I am in the process of upgrading from D6 to D7 and configuring the site. I'm finding modules to improve comments sorely lacking and no HOWTOs to really improve comments.
I do not want to use a 3rd party comment hosting site for interactivity, user discussion is critical to our site and keeping people on the site, not handing over their information to a third party is important.
I've tried ajax comments, which has never worked for me, has slow performance. I've tried ideal comments but it looks like I'll have to rewrite the code to get it to work and have the right features.
I've also got the talk module installed but it looks like I'm going to have to rewrite some of that code, plus create a host of URL aliases to get the talk tab to be interactive with other comment areas on the site.
What I want is a clean look, a separation of the comments from the node, but people can easily switch to re-read the story they are commenting on with a click which doesn't reload the page or node. Comments should be nested, ordered by user who wrote it, date and also the ability to hide some comments without re-loading the page, node, forms. Looking for an AJAX feel without the bugs and performance issues that so far I've found.
I've got a good recommendation button working by modifying flag (just the theming, yea), but I had to patch flag too.
Display Suite is already out as it caused performance issues already on the site. I do have views and that will be on the production site. Ideally the comments would be loaded via jquery or ajax inside a vertical tab next to the node or something along these lines. Comment links would load that comment, where that comment is located (i.e. in a vertical tab).
Open to any suggestions and it's strange that when one is searching on modules, there is not a "comment' taxomony or major category to look in. It's like comments are abandoned when interaction and discussion is a major site builder, key critical to so many sites.
I have Quicktabs on the old site, but frankly I've had to rewrite so much of that code to deal with duplicate URLs, robots.txt and so on, I'd prefer to not have to use it to obtain vertically tabbed content as it was a mysql slow query and SEO nightmare that it looks like I have to redo in the upgrade.
I started trying fieldgroup and the lack of documentation makes it confusing as hell to me. Panels is out, due to obvious load and performance issues. I could try fieldgroup again if I had a HOWTO that doesn't require reading the actual code to figure out how to use it.
Performance and stability are critical. Site has memcache, Varnish and APC, so page load plus working with various caching is important.
Thanks for reading and for your suggestions.