May 2004 Archives

Yesterday's David Lazarus column has an update on the issue of Wells Fargo and Bank of America banks charging fees to cash paychecks (see bottom half of column):

[T]he state Senate approved a bill last week that would prevent banks from charging a fee for people to cash their paychecks.

The state Senate voted 27-10 to approve SB1904, introduced by Sen. Dean Florez, a Central Valley Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. The bill now goes to the Assembly.

As David notes, even if this bill becomes law, the banks will almost certainly challenge the law in court by claiming that federal law trumps and preempts state law on this issue. But it is progress!

Because of the complicated logic necessary to integrate TypeKey authentication into MT3D's template code for comments, a new template tag was created to automatically generate all of the necessary code - <MTCommentFields>. This new tag can be seen on the default Comment Listing, Comment Preview, and Comment Error templates for MT3D. Interestingly, this new tag was not used on the default Individual Entry Archive template.

Unfortunately, this tag has a few problems:

  • Comment entry fields (Name, E-mail, URL, Comment text) are not remembered when a comment is previewed or a comment error occurs.
  • Some of the code produced is not valid XHTML.
  • The code produced cannot be edited, unless you're up to hacking /lib/MT/Template/
  • There's actually two comment forms within the code; one is chosen for display depending on whether TypeKey registration is required. The forms are not identical, even taking into account the differences that should be there.

I liked the idea of the <MTCommentFields> tag, but not the fact that it was somewhat broken and extremely difficult to fix. So I came up with the following workaround until (hopefully) the next release of MT3 fixes these problems.

There are 4 MT3D templates where comments can be entered and edited. None of them properly save, delete, and retrieve cookies relating to comment forms:

Individual Entry Archive template:

  • rememberMe() function sets site-wide cookies (path='/'), but forgetMe() function deletes cookies for directory archive page is on (path='').

Comment Listing template:

  • Both rememberMe() and forgetMe() functions set and delete cookies for same directory archive page is on (path='').

Comment Preview template:

  • 5 out of 6 javascript functions missing from script code, including rememberMe() and forgetMe() javascript functions.

Comment Error template:

  • 5 out of 6 javascript functions missing from script code, including rememberMe() and forgetMe() javascript functions.

Although the Comment Pending template has a truncated javascript like the Comment Preview and Comment Error templates, no javascript code at all is needed as there is no comment form on this page.

All 4 of these templates should have the same, identical javascript code to handle the comment forms and the setting / deleting / retrieval of cookies.

I'm with Les - I really could use one of these too:


New MT3 vaporware plugin


I had some weird dreams last night; one of them was an idea for a new MT3 plugin. About all this new plugin had going for it was its name - "MT-Vampire".

When I told Rhye about it this morning, she asked me what it was supposed to do. I said, "Why does it have to do anything? People will want to install it just so they can say they're running MT-Vampire!"

I figured the plugin would at least change all of the MT admin pages to display in some sort of Goth theme with blood dripping from everything on the page. And the plugin would definitely suck all the data out of something.

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to have an icon for MT-Vampire on your weblog: MT-Vampire plugin Just further proof to Rhye that I really am a coconut-head.

Over at Mutated Monkeys, Beth posted a list of some of the web sites she reads, noting whether the site migrated away from or stayed with Movable Type since Six Apart announced the new MT licensing terms two weeks ago.

Comment spam and MT3D


Some new spammers have taken a liking to my weblog while I was upgrading from MT 2.661 to MT3D. In the past week, I've had over 200 comment spams posted to the weblog and 500 more were rejected by MT-Blacklist (on MT 2.661).

MT3D's comment approval queue is keeping the spam comments off of the MT3D weblog pages, but it does nothing to keep them from coming back and clogging up the queue again. I've already received 50 comment spams today, all hawking the same URL in the body of the comments. The IP addresses, names, and e-mail addresses are different in every comment, so I currently have no way to keep the little bastards from coming back and posting more.

I miss having MT-Blacklist in MT3D. Of all the plugins created for MT, Six Apart should have paid Jay Allen a huge chunk of money for the rights to MT-Blacklist and incorporated it into MT3D. A new version of MT-Blacklist is being developed for MT3D - I just wish I didn't have to wait for it.

Anil Dash of Six Apart left some comments on my first post about MT3D's new licenses:

Running MT3D

MT3D (Movable Type 3.0 Developer's Edition) is now running live on The Tweezer's Edge.

MT3D license and price updates

As I noted in "MT 3.0 Licensing Guide": "Prices stated are not guaranteed and subject to change at any time." They have. Based on feedback from MT's users, Six Apart has made some significant changes to MT3D's to its pricing schedule and its licenses, just two days after MT3D's release.

With the release of MT 3.0 today, new license agreements (Personal, Commercial) were also unveiled at the same time. The objectionable terms in MT's prior license agreements relating to support services and compensation appear to have been eliminated.

But in the new FAQ is this apparent holdover:

Q: I want to charge for installations. Is this allowed?
A: You may charge for installation of Movable Type for any user who has purchased
a license for Movable Type Personal Edition or any Commercial Use license. Charging
for installation of the free, unsupported version of Movable Type is not permitted.

Sorry, but Six Apart cannot prohibit that. I'm puzzled as to why that would even be included. Surely it wouldn't be something as petty as "Well, Six Apart didn't make any money from that user, so no one else can either", would it? Fortunately, the FAQ is not legally binding or enforceable.

Here's some new license terms that caught my eye -

From the Personal License:

A Little Credit. You must maintain, on every page generated by the Software, an operable link to , with the link text "Powered by Movable Type", as specified by Six Apart, unless otherwise stated in the terms included with your copy of the Software.

I'm curious how exactly a user is supposed to do this with a stylesheet page. The old Personal License only required such a link (or logo) to be displayed on the main page.

This next one is in both license agreements:

Age Restrictions. The Software is not intended for use by persons under the age of 13 and may not be used anyone under such age.

Okay, what's up with that? Is the new MT3 hazardous to small children?

From the Commercial License:

Term and Termination. The term of this Agreement shall be for the period corresponding to the fee you pay and set forth in your copy of the Software, unless terminated earlier as provided herein.

This sounds to me like a 'software as a service' clause, where licenses are sold for a specific period of time (such as 1 year, 2 years, etc.). I wonder if commercial users will wake up one day to find their MT licenses now have expiration dates, and if they want to keep using MT, they have to keep paying the license fees over and over.

This last one is also from the Commercial License:

Educational institutions are not qualified to use this Standard Commercial Use License and must enter into an Educational License with Six Apart.

I don't know if this is good or bad for educational institutions. I did not see an 'Educational License' on Six Apart's web site, and there is no pricing information published to indicate whether an educational institution would pay more or less for an Educational License than it would for a Commercial one. My guess: It pays more under an Educational License; why else prohibit them from purchasing a Commercial License?

For the most part, these agreements looks okay (as far as software license agreements go). This doesn't really matter now though, as the real fuss is over MT3's new pricing.

MT 3.0 Licensing Guide

MT 3.0 was released today with a whole bunch of new licenses - 4 personal licenses, 2 commercial licenses, plus unspecified licenses for educational institutions, ISPs / hosting services, and registered 501c3 non-profit organizations. Here's a cheat sheet to the personal and commercial licenses: