New Gear Diary Comment Feature


I’m happy to announce a new feature on The Gadgeteer. You now have the ability to comment directly on a gear diary posting instead of having to create a new topic in the regular discussion area. This was one of our most asked for features during the last request for user suggestions and feedback. See, I really listened to you all. :o)

Here’s how it works… First you must create a user account. Sorry, it won’t use the same account that you already have setup in the forums. Feel free to use the same user name though. A link on the front page right side bar will direct you to the account creation page and will always show if you are currently logged in…

Below each gear diary posting, you will see a link to how many comments are currently available for that post. Clicking this link will allow you to read and reply to these comments.

We know that this new system lacks an assortment of bells and whistles right now, but we wanted to make it available at this time and grow the functionality later. Please let me know what you think!

Major thanks go out to Rob who is a genius when it comes to all the code that runs The Gadgeteer.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Richard Greene February 3, 2007, 1:34 pm

    Well this is interesting…..the new log in procedure. It will not accept a blank so I had to log in as MooseMan rather than the grammatically correct Moose Man.

    Other then this little annoyance – I like it.

  • Julie February 3, 2007, 7:01 pm

    Your ‘name’ can have a space in it, but the Login ID can’t. That seems to be a fairly standard restriction.

  • Tyler Puckett February 4, 2007, 11:27 am

    Pretty nice! But it would be nice if this was integrated in the forum rather than being separate.

  • Julie February 5, 2007, 4:42 am

    I agree that integrating with VBBS would be optimal, but the problem is that I don’t want to manually create a new forum or topic for each gear diary entry that I post like I do for every review and article.

    There is also a good possibility that we might completely ditch VBBS at some point for a home brew solution. Then it all will be integrated. :o)

  • Rob Tillotson February 5, 2007, 12:32 pm

    One of the reasons for the separate login ID without spaces is that eventually it will be part of URLs, for your profile and such (this is only the beginning for the comment system here). Except for those eventual URLs and the “You are logged in as…” on the front page, your name will be what is displayed, so feel free to use whatever capitalization, spaces, etc. you want to show to other users. (I should also mention that names and email addresses do have to be unique when you create an account, mainly to prevent accidental multiple accounts. Also, a lost password function is coming soon.)

    As for integrating with VBBS, the problem with that is that the only way to do it is by poking at VBBS’ database behind its back — the backend for the site is in Ruby on Rails, while VBBS is in PHP, so no direct integration is really possible — and that isn’t a great idea in the long term. Eventually this system will grow to replace VBBS for comments on reviews as well, leaving the forum primarily for general discussion instead of talk about specific gadgets.

  • Tyler Puckett February 7, 2007, 7:38 pm

    Rob, couldn’t you use a Rails forum and integrate this with the Rails forum? I don’t know much about Rails, but I’m sure there are some. Of course, migrating from the old BBS to the prospective new Rails one wouldn’t be easy…

    And here I am acting like I know what I’m talking about, I use WordPress and bbPress 🙂

  • Rob Tillotson February 8, 2007, 12:53 pm

    Well, if I was just going to use canned forum software, there’s little reason to replace VBBS anyway. A Rails based forum might be easier to deal with, but it would still be a separate forum. To integrate it like the comments on these pages, I would still have to do almost as much work as writing the feature from scratch, in terms of creating and modifying forms, views, controller code, etc. and since I would have to do the front-end stuff anyway, I might as well structure the database exactly how I want it. (This site is not using any kind of canned CMS… what you see here is the front face of a custom web application built specifically for Julie. So I can’t really just plug anything else into it without doing some work, but then again it is also unique 🙂


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