Number Five is Alive (Generally)

After quite some time, MT-Notifier version five is close to seeing the light of day. Or, at the very least, crawling out from under the rock from which he has been hiding.

I am sure that there are those who will argue that this release is probably not worth of a full-fledged bump in the version numbers, and there are bound to be reasons why you are right. But there are also surely prior releases that were worth more than a minor bump as well. It all works out in the end.

Since I've heard - more than once - that users would like to send HTML notifications with MT-Notifier, and because I'm still working out the details on how to make it work more simply within the plugin itself, I decided to put together an entry on doing it yourself. It does take a bit of work, but assuming you are using a recent version, you can make it work with very little effort.

First, please make sure you back up your current files. And if you have real, live subscribers, you might want to let them know that you're about to play with your templates, so that they understand that you might send them something that they can't read. Ready? Let's move on!

If you are attempting to download MT-Notifier and you receive an error message that will not allow you to download the plugin (perhaps transaction not authenticated), the likely cause is an update to the software that handles the payment processing from PayPal. Unfortunately, the software needed to be upgraded due to a change at PayPal. But this broke the way that payments were handled previously.

Luckily, you can still use your prior purchases. You just need to make a small change to the link. Where previously the link included a script named linklokipn.php, change the script name to linklokipn-legacy.php. This also applies if you have a link with "manual" in the url AND receive an error - just change linklokipn-manual.php to linklokipn-legacy.php.

Do not make any other changes - specifically, do not change your authorization code, as that's what will determine what to download. Also, don't make the change if you don't get an error - because this version will only work with earlier licensees, and you will get an error with that version if you are a recent licensee. If that's the case and you changed it, you'll want to remove "legacy" instead!

Finally, don't worry about the filename at the end - even if it is an older version than you expect (say, 4.1.1 instead of 4.2.1), it will be fine. It is the authorization code that does the magic. Just make sure you add the -legacy bit in there and you'll be set.

If this doesn't work for you, let me know by providing your full download link, and I'll update it with your new download link in return.

More than one person has recently asked me about MT-Notifier sending notifications on old entries. For better or worse, this is a behavior that you will see on recent versions because of the fact that the history file (introduced with version 3.5.0) didn't always work quite right. These bugs should have been completely worked out in version 4.0.4. Naturally, since some of you have been using MT-Notifier longer than that, you wouldn't have had history records anyway, but the end result is that you may find yourself with some notifications just waiting for the right time to be sent.

This can happen at any time that a comment or entry is saved, because that is when MT-Notifier is invoked. Previously, MT-Notifier attempted to try and figure out when it should run, but the problem with that is the duplicate processing detection never worked quite right - which is what led to the whole mess in the first place. Now MT-Notifier runs on any comment or entry save, which means even the oldest of comments or entries will invoke it. But you may also end up with lots of notifications being sent. Luckily, there is also a very easy way for you to make sure that these history records are created.

Now that you can (somewhat) easily create an alternate request template for MT-Notifier, it's only natural that there are some of you out there who might want to translate the thing into different languages. Luckily, translating MT-Notifier has been possible for quite some time. In fact, some form of translation hooks have been present in the code since way back in version 2.0.1, released in 2004!

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that the translation has always worked since then - but I've done my best to make sure that everything was in place so that it would work when everything was functioning correctly, and lately it seems that just about everything has been doing just that. You do have to follow a few steps to make sure that your translation file works correctly, however. There are two places that your file will be used - inside the application and outside the application, and for this, there are two ways that you need to consider changes that you might make. Follow along to find out what you might need to do to make sure that your changes are being picked up by the plugin.

For some time, users of MT-Notifier have been wondering how they could customize the request template, to provide a more unified experience for their users. Until recently, this was simply not a realistic goal. However, with version 4.1.1, you can now do just that. It still takes a bit of work, but it's easier now than it has ever been to do so, and you can do it in such a way that it's easy to revert to the default templates - an important function for just about anyone.

Before getting started, it's always important to make a backup of everything you are about to change. While most templates are changed through the Movable Type interface - and one day this might also be available - at this point, you still have to do it by using a template file. Small steps for now. So, the first thing you should do is make sure that you have a backup of the entire tmpl directory under the Notifier directory. That way, you can restore things if you need to do so. Ready? Then read on.

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