Custom Radio Comments

Under construction, draft, not finished, or: I'm not done writing this yet.

As I wrote here, I'm planning to create my own comments system, suitable for use in Radio weblogs. I will use this document to design the system, before I start programming.

Getting started

Now, there's one, and only one requirement for making a Radio-compatible comments system: it must respond to the URL Radio calls for. Radio appends two GET variables to a user defined URL, and that's it. So here goes.

Features: what should the system be capable of?

At first, of course: it should be able to show a comments thread, based on the two GET vars. After that, it should be able to let users add their comments to it. That's the basic thing.

Other features I would like to create are:

Edits and deletes: if the blogger doesn't like a comment, or if a comment is just plain spam, deleting of the comment should be possible. The blogger (I will use the word 'admin' from now on, that's easier) must be logged into an admin account to do this. Users that are registered (see below) should be able to edit their own comments, when logged in.

User/IP exclusion: when a user keeps bugging you, you should be able to take control and ban the user. Ofcourse, that won't help if it's not a registered user, and, actually, it won't help if it is a registered user either: banning one account may trigger a new one to be registered. Thus, IP-adresses should be able to get excluded by the admin.

Preview comments (1): in addition to bans, the admin shoud be able to toggle a 'preview' option on and off. Turning it on means that comments won't show up in a thread until the admin grants them permission.

Preview comments (2): users should be able to look at their comments before actually posting them.

Word filter: when a spamming 'campaign' is going on, and several users, with several IP's, keep posting the same spam messages over and over again, it should be possible to block some words. For instance (a part of) the URL could be in the word filter, so it will be (partly) changed into ****** when it get posted. The spam will have no use anymore if the URL doesn't make any sense..

Disabling HTML: lots of message boards have HTML filtered out of posts, or changed into plain text, so that the tags are visible in the post (like this: <b>bold</b>, instead of bold). To markup posts, most of those message boards have an alternative markup language, which allows users to create bold text, underline words, create links etcetera. It uses tags like [b]bold[/b] for bold, [url=]Example[/url] for links, and more like that. The comments system should supprt this too. In Dutch websites, where I also use this, I call this the Simple Markup Language, abbreviated by SML.

In addition, the system should check for malicious use of scripting languages in the comments. Use of javascript should be impossible.

User registration: as can be seen above, the system should allow for users to register a username. This is useful for moderating comments, but also for making sure nobody uses your name whithout your knowledge.

Templates: the comments are a part or your site, aren't they? Well, it should make perfect sense to be able to edit some sort of template, to make the comment threads actually look like they are.

Optional e-mail notification: the system should have every feature the default radiocomments system also has, so e-mail notification should be in it too.


Things I'm not done deciding about yet.

  • Should user registrations be per-blog? Should a username + Radioblog-usernum be the unique identifier, or will just the username do?