The conversion to Movable Type is going smoothly so far. I’m continually amazed at the application’s flexibility, power, and speed. The ability to expand its functionality with the plugin architecture gives MT endless possibilities for small-scale sites like this one.

The Log Archive pages are mostly complete. They now provide views of entries by month, by individual entry, by category, or by all titles. My old Blogger-assisted version could only list entries by month or by day, and that combination alone required lots of custom ASP scripting to circumvent Blogger defaults.

During the conversion, I noted all my own links to previous entries would need to be updated to the new file structure and naming convention. After changing three or four entries, I realized finding each link and changing it was too tedious a process. Unlike others, I don’t write every day, so my number of entries isn’t growing rapidly. Nevertheless, this link maintenance is something I don’t want to have to go through again should I ever decide to change file structure or extensions in the future.

In my MT Support Forum searches, I came across David Raynes’ How To Prevent Link-Rot in Movable Type using a combination of his MTEntry plugin (which can reference a single entry) and Brad Choate’s MTMacros plugin (which can parse custom-defined tags within entry text). It took a few attempts this weekend to get it working correctly. But now that I have this macro working, I’ll never need to reference an explicit file name or directory structure when linking to a previous entry. I altered the macro by changing the custom tag name from <entry_link> to <elink> (just to make it easier/faster to type). I also expanded the macro so that it also grabs the entry title and date, then shoves them into the link’s title attribute. All I need to reference a previous entry is this:

<elink id="173">weblogs.com without tables</elink>

and the link is parsed by MT and created for me: weblogs.com without tables. Links generated this way will automatically get updated should I ever decide to restructure or rename the archive files. Remarkably simple. And it saves work. (Of course I still need to deal with inbound links from other sites to my archived entries. I wish MT could automatically write the redirects for those too.)

I love it when technology actually makes my life easier, instead of just telling me it will.