Comment Tracker Update: The Details

As promised, here are further details about the upcoming Comment Tracker release, expected at the end of September, 2011. Expect more communication from us as the date draws nearer, and don't hesitate to ask your questions or provide comments below.  


Viewing your own comments: 

The "No One" view permission level of comments will be changed in three ways:

  1. The name will be changed from "No One" to "Administrators Only".
  2. Each comment submitter will always be able to see all comments s/he has submitted, but not those of others. 
  3. Administrators will be able to see all comments.  

This is helpful because members wish to review their own comments for clarity and to confirm that all subjects of interest have been addressed. It also benefits Administrators by avoiding the need to change document permissions in order to view comments.

Standardizing organization-level comment permissions settings:

This helps Administrators by giving them more control of comment permissions via high-level defaults.  Chairs and document submitters still have the ability to over-ride them if needed.  This makes comment permissions more “standard” and similar to document permissions.

Preventing comment-sharing permissions errors:

Workspace will help members select appropriate comment sharing permissions by offering only options that respect previously established Group and Document sharing permissions.  This will prevent members from encountering a “sharing conflict” error message when setting comment permissions in a document details page "Advanced Options" section.

Preventing comment-related errors when voting:

Members will receive better guidance regarding whether they may or may not include a comment when voting.  When a member is voting, Workspace will offer the link to “add comment” only if commenting is permitted for the vote option selected.  (Currently, the “add comment” link is always available.)  This often leads members to submit comments that are then rejected, which prevents submittal of their vote.

Note:  The change to this feature does not completely prevent members from attempting to submit a comment with a vote when they should not.  However, it should significantly reduces the likelihood of occurrence.


Bulk upload of comments:
Administrators and Members sometimes need to enter many comments quickly - typically after an offline review of a document.  In such cases, they usually have written comment notes in a spreadsheet.  This new bulk upload feature will enable them to upload multiple comments simultaneously from a single CSV rather than data-entering them individually through the “add comment” form.  Administrators will be able to upload comments on behalf of other members, while non-administrators will be able to upload only their own comments.

Easier public commenting:

Public commenters will now have the option to enter identification information only once when submitting multiple comments on a single document.  A new button at the bottom of the form will enable commenter to indicate that he wants to create another comment.  In this case, his identification information will be carried over to the next comment along with Section, Page, and Line numbers so that data-entry may proceed more rapidly.

Easier member commenting:

Members will find that entering one or multiple comments is much quicker and easier.  The “add comment” form will be revised to improve data entry.  A new button will enable member to indicate that he wants to submit another comment.  In this case, a new comment window will open automatically (no need to move hand to the mouse and click!) and the Section, Page, and Line number information will be carried over to the next comment.


Sorting by Section, Page, Line;  Filtering by Table, Figure, or Paragraph:

In the Comments List view, members will now be able to see Section, Page, and Line information.  It will be visible in the “Document” column below the document name so that sorting can be applied.  The “add comment” form will have a new drop-down to identify whether the comment references a Table, Figure, or Paragraph.  Members will be able to use a filter to select comments based on that field.


Who is automatically notified of comment submission:

Members who are responsible for responding to comments will now automatically receive an email when members add a comment.  These are the document submitter, technical contact and comment owner. 

The same will be true of responses.  Rather than automatically notifying the entire group, a notice will be delivered to document submitter, comment submitter, and comment owner (assigned) only.


Group affiliation of members who commented when voting:

Administrators and Members will be better able to comply with their organization’s policy regarding comment resolution.  In some organizations where sharing is enabled, voting comments from each group are handled separately.  These offline business processes will be enabled by including group membership for each voter/commenter In the voting results download CSV.

(Read this previous post for more information on when to expect Comment Tracker & how we'll be tracking your feedback to date....)

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    Peter Symes

    Thanks for these changes; they will certainly help.

    In the email section you refer to "document submitter, technical contact and comment owner" -- one of the limitations today is that a "comment owner" (i.e. one to whom the comment has been assigned) cannot actually do anything with the comment unless he/she is also a Document Editor or the Technical Contact.  With the new release will an Assignee be able to address the comment even if not a Document Editor or the Technical Contact?



  • Avatar
    Kavi Product Management

    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for the feedback and question.  We have kept the distribution of notifications distinct from permissions control, so no change was made to who can respond to the comment.  One must have either the Document Editor or the Technical Contact permission (or both). 

    If this were to be changed in future, we would want to be careful to understand the full set of related needs, possible impact to existing customers' operational processes and what range of flexibility would be needed to support their various policies.  For example:  Who should be able to "assign" a comment; What collection of individuals should appear in the list of possible assignees; How the permission should be "granted" (would the act of assignment also automatically convey the permission?); and Who should be notified of this conveyance of permissions?  Any thoughts you have on these aspects of the feature would be warmly welcomed!

    Best Regards,

    Mike Robinson

  • Avatar
    Kavi Product Management

    On Sep 6, 2011, at 12:33    From Peter Symes:

    Hi Mike,

    I'm sure that I don't have a handle on all of the complexities, but I'll offer my thoughts.

    As a first approximation, I think an assignee should, effectively, become an additional Technical Contact -- I.e. Document Editor privileges for that document. That may give more rights than strictly necessary, but I don't think that's an issue--assigning a comment means it should be someone trusted.

    But the main point is that, under current rules, Assignment has no real meaning. If I just want someone to look at a comment and give me a verbal or email opinion, I can do that--Assignment is unnecessary. My take has always been that if I , the Technical Contact, assign a comment to someone, they should be able to handle it just as I would if I had not Assigned it.

    There is this rather undefined term "Owner" which I have always understood as the current assignee. So, it would be OK if the Owner was given a sort of limited Technical Contact-ship with rights for that comment only, but I think that may be unnecessarily complicated.

    Anyway, my thoughts on your specific questions ...

    1. Who should be able to "assign" a comment?    Anyone with Document Editor status for the document (including the Technical Contact).
    2. What collection of individuals should appear in the list of possible assignees?   Same set as available to assign as Technical Contact
    3. How the permission should be "granted" (would the act of assignment also automatically convey the permission?)   Yes
    4. Who should be notified of this conveyance of permissions?    Definitely the Assignee; probably the Commenter; options for Chairs and Group


  • Avatar
    Cyndy Brown


    On Entering Comments/Bulk upload of comments: This indicates that both Administrators and Members can bulk upload, then later says that only Administrators can upload on behalf of other members. If a group member collects comments from their committee during a meeting, would they be able to load all comments (in bulk) via CSV allocating (not assigning) the comment to the appropriate individual?




  • Avatar
    Cyndy Brown


    On Entering Comments/Easier public commenting and easier member commenting: Does the button enabling the public or members to submit another comment assume they are submitting another comment on the exact Section/Page/Line as before or submitting another comment on the document in general? Today it assumes the comment is just within the same document.



  • Avatar
    Kavi Product Management

    Hi Cyndy,

    Thank you for the clarifying questions!  I hope the following description fully addresses both subjects, but if not, please feel free to respond again.

    Bulk Comment Upload:

    Any member may collect comments from other members.  However, only the Administrator has access to:

    • download the correct template for multi-member upload and
    • upload the multi-member template

    Therefore, it would be important that the person collecting comments from his/her colleagues obtain the correct template from Administrator first, THEN fill it in with the comment information during the meeting (including e-mail address for each comment to identify commenter), THEN forward the filled template to Administrator, who will upload it into the system.

    This restriction is in place because in many organizations, it is not permissible for a member to submit a comment on behalf of another for due diligence and operational policy reasons.  In such instances, the Administrator may function as a proxy and would be trusted/responsible to fulfill the due diligence obligations.  The e-mail address in each comment would be used to associate it with the correct person (submitter), and the Administrator would be identified in the history as person who added the comment.  Once the comment is in the system, it may then be assigned, responded to, and resolved in the normal way.

    Easier Commenting:

    • This feature assumes same Section/Page/Line, but makes it super-simple to just type over any of this data if desired.  No highlighting or deleting required, as it is automatically highlighted - just start typing and it is replaced.  I've been working with the test version and it's wonderfully easy!  If no Section/Page/Line info is entered in the first comment, or that data is erased by user in subsequent comment, then the comment will be just associated with the document.
    • For public commenting it works the same way, except the submitter must enter their name, address and other id information when submitting the first comment.  Then that information along with Section, Page, Line# will be pre-filled on the next comment.  I expect that people will fairly often keep the page number (press "tab"), but replace the line number (just type the new number).
    • If user switches to a different document, or logs out, the next comment form will be blank.  The data carry-over or "pre-fill" only is applied while submitting more than one comment on the same document in a single browser session.

    Best Regards,


  • Avatar
    Cyndy Brown


     Thank you for the detailed response, however but I’m still not clear on what the new process adds, which is probably based on not knowing what the original problem was.

     Your explanation indicates “Administrators and Members sometimes need to enter many comments quickly…the new feature will enable them to upload multiple comments simultaneously from a single CSV”. Then it says “Administrators will be able to upload comments on behalf of other members, while non-administrators will be able to upload only their own comments.”  Collecting “many comments quickly during an offline review of the document” means the comments are coming from multiple people, not one source, and need to be attributed properly. If the bulk upload doesn’t allow the comment manager or designated document owner to upload multiple comments from multiple sources with multiple resolutions, I don’t understand what capability is being added. Adding in the requirement for Administrator involvement does not appear to improve the process, at least from our standpoint. Am I missing something?


    On a different note, if this capability is used, are the resolutions that are held in the downloaded spreadsheet also uploaded to the applicable comment, (with Admin involvement) or do those still have to be hand-entered one at a time?


    Maybe my overall question is: what was the original request that resulted in Kavi implementing this new design? If it works for others that is great, I’m just not understanding how it will work in our particular environment.


    Regarding Easier Commenting…I can only speak from the process my commenters use. They rarely have more than one comment on the same section/page/line at a time. Retaining that information as they move to their next comment invites them to NOT update/change the section/page/line, therefore the comment will be attributed to the wrong point in the document and not be traceable. If our organization has an option, we would want to default those areas to blank and require the commenter to add the information each time.

    Thank you!


  • Avatar
    Kavi Product Management

    Hi Cyndy,

    Thank you for the feedback, and for your patience at the delay in my response.

        •    According to your recommendation, we have changed the Bulk Upload permissions so that both Administrators and those who have "Manager" role assigned on the Roster may upload comments on behalf of other committee members.

        •    The Bulk Upload capability supports only the initial upload of comments.  It does not facilitate bulk upload of Responses or Resolutions.  Those must be submitted individually via the Comment Details page.

        •    Regarding easier commenting:  The automatic "carry-over" of Section, Page and Line information to the next comment has been retained, as no indication has been given by others that this feature is undesirable, and using the TAB key to move from field-to-field while entering data makes it extremely easy to erase or over-write that data if it must be changed.  But should we begin to hear news that committee members don't like it, we are open to make a change.

    Best Regards,

    Michael Robinson

    Product Manager

    Kavi Corporation

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