Commenting Guidelines

The rules of the road

  • I appreciate cogent replies to anything I publish here. That includes criticism, corrections, praise and laments.
  • I welcome your questions on any post, including those that seek clarification of something I’ve said, requests to expand upon a topic, etc. But I don’t work for free. See “Requests for help” below for more info.
  • Comments from new email addresses are moderated in advance.
  • Second and subsequent comments from a given email address are not moderated in advance but I do read every comment that comes over to this blog and I will banhammer irresponsible commenters.
  • If you email me about a post, I’m probably going to copypasta it into a post comment and reply to you here. So save us all the grief and use the comment form. Thanks.
  • I need your email address to see if you have already posted a comment. I also need it to subscribe you to follow-up comments, if you opted to receive them. See Privacy for more info. tl;dr: Your email address isn’t going to be given to anyone who doesn’t have a warrant or a subpoena. But if they have one, yes, I am handing it over.
  • Write as much as you feel you would like to write. But keep it clear and to the point.
  • No profanity or vulgarity.
  • Criticism of third parties is generally unwelcome. There are exceedingly rare circumstances where criticism of third parties is OK; for example, the post on Comodo code signing certificates. As a rule, though, you can tell me off but don’t drag anyone else into it, even if I am criticizing someone else in a post. This is especially true of one-sided stories about your interactions with another party; e.g., don’t comment here talking about how your domain registrar ripped you off.
  • No rants. Be positive, even when being critical. Use facts, not emotion. And never, ever post anything about politics here, regardless of your viewpoint. I intensely dislike politics of any type or viewpoint.

Code snippets

This site uses SyntaxHighlighter Evolved. Therefore, if you want to include code snippets inline with your comments, please use one of the language shortcodes, if SyntaxHighlighter Evolved supports that language.

Alternatively — actually, preferably — please create a GitHub Gist, pastebin (that never expires, please!) or codepen for your code. All these tools allow for permanent storage of your code and can be shared very easily. Also, they ensure that your code snippets have good formatting, which helps me immensely when reading your code.

While I recognize that it can be difficult to know what parts of a solution are needed to troubleshoot a problem or change its functionality, I guarantee you I am going to delete your comment, and probably banhammer your ISP’s entire netblock, if you dump more than a dozen lines of code in a comment. If you’re not sure what to send along, make a public repository on GitHub and link to it in your comment.

Requests for help

Just like you, I don’t work for free. If you send me a comment asking me to program something for you, I may blog about your question. Or I may publish your comment but ignore it. Or I may tell you that I’ll do it for pay. Or I may eventually do some part of it that interests me for free.

But chances are, I’ll just delete your comment.

This is nothing personal. It’s simply a question of whether I would rather read a book or watch YouTube videos or go play outside or learn some code or write a blog post that’s about something I’m interested in — or any of hundreds of other options that benefit me directly — versus toiling away on your problems for no appreciable personal gain.

Maybe your question is something I find compelling, so I blog about it. It’s happened before. But don’t count on it.

That said, if you have US $1,000 at minimum, I occasionally take on contract work.


If you have a website of your own, please do link to it in your comment. I’m very interested to see the work of readers of this blog.

If your website isn’t of value to other readers of this blog, I may remove that link from the published comment. An example of a link I’d remove is a brochure site for web design services.

I’ll also delete links to things that are not safe for work, sophomoric, irresponsible, contain political opinion of any sort or viewpoint, or is otherwise just a bad place to go in my view.

Finally, I’ve set WordPress to flag comments that contain more than a classified number of hyperlinks or one of several also-classified badwords.

Chances are, if your comment gets flagged by any of these Ultra methods, it’s going to be deleted. When in doubt, submit your comment without links, indicate that you can provide links if needed, and I’ll let you know if they are.