Return of the Comments

by Sean Cribbs

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...


In all seriousness, this post is to officially announce my Luke and Leia, Commentable and CommentBucket, the behaviors that drive my implementation of user-submitted comments for RadiantCMS. As a teaser, here's how I made it look on my testing platform, which is the "Styled Blog" that comes with Radiant.


Now, to satiate your curiosity, you can download the behaviors as a zip file. I haven't put it on a Subversion repository yet, although I'll probably figure out TextDrive's svn and put it up later. In the meantime...

Commentable/CommentBucket HowTo

To use the Commentable/CommentBucket behavior, first download the files and place all three .rb files in your [RADIANT_HOME]/app/behaviors directory. If Radiant is running, restart it.

Load the admin interface. For a page that you wish to have comments, set the behavior to Commentable. Now your page can receive comments once you add the proper tags. I recommend putting the tags into a snippet and including that snippet in your page via a layout or another part. A layout is probably best because you don't have to type it each time. Here's the snippet I used for the screenshot above (not everything is in the screenshot of course).

    <span class="comment-title"><r:title /></span>

    <r:name />
    <r:body />
  <r:form />

Here's the CSS styles I used with the above snippet.

.comment-name { 
  color: #ccc;
  font-size: 125%;
.comment-title {
  color: #036;
  font-size: 125%;
.comment-body {
  display: block;
  color: black;
  font-size: 90%;
  padding: 5px;
#comments-form-header, h4 { 
  font-size: 150%; 
  color: #999; 
  border-bottom: 1px dotted #999; 
  margin-bottom: 0.5em;
#comments-form-header { 
  display: block; 
form span { 
  display: block; 
  margin: 5px; 
form label { 
  float: left; 
  width: 20%; 
  text-align: right; 
  padding-right: 1%; 
#comments-form-submit { 
  padding-left: 20%; 

For more information about what each tag does (although I think they're pretty self-explanatory), please look at commentable_behavior.rb.


All information passed into the behaviors is HTML-escaped to avoid XSS and other nastiness. You can, however, allow any filter available to RadiantCMS on the text via the "config" part. You may also set the initial state of new comments through the "config" part (look at app/models/status.rb for clues on what number to use). Here's a sample:

status: 100
filter: Textile

This will make all new comments published immediately, and their message bodies filtered with Textile. Make sure to set this information BEFORE the first comment is posted, otherwise, it will have to be modified in the "Comments" child.

But what about CAPTCHAs?

For this initial release, I didn't include any CAPTCHA, although that is high on my list. I primarily chose not to because

  1. Not everyone has the captcha gem. I can't test the gem on win32 anyway. It's also poorly maintained (sorry Jamis!).
  2. The validates-captcha plugin doesn't do exactly what I need.
  3. I couldn't find any good, reliable, secure algorithms for generating a CAPTCHA with RMagick.

I'd love it if someone can point me to a good algorithm that works with RMagick. In the meantime, we'll have to do without CAPTCHA.

Legal junk

As with any software I have released, I didn't attach a license. I'd appreciate you letting me know when you make any enhancements or squash any bugs. That's all!


NB: This site no longer uses Radiant and many comments are disabled.As a gesture of goodwill to you, my fellow citizens, I have enabled comments on this page. Please contact me or leave a comment if you experience trouble with the plugin or my page. Thanks!

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