Adding comments to the blog

Its not that people are dying to share their feedback for this blog but I found a small, open-source, privacy-first comment system that isn't shabby and works great. I can self-host it too without worrying about any third-party using the data. Cusdis is simple enough to get it running on the blog and the latest version of Publii supports Cusdis as a plugin too.

Initially, the blog posts had a reply button at the bottom of the post to get feedback via email.

screenshot of Reply button at the bottom of a post
Screenshot of the reply button at the bottom of a post

This now lives under a <noscript> tag effectively showing up only when the reader is using a browser with no JavaScript support or if they have JS disabled. A reply button is convenient and email doesn't have any barrier but I feel that not many would be ready to share their email address and a no-barrier and an anonymous way to share feedback would be more welcome. Hence, Cusdis. Of course, those who use aliases and throw-away email addresses don't worry about these. If somebody really wanted to share their feedback via email, they will dig out my contact info from this blog and let me know how wrong I am about something. 

I also wanted to add a "Comment via email" at the bottom of every post in the RSS feed just like Ru does it with her blog feed but couldn't figure out a way to do that with Publii. Adding a link at the end of the post manually is easier but I don't want to have to think about doing that every time with a new post. This link needs to be only in the feeds and the current theme doesn't have any way to configure the feeds that way.

My Cusdis instance is hosted on an Intel machine and accessed via nginx reverse proxy. The most troublesome part with Cusdis was figuring out CORS with nginx. A little bit of digging here and here took care of CORS issues. At first, I spent a lot of time styling the comment section to make it look as native as possible (it looked gorgeous on a Mac!) because it lives in an iframe and uses tailwind CSS but it was consuming too much of my time so had to give up on it. Maybe I will revisit the style in the future but for now this is fine.

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