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Free Comment V0.2.1

Preview Image

Preview Image

Introduction

So, finally, an update to the Free Comment project, the custom commenting system powering the comments for this website. What an interesting journey this has been! The system has successfully stood up to attacks from Russia and generally managed to stay online without an update for over a year! It's not perfect, but it's certainly robust enough for general use.

Firstly, let's start with why somebody would want a custom commenting system:

Features

CSS

We now pull in a CSS file (served additionally to encourage caching), which now looks very sexy. A nice glow effect, hover for desktop users and generally bigger text for mobile devices. Of course this is completely configurable.

The entire file is stored in RAM to allow for faster transmission and to free up disk usage for the important task of loading threads and saving shit posts.

Avatars

The comments were originally devoid of any colour and made the website look more dreary in general. Hence, the decision was made to add colour through the use of a procedurally generated avatar. Some examples of this are:

Output: <URL>:<PORT>/alias/.&?=

Output: <URL>:<PORT>/alias/.&?=

Output: <URL>:<PORT>/alias/1234

Output: <URL>:<PORT>/alias/1234

Output: <URL>:<PORT>/alias/abcd

Output: <URL>:<PORT>/alias/abcd

Timestamps

Next, we actually time stamp the comments in yyyy/MM/dd HH:mm:ss format. This is massively useful for if commenters want to know when a person last replied and by extension, how likely they are to be replied to.

Non-Visible Stuff

Some of the non-visible things that changed include:

  • Software under simplified MIT license - For the purpose of use by others.
  • Better control of configuration - More configurability in the way content is loaded with better looking defaults.
  • Nicer error messages - If something was to break, we want the best possible messages to be returned to the user.

Conclusion

This should be another great addition to this simple site.