This post contains important messages for anyone commenting on this blog, or for anyone using JS-Kit anywhere.

One of the reasons I went with JS-Kit for commenting is because they were responsive to my requests for specific features when other competitors would not even answer emails. JS-Kit agreed to develop features I asked for. There have been some growing pain issues (JS-Kit bought out Haloscan which caused some delays implementing these features) but most of what I asked for has now been released.

These new features will make my life much easier as a board moderator. Hopefully they will make your experience in using this site more enjoyable as well.

New JS-Kit Features Effective Today

  • OpenID support. Visitors now have an open standard way to login to JS-Kit Comments using a login that will work across a growing number of OpenID providers such as but not limited to Google Blogger, MyOpenID.Com, Verisign, AOL, WordPress, and Technorati.
  • JS-Kit Comments now creates a reader profile which stores all of a visitors comments that they left across any JS-Kit enabled site. Visitors may share additional information about themselves, such as, links to their Blog, FaceBook, LinkedIn, or company sites.
  • FaceBook Connect support. This lets visitors login into JS-Kit Comments using their FaceBook login. JS-Kit will automatically import the visitors avatar from FaceBook and publish all comments left on your site to their FaceBook page. Visitors can opt-in or out at anytime.
  • Ability to add YouTube videos to any comment.
  • Ability to search comments. The feature is accessed by clicking on the “Control” button at the bottom of the comment roll.
  • User selectable Viewing options: Sort by date, name or status; Ascending or descending; Threading on or off.
  • Ability to send private messages to any poster. Click on a persons pseudonym to activate. A notification via email will be sent to the email address registered in OpenID.

This is a very robust set of new features.

OpenID Implemented

Of the new features I have asked for, OpenID, is the most critical of them.

Previously cookies were stored on a user’s computer to identify that person’s status (approved, unapproved, banned). This posed many problems:

  1. A person using two different computers, say one at work and one at home was logically considered two different users, each validated independently. A person could be approved or banned on one computer but not another.
  2. When a JS-KIT cookie was deleted via-ad-Aware or other cleanup utility, blocked users became unblocked, and approved posters were no longer recognized.
  3. There was no way to automatically re-authenticate that user.
  4. Waiting for me to approve someone every day was very time consuming for me, and often caused hours of delays between when someone left a comment and when others could see it.

KS-Kit still uses cookies, but now that cookie contains an OpenID that will automatically re-authenticate. If a cookie is deleted now, all the user has to do is login with their OpenID instead of waiting for me to re-approve the poster.

On OpenID login, the cookie will be restored on the user’s computer from the last saved settings and this will happen regardless of what computer one is on. Waiting to be “re-approved” will vanish.

Anonymous Posting Disabled

Effective today, anonymous commenting is blocked. I do not have the time to review hundreds of messages every day in real time, nor do I want to put up with span, nor should anyone want to see such messages. Authentication will prevent many but not necessarily all of these abuses. It does not require someone’s real name to be known or used.

Requested Features

  • Ability to add photos to a comment.
  • I have asked for the window size to be remembered from session to session. This request has been approved and should be available soon.
  • I have asked for a user selected ability to disable avatars completely or simply animated ones. This is required to be site friendly to those afflicted with synesthesia. This request will be implemented shortly.
  • A spellchecker feature will be added to the comment posting window.
  • I have asked for a Private Message Alert. Something like “You Have X New Private Messages”, where X is based on the new messages since a person last looked at their messages. This will be on top of email notification.
  • I have asked for an urgent messages header for alerts, that I can control for things like announcing a last minute appearance on radio or TV, or important changes that people need to know.
  • There are some minor issues that need fixing such as a refresh should refresh the page one is on rather than taking one to the beginning.
  • WYSIWYG mode needs work. HTML that cannot be handled by JS-Kit should be discarded. Currently it displays as text.

Hopefully these new features implemented today will make this site a more pleasant one to visit. I thank JS-Kit for working with me specifically to develop these features.

Note: Until you are approved the first time by me with your OpenID there will be one final latency issue. Also if you do something I do not approve of, you will be thrown back on moderation or blocked.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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