Coping With Comments
I really miss netnews

My favorite part of most blogs and news articles is the comments.

I still mourn netnews. There was a time - prior to 1998 or so - when everybody had a netnews account and posted from there. The REASON why most people got on the net, prior to that, WAS netnews. It was content, and real conversation, squared. The spam-driven fragmentation of commenting systems away from netnews, the invention of RSS itself, the incredible proliferation of commenting systems - all I consider massive amounts of engineering time wasted on re-inventing the wheel. We could have fixed netnews, instead, with far less effort. I note, particularly, the proliferation of the SHA1 hash, which would make referencing other articles sane and fast… And distributed…

Why not in a .newsrc?

Why must the conversation be so controlled? Why did we have to fragment so, into different “tribes”? (The same question bothers me about chat systems, too, but I do like that the most popular ones today seem to be using jabber)

Mourning aside, of all the commenting systems out there, the one that I like the best is slashdot’s, which has crowdsourcing support. The most relevant comments bubble to the top. It’s a feature I’d like more high traffic websites (hear me, NYT?) to have.

I’m focused on making ikiwiki work how I want.

Ikiwiki does things its natural way, with comments becoming part of the blog itself, embedded in the git backend. This strikes me as a major hassle to approve and cope with higher traffic commenting… I do like the control - outsourcing my favorite part of a blog to a company that might not be around in 10 years REALLY bothers me.

Man… I miss netnews. I hope it never dies. It appears to be dying….

The closest thing to a dynamic web based commenting system that I like is disquis, and I’ve decided to bite the bullet, and use that for now.

Problem is, this blog runs over IPv4 and IPv6, and disquis doesn’t run over IPv6! Darn it. I need to file a request.

I’m just going to hold my nose, keep looking for something that uses netnews via javascript, install disquis, and move on….


I decided to go with ikiwiki’s commenting system for now, instead.

Find me elsewhere.

Best of the blog Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
David Brin
Charlie Stross
Eric Raymond
The Intercept
Chunky Mark
Dan Luu's rants about hardware design
Selenian Boondocks
Transterrestial Musings

February 10, 2011
380 words

latency usability rants