Migrating/exporting from ee

January 11, 2008

I promised the friendly folks over at textpattern that I would write something about exporting entries from expression engine.
This link in the ee wiki MOSTLY covers it. I say mostly, because you’ll need to make some modifications which are not listed but that I am including. Additionally, you will need to be careful to do all of the steps in order, so I’m just going to go step by step. Also, if you have used subcategories, I haven’t found a way to capture that hierarchical structure. So, depending on what kind of software you are importing these into, you may need to tweak your categories. In textpattern for example, all of the categories go to multiple unfiled categories. It’s easy enough to then just update them in textpattern. This will export everything in Movable Type (MT) format.
Figure out your blog’s name before you start. In expression engine>CP Home › Admin › Weblog Administration › Weblog Management
Edit Preferences>Short Name
The short name is the actual name of your blog. Make a note of it, as you will need it later.
STEP 1: Create an export template group
Login to the control panel.
Click on templates.
Click on “Create new template group” button.
NOTE: You must start with a new template group.
Name your template group:
Template Group Name

The name must be a single word with no spaces

(underscores and dashes are allowed)
Type in Export
Duplicate an Existing Template Group?
Choose> Do Not Duplicate a Group
Make the index template in this group your site’s home page?
Whatever you do, DO NOT CHECK THIS box. This will override your template design for your blog.
Click Submit.
Okay, step 1 is finished. We’ve created a template group, but we now need to create the templates. NOTE: Do not skip any steps.
STEP 2: Create the export template for comments
At this point, you should be back at your list of templates. In the left column, under the header, Template Management, you should see a list that includes all of your template groups.
Under Choose Group>Click on Export
In the column to the right of Choose Group, you should see a list. Click on New Template.
Now we will create templates for the comments and the entries. NOTE: Do not skip any steps.

Template Name

The name must be a single word with no spaces

(underscores and dashes are allowed)
Type in Comments
Choose Template type> Webpage

Default Template Data

None – create an empty template

Click Submit.
We are back at the list.
Click on Preferences (in the column to the right of Choose Group, under the Export header)
The ONLY things to change here are
Allow PHP? Y
PHP Parsing? Input
Note: This must be set for this to work!
Click Update.
We are now back to the list of templates.
Okay, now we have to add the code to make this work.
Under Template Name / Edit
To the left of Comments>Click on>View
Copy & paste the code below into the blank area. Note change “yourblog” to the shortname of your blog. Your blog’s name is not what appears in the title bar of the html page. It is what you have listed in Admin › Weblog Administration › Weblog Management > Edit Preferences>Short Name
The short name is the name of your blog.

updated: 8/08:  I think I’ve fixed the wonky wordpress display with the code.

<?php

global $IN;
$IN->QSTR = ‘{embed:the_entry_id}’

?>

{exp:comment:entries weblog=”weblog1″ sort=”asc”}COMMENT:
AUTHOR: {name}
URL: {url}
DATE: {comment_date format=”%m/%d/%Y %h:%i:%s %A”}
{comment}
—–
{/exp:comment:entries}
Click Update and Finished.
STEP 3: Create the export template for index
At this point, you should be back at your list of templates. In the left column, under the header, Template Management, you should see a list that includes all of your template groups.
Under Choose Group>Click on Export
In the column to the right of Choose Group, you should see a list. Click on New Template.
Now we will create templates for the comments and the entries. NOTE: Do not skip any steps.

Template Name

The name must be a single word with no spaces

(underscores and dashes are allowed)
Type in Index
Choose Template type> Webpage

Default Template Data

None – create an empty template

Click Submit.
We are now back to the list of templates.
Okay, now we have to add the code to make this work.
Under Template Name / Edit
To the left of Index>Click on>View
Copy & paste the code below into the blank area. Note change “yourblog” to the shortname of your blog. Your blog’s name is not what appears in the title bar of the html page. It is what you have listed in Admin › Weblog Administration › Weblog Management > Edit Preferences>Short Name
The short name is the name of your blog.
Also note: If you have used the summary instead of the body then you will need to capture that info, too. I am including the summary because at some point, my blog posts switched to being in the summary. I probably did this out of laziness. 😉
Note: This only includes the first 999 blog posts. If you have more blogposts, try changing the number in limit to encompass all posts. If your export file truncates (doesn’t include all posts) then you may need to do this in two batches.
{exp:weblog:entries weblog=”yourblog” limit=”999″ rdf=”off”}
AUTHOR: {author}
TITLE: {title}
STATUS: Publish
ALLOW COMMENTS: 2
CONVERT BREAKS: br
{categories}CATEGORY: {category_name}
{/categories}
DATE: {entry_date format=’%m/%d/%Y %h:%i:%s %A’}
—–
BODY:
{body}
—–
EXTENDED BODY:
{extended}
—–
SUMMARY:
{summary}
—–
{embed=”export2/comments” the_entry_id=”{entry_id}”}
——–
{/exp:weblog:entries}
Click Update and Finished.
STEP 4: Test the export!
We are now back to the list of templates. Check to make sure that you are right area.
Under Choose Group> Export
Next to index there are 2 Views listed. To the left is view template (it is under the header: Template Name / Edit. This is not the View you want. Under the header, View, which is to the right of the Template name Index, is a second View. Click on this view
If everything worked well (give it a second or two) , you should see a large kind of garbled looking file with your posts- this means the export is working. We will format it and save it in a minute. If you are having problems at this point, delete your templates and start over.
IF you are still having problems, drop me a line and I’ll see if I can help you.
Now, to format and save it.
Go to View/ View source in Internet Explorer or Firefox (control + u). Save as index.txt
PROBLEMSOLVING:
Templates not working at all: Check your blog name. In expression engine>CP Home › Admin › Weblog Administration › Weblog Management
Edit Preferences>Short Name
The short name is the name of your blog.
Missing info:
Take a look at your formatted export file. If you are missing your posts or comments, now is the time to fix it. You will need to work on the export code to correct these.
Carriage returns/page breaks
If the code doesn’t work, delete the extra spaces and then just do carriage returns.
Diacritics and special characters like & ‘ etc.
You may or may not need to correct these before you migrate into your new system. I opened the text file and corrected them all before I imported my entries into textpattern.
best of luck. Remember this export file is in MT (Movable Type) format. When you import it into a new software, if there is no import for MT then you may need to do some additional work.


wordpress.com vs. blogger.com

September 23, 2007

So, I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to move to wordpress.com or use wordpress.org on my domain, or do something entirely different (I’m running drupal on my domain). Occasionally, I have considered moving over to wordpress.com as well… I like wordpress. It’s not so much that I hate blogger, it’s ok, but I’ve been wanting to do something with all of my baby* blogs for a long while. Anyhow, back when I created the baby* blogs, blogger didn’t offer labels or categories (well, they still don’t offer true categories). WordPress.com wasn’t available. I used the baby blogs as a primitive form of categories.

The main reason I started using blogger was for an example for a class project journal. I wanted blog software that was free and easy to use in hopes that it would become an acceptible alternative to creating static html pages (yuck!) on the university’s website. There weren’t alot of alternatives then. I continued using blogger because I received a little bit of traffic from blogger (next blog, or searching in blogger), and I thought that was kind of nice. So, is it better to host on a domain or using a public blog software like wordpress.com or blogger?

..but maybe it’s time to rethink my whole blog presence. Neither wordpress.com or blogger is great, both have limits. When I started thinking about moving over to wordpress.com, I was excited about the ideas of true categories (wouldn’t it be nice to collapse all of my baby blogs into categories here?) but the lack of customized CSS is an issue. I do like wordpress and I would support it, but I don’t know… considering I can do all of those things for free if I host it, then it seems silly to pay extra to have it hosted elsewhere.

So, the dilemma. I read this article about blogger vs. wordpress vs. livejournal and I read this one, too. Basically, all of the same stuff. WordPress = categories good, Blogger = customize CSS good.

Here is my list of pros and cons. Here is my site mirrored here and here it is at blogger. Yes, it does not look like my site at blogger (the not able to customize templates, only headers issue). I’d love to hear from others who have used wordpress, blogger, or any other publicly hosted blog software. What were the advantages and disadvantages? Was it truly better to just host on your own domain? How easy (or not easy) is it to export from a public site (wordpress.com) to a domain?

*baby blogs = Not a blog about babies or small children, but a blog that is part of a larger blog. 😉 (just in case you didn’t catch on to that….)


…and all I wanted was a pepsi.

September 21, 2007

(pardons to suicidal tendancies…)

So, I posted a couple of workarounds/fixes I discovered about blogger to the blogger google groups. I guess someone didn’t like them, because they magically disappeared. No email, no post back (hey, that’s a stupid idea, or that’s been posted a million times before [even if I couldn’t find it in searching], no you posted too many times in a day), no nothing. Just magically disappeared with broken links under my profile. The first time it happened, I just reposted my post. I read the TOS and the only thing I saw that might be remotely relevant was about spam… and I didn’t consider it to be spam, but a workaround to something that’s not working very well in blogger. One part of a different post, I did later find a similar reference, but I didn’t find it in searching the first time. So, I thought I did something wrong. So, I reposted.
Apparently, my posts were meant to eh… not be there.

So, then I thought, maybe I should just move this blog on over to wordpress. In a worst case scenario, the user forum there will yell at you if do something stupid, but generally they seem pretty nice. However, moving a blog is such a pain and I kind of like blogger, but then I found out about the nifty little import tool. Seems to work pretty well.. if I can just get my categories sorted out. 😉

So, then I started googling for info about how to do some other things, and I received a message, accusing me of being spyware. yep, me.

Of course, I am running a virus scan, just in case, but I find it kind of wildly funny that this came up right after I tried to unsubscribe from a google groups.

So, eh, if my blogger magically disappears, too, I guess we’ll all know why. Thank goodness WordPress seems like a viable option. I’m very excited to collapse all of my school blogs into one blog. Let me know what you think, okay?


Students’ use of technology

September 19, 2007

An interesting article on how college students use technology (alot but using specific tools for specific tasks; with 98.4 % of surveyed students owning some type of computer…)

Instead, students appear to segment different modes of communication for different purposes. E-mail, Web sites, message boards and Blackboard? Viable ways of connecting with professors and peers. Same for chat, instant messaging, Facebook and text messages? Not necessarily, the authors write, because students may “want to protect these tools’ personal nature.”

…but is it because students do not expect their instructors to be in those social spaces, or do they truly feel that those spaces should belong to them?

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/09/17/it


display only selected blogger labels (tags)

September 15, 2007

For those of you who use blogger and use labels/tags, just a heads up, if you delete posts that you have labelled or try to remove labels, it may not work properly. If you need help deleting labels, check this post.

A few ways around displaying all labels (and it would seem that this would be a feature in blogger at some point):

Use a html links list. Create a html links list to just the labels that you want to display. This approach works well if you want to display just a few labels.

Use del.icio.us ! Tag the labels you want to display using del.icio.us (ah! del.icio.us — my friend!)
http://del.icio.us/ and then use a del.icio.us link roll to a generate the script for you. Very easy.

1. Click on each of the labels you want to include in your list. Add the url for the label to your del.icio.us account. However, you’ll want to do a couple of unique things for these links:

      • Description: [blogger label name]
      • Tags: [Give your blog labels a unique tag — this should be the same for all of the blogger labels… I used blogger_labels in my experiment)
      • Save.
      • Do this for each blogger label that you want to display in your label list.

2. Go to the del.icio.us link roll creator http://del.icio.us/help/linkrolls

      • Make any choices you want but to only display the blogger labels:
      • Under Display options, check => Use only these tags (choose your unique blogger tag, in my example, blogger_labels )

3. Copy and paste the script into your blogger template or using Add page element, click on text option. Give your labels a name and copy + paste the code in.
Voila!

Using method 1 or 2, you can choose labels based on any particular criteria: your favorite topics, etc.

Looking for a way to limit blogger labels in a tag cloud? Read this.


deleting unused labels in blogger

September 12, 2007

For those of you who use blogger and use labels/tags, just a heads up, if you delete posts that you have labelled or try to remove labels, it may not work properly. You’ve removed the label from all posts, yet there it is in the label list, with a post count. Clicking on the post count, shows no posts associated with it. What to do?

I kept thinking about this, until I came up with a few workarounds. After much searching around at blogger groups, basically, the answers were create a list manually (the obvious!) or just create a “fake” post so that the missing label would match something (and no worry about the post count). I didn’t like that idea AT ALL; however, I did find that you could create a blank post and then delete links that did work:

If you end up with a label which has no posts associated with it, try this:

Create a post (no title, no content) with the label
Publish
Edit post/Save it as draft

Under the batch edit, delete the post.

If your unused label has a post count of 3, you will need to do this 3 times. I know, a pain, but it does work. 😉

Somehow it seems like this might be causing something to resync? Not sure, but worth a try…

If you are looking for a way to show selected blogger labels, check out this post.
Looking for a way to limit blogger labels in a tag cloud? Read this.
and of course, the peramalink for this post is here:


5000 resources to do just about anything online

September 9, 2007

5000 resources to do just about anything online

I love mashable and I can’t possibly summarize everything in this article, but if you are looking for new things to do with your blog/website, or just to have a little fun on the ‘net, do take a look. You can find things such as 30 widgets for a wordpress blog, 70+ podcasting tools, 12+ twitter tools, etc. Lots and lots of wordpress stuff. 😉