2010-09-18

Critical Update

Update: From now on, use version 1.1 or 1.2. I will be updating them as necessary so you won't have to download a new version unless something substantial changes.

A new version is available, and I highly recommend you upgrade to version 1.1 now if you are using an older version. Version 1.1.25.4 fixes a timing issue that affected some browsers, and a critical issue with linking to comments that have a hyperlink within other markup tags such as comments containing <b><a href="...">link</a></b>. It also tries to get the feed a second time if the first attempt fails, making it integrate better with the new Blogger spam filter while still allowing you to see comments only 60 seconds after they post.

For comparison, if you look to your right, there are three recent comment gadgets. The first is Last Comments, the second is Blogger Buster's Recent Comments [Edit: I have removed Blogger Buster's gadget from the sidebar. If you really want to see them side by side, you may add both to your blog, but I was getting tired of seeing all the error warnings from the Blogger Buster gadget when trying to make sure my own is working properly.], and the third is _FeedView, Blogger's internal feed displayer, showing the Atom version of this blog's default comment feed which can display up to five comments. Neither Recent Comments nor _FeedView allow you to change how the comments are displayed, and they both rely on cached copies of the feed that can take up to one hour to refresh.

Another glaring difference is how Recent Comments and the _FeedView handle markup in comment text--they both systematically delete all tags in the comment before displaying them, but they also count those tags as characters even though visitors are not shown the internal HTML. Last Comments, however, takes a consistent approach; it shows comments the way they look on the blog and it only counts text characters in determining the comment preview length, so if you ask it to show 50 characters, it shows 50 characters every time as they appear in the actual comment.

As always, feedback is appreciated. If you notice that Last Comments is not working or not working the way you think it should, feel free to leave a comment and let me know the problem or your suggestion and I will look into it.