comment processor for static sites
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README.md
commie.py
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requirements.txt

README.md

commie

— comment processor for static sites —

see it in action!

Commie is a small web application that processes comments (or other user-generated content) for static blogs generated using a tool like Pelican or Jekyll. It assumes the site lives in a git repository and is regenerated automatically on a push hook.

Commie was inspired by Staticman. The main idea is shared with Staticman,

  • Helps you make user-generated content appear in your statically generated site.
  • Keeps all the published content where it belongs: in your git repository.

Also,

  • commie doesn't rely on GitHub, but uses plain old git, hosted wherever you want.
  • commie doesn't send your or your users' data to any third-party services (no GitHub, no Akismet)
  • commie loves email. As an anti-spam measure, commie can require email verification. Commie can also email you about any new comments. Email verification requirements are relaxed for repeat customers with the same name, email, browser and IP address.
  • commie doesn't use cookies, and automatically deletes any data that's not checked in with the comment (e.g. email addresses) after a configurable amount of time. This should make it GDPR compliant.
  • while commie is a service you have to run on an internet-accessible server (losing a benefit of a static site), it is not required to serve your site in and of itself. Commie does not require a database server or anything like that.
  • Commie works great with the Pelican Comment System if you add a custom comment form!

Commie powers the comments sections at tjol.eu

Setup

Commie requires:

  • Python 3.7 (or newer)
  • Flask and the other dependencies in requirements.txt
  • An SMTP server that will accept its mail
  • Git, and a target git repository which should have a suitable post-receive hook to rebuild your site.
  • A server that can run WSGI apps with a new enough Python (like uWSGI)

Commie needs a configuration file called commie.yaml in this directory. The example file commie.yaml.example lists all the possible options with short explanations that should be clear enough.

You can configure multiple sites (called “roots” by commie) in one commie instance, each with its own block in commie.yaml. The name of your site goes right at the top; if you call your site the “People's front of Judea”, then the first line of commie.yaml should be People's front of Judea:.

Comments are submitted by POST as normal form data to https://path/to/commie/submit. A comment submission form needs to supply the hidden field root, the name of the site, a field email with the user's email address, and any required fields listed in the config file. This should normally include a reference to which post the comment refers to, which might be called slug.

<form method="POST" action="/commie/submit">
    <input type="hidden" name="root" value="People's front of Judea">
    <input type="hidden" name="slug" value="an-ode-to-splitters">
    <label for="email">Email address:</label> <input id="email" name="email"><br>
    <!-- ... -->
</form>

Commie automatically starts a background process to do things like sending email, pushing to git and cleaning up old files. To make sure this works, call http://path/to/commie/ping. You can start this manually if you wish by running something like FLASK_APP=commie flask commie-worker.