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Is there a level between "account required" and "totally anonymous"?

By Jason @detly2018-04-23 12:47:45.155Z

I'm using Talkyard for embedded comments, and it looks like any commenter will need to create a new account just to be able to comment. I can see people accepting this with eg. Disqus because one account will work for many sites. But for a per-site service it might be too much trouble. There's an option to completely remove the requirement for even an email address, but that seems like a bad idea. Is there a level in between? Say, so someone can comment with a display name and email address, but doesn't have to create an account with a password, etc. This is the level that Wordpress and Drupal blogs typically operate, so I think it's sort of become the accepted level of effort required to comment.

  • 10 replies
  1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-04-23 13:34:21.151Z

    Right now there isn't. I think it'd be a good idea to have, for the reasons you mentioned.

    Actually, in the past, one could login as guest, meaning, one typed one's display name (like, "John Doe"), and optionally an email address — but no password or username. One didn't have to confirm the email address or choose any password. ... I disabled this, though, to save time when doing a refactoring a while ago.

    a level in between? Say, so someone can comment with a display name and email address

    I could look at the old disabled code, and add back guest login, i.e. name + email address. This old code didn't, however, check that the email someone typed was actually his/her own email address. So, if one didn't want to type one's email, one could just type noone@example.com and the comment would still get accepted. (What are your thoughts about this?)

    1. In reply todetly:
      KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-04-24 06:58:19.459Z

      Also, if you know any login dialog, with a nice user interface, where it's easy & obvious that one can choose to type either:

      1. email + display name, or
      2. email + username + optional full name + password (and in this way create an account)

      it'd be interesting to have a look. Actually, I could ask about this at https://ux.stackexchange.com/ and https://www.designernews.co/

      Ok so right now the login-signup dialog looks like so:


      What about, for logging in with only a display name + email:


      The create an account button wold change the dialog, so it becomes like the first one above, i.e. shows password and username fields.

      1. DJason @detly2018-04-24 10:03:10.220Z

        I like it! I wonder if there's a way to roll the "Already have an account? etc" into the buttons up the top (or slightly below it)? But I can't think of anything that doesn't introduce a bit of clutter. Also I'd remove the "?" from the create an account line — it's still a statement, just an imperative one.

        In my experience, if you allow name+email only, your spam filter might need to work a little harder, or you might provide an option for admins to automatically hold such comments for approval (or both). But mostly it came down to the profile of the platform and site. For example, when I converted to Drupal, I had the same site, same URLs, same spam filter settings... but less spam. I suspect spammers were searching or detecting Wordpress characteristics (eg. "Proudly powered by Wordpress" or checking the source) and targeting that specifically.

        So, obviously, if Talkyard takes off and becomes wildly popular, it's not the worst problem to have ;)

        1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-04-26 07:41:10.693Z

          Ok I've started a bit with this now.

          I also cannot think of a good way to move the "Already have an account" higher up. And I'll remove the '?'.

          Ok, interesting to hear about spam and Drupal vs WordPress. Yes I think if people are allowed to comment with just name & unverified email, then one needs to review all such comments, because of the spam risk. ... And also rate limit, based on IP address (for example). (This is supported already.)

      2. D
        In reply todetly:
        Jason @detly2018-05-26 14:52:24.782Z

        This seems to work nicely! I'll let you know how it goes when it's live.

        1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-05-26 15:51:01.059Z

          Ok, yes would be interesting to have a look :- )

        2. In reply todetly:
          KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-05-01 06:07:53.451Z

          I've implemented this now. The feature is called Guest Login. To enable it, go to the admin area, then, in the Settings list, click Signup and Login. Then disable Require verified email, and enable Allow guest login.

          Probably you want to enable May compose before sign up and May post before email verified, too.

          Thereafter, someone who clicks Reply, will first see the editor (if may-compose-before-signup is enabled) and can type a comment. Then, when s/he submits the comment, a dialog like the one suggested above appears, and s/he only has to type name & email to post the comment.

          This is how embedded comments will work by default, from now & onwards (i.e. guest login = enabled).
          Thanks for suggesting this feature :- )

          1. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Planned 2018-05-01 06:09:05.878Z.
          2. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Started 2018-05-01 06:09:06.605Z.
          3. @KajMagnus marked this topic as Done 2018-05-01 06:09:07.212Z.