WP-discourse: comments are not pulled over

(Christoph) #1

I have WP-discourse installed, activated and setup. SSO is working fine but my comments are not pulled over.

I tried lowering the requirements (see screenshot below), maxed my trust level on the forum, replied to my comments and to the replies, but the discourse forum is as empty as before. I have no idea where else to look. Any suggestions?

(Christoph) #2

It is starting to dawn on me that in order to use discourse to comment on WP posts, these posts have to be published on discourse…

I’d like to suggest that this could be made more explicit in the plugin. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t think this simple fact is stated anywhere, probably because it probably seems so incredibly obvious if you’re already familiar with how discourse works.

Okay, you will point out to me that it says “Use Discourse to comment on Discourse published posts” in my screenshot above and I admit to having missed this important detail. But my point is: the fact that it is absolutely not possible to comment on non-discourse published posts remains implicit.

I guess two other misunderstanding of mine reinforced my belief in this being possible:
1.) since Discourse / the WP-Discourse plugin are being “advertised” as an alternative to Disqus and the like, I assumed that it would work in a similar way: instead of the WP comment box there would be a discourse comment box under each post and if someone comments, it will be pushed into the forum.

2.) I misinterpreted the other comments-settings in WP-discourse (“min number of replies” etc) as pertaining to pushing comments from wordpress to the forum, not the other way around. I know, I might have been a bit stupid here, but to my defense I would argue that since this is a WP plugin the settings should be talking to a WP admin and for a WP admin, comments are comments that someone left on the WP site. Maybe it’s just me, but my impression is that the plugin is designed from the perspective of a discourse user who now wants to use discourse in WP rather than from the perspective of a WP user who is looking for a solution for handling comments on the WP site.

Just my 2 cents.

(Simon Cossar) #3

Thanks for that, I’ll see what I can do to make the plugin description and settings descriptions clearer.

I’m not aware of this, but wherever it’s being advertised it should be made clear what the plugin does. My understanding is that the goal of the plugin has always been to move commenting out of the WordPress comment section and onto the Discourse forum. This is with the aim of improving the quality of discussions that occur around WordPress posts. The comments that are displayed underneath a WordPress post are meant to function as a ‘teaser’ to get people to join the discussion on the forum.

(Christoph) #4

Can’t find the source. Maybe it was just my own wishful thinking or someone else somewhere explained it wrong. That’s why I put “advertised” in quotation marks. But I’m glad you see my point.

As for the overall aim of improving the quality of discussion: if you are implying that it’s not just technical reasons why people can’t comment on the spot (i.e. under the post) but that it is actually intentional to drive people into the forum, then I’m not sure I’d agree with that aim. Of course, increasing the quality is good, but the way WP-discourse currently works, there is a high price to be paid for this: people have to login to comment (or did I miss something again?) which means you probably lose a significant number of comments. Not from those who have an account, but from passers-by who couldn’t be bothered to create an account.

I definitely don’t want to lose those comments and so I am currently trying to come up with the best way to set this up. Here are some thoughts:

  • Two reasons why I hesitate to use discourse as my only commenting tool: a) I don’t think I want to publish all posts/pages on the forum (but that might be because I’m not sure what that would mean in practice) and b) because I don’t want to lose those passer-by comments.
  • Currently, this apparently means that I need to decide whether I should a) not use discourse on WP at all, b) use it side-by-side with WP comments, or c) use it side-by-side with some other commenting plugin (such as Replyable by Postmatic)
  • Ultimately, none of these three options are satisfactory. a) would just be a pity, b) looks confusing (if not ugly) and c) is probably even worse than b). Both b) and c) just don’t make sense in the long run, because why should you maintain two commenting systems.

I will have to explore b) and c) further but what I really want to say: I think it would be worth developing the plugin so that option d) becomes viable: use only discourse for comments. My hunch is that a good way forward would be to provide a simplified commenting box under each WP post that does not require login. Or perhaps, rather than providing your own box just use the WP commenting function and pull over all approved comments to WP (and pull over the post too, if necessary). If the email address under which the comment was submitted does not exist in discourse, it automatically creates a user account and posts the comment under that account.

Any plans in that direction?

(Simon Cossar) #5

I don’t think there are any plans to make the core of the wp-discourse plugin do what you are asking, but most of it is technically do-able.

Right now we’re working to make it easier to extend the wp-discourse plugin with other plugins - allow them to share the options pages etc.

After that work is done, a plugin could be made to add a comment box to the bottom of WordPress posts that would post the comments to Discourse. To do this, the WordPress post would still need to be published to Discourse.

The idea of turning Discourse comments into WordPress comments is interesting, but it’s not the way the plugin works - it treats the Discourse comments as post_metadata and leaves the WordPress comments alone.

A partial solution would be to not select the ‘Use Discourse Comments’ setting, but to publish some of your posts to Discourse so that a discussion could occur there as well. That would give you something like this:

Doing this requires adding a function to your theme’s functions.php file, but possibly it should be added as an option to the plugin.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #6

We value quality over quantity. You may have noticed comment fields are undergoing a bit of turbulence these days. We are of the opinion that “drive-by comments” promote low quality discussion, therefore we are unlikely to ever have built-in support for that in our canonical products.

I don’t think combining Discourse comments with other comment solutions is a good idea. Either use Discourse or a different comments system altogether. If you prefer something forum-like, Muut is pretty good.

(Christoph) #7

Yes, this is exactly the direction my thoughts were heading. Now, if it were possible to put that link (join the discussion in our forum) under every WP post, without the post being published on discourse, that would be an huge improvement. In other words, what I’m suggesting is that it is someone clicking on that link that would trigger the post being pulled over to discourse.

An unintended but positive side effect of that would be that even if the user ends up not leaving a comment, you they did indicate their interest in the discussion and and that can be valuable information in itself. To elaborate the idea, there could be an option to not actually publish the WP post on discourse unless it actually receives a comment. And spinning that train of thought further: perhaps the easiest way to implement this would be by using the existing function to publish all posts on discourse but to keep them hidden until they receive a comment.

(Christoph) #8

Okay, I am starting to reconsider my wish to capture drive-by comments. Thanks for pointing out Muut. It is indeed an interesting project but for various reasons I prefer to stay in the open source realm. One might also mention nodeBB and Flarum here, although I haven’t figured out exactly how well the work with WP. In the case of Flarum it is probably to early to look for such an advanced feature.

(Christoph Müller) #9

I’m also looking for a plugin which is doing the following:

  • Deactivate comment function in Wordpress
  • SSO (sign in in Wordpress, autosignin in Discourse)
  • When creating a new article in Wordpress, i’d like to choose the correct Categorie and the exact Board in which i want the topic for the discussion to be opened
  • I want to set the title for the topic inside my blog-post creation mask
  • At the end of my blog post, there should be a button which says “XXX Comments” and is a href directly into the discussion.
  • The Topic should contain the first 250 characters of my blog-post (Textarea, for Copy & Paste) and a button “[…] read more” which redirects to the article
  • Discourse should be a part of my site, my theme, whatever and not a standalone solution. The user should see my top navigation, and maybe my own sidebar. I only want the topics / categories to be displayed in a smart, mobile and optical good way

As far as is searched the whole web for that, no software is actually able to do the exact thing i described above :frowning:

Maybe we can crowdfund sth like this? x) Or there is a developer out there, who will do this?

If you want users to come back and visit your site again, you need them to interact with your site. BBPress is not usable for me, as it is only total standard. Having users discuss about articles inside a forum like discourse, with such great features, would realy be a overvalue!

(Christoph) #12

Have you actually checked out WP-discourse? Because it actually does most of what you want…
P.S: I am confused by what just happened when I deleted my post and then wanted to reactivate it…

(Christoph Müller) #13

Of course i checked it out, but the fact, that discourse boards are not part of my site is a thing, i can’t deal with. I want the topics be part and integrated into my site. The user should see the header and my sitebar and in my content-area, there could be the discoures boards.

It should look like it looks if you integrate BBPress… just as one site.

(Christoph Müller) #14

This is what it could look like with VBulletin, but this is selfmade by the guys behind that website.

The icing on the cake would be a box with the latest board topics which i can integrate into my mainpage / index

(Christoph) #15

You are not alone. See my questions here and the following answers. Personally, I have also noted http://forum.driveonwood.com/ as a nice example of visual integration. So it’s possible.

(Mittineague) #16

AFAIK that would need to be done using HTML and CSS to get them looking the same and currently there is no way to use the same files for both.

I agree that it is important for a site to have a unified look, but having good design skills will be a factor in how good the end result is.

(Christoph) #17

Check out the Wp-discourse-shortcodes plugin

(Christoph Müller) #18

Christoph forum.driveonwood.com did a trick…they rebuild the header from the main site… no drop-down inside the forum, and its smaller.

I’d like to see discourse as a box for visual composer… that would be great!

(Christoph) #19

[quote=“Sanafan, post:18, topic:57232, full:true”]
Christoph forum.driveonwood.com did a trick…they rebuild the header from the main site… no drop-down inside the forum, and its smaller. [/quote]

I didn’t notice the missing dropdown menu. Well spotted. If it is important to you, I guess it could be added manually. But I agree that it is a disadvantage not to be able to use the original wordpress menus/ nav bar. But it looks like this won’t change any time soon in discourse.

As for the size, I don’t know why they didn’t adjust the size to be equal. Probably too much hassle for something nobody notices.

Visual composer would be a rather specific choice, but a more generic solution already exists in the form of the WP-discourse-shortcode plugin I referred to earlier. I haven’t tried it, but you should be able to paste that the desired short code into a text box in the pagebuilder of your choice (some pagebuilders even provide content elements specifically for shortcodes) and place it wherever you want. If you want it in the sidebar, your page builder wont be of any use to you anyway. In that case, you have to paste the short code into a WP text widget.

(Simon Cossar) #20

I think that would be possible to do, but it would be a fair amount of work to setup and might not give you much benefit. Have you seen the way BoingBoing deals with comments? They publish every post from their site to Discourse. They include a link to the discussion at the bottom of each post. Watch how to transfer an ant colony from one terrarium to another / Boing Boing

(Simon Cossar) #21

It looks like they are embedding the Discourse comments with javascript. When I checked it just now, the comments on that site aren’t loading for me, but what they are doing might be a solution for you. Embedding Discourse Comments via Javascript

Here’s another site that’s using that technique: The Populist Wave: What the Austrian and Italian Elections Mean – Talking Points Memo

(Christoph) #22

Hm, I hadn’t even seen the embedded posts on that site. The reason I noted
it was because of the header/nav bar.

Ob my Android phone chrome browser those comments don’t load. The ones on
talkingpointsmemo.com do.

But regardless of these sites, I’m wondering what exactly the benefit of js
embedding is on a wordpress site where I can just use the wp-discourse
plugin to display the comments.

In fact, I am starting to let go of the ides that comments should be
displayed (and written) under the blog post or page and wanting to give the
discourse way a chance. And when you do that, the wp-discourse plugin
actually gives you an interesting filter option to display only the better
comments under the post. Something that the js can’t do, apparently.