Merry Christmas

A few screenshots for your enjoyment:

Robot Santa

Oh no, Robot Santa! Hide!

Santa Hitman

Hitman Santa? That’s just confusing.

Hibiki Claus

Hibiki Claus says Merry Anime Day!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Spam Free

Going on 4 days now, and I haven’t had a single piece of spam reach Movable Type (not even stuff that MT immediately recognizes as spam). This is all due to a plugin called CCode, which I installed on Saturday. It uses javascript to block spam before it even gets submitted. It appears to be working admirably (and I appear to be a dolt for not having installed it for the couple of years it’s been available) and I love that I don’t have to inconvenience anyone by forcing them to enter some extra captcha code or something. I suppose requiring javascript to be enabled could be a minor inconvenience to some people, but I’m guessing those people to be in the extreme minority. If you do have issues commenting, please email me at


I’m trying to diagnose a problem with my rebuild process. For some reason, the individual archive entry rebuild process isn’t working. I’m able to create a new entry fine, and I’m able to delete comments from entries fine, so it’s clear that Movable Type is able to build an individual entry archive file just fine. I have no idea why the rebuild process is failing though. I keep getting this error:

An error occurred

Can’t call method “created_on” on an undefined value at lib/MT/Template/ line 3764.

Fun stuff, I tells ya. Hopefully, I’ll figure something out, but in the mean time, you may see some strange stuff on the individual entry pages (particularly with respect to the comments, as that seems to be where the problem is localized.)

Update: Very little progress made. The comments are definitely what’s causing the problem. When I remove the code that generates the list of comments, the individual entry archives rebuild fine. When I try to add it back in, bit by bit, I start getting http 500 errors or the original error I was getting above. Somehow, the most recent 30 entries or so have had their comments restored. Beyond that, there’s a lot of older entries that have comments, but those comments aren’t being displayed because I can’t rebuild them without manually rebuilding each entry individually. So if you’re on an old entry and you see “Testing something” where the comments would normally be, don’t worry. The comments are still in the system, but I can’t seem to publish them…

Update 12.15.07: All individual archive pages should be properly displaying comments as of Thursday afternoon. Big thanks to Chad Everett for his help in diagnosing the problem (see comments of this entry for more details). Today, I’ll be adding the CCode plugin to help deal with the spam issue. For the most part, I get around 20-30 spams a day that actually make it through the system and on the site. Every once in a while, a spammer will go nuts and submit a couple hundred on one day. So the weekly grind of having to clean up spam has finally motivated me to do something about it. CCode sounds rather clever. It basically adds a hidden field to the comment form, and populates it with javascript. The whole process is obfuscated, but not impossible to break. I kinda think of it as the pseudo-catpcha that Shamus uses (or the one Aziz uses), except it doesn’t require the commenter to enter anything. The only catch is that you need to have javascript enabled in order to submit a comment. All of which assumes that this plugin will work well. I’m installing this plugin now, so if you have any issues, feel free to drop me an email (

Quick Note: Upgrades

Due to some recent unpleasantness, I’m upgrading several software packages used on the site. Most notably, the software that runs the Forum and Movable Type (which powers this here blog). So if you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t worry. It’s probably part of the plan.

Update: We apologise for the fault in the website upgrades. Those responsible have been sacked.

Update 2: We apologise again for the fault in the website ugrades. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

Update 3: The directors of the firm hired to continue the website upgrades after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The website upgrades have been completed in a entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.

Quick Update

Seeing as though I just got home from work, I’m not especially in the blogging frame of mind, except to say that the next two weeks or so are going to be hectic around here, so posting will most likely be light (though I guess you never know. I’m sometimes at mymost inspired when I’m obscenely busy with other things. A cruel irony, that.) Anyway, in lieu of a proper post, here’s a funny video about ridiculous comment threads at popular sites/blogs (I bet Shamus can relate to the “First” comments at least, though he does seem to get a lot of good comments as well – this video is probably more for stuff like YouTube comments.):

That’s all for now. See you Sunday, with a post that is hopefully a little more substantial than this.