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I have just added a new feature to the website, a "user comments" facility...
Added a "Comments" handler: In true weblog tradition, you can now offer your thoughts on any of the topics discussed here. Furthermore, you do not need to register or submit any personal details in order to post comments.
If you are a registered user (and logged in), the system allows you to enter private comments along with public ones. A private comment is rather like writing in the margins of a book, your notes/annotations will always be available to you (and only you) when you visit the pages they apply to.
Putting this module together has led to some soul-searching. What is the best way to present comments? Should I implement a threaded comments system?
If I choose to do so, what's the best way of displaying the comments? Is indentation enough to enable users to appreciate the threaded model? Should the threads be expandable / collapsible?
I need advice dear reader, I want to build a comments system that encourages participation, yet that's simple to use with an understandable presentation model. Anyone have any suggestions?
I eagerly await your feedback!