The Ants Go Marching

I _thought_ I was winning. Three days of only seeing one or two ants per day, of obsessively vacuuming and Swiffering the kitchen floor once in the morning and once in the evening, of keeping the sinks empty, the counters clear and clean and full of Simple Green-y goodness, of thinking that maybe, maybe the bait and the traps were finally kicking in…

And then the little bastards go and ruin the illusion.

Last night, I walked into the kitchen and flipped on the lights and heard a very, very faint… crackling. It sounded like Rice Krispies would sound if they were tiny. It was coming from the soda bottle. Snap, crackle, pop. What the heck?

The ants. The little tiny ants were chewing on the plastic lid with their little tiny mandibles. Some had found ant heaven and there were little tiny bloated ghost-like ants floating in the root beer. Some were merrily working their way towards that goal. ANTS!

So we will surround the house with a layer of bait a mile thick… again. The battle was lost, the war goes on.


> _Q. Why stick with an old content management system?_
> A. Because trying to move the data to a new one is far, far too difficult. (Or expensive. Or complicated. Or, in an absolute worst case scenario involving really horrific hosting situations, impossible.)

In the last year, I’ve had several clients ask me to move them away from Movable Type to the CMS(Content Management System) of their choice.

### Movable Type to Textpattern

Textpattern has an import utility that offers the choice of using either the native MT(Movable Type) export flatfile or the MT database information for a straight database-to-database conversion. In my experience, it munges categories and “forgets” to include entry basenames on the database import, causing organization and display problems. These problems can be solved by using phpMyAdmin to restore categories across the `textpattern` table and a small PHP script to run through the entries adding the `base_url` field.

### Movable Type to WordPress

The import utility for WordPress reads the entire MT export flatfile into a string and proceeds to use array operations to break it up. With a large data set, the server runs into issues with memory or script timeouts and breaks down after importing a portion of the file. This import process requires breaking up a large flatfile into smaller chunks to allow the import script to handle it.

### Movable Type to Joomla!

Joomla! has no built-in comments facility, so it is necessary to install MosCom to handle comments that are imported from MT. Joomla! uses some MySQL reserved words as column names, complicating SQL statements by requiring the prepending of table names. MosCom uses `varchar()` to store comment date and time as strings in separate columns instead of the more commonly used @datetime@. This conversion requires a custom import script to move data from the MT database to the Joomla! database.


CMS database conversions are annoying enough without having to fret over whether an insert statement is going to run into reserved words as column names, or why in the world someone chose to store a date and timestamp as varchars instead of the built-in datetime format. (Movable Type to Joomla!, for those who wonder. MT was not the issue.)