Movable Type 4.2 upgrade recap

I’ve got my Movable Type software upgraded to 4.2 and replaced my old templates with default ones, which I’ve done some customizing on, with more to come. So far, so good. It’s MUCH faster – my faith is restored. For the most part.

I started by installing the Professional Pack templates, and after I got them all customized, I changed my mind about that. I did another refresh with the Mid-Century templates instead and started over with my custom coding. The Mid-Century had a few more objects already built that I wanted to play with.

Either way — it’s a little odd how they install “themes” and I wish they had a professional users way of doing it. The idea behind themes is allowing people without design backgrounds to refresh and change their sites. I’m not really interested in doing that — I wanted a basic set of templates so I wouldn’t have to cobble together all the code myself given their rather Byzantine documentation. So I wanted to use a theme as a jumping off point for my own work.

But their themes install into a static directory, and they allow you minimal ability to customize via the interface. I should have started by yanking their stylesheets and images out of the theme and putting them in my own directory and working from there, but I didn’t. I just started coding the css in the stylesheet they allow you in the interface — one that imports their theme stylesheet. That’s rather clunky, as I have to use the !important attribute to overwrite their styles a lot. I need to revise how I do it and take over all the stylesheet work.

I need to do a lot more stylesheet work to better incorporate my branding, but I’ll tackle that further in the future. Right now, I’m working on the tags for my site. The “related entries” object is driven by tags, so I’m revisiting past blog posts and either cleaning up the tags or adding them if they’re missing, so the related entries show up correctly.

I had hoped to spend most of the week doing this task, rather than installing templates, but it didn’t work out that way. Taking the week off work was primarily meant to accomplish editing every past post. So I’ll just be working my way through those slowly over time. Sadly, that’s a task I’ve started at least 4 times in the past and never finished. I wonder if I’ll ever manage to finish?

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2 comments on “Movable Type 4.2 upgrade recap
  1. CGHill says:

    You have way more tenacity than I do; after installing 4.21 and watching it take 11 hours to not quite republish 4061 posts, I ported everything over to WordPress.

  2. My rebuild took about 4 hours, but it seemed to run and complete better than I expected. I imagine that was because I refreshed the templates and flushed my old out of date ones; I dunno if you tried that or not. But I imagine you’re pretty happy on that there wordpress. Lots of folks are.

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