuated to all such pages when viewed from then on.  These are the factors that must be juggled. 

In some cases, the way to preserve something the way it was is to sequester a version, even if a screen-shot, so that it can be referenced from within the blog without fear that it will be altered by any of the changes that have been made since.

Windows Live Writer has an odd view of the theme of this page, but I do have it operating now with both nfoCentrale Status and Spanner Wingnut.  That completes the first pent-up item on my Next Generation blog customizations.

The advantage of this, for me, is the ability to have local drafts.  I can also cross-post rather easily using Windows Live Writer to post the local copy to multiple blogs, etc.

I will be doing more customization with Windows Live Writer.  I do need tags as well as images to work.  There may be additional provisions to be concerned about as well.

Right now, I am just happy to have this much working, ending the frustration of my previous efforts.

It is time for a victory lap, a little mt-config.cgi cleanup, and a relaxing evening dinner break.


PS: I am also going to see if automatic trackbacks are working even when I make a post through Windows Live Writer.

Spanner Wingnut is now fully functional.  Format customization and authoring/maintenance improvements can now begin.  This is the foundation for all next-generation nfoCentrale blogs.

At this point,

    • Spanner Wingnut is operating as the second Movable Type blog implemented on nfoCentrale.
        
    • Comments and Trackbacks are fully functional
         
    • A stock Movable Type template is in place with no customization beyond basic layout choice and identification of some categories.
        
    • The previous, Blogger-generated Spanner Wingnut posts and archives are preserved in their entirety:

There is more to do.

Spanner Wingnut now becomes the laboratory for further customization of blogs, including

    1. Setup of Windows Live Writer for authoring
         
    2. Customization of Templates anc use of plug-ins as a basis for cloning further blogs that are currently dormant
        
    3. Confirmation that a second blog under the same domain (e.g., orcmid.com) can be created and operated successfully, now that multiple domains are working.

This update supercedes the fledgling status and the progression of difficulites that are now resolved

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As part of Plan B, I arranged for orcmid.com/cgi-bin/mt/ and orcmid.com/mt-static to be implemented as symbolic links to the places where those Movable Type materials are located on the web-hosting GNU/Linux account.

This required access to the account via PuTTY and operating in the command-line shell.  The resulting inspection shows the linked directories:

F10xx90-2010-05-29-1750-PuTTY-aliases.pngI also confirmed that the linked directories are accessible through their web URLs, http:orcmid.com/mt-static/ and http://orcmid.com/cgi-bin/mt/.

This did not change anything one way or the other, however.  The blogs worked as before, and comments are still not functioning on Spanner Wingnut.  That's because the Movable Type configuration has not been adjusted to reflect these modifications.  I am hoping that is all that is lacking.

To have these new locations be used from pages of blogs implemented on Orcmid's Lair (orcmid.com), I must upload yet-another modified mt-config.cgi file.  This one will restore the domain-relative use of the main paths, as follows:

F10xx89-2010-05-29-1743-mt-config-0.05.png

We still have our fingers and toes crossed ...
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My feeble attempt to fix cookie paths has apparently had no effect.  The logon processes appear to work.  However, I am apparently not recognized as logged-on at Spanner Wingnut and/or the comment form simply doesn't come up.  The ceremony succeeds, but the result doesn't occur.

When I try this:

F10xx84-2010-05-29-0928-WingNutLeaveComment.png

This appears to work:

F10xx81-2010-05-28-2006-WingnutSignin.png
And so does this:

F10xx85-2010-05-29-0931-WingNutOpenID.png

 

I can see the cookies.  If I delete the cookies they reappear.  I tried republishing what I could but that makes no difference.

If I enter a bogus user name and password, I also receive the appropriate error message.  On password recovery, I notice that there is only one e-mail address on file.  It's not my usual one but it is the one that I have messages reporting Movable Type activity use.  But the full ceremony, including notification that there has been a password recovery request, works fine.  (I ignored the request, and everything works as expected.)

I can also register a new user, not with an user ID already used, and that ceremony, including e-mail confirmation, works just fine:

F10xx86-2010-05-29-1058-NewUser.pngThe common factor is that the comment form simply doesn't come up.  I am fairly certain nfoCentrale Plan B is called for: creation of cgi-bin/mt/ in all anchored sites that have Movable Type blogs.

Before enjoying the Plan B pain, I will make one more change on the off-chance that the simplest thing, however inplausible, might work.

Here's a simple change to mt-config.cgi that I should probably make anyhow:

F10xx87-2010-05-29-1110-mt-config-0.04.pngWe'll just have to see what happens.  Stay tuned. 

 

 

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I'm operating on the theory that the next problem to solve, having comments working on anchored-domain blogs like Spanner Wingnut, involves cookie settings.  This is suggested as relevant when sub-domains are involved.  I am crossing my fingers and hoping that it also applies when add-on domains are introduced.

If this succeeds without breaking anything that was previously working, I can then move on to the more enjoyable aspects of customizing Spanner Wingnut to a level that can be cloned as Movable Type implementations of my other nfoCentrale blogs.

I am starting with the following addition to mt-config.cgi:

F10xx80-2010-05-28-1946-mt-config-0.03.pngBefore this change, any attempt to sign on for commenting simply caused the entry page to appear again, even if a new registration was made or an OpenID provided. 

Now we'll see if this simple, single change makes any difference (and doesn't break anything that is already working).

The first effort to inject a Movable Type blog atop the old Spanner Wingnut blog was not entirely successful:

    • I did succeed in getting the blog to publish.
       
    • I failed to have the blog format properly, as if it couldn't find the template and CSS information - I got a raw HTML form of the blog post (see below).
         
    • The MT 4 image and any references to mt-static/ were to orcmid.com/mt-static/ and not the common location that I have established for the blog engine to use for all blogs operated on this single web hosting account.
         
    • The Trackback, Search, and other URLs were to a cig-bin/mt/ also in orcmid.com/ and there was, of course nothing there.

I now have improved on that by editing the mt-config.cgi file to establish absolute locations for the mt-static/ and the cgi-bin/mt/ to be used for all functions. 

There are still some problems.  I have been unsuccessful signing in to leave comments on Spanner Wingnut, for example.  I will need to make some simple tests to see what is and is not working.

Meanwhile, here is what my first effort appeared as:

F10xx60-2010-05-23-1356-WingnutStylingGlitch.png

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This post is for confirmation of the Movable Type injection over the existing Spanner Wingnut blog.

This is part of the progressive conversion from Blogger to Movable Type.  If this post succeeds, it accomplishes step 2: creation of a second blog under a different nfoCentrale anchored-site domain.

The previous Blogger materials remain available:

    • The last "main page."  The previous archives can be found from that page.
        
    • The last "blog feed."  This corresponds to the last main page.  The standard feed location is (fingers-crossed) now produced for the pages produced via Movable Type. 

We are starting with the "Unity Blue" Movable Type template, in a 2-column thin-wide layout.  We will continue experimenting here until we have matched the essentials from the Blogger versions.  That will guide us in customization of the remaining blogs. 

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