Major Last Comments 1.2 Updates: Images, Colors, Text, Comment Pages

I've finally gotten around to incorporating some long requested changes into Last Comments 1.2. These changes will soon be rolled out into Last Comments 1.1 and 1.3 as well. There have been four significant changes: 1) Author images are now shown, 2) text and link colors can be chosen, 3) the text in the buttons can be customized, and 4) links to post pages with more than 200 comments will now link to the correct page.

1. Author Images: Blogger feeds now have author images in them for everyone but anonymous commenters and Name/URL commenters, and I have changed the default Display Code for Last Comments 1.2 to show those images if available. If you liked the gadget better without the images showing and were using the default Display Code, all you have to do is edit the gadget and enter the following into slot #5:
S lwAa*_wrote: Cc lwPpon_*

If you were not using the default Display Code and want the images to show up, the Element for author images is I. You can enter it into your custom Display Code just as you would any other Element, but do please let me know if your custom Display Code stops working after this update.

2. Some blogs have sidebars or headers or footers that differ in color from the main column of the blog, but Blogger gadgets only get sent color information for text and links in the main column. This has caused problems in the past for people using widely contrasting color schemes. Now, Last Comments 1.2 users are able to override their blog's skin and select the colors for text and links that they want just as they would for the Separator Bar. These new selection menus appear as slots #9 and #10 in the configuration window for the gadget.

3. For international users or people who want more control over the gadget, I have added slot #11 to the configuration page for the gadget (Layout > Find Last Comments and click Edit). You can enter just about anything to replace Show|Hide|Reload in that order. The things you enter cannot have whitespace in them, and each label must be separated by a pipe (it has to be the ASCII pipe symbol: | ).

An example that you could enter in slot #11 on the configuration page that would change Show to "Open", "Hide" to "Close", and "Reload" to "Check" is:

4. It was only recently brought to my attention that comment links in these kinds of gadgets do not have information about what page they are on for posts with more than 200 comments that have their comments divided into pages of 200 comments each. I was able to find a way to work around that limitation, and Last Comments 1.2 should now take you to the correct page of comments. This feature may cause the gadget to load slightly slower than normal. Also, the fix does not work for comments on blog pages. Despite that, this feature should greatly benefit blogs that get, on average, hundreds of comments per post since their readers will now be able to go directly to the comment page of the latest comments and not have to flip from page to page to find the comment they wanted to respond to.

I also made some other little changes. The configuration page has been revamped so that each configuration option that I can control is numbered (the title and height options on the configuration page are controlled by Blogger). I also changed the default number of characters to 160 per comment instead of 60. And I added six new Separator Lines; originally there was only one that you activated by entering S0. Now you can enter S0 up to S7 to choose between dotted, dashed, solid, double, grooved, ridge, inset, and outset types, or you can stick with S for the Separator Bar over the top of comments, which is the default still.

I hope to roll out these changes to Last Comments 1.1 and 1.3 within a few days. So please let me know right away if there are any issues with the new features I need to address.