Disqus 2012 was first unveiled in April, then went available to all websites in June. Some features are still kept untouched, but there are few changed or even removed, particularly the appearance styles. The following list notes some noticeable changes:

  • No more Custom CSS: although Appearance Tweaks says there is a custom option via HTML element style, but its not there. You can only choose from auto, or two fonts and two colors for text. Either you like it or not, thats all you got. This is the most significant issue, probably only, for me. In my blog, the text color is #aaa not #fff. The reason I dont use latter is very obvious, pure white color looks too strong on this background color. Unfortunately, Disqus does not inherit #aaa. Another problem is the font, the default sans or sans-serif just do fit into my blog. If we still had custom CSS option, at least, I could override.

  • No more detail Appearance settings: threading, depth, pagination, avatar size, date time style, etc. They are all gone. I feel Disqus wants to have a unified style across all websites. I recall I read a blog post somewhere complaining about the old Disqus tons of customizations. The blogger claims that would confuse readers who get used to other websites Disqus settings. Well, to that blogger, see what you have done, now we have none!

  • No more Trackback: not sure if anyone actually used this. I think you need to copy that URL and enter into your blogging platform manually if you are linking to a post which uses Disqus, right?

  • Up/down-vote option always: aka. the old Like button. There is no option to turn it off, but I like the voting options. This suits me well, let readers rate!

  • Discovery: this must be one of major features in Disqus 2012. It provides a related content list, so you can reduce external widget/gadget by using this. Also a way to make money by having promoted content alongside your related list. I feel this feature is still too new and somewhat problematic and premature. For example, the related content list seems to be very static and you dont have option to change the list size. Its been only two months to the general public, still too early to give final judge.

  • Syntax highlighting: if you wrap code in pre/code block, there is syntax highlighting enabled. Yes, Disqus is programming blogger friendly, hooray! Not sure if old Disqus has this feature, but dont dream that you can switch style to Zenburn or anything. That would only be a fantasy when you cant even change the style of comments.

  • Threaded and depth is 4: no flat threading and since we dont have threading setting, Disqus has chosen a number for us, thats 4 levels. Back in March, I even added an option because of unlimited threading. I love threading, but itd become an issue when too many comments and depth. Now, the depth is decided by Disqus, I see it as a positivity since I have no control over it and can only accept it. But dont worry, the relation between comments are not lost, for comments at forth depth, there is an arrow symbol indication of which comment is replied to.

  • iframe or no iframe: Disqus 2012 uses iframe and that comes with a price, the old Disqus creates HTML elements within the document you include the embedding script. It could be fine even if we dont have appearance settings, you can use CSS of your page to override, if the comments are not loaded within iframe.

  • URL#fragment to comment is broken: if I recall correctly, when you get a notification about a new comment, you would be brought to the comment if you click the link in email. Now, it wont bring you there. Another problem with iframe.

    PARTIALLY FIXED, as of 2013-02-01T23:00:19Z, I noticed its sort of fixed. Disqus now can guide you to correct comment with the link you get from email notification. For example, you can see my comment1 in this post is scrolled into view after the page loads. I think they dealt with the issue using load event, only does one; if locations #fragment changes again as if one click on link in someone comment, which links to another comment in same page, you wont be brought to that comment. So, its basically still bugged.

In my opinion, Disqus 2012 is a good improvement, though not everyone is happy with it, primarily about the lack or removal of options. Keeping things simplefor Disqus, itselfis nice, but over-doing isnt. Fortunately, the old Disqus is still available.