I’m tracking a Movable Type posting problem in the MT Support Forum, and thought I’d post about it here.

The bug appears to be an interaction of ecto (or, I suppose, mt-xmlrpc.cgi) with Markdown. It seems that Markdown is choking on a specific replacement string.

When that string is fed in from ecto, it reliably generates a Perl crash on my server, which prevents the rebuild or post action from completeing. Subsequent attempts to rebuild that entry, or others from the blog to which the problem entry was posted, will fail as long as Markdown is called in the rebuild.

An acceptable temporary workaround is to either disable Markdown by removing it from your plugins folder or to turn it off under the ‘format’ dropdown in the individual post-editing UI in MT.

Oddly, I was able to rebuild the entire site with Markdown disabled and subsequent rebuilds from the browser did not lead to the Perl crashes, but to in-browser error messages. Using ecto again experimentally immediately led to the Perl crash.

The site this is happening to is not this one. It’s a different project that’s not ready for prime time yet, so I have the luxury of really trying to isolate the problem.

I’ve dropped a line to both the author of ecto and the author of Markdown. Adrian, who is behind ecto, doesn’t think it’s his app, and given that it’s interacting with mt-xmlrpc.cgi, I can see where he’s coming from.

I haven’t yet heard from John about Markdown, but hope to soon.

One thought on “ecto, Markdown, and mt-xmlrpc.cgi

  1. I had what sounds to be a similar issue with Markdown (.3?) and Bloxsom on my internal log. I didn’t debug it, to my chagrin, but if I recall, I think was a combination of single quote characters and a valid perl keyword.

    (wonders if he can track it down again…)

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