Feedback by paragraph plugin

NOTE: feedbackBP has now been updated and has become MCEngine

WordPress › Feedback by Paragraph (feedbackBP) « WordPress Plugins

feedbackBP lets your users leave a comment on each paragraph of post.

It’s great for:

  • Leaving corrections and clarifications on any blog
  • On a news site or blog you can let your users suggest other areas of interest and investigation.
  • Document annotation – each post could be a chapter of a book or document.

Features:

You can control who can leave and who can see comments

  • Respects the comment settings of individual posts and comment moderation
  • Uses Thickbox for a neat pop-up window for comments
  • Hides the paragraph comments from the main comment window so you can have macro and micro comments on a post

This plugin was written to help me feedback comments on blog posts to my journalism students who use wordpress as a base for their online publications.

It was based on an idea I saw at http://newsmixer.com which allows users to comment or ask questions on a particular paragraph. The creators of newsmixer are looking to turn the thing in to an API with a wordpress pluging which would be cool but seems a little way off.

The closest plugin I could find is one called marginalia (http://marginalia.cc/) which looks very nice but doesn’t seem to play well with WordPress 2.8. So I’ve written Feedback by Paragraph to fill the gap.

Why would you want to comment on a paragraph?

One of the basic writing styles that we get Journo students to use is to think about one fact per paragraph. That may sound limiting or over simplistic but it’s a good structural approach. So if you allow people to comment by paragraph they can question, clarify or dispute that bit of content. In a broader (and online) sense this is useful as it makes the feedback more specific and encourages threading off the fact in to broader areas of discussion. A bit like a mental/micro hyperlink.

In its basic form the plugin is really there to allow me to leave feedback on students work. Pointing out good and bad, par by par, is useful feedback. But I hae developed it to be a little more flexible.

How does it work?

FBP does a couple of things:

  • It hijacks the content of the post, looking for the </p> tag and inserting a little bit of code that attaches a pop-up box to that paragraph so you can leave comments. It inserts a little bubble with a link to open the box. It only does this on the article page (what WP calls a single post as defined by the template single.php). It uses the closing p tag because it’s the easiest one to find as the <p> is often full of crap like classes etc and my regex is not really up to that. Using </p> also has the advantage of picking up any image captions without breaking the styling class.
  • It saves any paragraph comments with a custom ‘comment type’ so that they can be associated with a paragraph *It filters out any paragraph comments from the normal comment display

Change log

17/8/09 : Version 0.6

  • corrected a bug that put admin comments in to moderation.
  • if the post is updated, any older comments display a message saying “This  comment refers to an earlier version of this post”
  • Option added to turn off the message above
  • renamed plugin file feedbackBP.php

= 0.5.2 =

  • corrected CSS that meant the content of the pop-up window did not render
  • changed the listing of comments in the window so that they display as <ol> as per wordpress comments

= 0.5.1 =

  • corrected an error in the call to the stylesheet directory from feedbackBP to feedbackbp

= 0.4 =

  • Added an options page in admin.
  • Altered comment submission to respect blog and post settings

= 0.3 =

  • Changed the plugin so you no longer need to edit the wp-comments-post.php file

= 0.2 =

  • Corrected the database table details in queries to use wordpress variables rather than unique table names

= 0.1 =

  • Initial Release

You can get the  FeedbackBP from the wordpress plugins site

42 thoughts on “Feedback by paragraph plugin”

  1. Does not show up in Windows IE. Oh it pops up but the box is empty. Works well in foxfire though. Lot of my users are IE so cannot use till it works well with IE. Alos noticed the comments did not show up any where

  2. Robert

    Many thanks for the feedback. Really useful.

    It turned out to be some truly awful CSS coding by me that was causing the problem. The comments and form were inheriting the display:none from the span hiding the content so a pop up would work. That’s been fixed (and tested) in the latest version and I hope the code is a bit better.

    But any more feedback would be appreciated.

  3. I love your widget, but I cannot seem to make it work with my current comment setup. What happens is that after a leave a comment in a paragraph, it no longer will display comments written in the normal comment box posted after that comment in the paragraph. I think my layout is just pointing to the wrong table in the database. Please fix this, because I need your widget to enjoy my life. Thanks again

    1. Hmm. Not sure Ira.

      As the plugin stands at the moment the way to do it would be to add a character at the end of a par (lets say a double-ampersand) and then have the plugin parse that out eg.the characters at the end mean there should be comments

  4. Nice module! Some features that would be great if you’re open to suggestions:
    – Be able to specify what category of posts the plugin applies to (eg I have a category for articles, which people could critique various bits of the article).
    – Similar to Ira, but post by post basis disabling/enabling?

    thanks!

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