The comment system debate rages on, and the fallout is scattered all across the internet this week. Some people argue that comments are a waste of bandwidth, and others argue that it provides users a community atmosphere that allows them to participate in the discussion.
Someone taking a philosophical stand against comments has been John Gruber of DaringFireball.net fame. He has no comments. Zip. Zero. Every time we get a comment from a troll, I envy him just a little bit more.
But, it seems like some people want DaringFireball comments, because John Casasanta, co-founder of MacHeist, has put together a Safari Extension that embeds comments directly on DaringFireball. For those of you who missed the first round of this fight, Casasanta created a mirror website of DaringFireball back in February that embedded comments into the famous website. It didn’t last long that time, but this go ’round Casasanta says that he’s gonna keep the extension around forever.
Wanna see why comments are so hotly debated today? Here’s a screen shot of a typical comment thread on daringfireball (to the right). We tend to agree with Gruber, DaringFireball is way better without the comments. We see enough “First”, and “ball cupping” comments on the internet already. When I go to DaringFireball I’m going to read Gruber’s thoughts, not Racist Mike’s, Man’s, or Fucking Tony’s.
Here’s the problem with the extension, and the reason it won’t be around long—someone’s going to have to start curating the comments at some point, and since Gruber has no control over it, that puts the ball squarely in Casasanta’s court. It won’t take long for “DaringFireball With Comments” to start becoming a center for spam. As it stands now, this plugin is asking for trouble. But, there might just be a market for this plugin, if it was broadened a little bit to be a commenting system in general, letting you bypass a site’s comments, and instead subscribe to certain individuals, without seeing a public stream, well, there could be a web app somewhere in there.
If you’re willing to sift through a series of “first” comments, and really want this extension, you can get it here.