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MovableType 3.2’s Short Basename

I've been corresponding with SixApart's "MTBugs" folks about one feature I'd like to see regarding the basename feature. Here's my latest exchange:

I don't use ecto, so hopefully, my questions won't seem too strange taking that into consideration.

How is this restriction causing you a problem with using ecto? Does it have to do with the URLS being generated on your published files?

It really isn't an ecto-specific problem. But because I use ecto, the problem is exacerbated… I'll attempt to re-state the issue for more clarity.

Prior to MovableType 3.2, I used to "dirify" all of my entries. My URLs were/are like this: archives/YYYY/MM/DD/dirified_title_goes_here.php

I'd like to begin using the basename in MovableType 3.2, but because it automatically provides only the first 15 characters, that's difficult - I want my URLs to contain the complete title as dirifying them has done in the past. In other words, I'd like the automatically-provided basename to use more than 15 characters. I'd like to specify the basename length so that MT doesn't automatically choose short basenames.

The problem is merely exacerbated in ecto or any third-party blogging tool because there's no way to edit the basename. You must (currently) log in to MT to do this. Since nearly everything I write has a title longer than 15 characters, I find myself logging in quite frequently to change the basenames.

If MovableType allowed me to set the length of the automatically-generated basename, this would not be a problem.

Further Example
Full title, dirified (and the way I like it):
http://nslog.com/2005/07/07/itunes_for_porno_get_real_get_responsible.php

Had I published this in MT 3.2 without changing the basename, it'd be:
http://nslog.com/2005/07/07/itunes_for_porn.php

Quite a difference. If I send people a URL that just says "iTunes for Porn" instead of the full title of the entry, they may or may not be more likely to click on it. The URL is important. People might search their histories for fragments of URLs, and since my URLs contain the titles, anything but the full title is a "lie" of sorts.

I realize I could continue to use "dirified" titles, but then I would not have the advantage a basename provides - largely, the ability to change the title of an entry without changing the URL.

As short as I can make it: please allow me to customize the length of the automatically-generated basename.

2 Responses to "MovableType 3.2’s Short Basename"

  1. BTW, for those of you who dirify now and want to begin using the basename, but don't want your old URL titles to be cut to 15 characters, build this template prior to rebuilding your site to generate the appropriate MySQL commands (and then run the MySQL commands):

    <html>
    <body>
    <MTEntries lastn="99999">
    update mt_entry set entry_basename = "<MTEntryTitle dirify="1">" where entry_id = <MTEntryID>;<br />
    </MTEntries>
    </body>
    </html>

    That will set all of the basenames to match the dirified titles. Old articles, when rebuilt, will remain at the same URL even if you switch to using the basename over dirified titles.

  2. ooh.. thanks for the template. That's useful! I hadn't gotten around to setting the basename on my old entries yet, and now I don't have to bother thinking of a clever way to do it, as you've already done so. 🙂

    I suppose one could search MT's scripts to find where the magic constant 15 is and change it but I'd rather see sixapart support changing that in an official way.


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