MT 3.1 Upgrade Report

By Deane Barker on August 31, 2004

Well, I went ahead and upgraded to Movable Type 3.1 with the free version I got from joining the MT Professionals Network (still trying to find a catch…).

Note that if you’re considering a 3.1 upgrade, wait — there are errors in the upgrade scripts that Six Apart is working to fix right now. I had to make one code change and forge ahead while ignoring another error in order to get the upgrade to work. It doesn’t help that I’ve hacked this install up pretty badly.

I haven’t really tested any new functionality yet. It doesn’t seem any faster, which is disappointing, but the new interface is much, much cleaner and the stylesheet has been made more…hackable. Selectors are grouped by template so you can pretty easily find the rule you want to change (TEXTAREA font is pretty large by default…).

One great improvement: the little bold, italic, underline, and link buttons in the editing interface work in non-IE browsers…finally! That alone is worth the upgrade.

The venerable bookmarklet feature has been changed to “Quickpost” (probably avoid conflicting with the JavaScript hacks that people call “bookmarklets”), but it appears to be screwed at the moment — formatting is all off and the TEXTAREA is about 10-pixels wide.

So, while this upgrade looks promising, hang loose for a week or so before rushing in. There are some speedbumps to work out yet. I’ll post about the new functionality as I play with it.



  1. Here’s another change: I just had to approve that comment from Chris. It didn’t show up on the page right away, and it was sitting in the comments list as “Pending.” Approving it automatically triggered a rebuild of this entry.

    I’m turning that off. Too many comments to mess with that.

  2. Here’s another change — redirection to commentor links (instead of direct linking) is standard now. Mouseover my name and you’ll see.

  3. I actually had issues last night trying to post a comment. It was actually returning an error message, something in a file named along the lines of “quitspammingmeyouass” but I’m paraphrasing.

  4. Here’s some advice about upgrading: remember that you’ll need to overhaul your templates to take advantage of the new functionality.

    Sure, the upgrade fixes the admin interface and the data model nicely, but the new functionality introduces a lot of new tags and such that you’ll need to add to your site.

    For instance, subcategories. They’re not just gonna render with no changes in your templates. MT3.1 introduced a new set of tags:

    [MTSubCategories] [MTSubCatIsFirst] [MTSubCatsRecurse] [MTSubCatIsLast]

    Now your existing templates won’t break, but there are some presentation layer changes you’re going to have to make. It’s the same thing with plugins. We installed Markdown, but the first time Joe tried it, it didn’t work. Well, because there are presentation / template changes required, like this:

    [MTMarkdownOptions output=’xhtml’] [MTMarkdownOptions output=’html4′] [MTMarkdownOptions output=’raw’]

    A seemingly obvious point, but a lot of people sem to think that there are no changes that need to be made to suddenly get all the new 3.1 functionality. Not true.

  5. Hi,

    I’m curious if you were able to still use your custom fields. Were you? I tried using your explanation on adding a new field to MT, but it didn’t work on v3.11

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