Polytropos Reborn

OK, finally, the blog is back in shape, more or less. For the record, I am a dimwit. Prior to doing a clean install of Movable Type, I did not . . .

* . . . read any sort of help file or other guideline that might have smoothed the process.
* . . . check to see whether the export file with all my entries contained indexing information. (I just assumed that it did. It did not.)
* . . . make a mirror backup of the whole site so I could rollback if necessary.
* . . . think to re-install plugins before importing the entries.

These are all things that I would have told someone _else_ to do if they asked me for advice. Why I didn’t do them for myself I can’t adequately explain, except to fall back on the “frazzled parenthood” defense, which I hate to resort to more than I must. But there’s something to it in this case — most of the upgrade activity took place in five and ten-minute blocks of time that I was hoping wouldn’t be interrupted by having to read _Ten Apples Up On Top_ for the fourth time in one day.

Though I am obviously not very clueful, I am clueful enough to know that everything went wrong because of user stupidity, so I have reason whatsoever to be bitter at Movable Type — though I was often tempted to be, and I can now see why it is that so many users fall back on the “lousy software” excuse when they’re the ones mucking up the works. There _is_ lousy software out there, to be sure, but MT ain’t it.

Anyway. Polytropos is now sporting the updated template, and thus a new stylesheet, but I’ve managed to get things looking pretty close to what they were like before. The background shading in the text area is the big exception, because it’s not as easy to do under the new template. I’ll figure it out eventually. I cleaned up the sidebar a little bit, and added a category listing.

As a result of the ill-fated upgrade, many internal links were irrevocably broken, so I just bit the bullet and switched to the newer (and more sensible) indexing system, wherein entries are archived with text names based on their titles, in dated subdirectories, instead of just with numbers. As a result _all_ links between entries became broken by definition. I have fixed all of them from the current year and for those entries linked under Highlights in the sidebar. The rest I’ll fix someday, maybe. This also means that all external links _to_ individual Polytropos entries are now broken. I apologize for this; fortunately it’s happening at a time when not too many people are linking to me anyway.

Also, for some reason, many older entries had their dashes and quotation marks global-replaced with question marks. This may have been a problem before that I just never noticed. In any case, there, too, I only fixed the Highlighted entries, and will get to the rest -when monkeys leap out of my- someday.

Oh, and as for that trackback spam — one of the ostensible reasons for performing this upgrade in the first place — it appears to have stopped, but not because of anything to do with the new version or the clean install. I discovered that in order for MT-Blacklist to auto-update with the latest spam database, you have to tweak a couple settings and change something in (I think) mt.cfg. And how, you ask, did I figure this out? _I read the instructions_. Stunning.