In this post, I want to address 2 issues currently going on with my website: one of them is Disqus, and the other is the high popularity of my HTML5 Speedtest project.
Disqus, or as I've recently taken to calling it, Disqunt, is a comment system that website owners like me can easily add to their site to have an advanced, feature rich comment section, without having to code anything, for "free".
I initially opposed adding this to my site, but a lot of people wanted it so about 2 years ago I gave in and added Disqus to the site. Now, this puts me into a bit of an awkward situation, because Disqus is proprietary software, it contains analytics, it has ads, it has no privacy whatsoever, the company enforces censorship, and it uses Google services. I develop Free Software and have a proprietary botnet right here on my own blog; I hate Google with passion and I have to use ReCAPTCHA every time I have to reply to you guys. There is an obvious conflict here, but I tolerated it for over 2 years because people liked it.
That was until about a week ago, when this started happening:
What you're looking at is bullying. That's right, Google is bullying me because I use Firefox on Linux. If I use Chromium or switch to Windows, it serves me only 1 easy challenge. The same thing happens on my phone, it forces me to do so many of those hard, slow ass challenges, that the session expires and I can't log in.
Seriously, if you're a developer and you use this shit, fuck you, you're spreading cancer.
I tried reporting this issue to Disqus, and all they had to say was "Use Google Chrome, allow third party cookies, and log in to your Google account". Yea, that's not gonna happen, you and Google can eat my ass.
So I started looking at some alternatives, and the most interesting seems to be Commento.io, which despite not being quite as feature rich as Disqus, is at least open source and doesn't use ReCAPTCHA. I am ready to switch to Commento, but there will be a couple disadvantages for you too: Commento doesn't support uploading images (you have to put them on imgur or something and link them), and all the comments currently on Disqus will be lost (Commento doesn't support the URL structure I used for Disqus so I can't import them).
So let's use some proprietary software one last time and let me know if you want to keep Disqus anyway or switch to Commento: Vote ended. Just keep in mind, the next person being ReCAPTCHAd into submission could be you.
I will make the final decision one week from now, July 17, 2019.
The results are in:
Since Commento clearly won the poll, I quickly integrated it into the website's CMS, but when I tried to actually use it, I had some surprises...
In its current state, Commento is tremendously buggy. Yes, it's open source, it's free, you can self-host it, but none of it really matters when the frontend has bugs of this magnitude. For this reason I decided that I won't be switching to Commento.io yet, but I added support for it in the CMS and I will test it again because it is a very promising project.
So with Commento being a tremendous disappointment, I decided to try Hashover. It is an open source, self-hosted, PHP based comment system. It doesn't have that many features, but it's better than nothing. Unfortunately, I ran into some issues with it too...
Not only is it buggy, but it is clearly not meant for an AJAX-based site like this, and it keeps reloading the page and polluting the browser history. There is a new version in development which solves these problems, Hashover-next, but it has no documentation and I have no idea how to use it so I couldn't try it (also a quick look at the code revealed references to Google's SMTP server so fuck that).
Lastly, there is the option of using Github issues as comments. This has the advantage of supporting Markdown, editing comments, logging in with Github, posting images, etc. but it's still proprietary software, and I don't want to replace a botnet with another, so while I appreciate your input, I don't want to do it.
So that only leaves me with the options to either keep Disqus and be a cuck, or switch back to the old anonymous comment system. To the 25% of you who voted for the anonymous comments, thank you for being around long enough to remember it. Personally, I was perfectly fine with it, I only switched to Disqus because people wanted it. I decided to switch back to the old anonymous comments, at least for the moment, but with an upgrade: there will be an optional email field, so I can contact you back if you need help.
I hope everyone is happy with it.
I am really really happy that people are loving my HTML5 Speedtest project, it makes me happy that people are enjoying some Free Software once in a while, and it brings popularity to this site, which is a place where I can write what I want without fearing censorship from social media giants.
The downside of popularity is the amount of traffic coming to this site. I host a demo for the Speedtest at speedtest.fdossena.com, and there are so many people checking it out that this site goes down on a daily basis. Until I can get some better hosting for this site, I'm afraid I'll have to take down the demo, because the blog is more important.
So, in the next few weeks I'll take down speedtest.fdossena.com, mpotdemo.fdossena.com, and mpotdemo2.fdossena.com and replace them with a simple redirect to the project page. This is just temporary, they'll be back up as soon as reasonably possible.