Why I switched from Disqus back to IntenseDebate (again), and why it’s probably permanentBy Jaems • Oct 22nd, 2009 • Category: Tutorials
"With so may similarities, it would seem that the two are inter-changeable. However, this is not the case."
I’ve been auditioning the two major competing Comment systems available for blogs today. I started out with Intense Debate, switched to Disqus, then switched back to Intense Debate. Both systems do fundamentally the same thing: they allow people to add comment threading, community, and a mass of features and plugins to the standard install of, say, a WordPress blog. For this post, I’ll be looking at WordPress only. Both offer Facebook connect, where Disqus allows you to post your comment to you Wall, and IntenseDebate allows you to post a note about your comment, and not the actual text. Both offer Facebook, OpenID, and Twitter logins, with Disqus now offering Yahoo logins. Both offer sidebar widgets for most popular posts and most recent comments. Both degrade nicely when not in use and both allow import of previous WordPress standard comments. The login system is fundamentally the same, and the preferences are both loaded and handled by remote websites, though IntenseDebate has a handful of local preferences.
With so may similarities, it would seem that the two are interchangeable. However, this is not the case. Although both are in the beginning stages, I have in the past two weeks found out some things that for me puts IntenseDebate at a clear advantage. Here they are:
1) Validation!!! IntenseDebate validates XHTML perfectly with no errors. It’s pretty annoying when you work hard to get the rest of your site to validate, then Disqus throws it all off with 44 errors. Their documentation claims to have fixed them, but that was about a year ago, and new problems have come back. Perhaps people generally aren’t bothered by this, but for me it was a deal killer.
2) Owned by Automattic. IntenseDebate is owned by Automattic, the people behind WordPress. While I may be tempted to support the underdog in this case, I have to say that I am tantalized by the likely option that IntenseDebate will soon be completely absorbed into the WordPress package. And when that happens, I want to be running IntenseDebate.
3) Doesn’t have maddening non-escaped characters. When Disqus sends an email about a comment to your post, lots of ascii characters aren’t properly escaped in the mail subject. So you get subjects like this:
…Facebook Connect – from a user point of view & the way….
You also get these in Facebook comment posts and in the admin panel for some comments as well, as far as I remember. Anyway, it’s pretty maddening after a while and IntenseDebate doesn’t do it at all.
I don’t mean to trash Disqus, because it’s a great system, and I prefer the design. However, there are some problems with it when compared to its competitor. The day I switched was the day Disqus suddenly decided to put a deleted post as the most popular post of all time in the sidebar widget. I tried and tried to fix it, to no avail.