Discuss: Comments Feature in FastPages

Many people are using Disqus, however, they show adds to users, and have a reputation for showing particularly click-baity ads such as “your information has been compromised”, etc. Therefore, I am inclined not to use or recommend them for fast pages.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Considerations?


cc: @jeremy @xnutsive


Cure my own itch perspective: if anything, I’d use github issues as comments. A reader wants to reach out because they couldn’t run the post and reproduce the results, or they have suggestions? Open an issue. Seems natural.

Building a tool that other people use perspective:

  1. Do folks really need comments? Even if we add a comment engine, should it on or off by default?
  2. Are folks scared of posting github issues as comments and is this solution too complicated?
  3. For non-open source blogs, people will need to create a repo for their blog comments to be stored in. This can be setup easily with github api, but adds complexity to the whole system.
  4. Discuss will be easier to customize since some jekyll themes are already Discuss-aware and work with it.

So I’d definitely do this on my own blog with github issues (not necessarily utterances, but probably with it), but as a general option, I’d probably go with disabled-by-default, but optional Discuss based comments.

1 Like

Thanks for the perspective @xnutsive I took your advice and opened a PR adding support for this using utterances in fastpages, but it is turned off by default.

It looks really great by the way! And I also really love the fact that it is open-source, ad-free, and you own your data (keeping with the tenants of fastpages)


That looks cool! I love the fact that if you choose to open source the blog repo itself, you can use the same repo issues for comments. Interesting to see how that would work out.

1 Like

@hamelsmu, how would I turn on comments in a docx file? I tried adding it as frontmatter, setting the “comments” tab in the document properties to true, and creating a style called “comments” and styling the word ‘true’ as ‘comments’. None of that worked.

@travis I’m not sure about how to specify front matter from a Word document. I have never tried to accomplish this.

I searched for this and found this thread https://github.com/jgm/pandoc/issues/3034#issuecomment-244570561 But I haven’t tried it.

Might be worth asking @jeremy (who knows every Microsoft trick in the book) if he knows ?

Update: I tried the following things without luck:

  • Setting custom properties
  • Trying to escape triple dashes somehow to become front matter

It looks like we have to write a custom filter for word to pick these kind of things up. Still investigating


Thanks! Yeah, I found the same thread when I was searching, but wasn’t able to figure out a solution from it. I did note a suggestion in the discussion of using a python script to “produce full yaml from a docx file, and insert it into the resulting markdown file.” But it would take me some time to learn how to do that.

Of course I could easily work around this whole issue by putting the text in a notebook or pasting it into a markdown file, which is what I’ve done for now. But I’d really like to get students and teachers at my school using fastpages as a way to blog about what they’re learning. A simple MSWord solution would make that easier.

@jeremy, would you have suggestions about how to turn comments on in a docx file, or more generally, how to handle frontmatter in docx?

1 Like

@travis Limited support for this has now been added via https://github.com/fastai/fastpages/pull/230

Instructions here: https://github.com/fastai/fastpages#specifying-front-matter-for-word-documents

Specifying front-matter for Word documents

fastpages does not have a robust way to specify front matter for Word documents. At the moment, you can only specify front matter globablly for all Word documents by editing _action_files/word_front_matter.txt.

If you want different front matter for individual Word documents, you can convert Word documents to markdown files by running the blog locally using the development guide and edit the front matter in the markdown file. If you do this, you must delete the Word document after you convert it to markdown so the automated system does not overwrite your markdown file next time your site builds.