My test installation of Typo is up and running. First impressions:

  1. It’s easy to install, once you have Rails working. I’d never actually installed Rails on my home web server, so I had to do the whole install gems, install rails, hunt down dependancies bit. I had an early version of Active Record installed, and it was being loaded instead of the current version that comes with rails, so I had to hunt it down and kill it.

  2. The MT-to-typo conversion script worked okay, once I fixed the MySQL-isms in it. Specifically, it assumed that it could access the MT database by using databasename.tablename; that syntax gets you into different namespaces in Postgres, not different databases. I worked around it by copying the MT tables into the Typo database and then removing the databasename. part of the queries. It probably would have been easier to just pass public as the database name, though.

  3. The script also assumes that all articles are formatted as HTML. Mine are (almost) all Markdown. To fix this, I had to install BlueCloth (gem install bluecloth) and then rebuild all of the cached versions of each of my articles. There’s no obvious way to do this in the Typo UI, but Typo’s internals makes it easy. All I had to do was run the Rails script/console command and then run Article.find_all.each { |article| article.text_filter='markdown'; article.save }. For the Ruby-phobic, this iterates through each Article in Typo’s DB, changing the formatting type and then saving the results back to the DB. Typo’s Article model hooks the save method to verify that text format conversions are handled correctly, so that’s all I really had to do. Nice and simple.

  4. It’s kind of slow. I’m running Typo in debugging mode right now, and Rails is always slow in Debugging mode. I suspect that Typo will still be a bit pokey, even in production mode, though. I need to look into how it handles caching.

  5. For some reason, not everything is sorted correctly. The ‘latest comments’ sidebar seems to be sorted randomly. This is probably an artifact of the conversion script–it looks like entity IDs aren’t in the same order as they were in MT, and that screws stuff up. That’s just a one-line fix to the conversion script.

  6. Comments are listed newest-first. I’d rather have them appear in the order that they were written. This should be a one-line change.

  7. The admin interface is sort of sparse. Rails makes it really easy to make calls directly into Typo’s API from the command-line, so I’m not too concerned with the lack of things to click on.

  8. Somehow, some of the Article-Category associations were lost during the conversion. Most of them seem okay, but not all of them. This might take a bit of work to fix.

  9. The categories list on the sidebar seems to be in ID order; it should be sorted by category name. This is easy to fix.

Nothing here looks fatally broken. I need to spend 15 minutes updating the conversion script and another few minutes fixing little issues with Typo, but the system seems to work well enough, at least on initial inspection. I’ll re-import the MT data again later today using the fixed conversion script, and then see what it takes to get it working with Apache in production mode. If that works out okay, then I’ll spend some time tweaking the CSS to make it look a bit more like my current site and then make it live.

Oh–one more thing–I need to have the conversion script save the old URLs from each entry to a file so I can write a bit redirect list that will point each MT article’s URL to the new Typo URL. I get too much traffic from Google to lose all of the links.