Comments enabled

Since the inception of this blog, I hesitated to add comments because I didn’t want to clutter it with unnecessary JavaScript and rely on a third-party service such as Disqus. Instead, I sometimes link to the corresponding post announcement on Google+. This has two disadvantages: First, people who are not on Google+ cannot participate in a discussion and second, all comments are kept at Google which does not make it any better than hosting them at Disqus.

Of course, I like getting feedback and discuss about various issues raised in my post, thus effectively as of now, you can comment here with a static comment system.

Static comments

Some time ago, Matt Palmer proposed a mail-based system that uses a small server-side script that sends him mails of new comments in YAML format and a small Jekyll plugin that reads the comments and makes them available in the templates. I was intrigued by the idea but because my MUA sucks, I had to find another way to manage incoming comments.

First, I wrote a Flask-based app that receives the POST data from the comment form, validates the input, computes the Gravatar ID from the mail address and stores the result in a static_comments.rb-compatible file. I will then pull the comments via rsync whenever I can devote the time, remove spam and re-generate the site if necessary.

Privacy and filtering

I am not yet ready to publish the source for the server-side app but I can tell you what I am (not) doing with your data:

  1. I use your IP address to limit submissions to one comment per minute. I do not store your IP address.
  2. I do not publish nor store your mail address. Its only purpose is to compute a Gravatar ID, so in general I am fine if you put in some bogus address.
  3. I do process your comments: I strip out tags looking like XML and at some point the comment gets processed by a Markdown converter. So, what is shown on the site might not necessarily be exactly the same as what you put in the box.
  4. Furthermore, I will delete comments with threatening, harassing, racist, sexist and copyright infringing content.
  5. I will not delete or modify already published comments.