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Posts from April 2006

The Style Contest

One of the great things that's happened over the past year is that Six Apart's three blogging platforms -- TypePad, Movable Type and LiveJournal -- have made significant strides in standardizing the layout and structure of the templates they use to produce blogs. Support for a single set of CSS declarations means that our designers can build a blog's look and feel and know that it can be applied across all three products.

But it's not just our designers that benefit. There's a community of third party designers who find work designing blogs on Six Apart's products, and three of them have organized The Style Contest for Movable Type, TypePad and LiveJournal. Sponsored by Six Apart, Adobe and StyleMaster, and judged by five well known designers, the contest features over $17,000 in prizes...and the opportunity for winning designs to be featured in Six Apart's products and used by potentially millions of bloggers.

There are less than three weeks left until the final submission deadline, so if you're a designer and know your way around TypePad's HTML and CSS structure, we encourage you to read the rules and submit your designs. And if you're looking for inspiration (either for the contest, or for your own blog), you can browse the current list of submissions.

I'll be posting more here about the winners when they're announced...including more about our plans for including Style Contest themes as part of TypePad's set of default themes.

A Quick How-To for Requiring CAPTCHAs

On Tuesday, we added a new tool to help prevent spam comments from being posted to your blog. Using CAPTCHAs to validate commenters as actual humans, and not machines or spambots, is a powerful way to ensure that only legitimate comments are published.

You can enable the CAPTCHA option by going to the "Edit Configuration" link in the Weblogs tab. Click through "Preferences" and scroll down to Comment and TrackBack Preferences. There, check the box for "Require unauthenticated commenters to validate with a CAPTCHA?" and save your changes at the bottom of the page.

Require unauthenticated commenters to validate with a CAPTCHA?

After republishing your blog, commenters will be shown a CAPTCHA image to enter before their comment is published.

Note that if you have Comment Authentication set to "Required," the option to require validation with a CAPTCHA will be unavailable. In this case, commenters will be validated with their TypeKey identities.

More information about this, and all of TypePad's other features, can be found in our searchable Knowledge Base.

CAPTCHA on comments, and a round of bug fixes

This evening we added an oft-requested feature to TypePad, and cleaned up some of the bugs and annoyances that have been bothering you...and us!

First, the feature:  you can now require unauthenticated commenters (who don't sign in through TypeKey) to pass a CAPTCHA test before their comment is posted to your blog.  The CAPTCHA (a ""completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart") will help prevent automated robots from posting comment spam to your blog.  We have more feedback management features in development to help you control the comments and TrackBacks on your blog, and will be rolling those out over the next month.

And here are some of the bug fixes I'm sure you'll be interested in learning about:

  • We fixed an issue where our QuickPost screen wasn't automatically grabbing Amazon's product identifier (ISBN on books or ASIN on music).  So you can now once again QuickPost to your reading and music lists with ease.
  • We fixed an issue with our WYSIWYG editor and Internet Explorer where the editor was adding some extra (and unwanted!) style declarations to blockquote tags.
  • Commenters can now use the "strike" tag in comments, if your weblog is configured to allow HTML in comments.
  • We fixed a bug where the time displayed when comments are previewed was incorrect.
  • We added support for the popular "m4v" format for videocasting.  If you upload an m4v file into your post, your RSS 2.0 feed will now properly add that file as an enclosure.  Go forth and videocast!

We have plenty of features and fixes in the pipeline, so stay tuned for more...