So far so good

After the recent amount work on my personal weblog, I feel it’s time to take stock and quickly jot down all the customisations which have been made here. Also, if by chance another :mt: newbie comes along, hopefully this can be useful to him/her too.

Under the hood:

  • Have adopted a directory structure as discussed on the MovableType Forum: basically al cgi’s in the cgi-bin directory, images and doc in a static directory.
  • Currently have individual, weekly, monthly and category archive turned on. Monthly is the actual ‘archive’ as shown on the basic front page. Category archive is used more as a ways of separating content, although I can foresee a time when I need to also archive the categories by periods as well – perhaps a separate blog somewhere down the line? weekly archive is used so that I can choose to display just two weeks’ worth of stuff on front page. Individual archive is kind of obvious.
  • So far, have resisted the temptation of implementing the index template using tables or fixed positioning (as opposed to the ‘float’ method implemented in the MovableType default template) in order to solve the problem of the navigation panel wrapping around the main text area if there are insufficient entries, but still keeping that option open.

On the front page:

  • Displaying the current time/date (in Singapore, UTC+8hrs) in the banner section using PHP. The time is calculated by adding an offset directly to the GMT time, rather applying it to the server time, which is what a lot of scripts I found are doing. I think in the long run, this is more flexible, as my server may move to a different location and it will have no effect on my script. Currently mulling over the option of having a form to compute world time (well, at a number of major cities anyway) but still wondering about the usefulness of using PHP in that case. Also, still undecided on what is the best way of updating the time, without resorting to fancy Javascript or Java. At the moment, the approach is to use http-equiv tag to refresh periodically (10mins) but this is kind of annoying if you are halfway into some entries and then you are brought back to the top of the page all of a sudden… Anyway, since the time as shown is not meant to be used as an accurate digital clock but more as a quick indication of time differences for people in different parts of the world,, then perhaps this problem of updating may be a non-issue!?
  • The entries on front page are from the past 2 complete weeks (including current week), not displayed using lastn or days=x, i.e. the most recent n entries or entries from most recent few days. 2 weeks was chosen as the right period because I don’t anticipate updating the contents that many times every day. This requires Weekly Archive to be on.
  • Each section in the links in the navigation panel is individually included via SSI – actually a “PHP require”. (I assume they mean the same thing??)
  • After the initial few days of setting up MovableType, found Recent Entries rather redundant, so it was removed. Then added Recent Comments instead because I prefer not to receive email notifications on comments and this allows me to see quickly when particular items have been commented. The comments link to the individual entry – hence needing Individual Archive on.
  • The Powered By portion of the navigation panel is implemented as an MovableType module.

Archives:

  • The Monthly Archive is organised using Mark’s calendar template. For those interested, you can also look at Dawn’s clear tutorial too.
  • The smaller calendars on Category Archive is included using the :mt: module mechanism.

Phew, quite a long list! Well, that’s all I can remember so far.

ps. Will probably upgrade to :mt: version 2.5 this weekend – after backing up all the important files, that is…

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