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Add comments to your static site using the Github API
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talaria is a simple commenting system for static sites. It uses Github Issues or Gists as backend.

Build Status

Compatability Notice: talaria targets ES2015, as such IE is not supported!

Getting started


Once the rewrite becomes stable, I will create a new github release. If you are feeling adventourus, feel free to clone the repo and explore (it's only ~200LOC).

I will eventually get around to releasing talaria on npm but until that time, github releases will have to suffice.


For talaria to function, your content has to comply with certain structural requirements. talaria requires any content that you want to have comments for (such as a blog post), to have an <a> tag with a href that uniquely identifies said content (a permalink). All permalinks on a page should be queriable from a single document.querySelectorAll, hence must have a shared class attribute (e.g. permalink).

Additionally, talaria is currently hardcoded to attach the comments as the last child element of the parentElement of your permalink, so overall your content should be structured as similar to this:

<a class="permalink" href="a-permalink">Title</a>
<!-- comments will be added here  -->

Initializing talaria

Start by including <script src="dist/talaria.js"></script> somewhere on you page (preferably towards then end of <body>). You now have access to the global talaria variable. To initialize talaria, add a second <script> below the first one:

<script src="<path-to-talaria>/dist/talaria.js"></script>
  var t = new talaria.Talaria({
      backend: talaria.Backend.Gists,
      mappingUrl: 'mappings.json',
      github_username: 'm2w',
      github_repository: 'talaria',
      ignoreErrors: true

Configuring talaria

Most of talaria's functionality can be customized through the configuration object passed to the Talaria constructor. Available configuration options are:

  • backend [Backend] required, the backend determines where you intend to host comments for your content: as comments on github issues or as comments on gists. The options are respectively Backend.Issues and Backend.Gists.
  • mappingUrl [string] required, a URL pointing to a JSON object containing a mapping of content-permalink -> github_id. The content-permalink is used by talaria to associate content with its comments and the github_id is either the id of a gist or of an issue.
  • github_username [string] required, is your username on github. It is used to construct the URLs back to your gists/issues and to build the github API URLs when using issue-based comments.
  • github_repository [string], is required when using issue-based comments, as it is necessary to build URLs for the github API.
  • ignoreErrors [boolean], is a flag that tells talaria to either display a short error message below content when errors occur (e.g. Rate-Limits on the github API or invalid github_ids) or simply ignore them.
  • permalinkSelector [string (default: .permalink)], should be a valid CSS selector that talaria can use to find content-permalinks.
  • insertionPointLocator [(Element) => Element], an optional function that takes the permalink Element as input and uses it to locate the proper position in the DOM at which to insert the comments. talaria uses the returned Element to insert the comments at beforeend (as the last child of the Element). To make writing this function a little simpler, talaria provides parent: (Element, CSSSelector) => Element?, a function that takes an Element, a CSS selector and attempts to find a parent Element matching the CSS selector. It returns the matching Element or null.
  • cacheTimeout [number (default: 3600000)], the time (in ms) before cached date expires (and talaria will refetch comment data).
  • commentsVisible [boolean (default: false)], a flag that determines whether comments are initially expanded. When false, users will only see a N comments notice, which they can click to view all corresponding comments.
  • commentCountClickHandler [(Event) => void, (default: Talaria.showComments)], allows you to configure what happens when comments are initially hidden and the user clicks on the comment count. By default, the comments are shown and the comment count is hidden, please see the default implementation for an idea on how to customize this behaviour to suit your needs.

Customizing talaria's look'n'feel

talaria ships with very simple styles that mostly mirror github's own styles. These styles are available under dist/talaria{.css|.min.css}.

All styles are encapsulated using a talaria- prefix and should therefore not "leak". If you wish to customize the styles, please look into both lib/talaria.css and lib/talaria.ts as to what selectors you should provide stylings for.


  • The Github v3 API is restricted to 60 API calls per hour for unauthenticated users. This means we can retrieve comments for at most 60 posts! talaria tries to use sessionStorage to reduce the total number of API calls, but users can/will still run into 403 errors from throtteling depending on your site's setup.


I would love feedback on the code, bug reports, feature requests or even pull requests!

The goal for talaria is to have a small, clean and well documented code base. You can help make that a reality :)

To get started hacking on talaria:

  1. Clone this repo.
  2. Run yarn install inside the repo (yarn is an alternative to npm)
  3. See yarn run for a list of commands - all of talaria's build steps are package.json scripts


talaria are the winged sandals worn by Hermes in Greek mythology.

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