Introducing Commentry

Today I roll out the new commenting system for Drezn: Commentry.

For a long while I wasn’t sure of how best to get feedback, if any, or if it was important given the practical realities. But in the end, were there an audience, and should those souls wish to express any response, it would be a shame if there were no method available, and that has been the case until now.

Eh, this all sounds horribly self-aware and tortured. What I would like to get across are my intentions with the design.

Commentry is pretty simple. I want to enable feedback without it getting in the way of the author expressing their thoughts. The formatting is basic (paragraphs, bold and italics, that’s it) and there is no threading. Some of that may evolve over time.

No registration is required. Comments may be posted anonymously (in a later version this may be optionally enforced or restriced for different sites). If a name is provided, a user password is generated automaticaly and stored in a cookie. This essentially reserves this username and also effectively restricts it to the browser, unless the cookie is copied or otherwise shared to another device or browser. In a later version, a user dashboard will allow a user to reset this password to something known, and there will be some kind of login for users wanting to use a changed password.

The underlying principle is that nothing gets in the way of posting a comment. You might have to choose a different nick/username, or you could just post anonymously.

Cookies are not required to use Commentry (this needs to be tested). If you want to remain anonymous, post anonymously.

A back-end feature I’d like to implement, but haven’t yet, is some basic visit monitoring. This would be based on cookies and originating IP and help me track, basically, whether anybody is visting and whether they’re returning. With the free tier on Netlify, I don’t get any access to traffic logs, so the only way I will know if I’m getting traffic is either somebody tracks me down somehow and drops me a note, or the site gets so popular I get a note from Netlify that I need to upgrade my account to pay for the bandwidth.

A final requirement for Commentry is that it’s not required to read the site. If you disable JavaScript, that’s fine, the site isn’t predicated on it in any way, including the traffic tracking above—if you don’t accept cookies and you have JavaScript disabled, that should be fine (though I just remembered two things: Drezn still doesn’t set the initial form visibility to none, so it’ll appear even with JavaScript disabled, and the mobile stylesheet requires JavaScript to drop down the navigation menu… sigh).

Also: need a blurb on commenting for the About section. Probably should look into the GDPR. All of my regular websites lately are posting reminders periodically about cookies so I should probably find out what that is.

Also I need some content that isn’t meta.


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