Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to Uninstall Haloscan/JS-Kit/Echo Comments From Blogger - UPDATED 3-19-12

UPDATE: JS-Kit, Haloscan and Echo Comments will be discontinued on October 1st, 2012. Get out now while the gettin' is good.

Back in the day, Blogger had a lousy commenting system. It didn't support trackbacks, either. Haloscan was a third-party commenting system. It was easy to install, customizable, and versatile. I loved it to death. I told everyone who would listen that they should dump their lousy native Blogger comments and install Haloscan.

Years passed, and Haloscan was bought out by JS-Kit. Which was ok, because they still supported Haloscan comments.

Then they didn't.

And they forced everyone to adopt their VERY horrid Echo comment system. A commenting system which is, in fact, SO horrid that I chose to leave my blog home of almost 7 years simply to escape them.

And now they're FORCING people to either pay for those horrid Echo comments or lose their service and all their prior comments.

All I can say, JS-Kit, is thank you. You just made it REAL easy to leave your horrid comment system in the dust, and hopefully bankrupt you in the process as your customers leave in droves.

Because the price of removing your legacy Haloscan/JS-Kit/Echo comments from your Blogger blog is that you will lose all those comments forever.

But since JS-Kit won't let them display unless you pay the ransom, they've essentially just shot the hostage, so there's no reason for you to have anything more to do with them.

Making them go away is easy.

Just go into your template (SAVE A COPY BEFORE YOU START DOING SURGERY, just in case you screw something up) remove the Haloscan javascript code from between the <head> and </head> tags. It's easy to spot - it's got the word "haloscan", with a bunch of gibberish to the left & right.

Then, down in the Post Footer & Item Page sections of your template, you'll find two more instances of haloscan code between the

<BlogItemCommentsEnabled>

and

</BlogItemCommentsEnabled>

tags. There are two sets of these tags, both of which need fixing: one in your template's Post Footer section, and one in your Item Page section. Which control the appearance on your main page and individual post archive page, respectively.

Delete all the Haloscan junk between those tags, and replace it with:

<a class="comment-link" href="<$BlogItemCommentCreate$>"<$BlogItemCommentFormOnclick$>><$BlogItemCommentCount$> comments</a>

in both places.

That should do it.

Oh, and if anyone ever hears about JS-Kit going out of business, drop me a line. I've got a bottle of champagne set aside for the occasion.

And if any JS-Kit guys wander by & read this, well, sir, it's not that I have anything personal against your company. You have a product/service, and you made a business decision. It's a free country.

It's just that you took something I loved and turned it into garbage. I will always hate you for that.

UPDATE 3-19-12:

It's come to my attention that Blogger has updated its template so that comments are handled by a widget using XML code, so the above advice is not completely helpful.

Turns out the principle of the required surgery in this case is similar, but the replacement code is different.

I helped Kelly fix her blog, but I can't guarantee that Haloscan/JS-Kit/Echo screwed up your template in exactly the same way, so take it with a grain of salt.

So, here's what I found there, and here's what to do about it.

First, click the "expand widgets" box and back up your template. I recommend both clicking Blogger's "Backup/Restore" button to download the XML file and also copying the full text of your template and saving it as a plain .txt file. Can't be too careful.

Kelly had 3 instances of Haloscan code in her template. Easiest way to find them is hit the CTRL and "F" keys simultaneously to activate the document search function. Then enter "haloscan" (without quotes).

The first instance was headed:

<!-- start haloscan (part 1) -->
and ended
<!-- end haloscan -->

Delete those lines and everything between them

In their place, paste this:

<a class='comment-link' expr:href='data:post.addCommentUrl' expr:onclick='data:post.addCommentOnclick'><b:if
cond='data:post.numComments == 1'>1
<data:top.commentLabel/><b:else/><data:post.numComments/>
<data:top.commentLabelPlural/></b:if></a>

Preview it, and see if you get an error. If you don't, Blogger comments should be visible below your posts now.

Next was a part that started
<!-- start haloscan (part 2 - post) -->
and ends with
<!-- end haloscan -->

Delete those lines and everything between them. Replace it with the same piece of Blogger comment code listed above.

That should be the one that controls comments on individual post pages.

Now there's one more section of haloscan. Starts with:

<!-- start haloscan (part 3) -->
and ends with
<!-- end haloscan -->

This one looks like it controls the comment feed to your RSS feed.

You'll need to replace that one with:

<a class='feed-link' expr:href='data:f.url'
expr:type='data:f.mimeType' target='_blank'><data:f.name/>
(<data:f.feedType/>)</a>

Try those one at a time and see if any one of those break your blog. If so, revert back to the last template that worked.

After doing this, Kelly reported that her Blogger comments worked and Echo was eradicated from her site.

Hopefully you will have a similar experience.

5 comments:

  1. I saw no news before they changed their business model, which means they care not a whit for their customers/users.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, I wish them ill. I hope each and every one of the js-kit management team suddenly wakes up and discovers that their legs have grown together and their assholes shut, forever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to use Haloscan as well.
    It was sad when I stopped using them.
    I think I switched back to Blogger comments three or so years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm lost. Can anybody help?

    http://pewlady.blogspot.com

    Thanks -- this is driving me bonkers! :-)

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