Ebenezer’s “Recent Comments” script for blogspot blogs

Quite possibly the single most annoying thing about blogger/blogspot blogs is the lack of a “Recent Comments” function. Recent comments greatly facilitates comment discussions. And until now, it hasn’t been possible for blogspot blogs.*

That’s why Ebenezer’s new Recent Comments script is such good news. It’s now up and running at some bloggernacle sites, including A Motley Vision and Our Thoughts. Blogspot bloggers — this means you, Grasshopper, BCC, Ryan Bell, Orson, LYMA, Celibate, et al, et al — should strongly consider adding this feature. It is available at Blogger Hacks.

*To be precise, recent comments functionality was _mostly_ impossible. At least one workaround existed that I know of — several months ago, at Steve’s request, I jury-rigged a system of sorts over at BCC, but it’s incredibly ugly; it’s actually a second blog that posts the RSS feed of comments. Yep, that’s ugly. Ebenezer’s script is a whole lot better.

15 comments for “Ebenezer’s “Recent Comments” script for blogspot blogs

  1. I don’t know if it is due to the hack, but on Motley Vision on Safari the screen keeps reloading, making it impossible to post or even read. Anyone else try it with the latest version of Safari? I do most of my posting at home so Safari is what I use 90% of the time.

  2. Thanks for the plug Kaimi. I should mention that the Recent Comments hack only works for blogger comments, not for Haloscan comments.

    I’m currently testing a web-based program I have written that will automatically migrate all of the Haloscan comments for a given blogspot blog to blogger comments. It should be ready at the end of this week or the beginning of next. I suggest any bloggers that want to try to preserve their haloscan comments wait until it is done to install the hacks.

  3. Clark,

    I tested in IE and Firefox, but I haven’t tested in Safari or Opera. When I get home from work today, I’ll download a copy of each and do some testing to see if I can fix your problem.

  4. Kaimi, thanks for the gentle push. I actually noticed the new feature at a Motley Vision, but decided not to adopt it because we’re so entrenched with Haloscan now. In fact, we’re actually a premium customer, making us one of the richest of the blogs (yes, we paid them twelve bucks, which is 68 percent of our ’04 operating budget).

    However, now that I see that Ebenezer is working out a program to transfer all our haloscan comments over to the new metempsychosis comments, I’ll seriously consider it, starting whenever he releases the program.

    Still, Ebenezer, I’m guessing you’re not planning on jumping into the comment program support business any time soon. At least with Haloscan there are support forums, etc. What will I do if I run into problems with your new commenting system? I guess I’m just wondering how support will work out with the new system.

  5. Ebenezer, Safari is the default browser with OSX. (Although most of the engine is the same as the KDE browsers on Linux as the underlying engine is open source) So there may be more involved that a simple download, unless you use the Mac emulator for PCs. But be aware, the emulator is very slow.

    I should add, just to be elitist and fit in with the Rameumpton crowd, that browsing the web under OSX is so much nicer than in Windows. Now viruses to worry about. Most of the “pop up” code doesn’t affect you. The font anti-aliasing is much nicer. Plus every text entry box, like the one I’m typing in now, has integrated background spell checking. (i.e. misspelled words are underlined in red)

  6. You’re right Ryan, I really don’t have enough time to give extensive support. The hack is free and as-is.

    On the other hand, my code is merely a javascript hack that piggybacks on blogger’s system. I don’t have to worry about database maintenance, server capacity, bandwidth, user accounts, email notification etc. because that is all handled by blogger. The metempsychosis hack just gathers the comment information and passes it on to blogger to use, then it does a little formatting when blogger spits the comment back out.

    If enough people start using it, I may set up a forum where users can help each other with problems as well.

  7. Clark,

    I’m a PC user. What are these “pop ups” you speak of? I think I vaguely remember the concept from back before I began using Firefox…

  8. That’s a good point. I’ve noticed that several of the Bloggernacle blogs that use Haloscan have had times where commenting wasn’t available because Haloscan’s servers were down.

    It’d be nice if Blogger provided these options, but since they don’t [and since I can’t yet justify the cost of web hosting (which would allow me to use WordPress)], I’m incredibly pleased that Ebenezer created these hacks — even if they don’t come with extensive support.

    BTW, if any bloggers or commenters are feeling generous and want to encourage Ebenezer’s endeavors please note that he has a tip jar option on his Blogger Hacks blog.

  9. Clark,

    I was going to try the emulator, but I’m not confident that I will be able to. I will try it in my version of Linux with Konqueror. Perhaps you could enable error logging on your version of safari and email me any javascript errors it reports. (ebenezerothrodoxy at yahoo dot com).

  10. If you want to facilitate conversations then you should move this whole site over to Slashcode or something similar.

  11. Joseph, a lot of people find spyware installed on their system. Those bring popups via Internet Explorer whether you use Firefox or not. Yes, if you are careful, you can avoid spyware and run spyware deleting software. But that is sometimes beyond casual users. I’ve fixed that a lot on systems. I’m not aware of any spyware or programs that surreptitiously open up browser windows on the Mac. It’s simply a vastly more secure system.

  12. I’m not sure running Konquerer will help, as what Konquerer shares with Safari is the display engine. I think the JavaScript engines are different. As I understand your code, the bug is in JavaScript.

    You might want to ask Kim Siever over at Our Thoughts as he has both Macs and PCs and is a professional web developer.

    I’m running some code debuggers right now.

  13. I don’t know that slashcode is the best way to go. WordPress’s threaded comments plugin, as used by danithew appears sufficient the meet the ‘conversational’ requirement.

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