I was this close to moving everything over to Movable Type tonight, then I realized something that I think puts Movable Type out of the running. Here’s the scenario. I use pair.com as my hosting provider, and the files for this site live in a directory called public_html. As you may know, Movable Type lives in its own install directory and publishes static files to the directory where your content will live. Even if you max out your use dynamic publishing, it still wants to publish a few files on its own. (Let’s leave aside the fact that I couldn’t get dynamic publishing to work perfectly after a couple of hours of work.)

In order for Movable Type to publish files, the Web server process has to have permission to write to the directory where they will live. That leaves a few options:

  • Use cgiwrap or suexec. It’s to Six Apart’s credit that Movable Type supports these programs, which enable the Web server process to use your user ID when accessing files. Pair.com’s installation of cgiwrap sucks big time, so this isn’t an option for me.
  • Change the permissions for my main Web directory to 777, meaning that anyone can write to it. This seems like a really bad idea to me.
  • Let Movable Type publish to another directory with wide open permissions. This would work fine, but then the URL for this site would change. I could handle that with a redirect, but I don’t want to.

This seems like kind of an intractable problem, given that I don’t want to change hosting providers (perhaps the most logical solution) and that I don’t have that much invested in Movable Type. One thing I did discover is that it was easier to import my old entries into Movable Type by generating a massive SQL script to insert all of them into the mt_entry table than it was to use the Movable Type import facility, which is awfully slow (I have nearly 8000 entries).

Anyway, time to try something else tomorrow.

Update: I’m posting further updates on this issue here.