New blog feature: Hierarchical threaded comments!

Filed in General, Technology

After finishing "They’re Playing Our Song (2007)", I needed rest. My vocal chords needed rest. More than a week before the show began, my chords had begun to inflame. I had worked them too hard with strenuous vocal exercises in the mornings followed by rehearsals every day for 8 weeks. When my chords began to feel tight, I consulted my doctor and was informed that my chords were inflaming. I halted the morning vocal exercises but it was too late. For the entire week that we performed "They're Playing Our Song", my chords were straining through every single show. I was only able to perform successfully and get through the ordeal by not speaking between shows, taking anti-inflammatories at night before sleep and using a Japanese powder known as 龍角散 'Dragon Horn Powder' before each show. Still, my vocal chords suffered tremendously; especially during those shows when our microphones weren't working; and they needed rest. I needed to shut up.

The week after the show, I couldn't completely abstain from talking. My parents were here and I don't get many opportunities to be with them so chatting with them was a blessing not to be ignored. Only after they had left Hong Kong and returned to Australia could I really allow my vocal chords to relax; no singing and as little talking as possible.

No talking meant no going out to eat and chat with friends. It meant staying at home.

For the first three days, I spent countless tiring hours identifying and verifying the content on my backup DVDs and CDs. I have 15,000 photographs in my Aperture library and none of them are backed up. My DVD backups haven't been very reliable and backing up to normal DVDs is frankly unrealistic because of the number of discs involved (approx. 40 to back up my Aperture library) and the amount of time required (more than 24 uninterrupted hours), so I've had to consider other options for a better backup plan. I have decided to backup incrementally to an external 750G Seagate Barracuda drive which I have ordered. I am also experimenting with backing up to DVD+R DL (double layer) discs which would halve the number of disc swaps required for every backup operation. Eventually, I will investigate Blu-Ray backups. With up to 25G per disc, it would simplify backups immensely.

Then I began working on something else blog related which might or might not interest you although it will affect many of you.

I have never been satisfied with the comment system in my blog. It didn't allow people to respond to other comments and there was no comment hierarchy. I reply to quite a few comments but usually a long time after those comments have been submitted and my replies consequently get separated from the comments I'm replying to. I didn't like it so I decided to change it ;-)

For those of you not interested in the intricacies of how I did it, here is the short story. It took 7 full days of coding (perl, javascript, css and xhtml) but my blog now has full hierarchical threaded comments!!! You can now respond directly to another comment and your comment will be displayed immediately beneath that comment. My implementation is a simple version of Ajax and does not require a page reload. IE (Internet Explorer) was a terror to work with but I eventually worked out the problems so my comment system is working with IE too.

So that's it. You can now reply to each other's comments. No arguments please ;-)

Incidentally, my vocal chords are much better although not yet fully recovered. I won't be singing for at least another two weeks.

(For those of you interested in how I did it, you can find all the gory details here.

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4 Responses to “New blog feature: Hierarchical threaded comments!”
  1. Richard Lai says:

    Wow, didn't know you're a coding expert too! Nice work.

    Regarding backups: have you also considered HD DVD? A dual-layer disc holds 30GB at the moment, and the hardware and medium are cheaper than Blu-ray's. The discs are also more durable.

    I know it looks like Sony is winning at the moment with the movie titles and PS3, but at the moment Sony has yet to finalise their format's specifications, and firmware upgrade is not guaranteed on BR hardware.

    BTW your final link does not work.

  2. Richard Lai says:

    False alarm! Your link works now.

  3. Matthew says:

    Jo San!
    Glad you finally realized a dream.(No, not backing up your things...) It's really great to you are pushing forward most of your ideas with such a passion REALLY! Your life seems so much like a novel! So much happening and drama. TVB could almost make something out of it! *chuckles*

    You have finally made me start a blog of my own, although nothing impressive.oligny.blogspot.com for any who cared but mostly just for my relatives.

    Keep on living your life to the Max Greg! You have my respects! *bows and smiles*
    That's Gwailo in Yau Tong,
    -Matt

  4. ebusiness says:

    Cheer up mate~!
    There's always a BETTER TOMORROW ay.