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Six Apart picked apart.

While doing some background research on my Eurosong Drunk-But-Not-Quite-LiveBlogging report, I found a Corante post entitled Six Apart Spins Like a Whirling Dervish in which tech blogger Strange Attractor picks apart a Six Apart press release:

Most commercial installations don't have big server farms, nor do they have lots of technical staff. Yet even if you do chuck a few extra blades and a couple of developers at the problem, it's still difficult to make MT work in either mode, static or dynamic, if you're being hammered by spammers. Again, writing popular posts isn't the problem. Serving pages isn't the problem. Comments are the problem. Now, it's very easy to blame the spammers, but the sad fact is that spammers aren't going to go away, and tools have to be built to withstand their onslaughts. MT isn't. It didn't matter how many servers you threw at MT 3.2x, comment spam could still kill them.

Oh, and just to nitpick... all that lovely open source stuff from LiveJournal? Well, let's remember that minor point of fact that 6A bought LJ for its open source goodies. No sneakily trying to claim credit for LJ, please.


You might've seen this effect already — ever check out a link that's been promoted on a big site like Digg or Slashdot and been faced with a "database connection error" when you visit the blog that got Dugg? Well, Movable Type is designed to prevent you from ever having to face that problem.

I feel like a broken record. Spam, guys, spam. Not the Slashdot Effect. (For the record, I've noticed that the Slashdot Effect is nowhere near as strong as it used to be anyway.)

Word. Rebuilds of comment spams that pass the filters take forever and sometimes fail, leaving the spam in the published posts. Regular expression filters don't work. Spam has hosed a previous installation of this blog so severely that it took down all of Xepher.net with it, causing Xepher to add resource limits to all processes. When I upgraded, every single rebuild hit those limits, until we switched the blog over to another database (to be fair, that move from ancient BerkeleyDB to SQLite was long overdue anyway). Since then, Movable Type has caused ROCR.net to go down at least once as a result of hitting the resource limits under an avalanche of trackback spam (this time, thanks to said limits, the rest of the server was spared). Since I had already stopped allowing trackbacks on the blog, I have been able to prevent a reoccurrence by chmodding mt-tb.cgi to 000 - I recommend that MT users do that to every script they don't use, so if you get your comments from Haloscan, nix your mt-comments.cgi.

Movable Type offers lots of neat functionality, particularly including easy multi-blogging, but the product's appeal has definitely faded for me. Moving to another system would require importing blog entries so that their URLs don't change, setting up multi-blogging and introducing five other people to a new blogging interface, none of which sound like fun ways to spend my time. But the next time I feel the urge to upgrade, I will probably suck it up and move to Wordpress.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 15, 2007 8:11 PM.

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