My experimentation with Movable Type continues apace. The first big problem was figuring out how to get all of my old content into Movable Type. Movable Type can, of course, import content itself, and the import format is documented perfectly well. Unfortunately, that didn’t do it for me because I wanted to preserve the actual IDs of the items in my old database in the Movable Type database. Fortunately, the database schema for Movable Type was pretty simple, so I wrote my own script that exports my entries in a format that can be easily imported into MT. Now I have my roughly 5500 entries in Movable Type, and I can start futzing around with it for real. (I’m fortunate to have a complete mirror of my site on another server so that I can mess around with all this stuff without breaking the site.)

The thing I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around now is that MT seems dead set on exporting everything to static files instead of serving entries out of the database. There are two issues with that approach that make my brain hurt a little bit. The first is disk space usage. That’s not a huge deal. Without doing anything at all to save space (like using includes), all of the published entries add up to about 35 megs of space. My account provides 700 megs of space, so I’m pretty safe in that regard, but it still strikes me as wasteful. The second issue involves world writeable directories. I just don’t like them on general principle, and I’m still working on a good solution to that problem.

One thing that’s looking pretty hopeful though is that I will be able to move to Movable Type without breaking any of the archive URLs on this site. I don’t want to break any inbound links to archived entries, and I think I’ll be able to avoid that sad outcome completely.

Update: apparently there are many solutions to the world-writable directory problem (involving various CGI wrappers). I haven’t tested any of the ones that readers have sent in, but I’m sure at least one of them would work for me.