I have altered the blog

Pray that I alter it further.

In the meantime, be sure to express your opinion in the comment field enhancement post.

I have implemented the following features for now:

  • A preview pane that appears below the comment field as you type and shows you how your comment will appear after you submit it.
  • A 5-minute timeout allowing you to edit your comment in case the preview pane betrays you.
  • New HTML tags, including <table> and <tr> and <td> and <ul> and <li>.
  • Clearer explanatory text below the comment field.
  • Top Commenters by Volume (as measured in decibels) in the sidebar.

Last 5 posts by David Byron


  1. AlphaCentauri says

    Thank you!

    I like the idea of being able to edit for a while. A lot of forums restrict editing once there are subsequent comments, though, and as fast as the comments pile up on Popehat, there could be situations where everyone is commenting on a post that later gets changed.

    Of course, if everyone finally get the blockquotes straight, they'll be able to quote the original to reduce confusion.

    Next, show us how to embed youtube videos without them running off the side. Someone posted instructions that involved copying/pasting a link from youtube under the video which specifies the dimensions of the window, but the comment software seems to strip off those tags.

  2. DRJlaw says

    Hey! You can't just drop in features willy nilly whenever you like!

    I begin writing a comment about a timed editing feature. In the middle of that writing, a timed editing feature appears. Then I finish writing my comment and post it. Dime to a dollar everybody is all "Hey, dude, there is a timed editing feature and you're a gleeb for asking for something that is already there." Makes me look like a chump.

    I may have to send an inherently viscious pony to someone's house as 'thanks.'

    Again, kudos to David.

  3. says

    There are several things I like about this:

    • The preview mode lets you see what you are doing
    • The allowed tags lets you see what you can try
    • Haven't tried the grace period, but sounds cool
    Wishlist Item Reason for wishing
    The th tag To offset the headers with maybe a css style of YOUR choice
    Also Actually, just posted to try this out.
    Hey, this works pretty well!
  4. ChicagoTom says

    Damn David, you're good! And Fast! I can barely keep up with all the great upgrades to the blog!

    So wait…how do we embed something???

  5. says

    … viscious …

    I love that word! it's more useful than Lewis Carroll's other examples of portmanteau words.

    "He's so slimy you can track him through a swamp by moonlight."

    "Yeah! and he'd stab your best coon hound for a half-swallow of rotgut."

    "Viscious–that's him all right."

  6. sorrykb says

    Thanks, David!
    And… we can do tables now??

    I'm not sure this is the best use
    for a table. But at last
    the statisticians among us will be happy.

    I promise I will continue taking advantage of stop misusing the new features now.

  7. David C says

    With the new preview pane, if I accidentally type << instead of < to start a tag, my browser hangs and the only thing I can do is kill the whole browser.

    It would be awesome if that were fixable.

  8. Myk says

    So as society crumbles into warring tribes scouring the land for gas, and we discover John Steele's mother-in-law is the original manchurian candidate, David figures this is the most productive use of everyone's time?

    But seriously – well done. Might I suggest a sandbox thread for people (i.e., me) to practice their tags & html, rather than cluttering up other threads?

  9. Cat G says

    These updates are adequate and sufficient.

    • You should be commended.
    • Although you could have more pony related content.
    • @Myk – This thread seems to work fine.
  10. David Schwartz says

    With the new preview pane, if I accidentally type << instead of < to start a tag, my browser hangs and the only thing I can do is kill the whole browser.

    Confirmed. Merely cutting and pasting your comment into my comment was sufficient to crash the browser. I had to hand replace < with &lt; to avoid crashing. The browser goes to 100% CPU usage and just sits there. (I'm using Firefox 25.0)

  11. Dion starfire says

    I'll second the sandbox request. I used a generic one for html with my first few posts (to make sure they wouldn't turn out all wonky).

    I bet you could probably find the code for one free at the various web developer sites.

  12. says

    Yep– the plugin, or its interaction with another script, generates a "long-running script" error– possibly an infinite loop from flawed recursion, since one or another plugin is using underscore.

  13. Maurice de Sully says

    Attempting such a change while the government is SHUT DOWN.

    I can't tell if I should admire the courage or curse the recklessness. I'll just pray that no one is harmed.

  14. Ken Hamer says


    One suggestion if I may… given that there are (sometimes) very thoughtful/verbose comments, perhaps 5 minutes is not long enough to review your comment. Fairly often I will post something but only notice minor or even glaring flaws about 1 micro-second after hitting the [SUBMIT] button. There are times when it takes longer than 5 minutes to sort the issue out.

  15. Aaron says

    Testing what happens when you open but don't close a table.

    Because I'm curious.

    stuff stuff

    Seems to work fine
  16. ysth says

    Couldn't we please have a blink tag? While there are still any browsers that support it?

    Also, wouldn't it be more useful to be able to edit other idiots' people's posts?

  17. says

    @CJK Fossman
    Sadly, yes.

    Note– I didn't write this stuff from scratch. I'm just folding snippets into core WordPress files and theme templates when there's no plugin, or when the plugin is half-baked.

    I prefer an elegant language from a more civilized age.

  18. wgering says

    Right after I posted ^that^ everything went wonky. All the things that are usually to the right of the main blog text (RSS sub link, twitface, latest posts, recent comments, etc.) have migrated to the left below the end of the comments. Meanwhile, the "Leave a Reply" text fields and Gravatar link have moved up to the top right.

    Also the comment text field and preview window are shifted left.

    Running Chrome 29.something-or-other.

  19. says

    @wgering, that's because you didn't do the markup right. Specifically, you didn't wrap the list items in an unordered list tag. (I have fixed it above.)

    You wrote:
    You should have written:

    You're the second commenter to do that (I fixed the previous case, too), and list items not inside a list pose problems for the CSS. Either I'll have to accommodate the mistake in the stylesheet, or tweak the parser to provide missing tags, or remove the capability from comments.

    I know which one consumes the least time. ;)

  20. Michael K. says

    Fantastic! I love the live preview.

    Still no inline images for mere mortals, though, eh?

  21. says

    (")_(") Evil Bunny approves these changes.

    Though thinks that the amazing world of 1 trillion emotes would also be good too? (And you wondered why he was called Evil Bunny)


    Edited to add that TinyMCE (A wysiwyg html editor) for those Html noobs might be also handy. (and can be made to only allow certain tags)

  22. R says

    All you need to do now is add a Sarcasm tag which should make sarcastic text appear as reversed italics.

    Successfully edited to remove the tag formatting around "Sarcasm" which was stripped when I posted because I was an idiot and didn't carefully review the preview.

  23. says

    @Michael K
    So much can go wrong with inline images. Someone fails to specify width on a huge image and breaks the layout. Someone grows angry with Author A and links to hideous or inappropriate content. Someone links to an image hotlinked to malware.

    Sounds like a maintenance and monitoring nightmare.

  24. says

    @G Thompson, TinyMCE is the rich text editor I turned on for a while yesterday, and had in mind for the poll, before settling on live preview.

  25. Richard says

    Can you add the <ol> tag?
    No particular reason it's necessary, but since we have unordered lists, ordered lists would also be nice.

  26. Special Circumstances says

    The best improvement would be to reorder the comments so the oldest (first!!1) is on top, right below the article. It's a pain in the ass to click back three or more pages of comments to see what everyone's talking about. Or / also adding 'older/newer posts' button to the TOP of the comments so we don't have to scroll all the way down to go back to the beginning.

    I'm a devoted lurker and really appreciate the blog. Thanks for writing, and thanks commenters for hanging out.

  27. says

    The best improvement would be to reorder the comments so the oldest (first!!1) is on top, right below the article.


  28. WDS says

    @Special Circumstances, @David,

    The best improvement would be to reorder the comments so the oldest (first!!1) is on top, right below the article.

    Isn't that they way it has always been. Whatever you do don't put the newest first.

  29. George William Herbert says

    A somewhat longer edit period would help. From a desktop I can see if I screwed up formatting pretty quickly. From a mobile device, this morning I caught something about a minute after the five min were up.

    Other sides give 30 min or an hour; would it affect anything negatively here if the period were that long here?


  30. Michael K. says

    @David – Fair enough. The width thing would be easy enough to deal with by adding img { max-width: 500px; } to the site stylesheet, but I can see your concern about inappropriate content.