June 9, 2003

Remote publishing in MT

One thing that’s kind of keeping me from fully jumping into Movable Type is the fact that it will only publish the files to the same server that it is installed on. My site right now is on a Windows server, running ASP. There’s no way Movable Type can be installed on this host. I do have an account, however, with Freedom2Operate, and I have a nice little MT installation humming along smoothly over there. But, how to link the two? Can I get that MT to publish to this site? Or can I set up MT on a box in my home or office, and upload the pages to a hosted site? When I set up a blog on MT, I am only given the option to have the files published to a local directory. The Blogger way of doing things, though, and the one I like, is that I can plug FTP information into my blogging tool and it will upload the published pages anywhere it wants. “Remote publishing”. Is there a way of getting MT to do this? I haven’t found it yet.

I did find this explanation of how to use Radio Userland as an intermediary, but I don’t want to go that route. I can’t be the only one who wants something like this, and I’d imagine that a system as powerful as Movable Type would support the necessary FTP components. And I know jack about Perl so I can’t just hack into it myself. Can MT do this? Is there an extension or something out there? Will TypePad do it? Will it be a TypePad-only feature? Or am I really weird for even thinking about keeping my site on Windows?

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (7)

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  1. sean says:

    I think these are two substantially different models of publishing. Each has their own advantages, disadvantages, proponents and opponents. But I think it's unlikely that MT will get an official (built-in) remote publishing feature any time soon, and I'd be extremely surprised to see TypePad launch with such a feature.

    These products are not designed for that paradigm and modifying them to effectively support it would be a non-trivial task, especially in the presence of features that generate or modify content on the fly. For example, some of the MovableType functionality like comments, trackback and searching, relies on running scripts in real time on the server to modify the weblog and its associated data. Implementing those features in a way that allows the weblog content to be hosted on a different server than the code would be complicated and, IMHO, wouldn't really provide much gain. There are people like yourself who would want to use it, but my impression from talking to people about this kind of thing is that the overlap between people who want to use MT and people who want a tool that builds pages and uploads them to another machine is relatively small.

    FWIW, I don't think this at all comes down to an issue of what operating system you host your weblog on. It's defined by wanting to run the weblog software on a host other than the web server. In fact, someone could probably make MovableType work on Windows if they wanted to take the time. Someone may already have done so, for all I know.

    Posted June 9, 2003 @ 7:48 pm
  2. Scott Schrantz says:

    I guess that's a point I didn't think about. I'm always taking for granted all the custom code I had to write to get comments working here. And, since TypePad is going to be a pay service, there will most likely be some kind of full-service hosting with it. So, no one would even need remote publishing, like people who use the free Blogger do. Radio Userland has remote publishing, but doesn't it have special servers that it has to upload to?

    I guess all of this will be moot if I ever move away from Brinkster and its frequent errors and over to a host that supports MT.

    Posted June 10, 2003 @ 12:23 am
  3. Doug says:

    Not sure if it is the slightest bit useful – but I found Planarchy (available from http://www.tnk-bootblock.co.uk/prods/planarchy/index.php ) to be rather nice. Free windows software that installs on your home PC. Blog uploaded by ftp, no server side code, no intermediate host to log into, seems to work well.

    (Like your work by the way 😉 )

    Posted June 10, 2003 @ 5:04 am
  4. Ade Rixon says:

    Looks more like you're SOL with Brinkster, as they don't support Perl on Win32 (which is the answer to the Windows problem). MT generates static HTML files so you could run it locally then upload the files to your hosted server. However, you wouldn't be able to use any of the dynamic stuff like comments, trackbacks, searching, etc.


    Posted June 10, 2003 @ 5:49 am
  5. anonymous person says:

    Perl is supported on Windows, all you need is a Perl compiler, such as ActiveStates's popular ActivePerl. If you server has a perl compiler it's usually like this, the location to it, is usually “C:\perl\bin\perl”, on a Windows server and, #!usr/bin/perl. So it is possible to install MovableType on a Windows server, but you'll also need MySQL for Windows, and some other plugin i forgot. MySQL, or BerkelyDB. For BerkelyDB you'll need DB_file. Anyways hope you good luck with MovableType! 😉

    Posted July 6, 2003 @ 2:58 pm
  6. suzi says:

    I am on a Windows host and other people with that host have MT apparently without problems. You host has to support perl. The MT site tells the requirements for the host.

    Posted July 10, 2003 @ 1:27 am
  7. Chris says:

    Well, I think it makes perfect sense to want to run an MT installation on one server, and have it publish to others. For one… that’s what I want to do! I want to provide MT to a series of customers who will use it for their needs, where they each have their own site they need to publish to. I love MT, and am strongly motivated to use it.

    I am not sure this sounds so hard, coding-wise. There are Perl modules to deal with all aspects of FTP. As far as needing to run scripts in real time, that would probably be fine in my case, because I could point those scripts back to my main server. The main point is that the body of the “blog” is within the customer’s domain.

    Incidentally, I don’t think it’s hard to set up MT on Windows. I have done it. MySQL installs very easily, as does ActiveState Perl. Then, use PPM (Perl Package Manager) from the command line to install the needed modules.

    Posted June 9, 2004 @ 11:42 am

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