I’ve been using vim for editing code for the last 6 years or so. This post and the rest of the blog are written with vim. By itself, vim doesn’t have everything that I want from a text editor. The way to get around this is to use plugins for various tasks, such as a file browser to the side, or a fuzzy search. There are many plugins for vim that you can use. However, there is a problem with the way vim manages plugins.
If you know the way vim manages plugins by default, you also know that it’s broken. Vim expects you to put files from one plugin into multiple directories under the ~/.vim directory (for *nix systems). This can get really cumbersome to manage as the number of plugins you use increases.
Tim Pope wrote a plugin to tackle this problem, pathogen. It solves the issue by changing vim’s runtime directory and loading plugins from their own directories. The problem with pathogen, however, is that if you use git to track your .vim directory, each plugin is now a submodule. This is better than the solution vim offers by default but it’s not the ideal one.
Finally, I found a commenting system for a static blog on Nanoc which is extremely lightweight and works perfect. I didn’t want to use Disqus since it increases the page load times by a few seconds, you need to rely on them for storing comments and use their interface for all the moderation part. More than that though, it’s too heavy for a simple blog such as this. I was looking at Disqus alternatives which I can host on the server and are lightweight. That’s when I came across Isso.
Isso is written in Python and uses an sqlite database to store comments. That was perfect for me. The instructions to set it up seemed simple enough, so I decided to give it a try; and I failed miserably in getting the system going. I could only get the comment form to display but nothing happened as I clicked submit. I did what any other person in my position would have done at this point and headed over to the IRC channel for help.
The IRC was extremely helpful. Christian [cmur2] walked me through a few things about the setup and said that Isso has gone through massive development over the past few weeks. I could finally configure the comments without a moderation system in place. It looked great, worked great, yet the lack of ability to moderate comments and email notifications was bothering me.