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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Commentics & Thingamablog

Recently, I added comments and the option to shorten initial posts with a "read more" teaser to this blog and my business blog. I discuss this project in this post on my business blog.

To minimize legal issues, I use the Thingamablog content management system (CMS) to publish my off-line blog posts to my sites. This insures that I maintain the master copies of my blogs off-line on computers and as backups on external storage devices.

One of the problems with using a CMS hosted locally, and not popular online services like Blogger and WordPress, are issues with comments. Most users who go this route, use services like DISQUS to host the comments associated with their blogs.

The illustration below, shows the script added to the Thingamablog entry.template file for each blog (this and Remix), to handle comments and the read more teaser.

To date, though I have added the feature to this blog, I have not used the "read more" teaser, so I used an illustration from Remix, where I have used the new feature.

I also want to note, if you are a Thingamablog user, and want to try the "read more" teaser solution I discuss in the Remix post, you have to insure the HTML inserted into the Extra 1 field is clean. No double quotes, carriage returns, line feeds, etc. Why? My implementation uses Javascript which has an issue while reading the remaining post text- stored in the Extra 1 field. I only needed to check if the field was not null and believe it or not, that check was not easy.

Initially, I installed DISQUS on each blog, however, by late last week interesting ads began to appear on this blog, so I decided to install a self-hosted comment script. After a bit of research, I decided to use Commentics.

Several issues installing the new script. The first, I use Apache Tomcat so any time I add a PHP driven feature I have issues. One of the workarounds I have found, install the new feature on a sub-domain and make sure to update the underlying Tomcat XML files to handle the new sub-domain.

The second, I did not realize Commentics was a cPanel offering through Softaculous. I downloaded the script and prepared to SSH the files to my server when I found I could no longer use the SCP command I illustrated in this post. In 2017, when I first setup ssh access on qisoftware.com it took me a morning or so to get it setup correctly. I love being able to copy directory trees with a single line of code. Not sure why this is blocked, however I used FileZilla to copy the files. Then I discovered Commentics is a script offered by my web host.

To enable Commentics on this blog, I added the lines of code indicated, to the header and lower areas of the entry.template file of this blog's template.

The following illustration shows the last blog post entry with the Commentics script for comments in the lower area.

I continue to tweak the Commentics template for this blog. I really like this service because it offers a lot of features. Because I am concerned with load issues, DISQUS continues to be the service used on Remix. That said, other than my test comments, I have no comments so I am not sure why I am concerned with this issue.




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