Silliness is Golden :: diaries :: diary :: geek :: site

Mon, Feb 21, 2005

Comment system upgraded

Cosmetic tweaking remains to be done but I believe I've finally knocked most of the features I wanted into's comment system.The writeback system is now intergrated into my HTML pages rather than being a separate flavour; I've added support for gravatars, which allowes commenters to use Livejournal-style usericons with a minimum of fuss, and I made the little markdown cheat sheet's Javascript degrade gracefully.

I may yet add threaded comments, but i think I'll give myself a bit of a breather first.

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Thu, Feb 17, 2005

Comments are back up.

I took down comments on right before heading for Burningman since I knew I wouldn't be available to hand-prune the thickets of comments spam that were twining around every post here. I made a vague promise to "do something" about the problem shortly after getting back.

Or, rather, I deactivated comments. The web apparatus for posting the comments was still there--they just didn't show up.

Six months later, I finally added a one-line hack that I think should keep the spammers at bay for a while. For those who care, it's:

foreach ( @fields) { if (param($_) =~ /<.*>/) {die print "Content-type: text/plain\n\n" . "Die, spamz0r!"; }}

at line 123 of the Writeback plugin.

After I did this, I discovered that the "disabled" Writeback had still been writing all the last six months' spam to disk. It took me almost an hour to hack it all away, attempting to leave the relatively paltry number of actual comments intact.

Now, however, things seem to be working. I expect to add more, better, and mo' betta features to my comments system in the next week or so, but at least I have something again now.

NOTE TO SEBBOFEED READERS: LJ's comment system is great, but it deletes syndidated articles and all their comments after about a month. A bunch of great discussion has been permanently deleted that way, including Miriam's explanation of using dowel hats to drive off seagulls, Tim's experiences with Bostonian's attitudes toward eccentrics, and that great one about Malaysian prononouns from someone I didn't know. I'm not telling you shouldn't comment at Sebbofeed, but it is writing on sand.

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Thu, Jan 27, 2005

Volume II, in which my blog rises from the grave to feed upon the flesh of the living

You remember how in The Mummy, the mummy starts out as this shambling figure, and then he plunders enough parts from various people to become a walking anatomical diagram, and eventually is restored to healthy pink of undeadness? Well, is going through a similar bit.

Something weird and subtle changed about the way Dreamhost handles redirects, which caused the whole house of cards I'd constructed to come crashing down. This time, I hope I'm building it a bit smarter. Certainly I have more insight into why the number of special cases and hand-crafted solutions I used last time was a bad (or at least dangerous) idea.

Pound on the site and tell me what still doesn't work. I probably know about it already, but there'll also be stuff I miss. Comments should be back up in a week or so.

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