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Update: Latest Version = 1.1b
(now displayed at bottom of script's sidebar on left)

The script below is a new way to allow readers to subscribe to yor comment posts. The original idea was from the ScriptyGoddess Subscribe-To-Comments scripts for MovableType. Jennifer, from ScriptyGoddess posted a call to any "doctor or Perl programmer in the house" because the Subscribe To Comments script is 1) a perfect opportunity for people to bombard enemies with spam emails, and 2) not helped by Jay Allen's masterwork the MT-Blacklist anti-spam plugin.

Well, as a better doctor than Perl programmer, I decided I'd better take up the challenge and have at it with my lumbering, kludgey Perl in order to sharpen my skills. So, I have hacked away at it for a few weeks in between real work, and I have produced a script which will easily substitute for the ScriptyGoddess one with very little work on your part and easy "revert" if you don't like it.

Here Are Some Features Of The Script
1) No hacking of MovableType or any related software
2) Single CGI script for easy installation and removal
3) Upgrade from ScriptyGoddess by simply changing two URLs in your Comments Listing Template
4) Easy Import of Old ScriptyGoddess Subscriptions
5) Web Based Interface For Managing All Subscriptions
6) Individual Entry Opt-Outs as Well as Sitewide Opt-Outs Available To Readers
7) Subscription Management Pages Secured By MovableType Password System
8) Subscriptions Stored In Database Instead of Flat File in Web Directory
9) Completely Compatible With Mt-Blacklist Plugin
10) Uses MT IP Banning For All Subscriptions
11) Readers Can Subscribe Without Posting, But Are Still Subject To MT IP Banning for Security
12) Completely Customizable Notification Email
13) Secure Reader Pages For Individuals To Manage Their Subscriptions
14) Reader and Blog Author Pages and All Others Separately Customizable With CSS
15) Easy to Purge All Related Data If Desired
16) Flood Control on Nonposting subscriptions
17) Optional automatic email notification if large volume of subscriptions (subscription spam warning)
18) Optional automatic (or reader chosen) expiration times for subscriptions
19) No hidden frames or occult popups - works perfectly* with both popup and inline comments

*the word "perfectly" is used largely to convey a feeling and not completely literally . This is because, much as I love Macs, a couple of their browsers are extremely inconsistent. The worst is Opera (Windows Opera is fine) - the workaround in the script causes a funny little bump that looks like the page is reloaded once after posting a comment - no big deal, but might surprise those few Mac Opera users a little. Also, Safari puts up a dialog box saying "Subscription Info Processed Successfully" requiring a click on okay to get rid of it. Again, nothing too unusual, I hope. All other browsers behave themselves just fine.

If you want to try it out here first, subscribe to comments for this entry (with or without posting) and see how it works. You will receive an email that will give you a link to the reader's page (to manage your subscription(s) at this site).

See Sample Page From Script (Installation Instructions and Tech Notes)

Screenshot of Script's Subscription Page

Download Script -> EZ Subscribe To Comments

Change History

EZSTC 0.1b
add popup window to basic script
release for beta testing

EZSTC 0.2b
add ip banning
add popup toggle switch

EZSTC 0.3b - 0.9b
experimental frame designs
variable clearing

EZSTC 1.0b
web based interface

EZSTC 1.1b
devised non-popup method for hooking MT after comments eval'd

EZSTC 1.2b
Add full featured web-based interface
full entry-wide, site-wide opt outs
import from ScriptyGoddess
reader management page
css for user and reader interface
customizable email
subscribe without posting
release for further beta testing

EZSTC 1.3b
fix to allow for inline comments

EZSTC 1.4b
fix double posting in some browsers

EZSTC 1.5b
add timing loop to accomodate unconventional browser eval order

EZSTC 1.6b
fix for proper preview functioning
better variable checking

EZSTC 1.7b
further fixes for Mac Camino and Win Firebird

EZSTC 1.8b
add manage subscriptions by email address

EZSTC 1.85b
minor fixes for uninitialized variable warnings

EZSTC 1.86b
minor fixes for Opera compatibility

EZSTC 1.87b
allows for optional email address on comments form

EZSTC 1.09b
limited release test of new features

EZSTC 1.091b
add button to clone settings from one blog to another

EZSTC 1.092b
flood control not applied to nonposting UNsubscribe

EZSTC 1.1b
100% customizable email, per blog settings, add expiration dates, eliminate hidden frame, flood control


104 Responses to EZ Subscribe To Comments
  1. Oscar Says:

    Tom - I’m sorry to say that I just haven’t kept up with this script, since it is basically obsolete and MT Notifier is a far more elegant solution. EZ SHOULDN’T conflict with MTBlacklist though, but I don’t understand why the script should time out in just looking at subscriptions either, even if the database is empty. I don’t see an obvious problem. Perhaps it is having trouble accessing the database? Or writing to it? But I can’t imagine why this would be, especially because Blacklist uses plugindata also, so if that’s working, EZ should also. Sorry I can’t help better. But, I would definitely consider Notifier.

  2. Tom Keating Says:

    I use MTBlacklist on my MT 2.661 blogs installed on IIS running ActivePerl. I can access the sub-to-com.cgi interface just fine. But when I try and “Show Subscriptions” or click “Show Subascriptions by Email” the script times out.

    Also when I post a comment, it goes through successfully, but I never receive any notification.

    I wonder if MTBlacklist is interfering?

    Here’s a link to my Comment Listing Script in case you see anything obvious. Thanks in advance for your help. Comments Listing

    (saved as text file)

    Also, if you have a debugging test script, please email it to me.

  3. e Says:

    hi oscar,

    great work on the plugin. i seem to be having the same problem that kevin dangoor had around 2/12 of last year. the script installs fine, the interface comes up ok, and everything looks right. but when i post and subscribe, while MT notifies me as the blog owner that a post has been made, and i can see the subscription in the sub-to-com.cgi interface, nothing actually happens. instead, i see this in the error log:

    [Tue Feb 15 14:08:24 2005] [error] [client] File does not exist: /home/ed/public_html/500.shtml
    [Tue Feb 15 14:08:24 2005] [error] [client] Premature end of script headers: /home/ed/public_html/mt/sub-to-com.cgi

    any ideas?


  4. Oscar Says:

    Okay, faf, now you’re asking the tough questions, since it’s been awhile since I’ve looked at this thing closely, but for you, I’ll look again ...

    Let’s try this ...

    Go to line 3839

    There you will se the following code. These are the hidden values passed in the usual MT comments template.

    <form method="post" action="$script_name" name="comments_form"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="entry_id" value="$form{entry_id}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="author" value="$form{author}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="email" value="$form{email}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="url" value="$form{url}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="bakecookie" value="$form{bakecookie}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="text" value="$form{text}"/>

    Duplicate the last line, and then change the word "text" to whatever the name of your random number field is, so if it is named "foobar" you have:

    <form method="post" action="$script_name" name="comments_form"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="entry_id" value="$form{entry_id}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="author" value="$form{author}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="email" value="$form{email}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="url" value="$form{url}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="bakecookie" value="$form{bakecookie}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="text" value="$form{text}"/>
    <input type="hidden" name="foobar" value="$form{foobar}"/>

    I think that might just do it, but let me know what happens, and we can troubleshoot further if it doesn’t work.

  5. Faf Says:

    i would rather modify it to work for me… can you show me where exactly to make the changes to pass the extra values.

    i’ve got one value for a random number for spam checking but it doesnt get passed on… so the first time submission always fails

  6. Oscar Says:

    Maggie, I have no idea whether this script works with MT3 - I would doubt it. But, nonetheless, you should get it to come up at the stage of installation you are talking about.

    I would recommend using Chad’s Notifier plugin for MT3, but if you wish to try mine, let me know how it goes. I would just try re-uploading the script - maybe it got corrupted on upload.

    Thanks for pointing out my page load problem, btw. I think I fixed that Damned computers!!!

    And, I am fine. Hope all is well with you too

  7. Oscar Says:

    faf - no, the script does not pass every variable passed to it. I didn’t have any reason to write it that way at the time, though it would have been nice if I had. Any new variable would have to be hard-coded into the script.

    I am recommending Chad’s Notifier plugin to people, since it is much more professionally written, and he has kept up development through the latest versions of MT. EZSTC has never really satisfied me because I tried to do it without hacking MT code, and that was never 100% possible. It has always had a few problems.

  8. Maggie Says:

    Hi Oscar,  I’m doing a fresh install of your script, however, when I point my browser to http://divamaggie.com/sub-to-com.cgi I get nothing .  The sub-to-com.cgi is CHMOD to 755 and I’m not sure WTF is up.  Any ideas??  btw…your pages are taking forever to load.  Did you know that.  btw…how the heck are you???

  9. Faf Says:

    do you know if this script passes every field submitted to it by the form to the mt comments script?

    i implemented a spam prevention solution that require passing a random number to mt comments but it seem to fail everytime a submission has to go thru sub-to-com.

  10. Oscar Says:

    Hi Kymberlie - Well, allow me to say that without having looked more closely at it, if I were going to implement this function right now on an MT blog, I would use Chad’s Notifier plugin. 1) It is up to date, 2) it is integrated into the MT code in a way that I tried to avoid (for now essentially obsolete reasons) and thus is not dependent on weird ways that different browsers operate, and ... well ... a lot of reasons.

    That said, a number of people do use this script with plenty of satisfaction, so, since it is installed, you could stick with it. If I ever get a free minute, I will try to add CSS to the processing window. In the meantime, it does accept HTML, so you can paste the CSS in there (I know ... it duplicates it), but that would work, unless you have many skins.

    The next couple of weeks will be impossible for me, so there’s no way I can get to looking at it, but maybe sometime after that I could tune it up.

    Chad’s plugin gets rid of that whole processing window anyway, and makes the whole subscription thing essentially transparent the way it should be, btw ...

  11. Kymberlie R. McGuire Says:

    I’ve applied this to my blog and it seems to be working.  The only question I have is this: is there anyway to apply a CSS file to the processing screen?  I had my comments posting screen set so that it would pull from a matching CSS file.

  12. Dan Says:

    Tested with Firefox and IE6.  When I posted a comment on my test post, I get 5 emails now, in this order:

    1. From: comments, To: testing@...
    2. From: comments, To: testing2@...
    3. From: testing2, To: myemail@...
    4. From: comments, To: testing@...
    5. From: comments, To: testing2@...

    Anything else I can look up that might help?

    My test post is here:




  13. Oscar Says:

    Hi Dan,

    Does it do this with all browsers? The problem with this script has always been trying to make it hackless, and there was always something of a race condition with browsers - each one handled onUnLoad and the like a little differently. Sometimes, people’s individual servers handled the same code differently - causing some to send, some to send twice, and some not to send at all. That said, it was very rare that I would get this complaint. So, I’m not entirely sure, but it would be helpful if you could test with a couple of different browsers ... (also, presumably with the latest version of the script) ... thanks ...

  14. Dan Says:

    I’m trying to get STC working correctly, and it does send out emails, great!  The problem I’m seeing is that it seems to be sending two copies of emails?

    Any idea what I’m doing wrong?  I just followed the manual instructions, and am using inline comments.

    Any hints welcome!

  15. Says:


  16. Oscar Says:

    I’ve been testing MT3 since the alpha as well, with the initial plan of tweaking this script to update it for compatibility. I have assumed that the new plugin hooks would allow me to do away with some of the old kludges. I have a MT3 test blog up and running and it looks great! Unfortunately, however, I have been so busy with real-life work that I just haven’t had the time to take a close look at the script with respect to MT3. I hope to get to it sometime soon! I welcome any information and/or suggestions.

  17. Justin Baeder Says:

    I can’t think of a way to do that without manually copying your template into the custom page box, which I’m assuming you know about. I don’t think includes would work, since those processing pages are CGI files. I’ll be interested to see your implementation.

  18. Adam Says:

    Now that MT3 is in public beta and I can officially “come out” as a tester, I was wondering if this plugin is compatible with 3.0 as-is. If you’re not sure yet yourself, I can try it out on my “guinea pig” blog and let you know how it goes.

  19. Matt Says:

    Great script! Is there anyway to make it so it can include my main template for the Processing your comment ... page and also the page that loads when just subscribing to the entry and not posting a comment?

  20. Jason Lefkowitz Says:


    I recently moved my EZ-Subscribe-To-Comments enabled blog from one host to another, and now I get a 500 error when I try to get to the sub-to-com.cgi script via my Web browser.  I checked my HTTP error logs, and found this:

    “Storable binary image v2.5 more recent than I am (v2.4) at blib/lib/Storable.pm
    (autosplit into blib/lib/auto/Storable/thaw.al) line 355, at lib/MT/PluginData
    .pm line 28”

    I was getting a similar error when I installed MT-Blacklist, so I used the YAML option instead of relying on Storable… but thing is, on my old host I had both MT-Blacklist (YAML version) and EZ Sub-to-Com working fine.  So a Storable issue with MT-B is not necessarily a dead-end with Sub-to-Com.

    I checked the script, it’s set to 755.  Can’t figure out what else to do… any thoughts?

    Thanks for the excellent script!

  21. Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »


  1. : Unfogged: EZ Subscribe To Comments
    Tracked at 1969 12 31 15:00:00
  2. : scriptygoddess.com: EZ Subscribe To Comments Chad has been busily coding away and developed a cgi version of the subscribe to comments feature (originally developed in PHP). His is called "notifier". I plan on installing it here soon - but I have tested it on a...
    Tracked at 2003 11 21 00:37:31
  3. : No Assembly Required: EZ Subscribe To Comments Ok, so you guys have already noticed the changes, but I will tell you again. The comments submission form has...
    Tracked at 2003 12 17 00:34:37
  4. : distant, early morning: EZ Subscribe To Comments [Listening to: Rush - Roll the Bones - Rush - (05:30)] Oscar at ofhills created a script to easily add a "subscribe to comments" feature. I had a lot of problems with this because, as is the norm, I don't...
    Tracked at 2003 12 17 20:51:54
  5. : DE-duce: EZ Subscribe To Comments Been playing around with the layout of DE-duce and SE-duce and the nav bars and some other bits. One of the nicest bits I have added is the EZ Subscribe To Comments script from
    Tracked at 2003 12 25 08:29:45
  6. : Computer Toaster: EZ Subscribe To Comments Just discovered this subscribe to comments script for MovableType. Too sleepy this morning to think about setting it up but the features list make it look very promising. No hacking of MovableType or any related software Web Based Interface For Managin...
    Tracked at 2003 12 25 08:46:13
  7. : Tech-Weblog by Christoph C. Cemper: EZ Subscribe To Comments Technorati Plugin
    Tracked at 2003 12 27 12:23:46
  8. : Tech-Weblog by Christoph C. Cemper: EZ Subscribe To Comments Technorati Plugin
    Tracked at 2003 12 27 12:29:41
  9. : MT Plugin Directory: EZ Subscribe To Comments This is a cgi script that goes in the MT cgi directory. Only one script, no hacking. Insructions for setting...
    Tracked at 2004 01 06 06:16:02
  10. : Whats Crackin: EZ Subscribe To Comments I just completed the most easiest install of EZ Subscribe to Comments by Oscar F Hills. Awesome and so easy to setup! I think it's working :smile if you get any errors please let me know. You will recieve an...
    Tracked at 2004 01 07 13:18:21
  11. : ActionScript Hero: EZ Subscribe To Comments Well, I'm going to install EZ subscribe to comments, a script to subscribe to comments developed by Oscar F Hills that it's not a hack. There are other scripts for subscribe to comments but you need to modify your Movable...
    Tracked at 2004 01 13 09:12:34
  12. : 8 Ways to Sunday: EZ Subscribe To Comments I've added comment subscriptions to the blog, so you can follow the conversation on a given topic. Read on to learn the details...
    Tracked at 2004 01 30 19:21:40
  13. : one girl's life: EZ Subscribe To Comments With many thanks to Oscar!...
    Tracked at 2004 01 31 14:51:50
  14. : John's Jottings: EZ Subscribe To Comments Way too behind on maintaining this place, hoping it will get better soon. Some things in the pipeline: Upgrade to MT 2.661 Upgrade to MT-Blacklist v1.63 beta Upgrade to MT-Textile 2.0 Upgrade to PHP 4.3.4 Upgrade to phpMyAdmin 2.5.5.pl1 Upgrade to Apac...
    Tracked at 2004 02 06 08:59:20
  15. : jasonheyd.: EZ Subscribe To Comments installed the EZ Subscribe to Comments plugin recently. so, now you can track replies to comments, should you so desire....
    Tracked at 2004 02 17 14:35:42
  16. : Al-Muhajabah's Movable Type Tips: EZ Subscribe To Comments The blog author gets an email notification whenever a new comment is posted on their blog. But, often, commentors themselves would like to be notified when new comments are posted to entries that they're monitoring. The venerable solution is the...
    Tracked at 2004 02 17 21:34:30
  17. : A Soft Answer: EZ Subscribe To Comments Well I was going to delete this post after I used it for a test, but Hugh pegged it with a comment. So it wouldn't be fair to delete the post but I thought I would at least post what I am trying to do behind the scenes in case anyone else with Movable ...
    Tracked at 2004 03 19 14:07:59
  18. : A Soft Answer: EZ Subscribe To Comments Well I was going to delete this post after I used it for a test, but Hugh pegged it with a comment. So it wouldn't be fair to delete the post but I thought I would at least post what I am trying to do behind the scenes in case anyone else with Movable ...
    Tracked at 2004 03 19 14:08:17
  19. : 8 Ways to Sunday: EZ Subscribe To Comments I just upgraded this blog to Movable Type 3.0 beta 2. Curious about the new version? Here are some of the highlights...
    Tracked at 2004 05 06 14:35:23

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EZ Subscribe To Comments

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