Working on a New Comment System - Bigdinosaur Blog

In the previous post, I walked through setting up Discourse, a Ruby-based web forum. I’m in the process of shifting this blog’s comment system from Disqus, which I’ve never been wholly comfortable with, over to using Discourse instead. There is being done via a plug-in for Octopress currently under development by one of the posters over at the main Discourse development forum.

Why ditch Disqus? There are several reasons, but the biggest is the privacy concerns. Disqus tracks users’ movement across Disqus-enabled web sites, and I don’t like that. It provides a free, well-constructed, low-friction commenting system—that part’s nice, of course!—but I don’t like being followed, and I don’t think readers of this site should have to concede to being watched by Disqus in order to comment. Whether or not Disqus is harmless, and regardless of what they do with the data, I object to the principal.

So, we switch to Discourse. I could easily use Vanilla, too, since I already have a functioning Vanilla install and Vanilla easily supports being framed inside a blog for comments, but where’s the fun in easy?

The switch to Discourse is still a work in progress, and things aren’t quite working right yet, but I’m hammering away on it in my spare time. Currently, none of the blog posts have functioning comments, but we’re getting there. In the meanwhile, if you’d like to leave a comment on any of the blog entries, head over to my Discourse forum and comment there.

Discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

Link goes nowhere :cry:

Yeah, I know. That’s why I’m WORKING ON IT! :smiley:

(Actually, today I played around with this most of the day, then spent the past couple of hours writing it up. My job, so hard!)

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Good luck, we’re all counting on you?

So the comment system is mostly functional. I believe I’ve gotten the major issues worked out, thanks to the developer’s generous contribution of time, and now the only question that remains is if comments get promoted up to Octopress.

Feeling pretty good about this styling for now. I think I have abused CSS enough for one evening!

Very cool! I just hope they make front-end (from blog page) commenting possible some day, as I still find it a little jarring to get pushed into a full-blown forum just so I can drop my humble comment.

Also this:

p.s. my reply hasn’t showed up yet in the blog post, and it says “0 other replies”. Could just be a caching thing though.


It takes a while for promotions to happen. Per @trident on Meta, there’s some caching somewhere that’s hanging onto things probably longer than it should; however, things eventually appear to work. Right now, the counter on the blog entry page does appear to have been incremented, so it’s updating.

I came by to check it out, very cool! You also have to consider that it shows the best n comments, as determined by the discourse scoring algorithm. Admin posts get a big enough score boost to usually promote themselves over other posts, as well as admin likes.

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Don’t you mean principle?


  1. first in order of importance; main.
    “the country’s principal cities”
  1. (of money) denoting an original sum invested or lent.
    “the principal amount of your investment”

noun: principal; plural noun: principals

  1. the person with the highest authority or most important position in an organization, institution, or group.
    "a design consultancy whose principal is based in San Francisco"
    the head of a school, college, or other educational institution.
    the leading performer in a concert, play, ballet, or opera.
    MUSIC - the leading player in each section of an orchestra.
  1. a sum of money lent or invested on which interest is paid.
    “the winners are paid from the interest without even touching the principal”



  1. a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.
    "the basic principles of Christianity"
    a rule or belief governing one’s personal behavior.
    "struggling to be true to their own principles"
    morally correct behavior and attitudes.
    "a man of principle"
    a general scientific theorem or law that has numerous special applications across a wide field.
    a natural law forming the basis for the construction or working of a machine.
    “these machines all operate on the same general principle”
  2. a fundamental source or basis of something.
    “the first principle of all things was water”

I prefer to interpret it as a thinly-veiled diatribe against a school administrator, but I suppose other interpretations are possible.