October 11, 2006

Random thoughts

[This post is just my random thoughts on Blogger hacks and features. I have read some such posts elsewhere, so I thought I will write one too!]

One of the ideas for a nice hack could be "comment threading". Instead of the flat list of comments, what if we have a forum-like threading of comments? For example, say Tom comments in my blog and I reply to his comment. Then, my reply should appear right below Tom's comment (a little indented though). If Tom replies back, it should appear below my comment, even if he replies after several others comment. This will help in organizing comments into multiple threads and makes it easy to follow the thread that you are interested in. What do you think about this?

I think post summary feature should be built into Blogger. I mean Blogger itself should allow users to type summary and full post in different textboxes thereby recognizing them differently. If this is supported, then we don't need to use the special post template for expandable post summaries. Ofcourse, they don't need to support peekaboo posts but they could show the summary alone in main page and provide a Read more link to goto the post page (if there's no summary, then they could show the entire post). This will also come handy in deciding where to stop in summary feeds. Right now, Blogger goes by number of characters and summary feed stops abruptly in the middle of a sentence!

25 comments:

Michael said...

Another great idea would be Inline Comments, just like those seen at Wordpress.

smilerz said...

If you ever find a hack that does threadable comments I'd love to konw about it.

Shelly said...

LiveJournal threads comments as you've described. I like it a lot. There's a real sense of converstion, but it can be a bit hard to read if there are a lot of comment threads.

I don't like post summaries or peekaboo posts. I'm usually too lazy, given the hundreds of blogs I follow, to click for the rest. I just move on to the next blog. I wouldn't want something like that to be a default on my blogs.

Ariel said...

I agree, comment threads would be great. I also wish that coComment would work with the popup comment option.

Richard said...

First I would like to thank you for the great help in setting up a 3 column blog.
I think that it is a fabulous idea.
One that I would like to see,if possible, is comment blocking. I know that blogger has a moderator option, but it blankets everyone instead of one or 2 people. Is it possible to ,say, someone named joker" tries to leave a comment, it will get flagged, and a message pops up saying that "you cannot comment here" ???

Troubled said...

Can you think of any idea how to make menu-archive show post titles?

Ramani said...

Richard, its not possible to control who comments in your blog because it's not controlled by the template. But, if you have moderation enabled, you could reject those comments. That's how I rejected so many spam comments that I got.

Ramani said...

Troubled, you mean drop-down menu for archives which shows post titles? It should be possible. But I hope you are aware that post titles will be shown in Hierarchy view, right?

Deepa said...

Comment threading does sound inviting.. but i would rather prefer dispalying the names of all those who had commented on the sidebar..
dont know .. if its feasible

Gabs Lau said...

ramani, do you know if it is possible to do banner rotation in blogger blogs, so it shows a different picture everytime as backgroud.

troubled said...

Hierarchy-style can be quite space-consuming, especially if there is only one post on the main page.

I tried to do something with this myself, but to no avail :-(.

Ramani said...

Gabs, I haven't come across such a hack.

Troubled, yes, I agree. Hierarchy view is space consuming. I will check out the possibility of doing what you are asking for. Hans, if you are reading this and would like to attempt, let me know.

Gabs Lau said...

Hi Ramani, thanks. it should be quite easy to do right? wordpress had a plugin for that. Do you think I can write java script in my template to generate a random variable?

Ramani said...

Yes, you could try that Gabs.

Randy said...

That would make a great and impressive hack. If you manage to develop or find this hack, it should be possible to alter the post CSS if a specific data.Labels.name would come up.

Gabs Lau said...

my html and java script is actually very basic. I tried anyway. I defined an array of image location and created a random number with java script in the "head" section, but the trouble is the backgroud of header is defined at the css section at the top of the template, so I guess you can't run java script there. I don't know if it is possible to run the java script in the "body" section to over write the styling?

Stan said...

I just wanted to say thanks, you've been a lot of help. I've had to do a lot of my own customizing and I hope I suck at it, because if I don't I know what you go through and then I'd be sorry for you!

I used to have automatic inline open trackbacks from haloscan on regular blogger, but am wondering if anybody knows if it's possibe in Beta, without using an extra third-party javascript. Thanks again.

Ramani said...

Gabs,

Yes, you could set any CSS property in the body using Javascript. In this case, you can try setting style.background but I guess you may have to set it at the beginning of the body section itself.

Stan, I don't know much about haloscan. Don't know if anybody is working on haloscan hacks.

Gabs Lau said...

Hi Ramani, thank you so much for your tip, after a day of trying, I have got it my Random Banner Rotation hack to work. Check out my blog www.freeyasoul.blogspot.com for the result. I have also shared the scripts on today's post.

Ramani said...

Gabs, That's lovely. I will announce it along with my next post.

There's a better way than redefining the CSS using document.write(). You could use document.getElementById("header") to get the header object and then set its style.background. I will try this when I get time.

chemcookit said...

Hey,
I just wanted to say thanks too. I just added the summary option to my blog template. I was a bit scared by the fact you said it was hard to implement, but instead your instruction were really clear and easy to follow.
I thought about Shelly's concern, but I decided that people may at least read more posts instead of getting bored scrolling down the bottom of the page.
So, thanks!!

Ramani said...

chemcookit,

First time visitors usually want to choose what they want to read. If the main page has long posts, it will be difficult for him/her to do this. That's why Peekaboo posts is a good idea. I gave that warning because it is a major hack that could affect the main contents if not properly done. But, if you carefully follow my instructions, everything will be smooth.

dustoo said...

why not a form-like comment-box like the one at exploding boy?

Deepa said...

DO you think its possible to retrive the Post count ( total number of posts)..i tried data:postcount,data:post.count andfew more.. but no luck.. do u think its possible?

Ramani said...

Deepa, I don't think there's any data tag for post count. All available tags are listed here.

http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=47270#posts