Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Six Apart speaks out

Over at, Jay Allen makes his first post as a Six Apart employee on the recent comment spam problems. Comment spam has been a problem for some time now, but the past few weeks have seen the problem rise to a level that some hosts are having to disable user’s accounts because the load on the server caused by a spam hammering is causing problems for other users.
The article is very thorough, but that does make it a little lengthy, so here it is summarised into bullet points:

  • Six Apart thought the problem was caused by old versions of MT (pre-3.0). This wasn’t the case.
  • There are two main bugs causing the unnecessary high load:
    1. Static pages are rebuilt even if a comment is moderated
    2. Lots of unnecessary database connections if dynamic templates are used.
  • These bugs have been fixed in development (so hopefully should be fixed in the next release).
  • For now, Six Apart recommends switching to dynamic templating and considering adopting TypeKey.

You can tell I’ve been working on PowerPoint presentations lately, can’t you?


  1. Dynamic Templating is not an option for those of us who use plugins written in Perl. Hopefully, they will eventually be translated into PHP but as Brad noted, this is going to take a while. And at least in my case, I get bombarded by more Trackback Spam than Comment Spam which TypeKey is no defense against. But the fact they are seriously addressing the issue is still a good thing.

  2. For some reason, just having a summary like that reminds me of the horrible AutoSummarise feature that used to exist in Word 95, but was thankfully taken out in later versions.
    I don’t know why it reminded me of it, as your summary is a good one, and completely unlike AutoSummarise.
    Also, sorry about not having anything useful to say on the issue itself. 🙂

  3. Well, I *thought* it had been taken out but it still exists in my copy of Word, it seems, so I guess not. More’s the pity.

  4. Hmm.. about the PowerPoint presentations: It’s not hard to tell.