When I started a personal blog project about two years ago (still in progress to as of today), I was thinking about ways about how to handle user feedback from the very beginning. Solutions like Disqus where out-of-question from the very beginning, since I am always trying my best to play fair with my visitors – and their data. In the end, a self-hosted solution promised to be the best thing I could have to accomplish my privacy-goals.
But which one to pick? I tested a lot of different things, but I did not feel comfortable with any of these. Mostly, because they are written in programming languages that I don’t speak and require an additional database to back-up. In the end, most of these solutions would just be another black box in my stack. I even thought about just letting people submit comments by sending me an email, like LOW-TECH MAGAZINE does it. Although people keep telling me, that blog comments are mostly dead, I found quite the opposite to be true – at least for some topics.
After I could not find any viable solution, I got in contact with Sebastian Greger last year, as he was developing an interesting solution for Kirby, which also included support for receiving webmentions – in addition to comments. But because life is made of more than writing code for fun, our joined efforts did not take off until somewhere around April 2020. What I really liked from the beginning was Sebastian’s ethical approach to software design and development. While my role was mostly about coding, we had numerous discussions about privacy, ethics and the IndieWeb movement in general. He also wrote a very extensive blog post about his process of developing the commentions-plugin.
I’m very happy with the result, not because the code or architecture is the most elegent piece of code I’ve ever seen (although I think that it’s not too bad), but because of the philosophy that has been a strong guideline throughout the project. Okay, this is software, so it will probably never be finished. ;-) But for now, we have reached RC 1.0.0 and it should work fine enough to give it a try!