2002-11-09 : One of the things that most blogs have that my site is missing is the ability for readers to add comments. I don't get much feedback as I sit here typing away. Even if someone sends me e-mail, no one else gets to see it.

I decided I wanted to have some way of allowing comments on my pages, like most blogs have.

I wanted the users to be able to format their entries instead of using strict plaintext, but allowing HTML is dangerous. I've seen two alternatives, BBcode and wiki formatting, and I like BBcode better, so the one I used is based on that. It's not actual BBcode, though, becuase I was doing it quickly from memory.

I also wanted users to be able to go back and edit their entries is they make a mistake. One way is to set up an account based system, but that's a pain, and who wants another password? I decided to take the wiki route this time, and allow everybody to edit everything. Plus, that enables more freeform discussions, which I think is a neat feature of wikis.

I decided to keep a parallel directory structure, with a text file containing the comments for each page in the main directories. Then, to see if a page has comments, I can just check for the existance of a comment file by name. If the comment file is there, I parse it into the bottom of the main page. Add an editing form, and viola! A discussion board on every page!

There are still some things I'd like to add. You can't put links in the discussion text yet. You can't easily indicate a quote from another person. I was thinking it would be cool if people could create accounts if they wanted to, and then set up their personal text format. That way you could have "Louis" style text, and you could thus easily tell when you were quoting another person.

2003-01-04 : fixed a bug where deleting all the comments off a page caused an error when trying to display a page. Now it will be treated as if there are no (or have never been?) comments for that page.

C o m m e n t s :     updated: 2004-02-12 (5545 days ago)
An unordered list of all the supported formatting (for testing the parser):
What do you think of the discussion board?
Please add what ever you want to say here.
    -Louis! :)
this is cool -Derek