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How to use SimpleComments with dynamic publishing in MovableType 3.1x

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 20 years ago, in 2004, on the World Wide Web.

You may or may not have noticed that Geekery Today uses the SimpleComments plugin by Adam Kalsey to combine TrackBack pings and comments into a single list (because, as Adam puts it, TrackBacks are comments–they’re not comments on your site, but they’re comments nevertheless). Recently, though, I upgraded to MovableType 3.1–I’ve had persistent problems with the amount of time that it takes large category indexes to rebuild when I create new posts, and so I wanted to take advantage of MovableType’s new dynamic publishing engine. At which point I ran into a big, fat problem: none of my plugins work on dynamically built templates. It turns out that MT‘s dynamic publishing engine does allow for plugins, but they need to be written in PHP, whereas all the MovableType plugins that you have used heretofore on your static pages have been written in Perl. Oops!

Well, I think that this was kind of a boneheaded design decision on the part of Six Apart, and if I were sticking to my ideological guns I’d just refuse to use dynamic publishing until the problem is fixed. But I don’t run MovableType for ideological purposes; I run it to generate a weblog. So I held my nose, cracked open the source code for Kalsey’s SimpleComments, and wrote my own port in PHP. If you use SimpleComments with MovableType 3.1 or later, then all you need to do is download the zip file, upload each of the PHP scripts therein to the php/plugins directory of your MovableType installation, and voil?@c3;a0;! you can switch templates from static to dynamic and back again without any change in your ability to use SimpleComments tags.

The current version of PHP SimpleComments is 1.31–so called because it mirrors the functionality of Kalsey’s SimpleComments 1.31. All of the tags and attributes are implemented–I think. You can download everything you need from the project page; let me know if it works for you, or if there are any lurking problems that need to be fixed.


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