comments - Adds comments to a blog entry....


Adds comments to your blog. Supports preview, AJAX posting, SMTP notifications, plugins for rejecting comments (and thus reducing spam), ...

Comments are stored in a directory that parallels the data directory. The comments themselves are stored as XML files named entryname-datetime.suffix. The comment system allows you to specify the directory where the comment directory tree will stored, and the suffix used for comment files. You need to make sure that this directory is writable by whatever is running Pyblosxom.

Comments are stored one or more per file in a parallel hierarchy to the datadir hierarchy. The filename of the comment is the filename of the blog entry, plus the creation time of the comment as a float, plus the comment extension.

Comments now follow the blog_encoding variable specified in If you don’t include a blog_encoding variable, this will default to utf-8.

Comments will be shown for a given page if one of the following is true:

  1. the page has only one blog entry on it and the request is for a specific blog entry as opposed to a category with only one entry in it
  2. if “showcomments=yes” is in the querystring then comments will be shown


This comments plugin does not work with static rendering. If you are using static rendering to build your blog, you won’t be able to use this plugin.


This plugin comes with Pyblosxom. To install, do the following:

  1. Add Pyblosxom.plugins.comments to the load_plugins list of your file.


    py["load_plugins"] = ["Pyblosxom.plugins.comments"]
  2. Configure as documented below in the Configuration section.

  3. Add templates to your html flavour as documented in the Flavour templates section.


  1. Set py['comment_dir'] to the directory (in your data directory) where you want the comments to be stored. The default value is a directory named “comments” in your datadir.

  2. (optional) The comment system can notify you via e-mail when new comments/trackbacks/pingbacks are posted. If you want to enable this feature, create the following entries:

    py[‘comment_smtp_from’] - the email address sending the notification py[‘comment_smtp_to’] - the email address receiving the notification

    If you want to use an SMTP server, then set:

    py['comment_smtp_server'] - your SMTP server hostname/ip address

    OR if you want to use a mail command, set:

    py['comment_mta_cmd']     - the path to your MTA, e.g. /usr/bin/mail

    Example 1:

    py['comment_smtp_from']   = ""
    py['comment_smtp_to']     = ""
    py['comment_smtp_server'] = "localhost"

    Example 2:

    py['comment_smtp_from']   = ""
    py['comment_smtp_to']     = ""
    py['comment_mta_cmd']     = "/usr/bin/mail"
  3. (optional) Set py['comment_ext'] to the change comment file extension. The default file extension is “cmt”.

This module supports the following config parameters (they are not required):


The directory we’re going to store all our comments in. This defaults to datadir + “comments”.


py["comment_dir"] = "/home/joe/blog/comments/"


The file extension used to denote a comment file. This defaults to “cmt”.


The file extension used for new comments that have not been manually approved by you. This defaults to the value in comment_ext—i.e. there is no draft stage.


The smtp server to send comments notifications through.


Alternatively, a command line to invoke your MTA (e.g. sendmail) to send comment notifications through.


The email address comment notifications will be from. If you’re using SMTP, this should be an email address accepted by your SMTP server. If you omit this, the from address will be the e-mail address as input in the comment form.


The email address to send comment notifications to.


Set this to 1 to add rel="nofollow" attributes to links in the description—these attributes are embedded in the stored representation.


Set this to a positive integer and users won’t be able to leave comments on entries older than x days.

Flavour templates

The comments plugin requires at least the comment-story, comment, and comment-form templates. The comment-preview template is optional.

The way the comments plugin assembles flavour files is like this:

comment (zero or more)
comment-preview (optional)

Thus if you want to have your entire comment section in a div container, you’d start the div container at the top of comment-story and end it at the bottom of comment-form.


The comment-story template comes at the beginning of the comment section before the comments and the comment form.

Variables available:

$num_comments - Contains an integer count of the number of comments
associated with this entry

Link to file: comment-story

<div class="blosxomComments">


The comment template is used to format a single entry that has comments.

Variables available:

$cmt_title - the title of the comment
$cmt_description - the content of the comment or excerpt of the
$cmt_link - the pingback link referring to this entry
$cmt_author - the author of the comment or trackback
$cmt_optionally_linked_author - the author, wrapped in an <a href> tag
                                to their link if one was provided
$cmt_pubDate - the date and time of the comment/trackback/pingback
$cmt_source - the source of the trackback

Link to file: comment

<div class="blosxomComment">

<a name="$(cmt_time)"></a>
Posted by $(cmt_optionally_linked_author) at $(cmt_pubDate)<br />
$(cmt_description)<br />
<br />


The comment-preview template shows a comment that is being previewed, but hasn’t been posted to the blog, yet.

Link to file: comment-preview

<div class="blosxomComment">

<a name="$(cmt_time)"></a>
Posted by $(cmt_optionally_linked_author) at $(cmt_pubDate)<br />
$(cmt_description)<br />
<br />


The comment-form comes at the end of all the comments. It has the comment form used to enter new comments.

Link to file: comment-form

<p id="comment-anchor">

<div class="blosxomCommentForm">
<form method="post" action="$(base_url)/$(file_path)" accept-charset="UTF-8"
      name="comments_form" id="comments_form">
  <input name="parent" type="hidden" value="$(file_path)" />
  <input name="title" type="hidden" value="$(title)" />
  Name:<br />
  <input maxlength="50" name="author" id="comment-author" size="50" type="text"
   value="$(cmt_author)" /><br />
  <br />
  E-mail:<br />
  <input maxlength="75" name="email" id="comment-email" size="50" type="text"
   value="$(cmt_email)" /><br />
  <br />
  URL:<br />
  <input maxlength="100" name="url" id="comment-url" size="50" type="text"
   value="$(cmt_link)" /><br />
  <br />
  Comment:<br />
  <textarea cols="50" name="body" id="comment-body" rows="12">$(cmt_description)</textarea><br />
  <br />
  <input value="Preview" name="preview" type="submit" id="preview">
  <input value="Submit" name="submit" type="submit" id="post">


Dealing with comment spam

You’ll probably have comment spam. There are a bunch of core plugins that will help you reduce the comment spam that come with Pyblosxom as well as ones that don’t.

Best to check the core plugins first.

Compacting comments

This plugin always writes each comment to its own file, but as an optimization, it supports files that contain multiple comments. You can use to compact comments into a single file per entry.

You can find here.

Implementing comment preview

If you would like comment previews, you need to do 2 things.

  1. Add a preview button to comment-form.html like this:

    <input name="preview" type="submit" value="Preview" />

    You may change the contents of the value attribute, but the name of the input must be “preview”.

  2. Still in your comment-form.html template, you need to use the comment values to fill in the values of your input fields like so:

    <input name="author" type="text" value="$(cmt_author)">
    <input name="email" type="text" value="$(cmt_email)">
    <input name="url" type="text" value="$(cmt_link)">
    <textarea name="body">$(cmt_description)</textarea>

    If there is no preview available, these variables will be stripped from the text and cause no problem.

  3. Copy comment.html to a template called comment-preview.html. All of the available variables from the comment template are available for this template.

AJAX support

Comment previewing and posting can optionally use AJAX, as opposed to full HTTP POST requests. This avoids a full-size roundtrip and re-render, so commenting feels faster and more lightweight.

AJAX commenting degrades gracefully in older browsers. If JavaScript is disabled or not supported in the user’s browser, or if it doesn’t support XmlHttpRequest, comment posting and preview will use normal HTTP POST. This will also happen if comment plugins that use alternative protocols are detected, like

To add AJAX support, you need to make the following modifications to your comment-form template:

  1. The comment-anchor tag must be the first thing in the comment-form template:

    <p id="comment-anchor" />
  2. Change the <form...> tag to something like this:

    <form method="post" action="$(base_url)/$(file_path)#comment-anchor"
       name="comments_form" id="comments_form" onsubmit="return false;">


    If you run pyblosxom inside cgiwrap, you’ll probably need to remove #comment-anchor from the URL in the action attribute. They’re incompatible.

    Your host may even be using cgiwrap without your knowledge. If AJAX comment previewing and posting don’t work, try removing #comment-anchor.

  3. Add onclick handlers to the button input tags:

    <input value="Preview" name="preview" type="button" id="preview"
        onclick="send_comment('preview');" />
    <input value="Submit" name="submit" type="button" id="post"
        onclick="send_comment('post');" />
  4. Copy comments.js file to a location on your server that’s servable by your web server.

    You can find this file here.

  5. Include this script tag somewhere after the </form> closing tag:

    <script type="text/javascript" src="/comments.js"></script>

    Set the url for comments.js to the url for where comments.js is located on your server from step 4.


    Note the separate closing </script> tag! It’s for IE; without it, IE won’t actually run the code in comments.js.

nofollow support

This implements Google’s nofollow support for links in the body of the comment. If you display the link of the comment poster in your HTML template then you must add the rel="nofollow" attribute to your template as well

Note to developers who are writing plugins that create comments

Each entry has to have the following properties in order to work with comments:

  1. absolute_path - the category of the entry.

    Example: “dev/pyblosxom” or “”

  2. fn - the filename of the entry without the file extension and without the directory.

    Example: “staticrendering”

  3. file_path - the absolute_path plus the fn.

    Example: “dev/pyblosxom/staticrendering”

Also, if you don’t want comments for an entry, add:

#nocomments 1

to the entry or set nocomments to 1 in the properties of the entry.


Plugin is distributed under license: MIT