Textpattern comment tags for published comments

Textpattern CMS‘s comment infrastructure is basic but functional. Textpattern tags are used to construct forms that comment authors can use to leave feedback, and there are a bunch of other comment-specific tags used to sort and display said comments after they’ve been approved (moderated):

  • comment_anchor
  • comment_id
  • comment_permlink
  • comment_time
  • comments
  • comments_count
  • comments_form
  • comments_invite
  • comments_preview
  • recent_comments

Most of these are pretty straightforward to understand from the tag name, especially if you’ve been using Textpattern for a while and understand the nuances of the project developers, but here’s the scoop on each one.

Starting with `comment_anchor`, as good a place as any to begin, this is arguably the simples of the list: no attributes to play with, it just outputs an anchor for a specific comment, like this:

<a id=”c000123″></a>

Note two things: first, it’s not an absolute hyperlink to the comment, it’s just a page anchor, and second that the comment anchor is a number. The first comment on any Textpattern installation has a `comment_id` of 1, or 000001 in long form. The next comment will be 2 (or 000002), then 3, and so on. The `comment_id` is always a number, and the `comment_anchor` always begins with `c`. With that in mind, the `comment_permlink` is an absolute URL to the comment in question, like this:


Note the #000123 at the end. That’s the anchor to the location on the page itself. Neat, huh?

Moving on. The `comment_time` tag outputs the date and/or time the comment was authored/submitted, regardless of when it was moderated or approved. It has a few attributes to fine-tune the date format:

  • format=”value” (override the date format as set in the preferences)
  • gmt=”boolean” (local time, or GMT value)
  • lang=”ISO language code” (ISO 639 date format)

The date format follows that of `posted` and `modified`, too, so if you’re a pro at those you’ll have no bother with comment date formatting.

The oddly-named `comments` tag is simply to start outputting the comment(s) associated with an article. This differs from the `comment_*` tags in this list because it typically resides in an article form, whereas `comment_*` tags live in a comment form. Think of `comments` as being the trigger for an article to start dipping into its comments on the rendered page. The next tag in the list is `comments_count`, which is another article form dweller. It outputs the number of comments, if any, that an article has. No attributes, just a number. Simple, but useful.

The `comments_invite` tag is, as you may already have figured out, used to output the ‘hey, leave me a comment – please!’ text. You can use a few attributes with this sucker to tweak the output, too:

  • class=”class name” (CSS class name, default is `comments_invite`)
  • showalways=”boolean” (display the invite all the time, regardless of comments status)
  • showcount=”boolean” (show the count, or not)
  • textonly=”boolean” (show the invite as plain text, or a hyperlink)
  • wraptag=”tag” (what to wrap the comments invite in)

I mentioned in a previous article that Textpattern comments need to be previewed before they are submitted, and this tag is the trigger for said comment preview. Three attributes for your delight:

  • class=”class name” (CSS class name, default is comments_preview)
  • form=”value” (specify which form should be used)
  • wraptag=”tag” (tag to wrap the preview in)

The last tag, `recent_comments` outputs a list of – erm – recent comments in this format:

Commenter’s name (Article title)

This is useful in an aside or footer if you want links to the most recent comments. A few attributes are available, should you wish to change the formatting:

  • form=”form name” (pick your form)
  • limit=”integer” (how many items in the list)
  • offset=”integer” (how many comments to skip from the most recent.
  • sort=”sort value(s)” (how to sort the list – all kinds of fun with this one)

This tag typically lives in a page, rather than an article or comment form.

Next time: conditional comment tags. See you then.

Looking for quality TextPattern hosting? Check out Arvixe Web Solutions.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted under Textpattern | RSS 2.0

Author Spotlight

Pete Cooper

Pete Cooper has been using Textpattern since 2005. Textpattern is his preferred CMS weapon of choice. Its logical and flexible approach to content management makes Pete happy, as does its lightweight core and helpful user community. Pete's website - petecooper.org - runs on top of Textpattern and chronicles his day-to-day experiences from his home near the Atlantic in north Cornwall, United Kingdom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *