So Far, So Good

The conversion from Radio Userland over to Movable Type has gone very smoothly so far. There’s no support or directions from Six Apart for importing from Radio, as there is for a few other blogging systems, but I found a Python script by Krzysztof Kowalczyk which did 95% of the work in converting my Radio entries into the format the MT can import. Fixing up the other 5% didn’t take too long since I only had about 10 entries in Radio. If I had a more “normal” load of blog entries, then it would have been much more painful to do the conversion.
I’ve poked around at the templates a bit, modifying things here and there so to be more to my liking. I’ve exported them to external files so that I can use a normal editor to modify them. I found a Dreamweaver Extension by Shabbir J. Safdar which integrates those template files with Dreamweaver very nicely. One thing which puzzles me a bit is that they have the master CSS file setup as a template, even though (apparently) no conversion or substitution takes place when that template is “rebuilt.” It appears to be a simple copy operation, in which case, why did they bother making it a template?
I bought the book Teach Yourself Movable Type in 24 Hours by Molly Holzschlag and Porter Glendinning. Although it’s for an older version of MT, the format of the “24 Hours” series makes it very easy for an advanced user to skim through it and pick up the important points. I’ve read one other book by Molly and I think she’s a terrific author, on par with Zeldman and Meyer.
BTW, I don’t really need to buy and use books like this. I’ve got 30 years of experience with computers and programming, and I could easily figure this stuff out on my own. But one of the things that those years of experience have taught me is to not waste my time unnecessarily. This particular book cost $30, and if it saves me 1/2-hour in getting up to speed on Movable Type, then its well worth the cost. There are plenty of other things out there to learn that don’t have books written about them. Take advantage of other people’s experience when its available.
Browsing Amazon, I see that there is another book about MT due out this fall, Movable Type 3.0 Bible Desktop Edition by Rogers Cadenhead. Rogers is the author of a similar book about Radio Userland which I found similarly helpful when I was (trying to) learn about that blogging tool. I doubt I’ll need it by the time its published, but I’ll probably buy it anyway.

One thought on “So Far, So Good

  1. Hey there, glad to hear you’re enjoying Movable Type and that our book has helped you out. I really appreciate the kind words, and am glad the book has been valuable to you! Molly 🙂

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