Thursday 15th January 2009

ruminations on brian's threaded comments

in this installment, we examine a real-world instantiation of the brian's threaded comments wordpress plugin. specifically, mine.

the skinny:
once you finally get it working, it's slick, yo, and no one can take that away from you.

the thick:
1. it generates invalid css, the first try, before you even get a chance to try to break it yourself. doubleplus ungood. code is poetry; make sure it scans, kids.
2. it comes with its own stylesheet, but it's stored in a .php file that your index page must load, in its entirety, with each pageload. to save on load times you can pull it out of the .php file into its own .css, and then make a call to this new one properly from your main style.css. note: this is after you finally, finally locate where these bizarre broken styles are coming from. on the other hand, if you're using the default (kubrick) wordpress theme, it should look okay—it appears that the plugin is designed to look native to kubrick (or at least some lighter theme).
3. there is no out-of-box 'your comment is awaiting moderation' message given to your respondents. i'm still working on making this go; my apologies to rhymes-with-floss for freaking him out when he thought he had wasted twenty minutes of his life submitting a comment to /dev/null, and then spending another portion of his life retyping it (because that is exactly what i would do) to the same result. (p.s. i still haven't nailed down exactly where to put this back in, so please do not despair if it appears your next comment has been eaten by the ethertrons. it has not.)
4. nitpicking, but you just don't encode a .png as a string of hex characters inside another file. BRIAN who taught you how to do that, it doesn't matter just unlearn it.
5. you basically have to trust the java. unless you yourself speek teh javazors. (i don't.) but it kind of goes with the territory.

all that said, there's definitely a critical mass of people using the plugin—it's likely all your questions have been asked and answered by other actual humans already, so you can probably google for the appropriate q&a. unless you're me, in which case you want to tweak it in ways no one has yet conceived of, and you're s.o.l. as usual. suckah!

do you know who only recently (i.e., after bonking his head on btc for several consecutive nights) discovered there is native support for nested comments in the later versions of wordpress? the answer is me.

posted by mAtt @ 17.54 (gmt+0000)
to /geek/meta