Movable Type 4.2

Just a quick one for anyone using Movable Type who has yet to upgrade to version 4.2: Don’t. Despite more than two months of public beta testing I’d wait for the next round of bug fixes (I should have learned this by now).

Perhaps the most serious problem so far affects anyone using Custom Fields. From the #movabletype IRC channel via ProNet:

Upgrading an mt 4.1 install to 4.2 that has custom fields data for more than 100 objects of a given type (for example, more than 100 entries have custom entry field data) will result in partial custom field data loss… the bug is that only some of the entries have their entry_meta data moved to the mt_entry_meta table, then the entry_meta column in the mt_entry table is deleted so whatever has not been migrated to the new mt_entry_meta table is gone for good.

This happened to me: random latitudes, longitudes, Wikipedia links and temperatures on Pepys’ Diary entries disappeared. I had a backup of the 4.1 database but had to spend much of yesterday coding something to extract that data and put it into the new database, hoping I was doing it correctly. Data loss caused by an upgrade really should be something that’s picked up before a final release.

Someone else on ProNet reported several problems, such as inaccurate search results and the system asking to be upgraded several times. One oddity I’ve found is with the recently_commented_on attribute of the MTEntries tag. With MT 4.1 this showed the n most recent entries to receive comments. After the upgrade, on most but not all of my blogs, it only showed one or two or three entries.

The solution, for reasons which escape me, are to add the limit attribute with a high value:

<MTEntries recently_commented_on="10" limit="100">

Incidentally, the documentation for recently_commented_on suggests its value is the number of days to use to limit the number of entries, when in fact it’s simply the number of entries to display. Incomplete documentation is another current problem with MT.


  • Documentation is still bad? Arrgh!

    After having a bit of a bad one earlier this year with MT4, for a tough client (the missus, no less) I think I've given up now. I had been looking at 4.2 as the last chance for me, but sounds like there are still too many holes to step in, and being not that good a coder, wouldn't be able to write something to get out of jail like you have Phil.

    Shame, I used to be a huge fan of MT. :-(

  • The documentation is better than it used to be, but there are still gaps and errors. I understand this is their next focus.

    I like that they really concentrated on getting the performance improved for this current release, rather than adding more features. So these problems have been disappointing.

    I still like MT, and I'm in way too deep with current sites to ever stop using it, but I certainly think long and hard about what to use for new sites.

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Wednesday 20 August 2008, 10:00am

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20 Aug 2008 at Twitter

  • 9:43pm: Phew. Long day of tidying up locations on the Pepys site, tidying up code, and listening to loud 90s guitars.
  • 2:53pm: "I'm lost in music-uh, Lost in music-uh, HIIIIDEaway, Snag table top snag, Dip dip dip refurbishment of pubs, In the hideaway..."

20 Aug 2008 in Links