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Step by Step Guide to the Redesign

This is the part 1 of the article of Tribolum's redesign like I promised.
<h4>Backend: <a href="http://movabletype.org/">Movable Type</a></h4>
I believe that function should always take precedent over form. In the case of a blog, content and interactivity should be paramount. I chose Movable Type (MT) for the sole reason it is the CMS I am most comfortable with: I am familiar with most of the available plugins and have seen great examples of sites which use MT. I've used MT to run <a href="http://navmedia.com/">bookstores</a> and <a href="http://www.srs.org.sg/">run meeting schedules</a>.
Other CMSes that are popular are <a href="http://wordpress.org/">WordPress</a>, <a href="http://www.textpattern.com/">TextPattern</a> and <a href="http://www.drupal.org/">Drupal</a>.
<h4>Plugins</h4>
Much as I love MT, <a href="http://kottke.org/">JKottke</a> is right when <a href="http://www.kottke.org/05/04/a-whole-new-internet">he implied that MT has stagnated</a>. In the immortal words of The Lord of the Rings, "somethings which should not have been forgotten, were".
So for some of the basic functions you see around here, I had to turn to the <a href="http://www.sixapart.com/pronet/plugins/">Plugin community</a>.
<ul><li><a href="http://gemal.dk/mt/acronym.html">Acronym</a>. This plugin automatically adds <code>&lt;acronym&gt;</code> tags by bouncing stuff in caps off a flatfile database. This way, I can talk about CSS and XHTML all I want.</li>
<li><a href="http://markpasc.org/code/mt/CatEntries/">CatEntries</a>. I stumbled upon this very useful plugin on one of my projects where I had to display all categories <strong>except</strong> one or two. On Tribolum the Asides column on the right sidebar is generated on the same blog as the main content, but I wanted them to display there and not here. I didn't want to create a separate blog because my attention span is so short that interesting links seem less interesting when I have to click my mouse a few extra times to share them. The less compelling reason would be that I believed that putting them on the same blog would give me the flexibility to combine the Asides list with the main content (like in <a href="http://kottke.org/">Jason Kottke's</a>) should I ever feel the inclination to.</li>
<li><a href="http://bradchoate.com/projects/spamlookup/">SpamLookup</a>. I used to get comment and trackback spam by the thousands daily. <a href="http://www.jayallen.org/projects/mt-blacklist/">Jay Allen's Blacklist</a> worked briefly for me, but somewhere my incompetence showed when I couldn't reinstall it after I switched hosts. Brad Choate's SpamLookup is everything MT's comment management should be (are you hearing this <a href="http://sixapart.com/">SixApart</a>?). It doesn't catch all comment spam, but it does a pretty decent job. And mass deleting is now a breeze.</li>
<li><a href="http://daringfireball.net/projects/smartypants/">Smartypants</a> When are inverted commas (which you Americans call "curly quotes") "inverted commas"? How do you get them to curl inward when you only have one key on your keyboard for both characters? <a href="http://daringfireball.net/">John Gruber</a> saves the day with Smartypants. Get your quotes right.</li></ul>
Are there any other plugins that you've found useful for your blog?
Next part: Coding.

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