I realize my post about Movable Type and WordPress the other night may have been a little incoherent, particularly if you’re not familiar with blogging software. The engine that drives this blog is now provided by a software package called WordPress. Up until the beginning of this week, it was provided by Movable Type.
I had been thinking about moving to WordPress for some time, but I am a late adopter and generally lazy. It was the comment spam that finally put me over the edge. Movable Type has comment spam blocking tools, but I tried several and I couldn’t get them to work. I only have a certain amount of time each night to spend on this kind of thing, and if I blow through that installing and re-installing something that doesn’t work, I get very irritated. Someone at SixApart (the Movable Type folks) had written what looked to be a very nice spam-blocking plugin. I was excited to try it and be done with my spam scourge. But there was a long involved process to install it that involved unzipping archives, FTP transfers, rebuilding the site, inserting a special string in three different files, rebuilding the site again, then swearing when it didn’t work.
I took my troubles to the support site for the plugin. In an uncivil moment, I mentioned that I had “blown two hours trying to make this work” and was “feeling frustrated.” The plugin author responded quickly, and pointed out quite rightly that he hadn’t charged me a dime for his plugin, and that if I followed the steps carefully I would probably get it working. Upon reading his reply, I quickly concluded that we were both right. He didn’t deserve to be chastised for a gift, but I had good reason to be frustrated. The problem was Movable Type. It was just too damned fiddly and it smelled of overripe perl scripts. It was just never going to be easy to install a spam blocker.
This finally kicked me in the pants and got me to move my bags over to a newer cleaner architecture with WordPress. And it’s working for me very well. Aside from my inauspicious start the other night, flushing my very first post…