The MovableType 4.0 Upgrade that Wasn’t

Similar to the Ubuntu upgrade that wasn’t, the MovableType 4.0 upgrade didn’t go all that well. The install itself, was amazingly easy… two clicks total, outside of copying the new files to the server (and backups of course). The new interface is…. different, but has some really cool features that someone like me can see as being useful:


  • Auto-save while you’re typing like gmail does
  • Quick reply from right in the interface
  • Syntax highlighting in the template editor

The issue really came when I wanted to publish. Seems the template system has been given a major overhaul, and my old setup just didn’t fit in. I was playing with the (again, nice and new and sexy) instant-apply style switching system and found that sometimes it just didn’t work. It was due to my templates not following the new standard. So ok, easy enough, find the Movable Type 4.0 default templates and copy the new index template in.

That’s where trouble started šŸ™‚ I figured out how the main index template works, and how it has sub-templates embedded in it called modules. I faithfully copied these in from the MT site. Then I was prompted to create modules with names like <var _translate=’Header’> instead of just “Header”, which I did to allow my site to be published. Basically the same issue as this guy.

End result was I managed to find the various modules and templates that were needed, but my site ended up having, instead of proper headers (like “Archives” on the page like I have now) I got <var _translate=”Archives”>

At that point I restored from backup, nuked the database and re-imported it from backup, and wrote this article. I do have a fresh MT4 install that I can probably move templates around from, but that’s for another night…. though I do wish I’d thought of that before un-doing the upgrade!

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