I looked around, and thought of what needed to be done. The to-do list for my homegrown weblogging software was growing longer, and my desire to write code for it was not keeping up. All the things that I wanted to play with (TrackBack, Blogshares, etc.) were going to require some significant effort to get working, and at this point, I’d rather be a user of funky weblogging APIs than an implementor of them.

So I put the ol’ sediment codebase out to pasture, and replaced it with the oh-so-slick Movable Type. I’ll still be tweaking templates and such for a while, but I’ll try to fix more than I break. Please let me know if things fall apart while you’re reading or if there are any hideous layout issues, especially in IE/Win (it kind of sucks to be unable to test a site on the predominant platform).

I’m pretty pleased with MT’s flexibility. I was able to exactly reproduce my obnoxious archiving structure, thus keeping my URI’s cool. The only change I made was to replace the daily archives with monthly ones, but that wasn’t due to any limitations on the software’s part: I just don’t post often enough to warrant day-by-day pages.

I was also pleased to be able to reproduce the old layout, although I was less pleased that I ended up reproducing it so closely. I was hoping to slip a redesign into the process by rewriting the templates and CSS from scratch, but that didn’t happen. I may still do a reworking of the layout sometime soon; beware.

The data conversion was surprisingly smooth. I just banged out a Python script to convert my XML data into MT’s cheesy import/export format, and it all got sucked in very nicely.

There are things that don’t make me as happy as my own code did: it’s written in Perl instead of Python; the posting APIs are XML-RPC-based (blech); it requires a DBMS to store data (double-blech); etc. But these are things that will only annoy me if I plan on hacking at the core code, and since the whole point of using this package is to avoid that, I’m content to let them overengineer.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with this new setup. If I really need to write some code, I can always play with some plugins, and if I really need to hack in Python, I can always work on my personal wiki. But these days, I find writing words to be more fun than writing code, and it looks like MT will allow me to do that pretty easily.