Movable Type Force-Preview Update

It's been three weeks since I released the Force Preview plug-in for the Movable Type blog system. I blogged about it upon release. Thought I'd give a brief update.

First, the good news: it's been completely effective at stopping comment spam. I've found that the moment the plug-in is enable for a blog, comment spam ceases. My girlfriend reported a single spam, probably hand entered, during the past three-week period. Besides that, nada.

Now the bad news: it's kind of a pain in the butt. You need to modify a minimum of two templates (your individual archive entry template and comment preview template), and more if you use the (now deprecated) comment pop-up. The instructions are pretty explicit, so it shouldn't be difficult if you've only got one blog. It's might annoying, however, if you have several. I had four blogs that needed protection, and only today did I get around to dealing with the last of them.

More bad news: I tried to register the plug-in with Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type, but they won't let me without signing up for Type Key.

My other concern is that trackback spam continues to be a problem, but it's not nearly at the level of the comment spam.

So, I recommend that people with existing Movable Type blogs who are frustrated with comment spam consider trying it.

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re: Movable Type Force-Preview Update

The thing with Trackback spams is that under normal circumstances, legitimate trackbacks only come from blooging software and therefore won't have a User-agent matching IE. Most trackback spam, however, has a (possibly faked) Internet Explorer User agent. I've therefore been blocking them using a mod_rewrite rule in my .htaccess file...