From time to time, I receive e-mail from people frustrated by their inability to leave comments on Lionel Deimel’s Web Log. Of course, I am in part responsible for their frustration by insisting that people who want to leave comments must be logged into something. I do this largely to be able to tell one person from another, even if I do not actually know who they are. (I eliminated the CAPTCHA challenge, which drove some visitors nuts. I really am not trying to make things difficult.)
The people who have trouble are mostly people who have few or no login credentials for popular services, often because they have see little need for such credentials, but possibly because they have unusually strong fears for their privacy. If you have a Google account (for example, if you have a Gmail address), or an account with LiveJournal, WordPress, Typepad, or AIM you should have no difficulty logging in.
If you are viewing a single post, you should see a text box at the bottom of the page in which you can type a comment. If there are existing comments, they appear above the text box. Type in your comment, and select the account you plan to use in the drop-down box to the right of “Comment as:” If you are already logged into the selected account, you will be able to preview or publish your comment without further actions by clicking on the appropriate button. If you are not logged in, you will be requested to do so.
If you are viewing a page containing multiple posts, look for the link near the bottom of the post on which you want to comment that says “n comments,” where n is 0, 1, 2, etc. Click on the link and follow the instructions in the previous paragraph.
If you do not have an account with one of the entities listed above, you may be able to log in with OpenID. OpenID allows you to use credentials from other sites. For example, if you have a Yahoo! ID, you can enter “yahoo.com” in the “Comment as:” box and type your comment. When you click the “Publish” or “Preview” button, you will be redirected to a page asking for your Yahoo! credentials. When you successfully enter them, your comment will be published or previewed. A page on the OpenID site lists some of the sites whose logins you can use with OpenID, though my impression is that the page is only a rough guide. Unfortunately, you cannot leave comments by logging in with your Facebook account. Sorry about that.
If you currently have no credentials that allow you to leave comments on this site, you might consider obtaining a Typepad account. Typepad requires you to give no personal information other than your e-mail address. A Typepad account is needed to leave comments at the popular Episcopal Café, which is a point in its favor. A WordPress account is likewise minimal in the information you have to supply. If you sign up for one of these services, consider what username you will want to use. You can choose some variant of your name or you can choose an alias that does not disclose just who you are.
I hope this discussion will make it possible for some readers to leave comments who have been frustrated in doing so in the past. If you are still having trouble, feel free to send me e-mail.