Movable Type Entries
Read about the blog publishing system Movable Type
The annoncement of the Movable Type nofollow plugin is a result of the problem with comment spam and Page Rank.
The search team at Google approached us with the idea of flagging hyperlinks with a rel="nofollow" link attribute in order to alert their search spider that a particular link shouldn't be factored into their Page Rank calculations. The Yahoo and MSN search teams have also indicated they'd support this new spec, and we'll be implementing and deploying this specification as quickly as possible across all of our platforms around the world.
Read the Six Apart blog entry
The outpouring of support and debate over a little HTML is the direct result of the mountain of comment spam that most blogs are buried under each day. Comment spammers post fake comments on blogs, guestbooks, and other places online with links to their spam sites in hopes that Google will index those pages and increase their Page Rank. The main idea is that, when Google, MSN, and Yahoo! begin removing links with the attribute applied from their Page Rank calculations, spammers will no longer have any motivation to continue deluging websites with comments about cialis, viagra, and lonely housewives. Some people online aren't so sure that this is the best solution.
and even more
Planet MT aggregates posts from the most important Movable Type weblogs and presents them in a variety of formats from headlines to full posts and RSS. The script is set to rebuild the files every half hour so posts may not show up instantly. There is a timestamp on the front page that shows last rebuild. I've had this idea swimming around my head ever since Planet Mozilla launched but never implemented it because until a few weeks ago I was under the impression that my host did not provide Python.
From the blog posting:
This document describes how malicious or unwanted comments ('comment spam') affect weblogs, the techniques spammers use to abuse weblogs, and the tactics that can be used to prevent and defend against these attacks. Also included is a review of the strengths and weaknesses of each tactic, instructions for implementing them on your weblog and ones which we recommend for the best protection.
The document in PDF
Six Apart Recommendations for Movable Type Users:
Checking my mail this morning I saw 402 new mails in my Blog folder. Scanning the headers I quickly realized that this was just another comment spam attack. I'm running Movable Type as my blogging software and also have the MT-Blacklist plugin. And MT-Blacklist had forced moderation of 400 these comment spams. So the users of my blog didn't see any of these comment spams. Thanks MT-Blacklist. But I still have scan through all the comments checking to see if there's any valid comments in between and then deleting all those not valid. The comment spams are getting smarter and smarter so the comments aren't made from the same IP. They all come from different IP's. You can check my blog status here.
Currently the best method to avoid comment spam in Movable Type installations is to use the MT-Blacklist plugin. But there are other methods that you can use. Or perhaps combine to get even better protection.
Bayesian filter for MT
You will train your MT blog to learn about spams. The system started off quite dumb but as you train it, it will learn and become better at identify spam. Once it is sufficient trained, it will require little or no further maintenance. Training is just a fanciful word. What you are actually doing is blacklisting and whitelisting, except the system takes the whole content (not just IP or host) into consideration. Using these blacklist & whitelist which you tell it, it will attempt to guess (fuzzy logic) if other comments or pings are spams too.
MT-DSBL - Open proxy comment filter
This means that if your IP address is on a list of known open proxies (mostly used by email spammers, but recently by comment-spammers as well) you will not be able to post comments.
When executed this tag will change all open comments to closed comments on posts that are too old. This is controlled by an attribute on the tag or by the number of days for the main index.
SCode - Solution for comments spams
To cut the story short, I wrote a plugin to MT that will verify if it is a human before it allows comments to be posted. The idea is pretty simple: Display an image with a Security Code and demand the user to enter a Security Code manually before allowing posting to go through.
We have just released Movable Type v3.14 which fixes the issue of extreme loads witnessed on servers under the strain of a massive spam attack. Because these attacks are increasing in both frequency and severity, we strongly recommend that all Movable Type users install this update. This is particularly important for any installation that is visible to the public on the web.
Read and download
The main changes in this new version are explained in detail below, but in summary, you can expect these updates:
- Unnecessary rebuilds upon comment moderation are eliminated.
- Generation of internal bookkeeping data for dynamic pages is not performed when using static pages.
- New weblogs default to having comment moderation enabled.
The first one is just an updated version of Acronym. Acronym is a plugin for Movable Type that adds acronym tags to known acronyms. This text in a blog posting This is a XHTML test becomes this This is a <acronym title="Extensible HyperText Markup Language">XHTML</acronym> test which in the web browser is shown like this This is a XHTML test.
So go ahead and download Acronym.
The other is a brand new one. Favicon is a plugin for Movable Type that adds favicons to comments and trackbacks. Favicons are small icons shown in the browsers location bar for better identification of a website. To the right is shown a screenshot of the Favicon plugin in use. If the user leaves a URL either in a comment or a trackback the favicon is being show next to the comment/trackback.
You can see a live example of the favicons by looking at the comment on this blog posting.
So go ahead and download Favicon.
I've added TrackBack URL's to my RSS feed. This way a TrackBack aware RSS reader will be able to reply to entries.
The inclusion of TrackBack data in RSS feeds allows for the further automation of the TrackBack process. Currently, users wanting to send a TrackBack ping either must first locate the TrackBack URL and then enter it into their weblog tool, or use a "Bookmarklet" to extract this information from a page. With TrackBack data embedded in RSS, properly designed software applications can now automatically handle the discovery of the TrackBack URL, and ping it when appropriate. Tools designed around RSS aggregation can use the embedded TrackBack information to infer connections between posts.
Neil spotted that Movable Type 3.12 is out.
Movable Type 3.12 has just been released in the US. This version fixes up and ties down tons of little issues that were affecting some users in 3.11.
I really like this:
- Rebuild times have been significantly improved.
Here's a small peek at what's coming in Movable Type 3.1. Though Movable Type 3.0 was a Developer Edition, this release will be available for general users, and we'll be making it available as a free update for licensed users of 3.0. Dynamic PHP publishing, controllable on a per-template basis, Post scheduling, Subcategories, Application-level callbacks are just some of the new things.
I've been playing around with Movable Type 3.0 and it's nicer than 2.x. Not nicer in the way it looks, but nicer it the way it works. Faster building times, etc. My Acronym plugin also works in version 3.0.
This release of Movable Type 3.1 is currently scheduled for release on August 31
MT::Plugins::Acronym 0.7 has been released. Acronym is a plugin for Movable Type that adds acronym tags to known acronyms.
Read more and Download at:
Fixed in version 0.7:
- More HTML tags ignored
- Better detection of HTML tags to ignore
- Acronyms like HTML! are also supported now
- Strict warning fixed
- More acronyms added to acronym.db. Total is now 170
MT::Plugins::Acronym 0.6 has been released. Acronym is a plugin for Movable Type that adds acronym tags to known acronyms.
Read more and Download at:
Fixed in version 0.6:
- Fixed loading of database (acronym.db) under mod_perl by using MT::ConfigMgr
- Easier regexp management in acronym detection
- More acronyms added to acronym.db. Total is now 162
MT::Plugins::Acronym 0.5 has been released.
Read more and Download at:
Acronym is a plugin for Movable Type that adds acronym tags to known acronyms.
New things in this release:
- Much faster algoritm
- More acronyms added to acronym.db
This is a XHTML test
This is a <acronym title="Extensible HyperText Markup Language">XHTML</acronym> test
which in the web browser is shown like this:
This is a XHTML test
Download the Acronym plugin.