Google Sites‎ > ‎About...‎ > ‎

New commenting system

A new commenting system has been introduced for Google Sites. It appears to be the same as the Google Docs commenting system and while there are some nice features there are a few issues. And not only does it still not allow public commenting, it has also broken the workaround script I wrote detailed here: Add comments or other content using a form.
NB To remove the comment option from a page, go to More>Page Settings and uncheck the Allow Comments box

Provided you have Editor or Owner access, just click on the comment box to add a comment. What's new are the Notification Settings:


The settings shown are the defaults set when you add a comment to a page (the text confusingly refers to 'this doc' and 'this document' instead of 'this page' and the help link takes you to the help page for Document commenting!). The options are reasonably self-explanatory.

The picture that appears next to your comment comes from the Google profile of the account you are signed in with (see: profiles.google.com)

You can '+mention' people in comments. Simply typing '+' into a given comment will open a drop-down menu of auto-populated contacts. Select the user you'd like to add to the comment from this list. 

Adding someone to a comment will email them a notification containing the comment thread. If that person doesn’t want email notifications, they can always change their Notification settings. You can even reply by email. (If you have been added to a comment and aren't receiving email notifications, you may want to check your email spam/junk folder.)

Adding someone to a comment will not add them to the sharing settings of the Site. If you add an email address to a comment that isn't a) associated with a Google account and b)explicitly listed as an owner, editor or viewer of the Site, they will not receive a comment notification in their email inbox. (I'm still testing this)

Updates

Google have started (as of 7 Nov 2012) updating the new commenting system. As and when updates are made, I will update this page with details. Updates will be done in blue.
However, as noted above, there are a number of issues:
  1. Notifications refer to Documents instead of pages
    The new notifications options have been removed completely - 7Nov12
  2. Help page linked to is the help page for Docs commenting
    The new notifications options have been removed completely - 7Nov12
  3. Subscribe to Site/Page changes no longer notifies about new comments.
  4. There is no option to set "Notify me of all new comments and replies on this Site" - this has to be done page by page.
  5. No way to track whether comments have been added to Site other by visiting every single page (it is no longer possible to track if comments have been added to site via 'recent activity'). Ideally, I would like to see a 'Recent comments' sidebar gadget.
    Comments are now appearing in the 'recent activity' gadget - 7Nov12
  6. Apps Script .addcomment() method no longer works. Comments posted using this method do not appear in comments but they are apparently recorded as the fact of a comment being added appears in recent site activity.
  7. Apps Script .getcomments() only retrieves comments added using the previous commenting system
  8. There is an intrusive and unnecessary "You cannot comment on this Document" message on all pages where comments are switched on if you do not have Editor or Owner access.
    This message has been changed to "You have no permission to add comments." 7Nov12
  9. Comments now appear in reverse chronological sequence. They used to appear in chronological sequence. Since the most likely use case for comments on a Site page will be to discuss its contents, chronological sequence makes more sense - its analogous to a single thread, not multiple threads. Ideally, sort sequence would be a user option.
  10. method .getcomment.() retrieves comments made prior to the new system and comments added using .addcomment() before and after the new system but does not retrieve comments made via the UI using the new system
  11. Site Search no longer searches comments. It finds text in comments created using the old system but not the new. 
  12. The comments do not appear, cannot be replied to or new comments added via Android.