The 'recent comments' list and a quirky oddity contained therein

Warning: This is only semi-interesting. I have installed a new whathaveyou in the right hand column of this blog that list the ‘recent comments’ in more of a bulletin board fashion, with the comment threads that have been commented on recently at the top and the names of the last six commenters. It is clever…

blahWarning: This is only semi-interesting.

I have installed a new whathaveyou in the right hand column of this blog that list the ‘recent comments’ in more of a bulletin board fashion, with the comment threads that have been commented on recently at the top and the names of the last six commenters. It is clever and puts the most recent commenters in a dark grey and commenters from a while ago in a lighter grey. In fact there might even be three shades of grey – I’ll get me specs.

Another clever feature is revealed when you hover your mouse over any of the names. Lo and behold, you get to see how long ago they commented. Brilliant! Unfortunately when you hover over the post name (ie ‘Love Basildon’ etc) you get an odd and surprising result, which I will let you discover for yourself. I do not know how to fix it, but it is a quirky oddity that I am prepared to live with. The problem with the world today is that there are not enough quirky oddities.

I have retained the old ‘recent comments’ at the bottom of the right hand sidebar for those who like things the way they have always been done. I will phase out this old ‘recent comments’ feature quietly at a time when no-one is expecting it, thus avoiding a media backlash.

Um. That’s it. I did warn you that it wasn’t much of a post.

Technical info: The new ‘recent comments’ feature uses a WordPress plugin called ‘Brian’s latest comments’ and also one called ‘Dunstan’s Time Since’. I now use a total of 13 WordPress plugins on this blog.


  1. oi loik the olden days when a blogge was a blogge wthout all of they fancy innov.. innov.. thingies

  2. my only problem, being a saddo that reads all the comments (well mostly) is that with the ‘ye olde’ way, I could have a quick glance, see the last comment that I read and then instantly know that I should read all the ones above that comment. with this ‘new fangled’ way you have to scroll through all the last five posts and have to remember who commented last on that particular post.

    am I the only sad person who reads all the other comments?

    it does look cool tho’.

  3. I remember talking to one software company saying I had found a bug…”no” said the unnnamed company…”that’s a feature not a bug!”

    Is see quirky oddities is the new way to describe features…

  4. Jody – as Peter has kindly pointed out there is a feed which does what the old sidebar did but in an even better way as it will only show you comments you haven’t read.

    It has never been a very popular option though – only 2 people subscribe to it on Bloglines, and one of them is… ahem… me.

  5. Dunstans time since doesn’t seem to be operating in quite the same way as it does on my blog – on mine it produces the number of hours and minutes since the posts were produced – on here it’s still quoting the date and time of the posting.

  6. sorry to bring this up again, ahem, you see the thing is that, much as I am going pink in the face to bring this up, the point of the ‘recent comments’ section to me is to, um, show the recent comments, but this does seem to me to be a roundabout way of doing it and it isn’t immediately obvious where the ‘recent comments’ are to be found. (for instance I just glanced at the ‘old’ version at the bottom, and figured out that there is a comment from Peter Kirk on another post, that I will go and have a look at in a minute)

    you are right of course, I could subscribe to the comments feed, p’raps I’m just being lazy, but I’ve only just discovered ‘feeds’ at all, ‘cos I’m an internet dummie and my super duper computer whiz friend came round and enlightened me. I suspect I will not subscribe to feeds, it’s just one more thing 🙂

    ah well.

    x Jody

  7. Jody (and everyone) – I thought that the new version gave new and more useful information, but I’m willing to be told I’m wrong! What does anyone else think?

    Richard – I’m not getting the same result as you. On both your site and mine I get the time since the last posting, the difference being that on mine it tells me it is 37 years since the last post, which is what I assumed everyone could see.

  8. I subscribe to various blogs on Bloglines, but I think it’s a step of sadness too far to subscribe to a comments feed. Devoted as I am to this blog, it is only one of many that I read.

    I love ’37 years, 7 months ago’ though. I rather like the new sidebar feed too, mainly because of the splendid names therein.

  9. A step too far for me, of course – I do not mean to cast aspersions on the two (including you) who subscribe. I am desperately sad already (in the rather outdated modern sense), which you are not

  10. In case anyone thinks I am the sad other subscriber to the comments feed, I am not, although I did consider it when I found it. I am subscribed to a few comments feeds, but mostly fairly serious ones, so I hope that doesn’t make me irredeemably sad.

  11. It is seeming that there is a slight majority in favour of the old way of doing things. Shall we go back to the old recent comments (and the 1662)?

    In a way it could make one less sad if one subscribed to the comments as it could mean less time spent reading comments, which must be an unsad thing.

    Incidentally I subscribe to the comments feed to make sure it works, which is the reason I subscribe to the 4 other Cartoon Blog feeds.

  12. maybe I’m just being incredibly dim, but if there is a way to look at the ‘new fangled’ recent comments sidebar and instantly be able to see where the newest comments are, can you tell me, and then I will shut up (about this anyway)….I promise.

    the 37years thing did raise a smile.

    as did the fact that someone thinks I’m 100% right…about anything (thanks PofSm)

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