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Debiki as an Embedded Comment System?

By KajMagnus @user_1452013-11-28 00:49:10.792Z

Would you like to embed Debiki's comment system on a website of yours? You could then create static HTML pages, and nevertheless get a dynamic comment section, without needing any database. It'd be similar to e.g. Disqus.

It could work as follows:

Example installation instructions

This section contains example installation instructions, so you get a feeling for how it might work. Any feedback would be very welcome!

First create a website at Debiki: http://www.debiki.com/-/create-site. Choose website type "Embedded discussions". This site will host your embedded discussions.

Then tell Debiki which website is allowed to upload comments. On the Admin page, click the "Embedded discussions" section, then Settings, and enter the address of your real site (the one with static HTML pages).

Then, on your static pages, add this script to the end of the <body>:

<script src="http://your-site.debiki.net/-/load-embedded-discussion.js">

And add this tag somewhere in the <body> where you want the discussion to appear:

<div class="debiki-embedded-discussion">Loading comments...</div>

If you want embedded comments to appear at more than one location on a single page, then add more tags, and append a comment section number to the class name, like so:

text text...
<div class="debiki-embedded-discussion-2">Loading comments...</div>

more text text text...

<div class="debiki-embedded-discussion-3">Loading comments...</div>

(That is, if you want comments to appear at 1 + 2 locations on the same page.)

Hosting

Your discussion could be hosted by Debiki, or you could install the software on your own server.

Links

Here are links to two other other open source embedded discussion systems that seem alive:

  • Isso, http://posativ.org/isso/docs/ (with links to even more embedded discussion systems)
  • Juvia, https://github.com/phusion/juvia

What do you think?

Does Debiki make sense as an embedded comment system? Personally I'm thinking it'd be a good way to reach early adopters, because they tend to be technical people that like static HTML?

  • 6 replies
  1. C
    Christian Scheuer @chrscheuer2018-10-23 19:11:06.618Z

    Hi @KajMagnus.

    I don't know if this is closed because you're tracking this elsewhere?

    When we're implementing the SSO (I'm still trying to find out how best to do it without making problems in our existing installation - I might create a separate forum just to test that we're doing it right before migrating the main forum). But anyways - we'd like to combine SSO with also having the ability to have embedded comments.

    We would use this for

    • articles (we want people to be able to comment directly on articles)
    • packages / commands / scripts inside our app

    Ideally we would also be able to host "automatic sub forums" so that instead of only embedding 1 thread, you'd be able to create more than one thread per embedding - if you understand what I mean?

    So let's say we have a "package" (or an app) that a user created. Then we'd like users of that app to post threads asking questions etc. for this app.
    We could of course automatically create categories on the main forum via an API endpoint, but it seems like it would even smoother if it was part of the embedded comments system.

    What are your thoughts in this area?

    1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-10-25 13:54:47.912Z

      It's closed because everything here has been implemented already, but in a different way — all script links and CSS classes and things on this page, are out-of-date. Instead, here's the more up-to-date info: https://www.talkyard.io/blog-comments (I should redesign that page)


      B.t.w. you can create test forums here: https://www.talkyard.net/-/create-test-site


      With articles, do you mean blog posts? What about Single Sign-On: should only people who have an account with you (your customers?), be able to comment, or should the blog comments be open to people in general?


      The "automatic sub forums", sounds like an embeddable forum, in an <iframe>. Or maybe embedding a category from the main forum? Maybe there could be one category, per package? And all topics in that category, could be shown in an iframe, on the package's page?

      I'm wondering if it'd be a good user experience, or not, to open discussion pages from such an embeddable forum, inside the iframe. Maybe the iframe would be a bit too small? And what about linking to any such embedded discussions — they wouldn't have any URL of their own?

      And should these embeddable forums discussions, appear in the main forum too. I'm thinking it'd be good if they could be found, via the search button in the main forum.

      1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2018-10-25 15:49:13.854Z

        Thanks @KajMagnus. Great points.

        With articles, do you mean blog posts? What about Single Sign-On: should only people who have an account with you (your customers?), be able to comment, or should the blog comments be open to people in general?

        Technically I meant something else entirely. In our product users will be able to create what we call "packages" which is something they can publish to other users. But yes this could be viewed just like a blog post from the point of view of the forum. It is just "a page" on our website. (And also embedded in our app - I should get you a beta user so you can check it out for yourself some time if you want, let's do a PM if you're interested).

        We would handle all the SSO logging people in etc. We could simply hide the embedded comments if a user is not logged in / or maybe just instruct the embedded comments to be read-only (maybe a flag in the embedding code for that?). So yes in essence we'd only need to embed (for real) for logged in users so Talkyard wouldn't need to worry about embedding SSO login solutions (at least for now, maybe other use cases would need that).

        By the way - only now saw your embedded comments in action. They look gorgeous! Can't wait to get this embedded into our software yay :)

        For the implementation of embedded comments - maybe I'm blind but I cannot seem to find some example code? It takes me to the main Github repo; where in that would I find an example or docs on how to implement it?

        1. CChristian Scheuer @chrscheuer2018-10-25 15:53:30.102Z

          The "automatic sub forums", sounds like an embeddable forum, in an . Or maybe embedding a category from the main forum? Maybe there could be one category, per package? And all topics in that category, could be shown in an iframe, on the package's page?

          Yea something like that would work. Effectively what we're looking for is more the ability to "create a category on request" (not having to use an API to "manually" create categories for each published package, but simply like embedded comments that Talkyard would just recognize via url or id that this was a new "category"="package").

          I'm wondering if it'd be a good user experience, or not, to open discussion pages from such an embeddable forum, inside the iframe. Maybe the iframe would be a bit too small? And what about linking to any such embedded discussions — they wouldn't have any URL of their own?

          For the user experience, iframe or not an iframe.. Those are great questions. I think once the user clicks in on a thread we wouldn't necessarily need to still control the UI. At that point they could be in Talkyard's normal thread UI. Or, we could just make the iframe sufficiently large to make room for everything needed, and make our design wrap around it (maybe the user would need to click on a "Discussion" tab in our own UI and in that tab all that was there was the talkyard content, almost fullscreen).

          1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-10-30 14:46:10.540Z

            the ability "create a category on request"

            Ok. Hmm, needs to be combined with rate limiting somehow. If one person creates really many categories, that could be a problem. How do the about-package web pages get created, over at your site? Maybe you review and approve the packages your users/customers create / upload?

            Also I need to implement sub categories. I suppose there'd be one top level category, named something like "Apps" or "Packages". And in that category, each package would have its own sub category?

            I'm about to implement per category subscriptions — that'll be needed too. (I suppose the pacakge maintainers will want to get notified about new topics in their own packages (categories) only.)

            I think once the user clicks in on a thread we wouldn't necessarily need to still control the UI. At that point they could be in Talkyard's normal thread UI

            Ok, that sounds like a good start, I mean, the simplest way to get started.

            1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-11-05 10:07:25.828Z

              @chrscheuer I created a topic about embedded categories, here: https://www.talkyard.io/-165/embedded-forum-categories

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