Tuesday, 19 April 2005

Blog entry notification problems

[If you don’t get notifications of any new postings in this blog, you can ignore this article. These notifications are for entries on specific topics, and are not the same as my general e-mail newsletter — of late, mostly featuring my weekly columns on The Amazing Race — to which you can subscribe using the form in the sidebar on most pages of my Web site and blog.]

I apologize to those of you who have recently received spurious “New Entry” notifications for old articles.

I haven’t solved the problem. I thought I had a workaround, but that doesn’t seem to have worked.

If you are curious (or might be able to help with a fix), here’s what has been happening:

I recently upgraded (fearfully, but much more easily than I had expected, and with apparent success) from MovableType 2.661 to MovableType 3.15. Among the reasons I wanted to upgrade was to be able to use the MT-Notifier plugin to enable separate lists of people to be notified of new articles in different topic categories. Previous versions of MT-Notifier and MT-Blacklist for MT2 were apprently incompatible, but things I read suggested that the latest versions of these plugins were compatible with each other under MT3.

There are a few quirks in MT-Blacklist: the MT-Blacklist link at the bottom of the comment listing screen deosn’t show up unless I first click on “MT-Blacklist” in the sidebar, then go back to the blog. And some of my previous blacklist entries didn’t import correctly, and had to be tweaked. But basically it seems to work as advertised.

The serious problems are in MT-Notifier: It doesn’t do what I tell it to do, even when the settings display the way I want them. Even when I set it to “New Entries Only”, it sends notifications whenever I save changes to an entry (such as to fix a typo or update the URL of a link that has changed in an older entry).

I can’t find any report of others having this problem. I’m guessing that it may be a lingering partial incompatibility with MT-Blacklist, but that’s only speculation.

As a workaround, I tried using (with great care!) the “search and replace” tool in MT to fix typos or change URL’s in old entries, enstead of the rregular article editing screen. But that seems to trigger the same spurious “new entry” ntoifications”.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience I’ve caused. I’ve been corresponding with the author of MT-Notifier, to try to find a solution. If I can’t find a fix shortly, I will uninstall MT-Notifier and revert to the old notification system (the very limited notifications built into MT.) I would welcome any advice on a workaround or fix.

[Addendum, 21 April 2005: The author of MT-Notifier, Chad Everett, has been working with me diligently, both on a workaround and (as part of a future release) on a fix that will significantly enhance the notification features and the ease of using them. As of today, I think that I will be able to update entries without generating spurious notifications. If you receive any more notifications about long-ago entires, please let me know. I’ve also added an apology for the recent problems to the next round of notification messages.]

Link | Posted by Edward on Tuesday, 19 April 2005, 14:00 ( 2:00 PM)
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