Sunday, January 20, 2008

Blogger announced that they support blog feeds in JSON format also. Soon, Hoctro found some sample code to use these JSON feeds and used it to come up with a recent posts/comments widget of his own. I realized that it is now possible to customize the recent comments widget further to anyone's needs.Using this method, we can only show very few words of the comment (too few to comprehend) and upto 5 comments only. I have developed a widget that allows the blog author to customize both these. You can see the new widget in my sidebar, showing entire comment mostly and significant portion of the comment in some cases.

With this widget,
1. You can specify how many comments you want to display in your blog (defaults to 10)
2. You can specify the maximum number of letters that should be displayed in each comment (defaults to 100).

Here is how you add this widget to your blog.

Step 1: Goto Template->Edit HTML tab. Find the tag in your template and add all the code from this page before it and save the template.

Step 2: Goto Template->Page elements tab and click on "Add a page element" in your sidebar. Choose HTML/Javascript element. Give an appropriate title and copy/paste this code.

<br/><script language="javascript">
var numcomments = 10;
var numchars = 100;
<script src="

You need to change the blog URL to yours. You could also change the number of comments/letters per comment to whatever fits your blog. Then, save the changes and move the widget to wherever you want. There, you have a customized recent comments widget!!

For those who are interested in the details, I am displaying the content of each entry in the comment feed instead of the title (after removing all the html tags). I display only the number of characters as specified and also control the number of entries displayed. All this is done in the callback function to which the JSON object is passed.


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