Upgrading Movable Type Comments to v4.1

When Six Apart released Movable Type 4.1, with it they released an entirely new commenting architecture. And technically, the foundation was laid with

The most noticeable result of this problem is that your comment form disappears. That’s right – it’s just gone.

There are two causes for this. One is that the MTIfCommentsActive tag suddenly seems to stop working. In fact, I thought perhaps someone removed it from the package and didn’t tell me. I actually looked through the code – something I try to stop doing. I rebuilt, rebuilt and rebuilt again, yet the code wasn’t even in the output of the pages. I even refreshed the templates – something that I never do. I had no idea what was happening. So I removed the template tags, which led to the second problem.

If I looked really hard, it seemed that the comment form was there, but it was disappearing. This made me think that it was a problem with the (Site) JavaScript file. As you may know, this template has to do with making sure that the code is running correctly for authentication – which up until recently, has meant TypeKey. So I rebuilt it. A few times. I looked at the code, and I noticed that the login block there was empty. I checked the TypeKey code. It was there.

I even logged into TypeKey and checked the values for the domain – something I hadn’t done for a long time. I removed and re-added the code in the preferences, I checked the comment flags, and I couldn’t get the stupid comment form to stay on the page. Finally, I started clicking around and noticed the Registration page, under the Blog Settings menu. Of course I knew it was there, I just hadn’t thought of it. Once on the page, I even got to see the helpful message about having authentication enabled, but not having anything turned on.

Checking a number of boxes, I saved it, and then re-published the site, and guess what? It worked!

In other words, if you are upgrading, make sure you go to the registration page and check the little boxes. The problem is really a simple one.

The JavaScript file hides your comment form if you’re not logged in. And, since I couldn’t log in, I couldn’t see the form, and since I didn’t have any registration options set up (since they weren’t checked), I couldn’t even get signed in to see the form. Ah, the joys of upgrading.

Now, is this Six Apart’s fault? Not entirely. It is quite possible that I removed something (or added something) to a template which stuck me in this never-ending loop of upgrade limbo. But it would certainly help if the message telling me that I needed to check the boxes fell on a screen other than the registration screen – say, the web services screen (where you set up TypeKey), the comment screen (where you enable commenting for the blog), or even on the entry screen (where you can also enable commenting). Generally I’m not a fan of such over-zealous warning messages, but in this case, the needed options were not standing out, and it would have been nice to have a pointer, you know?

10 Replies to “Upgrading Movable Type Comments to v4.1”

  1. Thanks Chad this helped a million. For weeks I could not figure this problem out. I disabled comments due to spam for a few weeks, then when I decided to accept comments, my form would not appear. My web host could not help find the problem, and you solved it. I visited a couple of your Google sponsors ;)!

  2. I just installed Movable Type 4.2.3, and I’ve been struggling for about an hour with trying to get comment forms to appear, even to the point of creating templates and adding tags that I have zero familiarity with. This post solved my problem! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the info!

  3. Another satisfied customer! A friend who hosts a whole community of blogs (chattablogs.com) asked me to look at one that was having this problem, since all of his tech guys were out of town. I was stumped at first, but a quick Google search led me to this post. Thanks.

  4. Chad – This is great! I had the same problem as Pat, where I had disabled the comments due to spam for a few weeks. When I re-enabled them, none of the comments tags were working. As you suggested, I went into the Registration area of Blog Settings and enabled Anonymous user registration. Voila!

  5. Hi Pat –

    Glad it helped! I am never sure if I’m alone in some of these issues (a victim of my own meddling) or if it’s going to help someone else. But in this case, I’m glad that it was able to be of use to someone!

  6. Thanks Chad this helped a million. For weeks I could not figure this problem out. I disabled comments due to spam for a few weeks, then when I decided to accept comments, my form would not appear. My web host could not help find the problem, and you solved it. I visited a couple of your Google sponsors ;)!

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