May 2005 Archives

One of the latest tools for fighting MT comment and trackback spam is Brad Choate's SpamLookup plugin. I have it installed here along with MT-Blacklist, and between the two of them, well over 99% of comment and trackback spams are blocked automatically.

Joe Katzman at Winds of Change submitted a SpamLookup ticket, asking for the ability to approve trackbacks blocked by SpamLookup. I e-mailed this reply to Joe's ticket:

Blocked trackbacks are literally blocked. They are not saved into the MT database at all, so there would be no way to later approve them.

In order to approve trackbacks, MT must have the ability to moderate them. MT currently does not provide the ability to moderate trackbacks, nor does SpamLookup. If you want to be able to moderate and approve trackbacks, you would need to install Chad Everett's MT-Moderate plugin, which can be downloaded from his web site.

SpamLookup is aware of MT-Moderate, so once you have MT-Moderate installed, it should properly moderate trackbacks if you configure SpamLookup to do so, and give you the ability to later approve moderated trackbacks (on the Trackbacks page in both SpamLookup and MT).

If you already have MT-Moderate installed, but still cannot moderate or approve trackbacks, that would most likely be an installation or configuration issue.

Moderation of trackbacks is a feature that has been long missed in MT3. MT-Moderate fills that hole nicely, and it's even better when paired with SpamLookup.

While reviewing my referers, I ran across an entry on Tiny Pineapple that discussed how my Replacement for MTCommentFields no longer worked in MT 3.16:

But after a recent upgrade to Movable Type 3.16, it stopped working. And after poking around a bit, I figured out why.

In addition to <MTCommentFields>, Movable Type 3 also introduced a new, but undocumented, template tag called <MTIfNonZero>. The only reference to it you'll find in the Movable Type documentation is in one of the Category Template Tag examples:

<MTIfNonZero tag="MTCategoryCount">
<li><a href="<$MTCategoryArchiveLink$>" title="<$MTCategoryDescription$>">
<MTCategoryLabel></a>
<MTElse>
<li><MTCategoryLabel>
</MTElse>
</MTIfNonZero>

From the example we can deduce that you can use <MTIfNonZero> to determine whether or not the value of a certain template tag is zero. But TweezerMan went one step further and used it to determine whether or not the value of a variable was equal to zero. And to do so, he used two different syntaxes:

<MTIfNonZero tag="GetVar" name="preview"><$MTCommentPreviewAuthor$>
</MTIfNonZero>

...and...

<MTIfNonZero tag="MTGetVar" name="preview"><$MTCommentPreviewAuthor$>
</MTIfNonZero>

But while those may have worked in Movable Type 3.15, neither seems to work in Movable Type 3.16.

This got me to wondering: Did Six Apart really change the behavior of MTIfNonZero tags in MT 3.16?