With my switching to using Jekyll and wanting to still have a comment system on my posts. I set out looking at my options. There were many options out there and some were better in ways than my final choice. Such as Disqus. My friend and ex-coworker uses it on his blog. While it offers a nice little interface and allows for logins from popular services, it just did not feel right for me to use. Most of the ones I found all controlled the data, aka I would not host it.
I’ll confess, I have been working on this switch to Jekyll for way to long and knew about Cactus Comments for over a year. I went back and forth on it as the comment system I wanted to use. I think what pushed me to it is that the Matrix protocol/specs just are out there for anyone to read and use. Along with if I use it the comments are basically hosted by me instead of someone else.
So I set about configureing the comment system into my Jekyll config for my site. I found the documentation on Cactus Comments site a bit lacking for my taste. I quickly took what they had and spun it around to a thing of my own.
The first things they wanted was to hijack the disqus comments config. No that wont do. I made a subsection for Cactus and put in new variables.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 comments: active: cactus cactus: siteName: mindlesstux.com serverName: cactus.chat guestPostingEnabled: false loginEnabled: true showRoom: true
The next thing they said was to toss two linkes into a custom header file, I skipped this in favor of my next bit.
Then they have a replace disqus comment code/template. Well I went off and just wrote my own comment code/template.
Basically did the header includes (I know probably bad form for html), and setup all the comment bits. I made use of my new options and throw up a warning box if guest comments are disabled. I also have a handy link to the matrix chat room that acts as the storage space for the comments. I also made the comment section id a bit more understandable instead of just a url.