The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Blog commentary

Several weeks ago someone asked if it would be possible for people to leave comments here, a feature that a log of online journals/weblogs have (such as Live Journal). I took it under consideration, and even wrote a long entry about it that I never got around to posting since it was long and rather dry.

In a nutshell, I talked about the problems I had in integrating it into the format I use here—not actual storage problems, but referencing problems. As I have it now, you can select arbitrary portions of my journal (c.f. The Electric King James Bible) I never thought of ways to exclude content from the range. And therein is the crux of the problem—I don't necessarily want to always print the comments for an entry, but it should be easy to view them and, as always, get ranges of comments.

I also have a bias—I hate threaded web discussion boards (the best example of what I dislike: Slashdot. I always read the comments in “flat mode”—all comments visible (and on Slashdot, at a fairly high rating level but that's Slashdot and I'm digressing). I think what I dislike about them is the ping-ponging you ahve to do going down and up the thread chain following comments (Scripting News' commentary system is particularly bad in that reguard). But like I said, that's a bias I have and I don't want to needlessly exclude people's preferences in reading habits if I can avoid it.

But just now, via Blogger (I occasionally get curious as to what the competion is doing), I came across BlgKomm, a commentary system that has a unique feature—“[c]omments appear within your blog, below the posts, with any popups.”

I try it out, and yes, it is rather interesting—the comments are initially hidden until you select a link, then they're flushed out for that post only. Now granted, that's a display issue and not a referening issue, but it still is something for me to think about.

And I still have to figure out the whole reference to comments thing.

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You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

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