[wp-hackers] when comments aren't enough...a generic user-response
casey.bisson at gmail.com
Wed May 27 01:20:29 GMT 2009
User tagging, post ranking, reporting offensive content, and crowd-
sourced copy edits are just a few of a number of user-responses to
blog content that don't quite fit WordPress' comment model.
There are a few plugins in this space; I use Lester Chan's WP Post
Ratings, and I'm one of the few that uses Matt's Community Tags
plugin, but those and others suffer from having to invent their own
input, moderation, and storage mechanisms. Comparing that landscape to
plugins related to extending the type of data that can be input with
posts makes one wonder if the comment system could be extended in ways
similar to posts to accommodate more types of user input.
Leveraging comments to allow the input, moderation, and storage of a
larger variety of user responses rather than just comments requires
just a few changes to WP's behavior.
At the time a comment is submitted, the preprocess_comment hook allows
plugins to capture non-comment input and associate it with the
$comment array that is passed through the system. The only problem is
that user responses that don't include comment text are rejected by wp-
comments-post.php before the preprocess_comment hook can act.
Storage of the additional data could follow the post meta model, or an
additional field could be added to the comment table into which any
extra elements of the $comments array are serialized.
Moderation of these non-comment user responses could leverage the
current comment moderation tools with addition of hooks (similar to
those now available on the plugins page) that would add features to
each row of the display based on the data in that row. A hook would be
needed to allow plugins to display a textual representation of the
input ("suggested a tag: stuff" or "rated the post 5 stars" or "marked
comment #123 as offensive") Approving, deleting, and spamming actions
are probably appropriate to a majority of audience responses, but
plugins should be able to set their own actions.
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