Some Commentary ...

Work continues unabated on CloseBrace this week as I dive into one of the final puzzle pieces needed to get the site launched: commenting. One of the biggest factors that convinced me I could do tutorial-writing as a full-time gig was all of the comments I've received on the tutorials posted on my personal website, where I've been able to help dozens and dozens of people over the last few years (and received much-appreciated thanks from many more). Commenting will be an essential part of the site, since users will need to ask questions and gain explanations or clarification.

If you've visited the tutorials there, you probably noticed that I'm using Disqus on my personal site. The logical question, of course, is why I'm not opting to do the same on CloseBrace, and am instead building out my own commenting system using KeystoneJS's API functionality. The answer is complex, but there are a couple of major reasons. First, I'd really rather not require my users to have multiple logins to comment (I know you can use existing site logins with Disqus, but then we're getting into custom code anyway). The second is that, while I'm obviously a JavaScript advocate, I'm trying wherever possible to make CloseBrace no-script friendly. You probably won't be able to post comments with JS, but you will definitely be able to view them.

The third is really the big one: I want the comments to tie in to existing user profiles. Not at launch, but down the line, profiles will be able to show a user's recent comments, their reputation score based on comment upvotes, and similar. If I introduce Disqus at launch, and then build all this stuff, it means I lose whatever comments people posted before the switch … whereas if I just launch with a barebones comment system of my own design, I can add to it later without losing the content.

So, we're going custom. The system will be really barebones at launch, but I'm OK with that. As traffic (hopefully) ramps up, I should be able to expand it out and improve it substantially.

The system's already displaying comments (that I enter manually through the back-end). Next up is adding and deleting 'em. I'll have some screenshots of the system for you at the end of this week.

More soon!

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Founder and creator of CloseBrace
Providence, RI, USA Website