BitWorking

This is Joe Gregorio's writings (archives), projects and status updates.

Comment system review

When I moved to this new blogging system I did so knowing that if I wanted comments I would have to do so 'on-the-glass', using a Javascript based commenting service. Here are my quick reviews of the three systems I tried. Note that I may have missed some features of each system, don't attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by not spending enough time in the admin interface. Also note that many of my preferences or dislikes are aesthetic in nature and your mileage may vary.

DISQUS

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Can use a variety of logins (including Twitter and OpenID, which are the two that matter to me.)
  • Can 'like' and 'report' a comment no matter how you are logged in.
Cons
  • Adding a comment is a POST with a redirect back to the page, but with a query parameter and hash tag appended.
  • Sorting of comments is done by clunky looking combo-box.
  • If you are logged in via Twitter, the default is to mirror your comment to Twitter.

IntenseDebate

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Adding a comment is an XHR operation with no redirects, query parameters, or hash tag appended.
  • Can use a variety of logins (including Twitter and OpenID, which are the two that matter to me.)
  • Sorting of comments is done by simple links.
  • If you are logged in via Twitter, the default is not to mirror your comment to Twitter.
Cons
  • Can vote an comment up or down only if you are logged in through IntenseDebate, not just through Twitter.

Google FriendConnect

Pros
  • Relatively easy to install
  • Adding a comment is an XHR operation with no redirects, query parameters, or hash tag appended.
  • Can use a variety of logins (But it doesn't include Twitter)
  • Is much much more than a comment system, so take the cons with a grain of salt.
Cons
  • No option to vote or 'report' comments.
  • Comments aren't sortable.

Also note that none of the systems allowed you create a custom captcha. I would like the ability to either add in a series of multiple choice questions or a simple formatting request like my old comment system as a form of turing test for commenters, or more precisely, a shibboleth generator.

2009-07-15