Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Comment Season


Comments are now active.

For now, the filtering, authentication, and moderation are lenient. If comment spam becomes a problem, I may need to tighten matters up a bit. With luck, that won’t happen; I’m using Akismet’s industrial-strength anti-spam technology.

On the back end, you can use either rudimentary HTML or John Gruber’s Markdown syntax to format your comments. Everything involved is fairly intuitive—if you surround a _word_ with underscores, it will automatically be italicized and so on. See the cheat sheet for more. As an added bonus, SmartyPants will automagically educate your quotation marks into typographical correctness.

I’m looking forward to a richer, more, ahem, interactive blogging experience.


Note that two consecutive hyphens (i.e. —) will become an emdash (i.e. —). If you really want an endash (i.e. —-) use three hyphens (i.e. —-). This may seem backwards, even barbaric, given that an endash is supposed to be the length of two hyphens and an emdash the length of three.

But as Aislinn observed, the custom of using two hyphens to stand in for the emdash is so deeply ingrained, thanks to decades of typewriter conventions, that if I used the ‘proper’ convention, I’d just be tricking people into using incorrect endashes. I do go back and forth between Word (two hyphens become an emdash) and WordPerfect (two hyphens become an endash) on a daily basis. And did I manage to go over a year using the two-hyphens-become-an-emdash setting in SmartyPants before figuring out that this setting was actually tweakable within MovableType by editing the proper file. My quasi-religious fervor on this point did have to yield to this logic.

It’s quite a testament to SmartyPants that it offers a choice rather than taking sides in this typographic war.


I’m also aware that there’s a number-disagreement issue in that an entry with one comment will show up as having “1 Comments.” I’m working on trying to fix it in a reasonably clean manner.


Interesting. I’m accustomed to LyX and LaTeX, wherein one hyphen is a hyphen, two are an en dash and three are an em dash; but I find no fault with your setup, since in most of (less typographically savvy) web, a pair of literal hyphens represent an em dash, as you say.


James, question: Is the email address we provide only visible to you? And do you promise not to sell our private information to third parties? :)

(JG: Yes and yes.)


Also: Have you thought about including comments in your RSS feed? I don’t mean putting the full content of comments there (though that’s a thought), but instead putting in a “2 comments” or “1 comment[]” notation at the bottom.

(JG: I could be persuaded to offer such a thing, but I’m reluctant to make the default feeds refresh an entry every time someone adds a comment.)

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