Comments on notebooks

Public comments on the notebooks might or might not be on the horizon, but maybe in the meantime we could organize something here?

If this meets other people’s interest, I would suggest we open a thread per topic (rather than per author or per notebook). For example geo, force, algorithms… Then when creating a notebook one could link to a relevant thread.

What do you think?


I just had an idea …

You can inject custom disqus comment section in your notebook

Here is an example notebook, which shows this technique

1 Like

Not quite what I had in mind, but that’s cool too. Thanks!

That is really cool, although it does make you dependent on disqus I guess

1 Like

fully solved by

1 Like

So I just had this exchange with Fil, and it’s not the first time something this has happened to me:


Comments as currently implemented are too easily lost IMO. I’m not sure what the best solution is - I can imagine that the way their desired behavior would intersect with forking/merging and notebook history would make them a bit of a UX and/or technical nightmare: ideally you want a comment to be semi-persistent after being marked as resolved, and easily findable in previous versions of the notebook. Maybe they could be saved alongside the merge in the version history?

Not by coincidence, improving comments is one of the team’s top priorities, and we hope to ship some improvements in the near future!



(I hope my previous comment made it obvious that I’m well aware that this probably isn’t an easy problem to tackle. Looking forward to see what you peeps have managed so far despite that!)

It’s a subtle problem, to be sure. If anyone else wants to share feedback or suggestions around comments, now would be an excellent time.

Well, kind of related to comments on notebooks is my issue with that this forum is kind of hidden away. I don’t know what the plans for notebooks comments are of course, but so far they’re a bit like code review comments on github, or the way commenting works in Google Docs when reviewing someone else’s documents. So the roles don’t seem to compete with the role of these forums at the moment.

Assuming that whatever you have planned for comments does not change this, what about adding a kind of “discuss this notebook in the forums”-link at the end of each notebook? The behavior could be something as follows:

  • Each notebook will have a unique discussion thread associated with it.
  • Notebook discussion threads will only be created when someone clicks on the “discuss this notebook in the forums” link at the end of a published notebook.
  • The first message of a thread would be posted by a bot, with a basic description + link back to the notebook. Doing it this way would avoid the problem of having to tie forum user to observable user somehow, not to mention the fact that the button would be clickable by people without a username on the forums.
  • On the forum side, the threads would go into their own subforum (or Show & Tell, but I’m not sure if that really fits though)
  • These threads would be hidden from the general viewers until someone posts a first reply, and until then would only be found through the “discuss notebook” link underneath each notebook. This to avoid the forums being overwhelmed with notebook threads without discussions in it (I know this is possible with other forum software, don’t know if this holds true for Discourse).
1 Like