Anne van Kesteren


Well it seems to be. I really like the tool I'm using now (Nucleus), but before everything will work, like short URIs and validating comments... I think that will take one to two years. Unfortunately I don't have the time to wait for such thing and I want to move on and focus more on my content (and company) than worrying about my weblog tool.

So I'll think I switch to Movable Type this weekend together with the "redesign". If anyone has any tips about converting my database, please give a comment. If you are thinking about comment validating yourself: read(!). If you want to use XML Schema (much better solution actually, anyone has plans to do something like this in Movable Type?): read(!).

The conversion will hopefully take place at the end of this week/weekend and all the permalinks will be broken :) I think, since my current weblog links to id's and my coming weblog will link to titles like: /archives/2003/09/01/inevitable.


  1. anne,
    have you checked out wordpress?

    Posted by huphtur at

  2. I was wondering how long you'd be willing to edit all your comments by hand to ensure validity...

    Your X-Phile colleagues can be divided into two groups: those who don't allow comments (the majority) and those who allow any sort of invalid crap to be left as a comment. Of the latter group, those who don't realize this is a problem simply haven't been blogging for long enough...

    As to using XML Schema for validation. It would be neat, but I doubt someone's going to write an MT plugin for this anytime soon, since -- courtesy of Alexei Kosut -- we have an off-the-shelf solution using the W3C validator.

    For other weblogging systems, however, it really looks like the way to go.

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  3. MT is the only bloggingtool I really like. Exept for pivot, but it had too few customisable features.

    Don't get all tangled up in your templates ;)

    Posted by Arthur at

  4. Jacques, as a note, I'm currently in the X-Philes and don't allow comments. I'm in the middle of writing the system to allow comments and will be making comments strictly a subset of XHTML (to remove dangerous elements). Does this create a third group?

    I don't think it's as black and white as "don't bother at all" or "allow any slop".

    Posted by Gary F at

  5. Bravo, Gary!
    You are doing exactly what is required if one is to do something both interesting (I think that weblogs with comments are much more interesting than ones without) and maintainable.

    After all, you have to wonder why someone would go to all the trouble of doing XHTML correctly, if, as a result, they end up creating a site less rich than the one they would have created using "old skool" HTML4.

    XHTML is a lot more trouble, but it's worth it if you can provide a richer user-experience. I've tried to do that with my site.

    I'm glad to hear you're trying to do that with yours.

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  6. I'm also in the X-Philes now and I do allow comments, I just let MT strip out the tags. Evil maybe, but the easiest solution. I'll look into comment validation some day.

    Anne, I was just looking at Nucleus the other day and thought to give it a try. I like it for being written in PHP (of which I know a bit, while PERL is Chinese to me) and being Free Software (GPL), while MT is not Free in that sense.

    What's the problem with Nucleus and sensible URIs? Is that so hard to implement?

    Posted by Ben at

  7. Ben,
    Type an unescaped ampersand into your comment entry form (currently served up as text/html) and watch the fun after you "post" it.

    Aside from that bit of amusement (IE, your page no longer rendering), you might also be concerned about (invalid, but well-formed XHTML) control characters (from people pasting text with curly quotes, etc, into your comment window) in comments.

    MovableType does *not* protect you from these things.

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  8. Thanks for enlightening me on that. I should make haste with comment validating then!

    Posted by Ben at

  9. Oh, and I should have said that your trackbacks are open to all kinds of crap. But since, again, your trackbacks are viewed as text/html, you are "safe".

    (Note: Evan decided to cut people some slack and not demand that their comment-entry forms and such also be served with the correct MIME-type (nor does he check whether they are valid). In your case, since those pages are XHTML 1.0 Transitional, it's maybe even "OK" that your are serving them as text/html.)

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  10. My comment-entry form is XHTML 1.1 served as application/xhtml+xml (well, it's on the individual entry page). It's just the comment-preview and trackback pages that are still the default MT text/html - haven't come around to customizing those templates yet. Hmm, guess I have some work to do on my site...

    Posted by Ben at

  11. To be honest, making comments valid XHTML is by far the easiest thing I've encountered while building a commenting system: 1 regular expression, one pre-built XHTML parser, and some entity escaping. Basically 3 lines of PHP.

    Posted by Gary F at

  12. At this moment I have disabled HTML in my comments, and it works alright. I do not receive many comments, so it is easy to edit them if they contain invalid characters. Due to a lack of time I have not yet found a more automated solution for this problem. I am thinking about using the MTREGEX plugin to filter the comments. Does anybody have experience with doing this?

    Posted by Jeroen at

  13. This is nice! I'm talking about switching and the next day everyone is talking about comment validation.

    This is probably a very good reason to allow comments on your weblog :). And if you are a X-Phile, you have to make sure you comments do not contain <br /> (like my comments when they are not updated), but <p>...</p> and that's a reason to switch.

    In my second post I have written the reason why I dropped WordPress.

    And I also say there that I tried Moveble Type, but actually I had not tried it. It just didn't work, 'cause CGI wasn't enabled yet.

    Now it is enabled and my hosting provider is installing all the required modules so...

    Posted by Anne at

  14. Jeroen,
    I wrote an MT plugin:
    specifically to strip control characters from comments and trackbacks (and so on).

    As long as you're OK editing comments by hand, you don't need automated tools. But, at some point (Anne has reached this point), you do need to automate, otherwise you'll go crazy.

    Posted by Jacques Distler at

  15. Thanks! I will use your plugin together with the MTValidable plugin, which corrects some of the other problems.

    Posted by Jeroen at

  16. You can also use smartypants to convert quotationmarks to their code-equivalent.

    Works great for me!

    Posted by Arthur! at