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Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Subscribe to MovableType Comments

Well, I had some visitors to my blog request the ability to "subscribe" to comments so they know if someone responds to a comment that they posted. Or if they are just interested in a thread they can even subscribe to comments on a particular blog entry.

I spent a good portion of yesterday trying to get the EZ Subscribe plugin for MovableType to work - only to find out the plugin is no longer being developed or supported. My background is in programming, but MovableType plugins are in Perl, which is not my forte'. Fortunately, the developer of EZ Subscribe pointed me to another subscription-based plugin for MovableType called MT Notifier. I then excitedly proceeded to download MT Notifier.

Unfortunately, the "automatic" installation procedure didn't work. I've hacked several of my MovableType files, so apparently the auto-install couldn't figure out where to insert the new code. So I had to do it the hard way and hard code the changes. No biggie.

The web administration program still said "Not Installed" even after my code changes. Undaunted, I decided to see if the email subscription notifications would work anyway. I modified my MovableType templates to include the subscription code in the comments and rebuilt some test blog entries. I then was able to add my email address to an existing comment thread and subscribe. I then posted another comment and about a minute later I received an email notification about the new comment. Voila! Success!

Or so it would appear... Although I could subscribe to a blog entry and be notified of any comments, I couldn't simultaneously post a comment AND subscribe at the same time with a single click. Thus, visitors to my blog would have to first post their comment, wait for the page to reload, and then put their email address in and click the subscribe button - a two step procedure. A minor nuisance for sure, but I can't be causing fans of my blog or even casual visitors more work. I'm all about the efficiency and good customer service too!

So would I be learning Perl code after all? (perish the thought) Nope, instead I shot a few emails over to Chad Everett, who developed the plugin and he provided some assistance. I was trying to use a button with an assigned "name" value equal to "subscribe" and appararently the plugin wanted a checkbox in the HTML with a "name" value equal to "subscribe". i.e. <input type="checkbox" name="subscribe" id="subscribe" /> Beats the heck out of me why a check box works and a button doesn't.

Thanks Chad for all your assistance!

Enjoy the new comment subscription feature!

p.s. I still have to rebuild the rest of my blog, so the feature is currently only available on my blog's home page.

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