reason #8 why I’m beginning to hate Movable Type

If you click the link, a message will go to me, the blog owner. But guess what: I […]


If you click the link, a message will go to me, the blog owner. But guess what: I can’t do anything about the problem. The “questionable” post isn’t held for my approval. It doesn’t exist in the system, it’s merely rejected so I as admin never see it unless you the poster mail it to me. And look at the text of this post: I have no idea why it’s questionable, and what I as a poster should do to try to fix it.

How did I get this posted eventually? It was no small workaround, I’ll tell you. I changed the text body to the word “fish”, then posted that. Then I went into the tool and replaced the word “fish” with the desired comment post. I first tried replacing one potentially questionable word after another in the orginal post, but eventually gave up after five rejected attempts and used a placeholder. Please don’t ask me why the word “fish”. That’s just how it is. We’ve all got our personal foobars.

It’s particularly painful to me as the site moderator because I feel I’m represented as someone who disapproves of the post, yet could be talked into posting it if I was contacted. Instead I’m someone who is fine with the post yet cannot do anything simple about getting it up. If I didn’t love you, my dear commenters (even when you are mean!) I think I’d just say fergetaboudit and turn off comments. I’m not sure what is worse; comment spam or MT’s fighting of it.

I’ve restrained myself so far in expressing how painful I find MT because I adore adore adore the staff that I know over there. But I lambast yahoo, google and realplayer every time they are moronic. Criticism sometimes leads to improved behavior. I pray it will here. Because this product sucks.


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  1. 1
    Donna Maurer

    This was happening on my blog to someone who emailed me. I’m glad she did. It took me ages to figure out, and it wasn’t about ‘questionable content’, it was the email address – I had managed to do something stupid in MTBlacklist.

    I dug around the movabletype documentation and changed my template to spit out a better error message that actually describes the problem properly.

    So its possibly not a generally bad movabletype problem, but a bad default template.

  2. 2

    blame the user, Donna? MT hasgrown increasing less friendly to the ordinary user… the problem you described is one I couldn’t have solved, and I am not a tech-idiot.

    It’s MT’s job– especially since they now have heaps of money and a ton of staff– to start providing a grown-up professional product. the days of forgiving them beause it’s just ben and mena are over.

  3. 3
    Donna Maurer

    Sorry – didn’t mean to look like I was blaming the user or apologising for movabletype! Eek!

    I couldn’t remember where my default template set came from – I got it from somewhere at least 3 years ago and hadn’t changed the part that was spitting out silly error messages.

  4. 4

    np… my template came from MT in an upgrade, an I’ll bet yours did too. It’s time to rearchictect MT utterly. Playing with WordPress, I was impressed at how much more elegant and usable it is. MT needs to change, or facing loosing their core user base forever… because once you switch away, why switch back? much better to give people no reason to switch.

    incremental improvmenets are good, 99% of the time they are the way to make your product better, but every so often a website or a web application will grown so byzantine it’s just time to rip it apart and start over.

  5. 5
    Donna Maurer

    I must admit, I do have another blog on wordpress and am thinking about moving DonnaM over – the only thing that is stopping me is the effort, although wordpress still does things in a way that is a little inflexible (but the latest version is miles better than the previous).

  6. 6
    Heiko Hebig

    Hey Donna,
    this spam prevention method results likely from the Blacklist plugin, not from the Movable Type application.

    Have you upgraded to MT3.2 yet? MT3.2 has new features such as a junk scoring framework and comes bundled with the SpamLookup plugin which works very well for most users.

    If you have more questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to post it here or contact me offline. We are here to help.

  7. 7

    The same thing happened to someone using our internal blog. I happened to be sitting next to her at the time, so I told her to click on Submit again. Not only did it post, but her post appeared twice. Our blog only exists in our intranet and is not accessible from outside, so I don’t think MTBlacklist comes into it at all (but I could be wrong). Our guy who installed MT just left, so I need to find out who is in charge of it now. I have a feeling it might be me.

  8. 8

    Who are “we” who is here to help?

    Honestly reason 3 or 4 of why I hate MT is that I am in completley horror in of updating… I’m pretty much no longer capable of doing it. It’s just gotten so hard, and leftover junk is almost always floating around. Jay hisself was nice to enoguh to clean out some junk for me, but by myself I’m not longer capable. The software is getting to be too much for the ordinary chick on the street.

  9. 9

    OMG, and how did they forget pagination on the comments management page? I can’t even look at comments on EH, because there are too many. I get 500 internal errors. It makes it impossible to approve comments, as I has to do ON MY OWN COMMENT. ye gods.

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