Friday 18 December 2009

A bit of a problem.

This blog uses Haloscan commenting, which is, as far as I'm concerned, the best commenting system on the market. It doesn't support all the irritating crap that makes online bulletin boards so utterly tedious and conversations on them impossible to follow, such as putting a user's favourite quote and a big graphic they've come up with under every single comment. It doesn't force people to create accounts and log in. It simply allows people to comment, and arranges the comments in the form of a conversation. Simple and perfect, and it just works.

Or it did, anyway. Turns out Haloscan has been bought by something called JS-Kit. And, rather than support the new user base they've acquired with anything remotely resembling customer service, JS-Kit are trying to extort us into switching to their software:

Once presented with the upgrade message, Haloscan users will have 2 weeks to make a decision. You will have the following two options.
  1. Upgrade to Echo for $9.95/year – all your comment data will be transitioned over automatically

  2. Export your Haloscan comment data and turn off their service

Users need to respond within the two week period to ensure uninterrupted service.

Translation: "You've got two weeks to pay us or we'll destroy all the comments on your blog." That's two weeks over Christnas, I might add, when some people have one or two other things to be doing than trying to sort out their blog's commenting system.

And what's the new software like? Well, it insists on posting comments in reverse chronological order, because "we have found that this is the best way to present real-time data." As the commenter RT responds, "and I have found that newer comments at the bottom is the best way to carry on a conversation." I've tried posting a comment on JS-Kit's site, and I had to type the whole thing out twice because their crappy software deleted everything I'd typed when I logged in. Ah, yes, logging in: I had to do that, annoyingly. Yet, even after I'd logged in, my comment still got posted under the name "Guest". I can see why JS-Kit are resorting to extortion to try and get people to use Echo: it's a shit bit of software. Every upgrade is a downgrade.

Anyway, comments will be switched off on this blog shortly, and won't be back till I've sorted this mess out. Sorry about that. Blame the morons at JS-Kit.

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