Plugged In

Yesterday I got the Garden Party Web site majorly tuned up. It’s all pretty well managed through the same tool I use to publish AdvisorBits, Moveable Type.
Moveable Type supports plug-ins and there is a small but active group of independent programmers contributing modules. If you use moveable type as part of your marketing strategy, or even just for personal use, you should get over to and check out the stuff they have!
The plugins are really easy to install. All I had to do was create a plugin directory in my MT installation, and put the downloaded plugin files there. The plugins are written in perl, and Ben, the author of MT, has written the API very nicely; according to most reports it is easy to use.
I installed RelativeDate by David Raynes to do the countdown to Garden Party. This one generated errors because I needed Date::Calc. This is in the instructions and there is a way to see if it is installed on your system. If not, it installs pretty easy with CPAN, but you also need Bit::Vector, which required some time to test. This should not be a problem for most users, and most systems administrators should be willing to install the modules needed, if perl is a supported part of your web account.
I also installed BlogTimes, which generates funny little graphs detailing the distribution of time of day when I post to the Garden Party Journal.
The MT Plugins site is maintained by Kristine and other voluteers who have been very helpful. BlogTimes was off line a few weeks ago and I wrote one of those notes that never gets answered “Where is ….?”. Kristine answered it when the site cam back up, I thought that was nice. And among other things, she makes templates for Blogs. So if you need a blog design, you might want to see: I may as well warn you now, the site is pink.

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