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July 1, 2007

Blogging Problem...Fixed!

Filed under Blogging

Windows Live Writer

I started getting this nice message from Windows Live Writer (WLW) after I published a post to my blog:

Network Connection Error

Error attempting to connect to weblog at:

http://www.davidlenihan.com/cgi-bin/mt-3.34-v2/mt-xmlrpc.cgi

The operation has timed out

The post would show up on my blog, but sometimes there would be duplicate posts.

I also lost the ability to preview my posts using the formatting my blog uses.

I searched around on the Internet and found no help.

I searched (actually I browsed...this forum has no search! Boo!) Microsoft's WLW forum and found lots of good info and a responsive staff at Microsoft...but nothing related to my issue. If I could not figure this out on my own, I'd post a question here.

I tried to narrow down the source of this message by doing various tests.

  • I found that I could build pages fine within the web-based Movable Type editor.
  • I created a new test blog and could post to it from WLW without issue.
  • I removed many of the customizations I'd added recently (recent comments & subscribing to a blog) but that did not help.
  • I removed all my posts from the past month (last time WLW was for sure working correctly), and that did not help.

Then I stumbled on to the issue...it was taking a *long* time to post even a simple post. WLW does not give you any feedback about what it is doing, but the web-based Movable Type editor does! I noticed that the post was generated quickly, but notifying the rest of the Internet that a new blog post was available (pinging servers) was taking 5+ minutes. After the post finished, there was a line that said to check the activity log for error messages.

I looked at the activity log and I had hundreds of error messages from trying to ping servers that did not exist or would not respond.

In the past couple of weeks, I modified Movable Type to contact a list of blog servers every time I post a blog. I got the list from Wikipedia.

When I removed this list...all my issues went to away. I can use WLW without error messages and I can preview my post using my web site's formatting! All is well!

Now I only ping 3 servers when I create a new post:

These servers are ping'ed by default with Movable Type.

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