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I would like to add comments to my single.php file. My custom theme is "hand built" and I haven't found the proper code needed to add this functionality. Anyone have the quick and dirty on how to add such a thing?

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Take a look at TwentyTen/Eleven as reference. –  kaiser Apr 26 '12 at 15:04
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While much of comments implementation became simpler in modern WP versions, it still isn't quite make-comments-happen button.

You will need to put together this part of template, most of related functionality is handled by:

Check native WP themes for complete start to end implementation, although they tend to be a little bulky.

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Thanks Rarst. I'm digesting the code and trying to cut the fat. Thanks for your help. And @kaiser, thanks for the initial direction. –  bkbarton Apr 26 '12 at 15:32
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in your single.php template use:

comments_template()

alternatively to working with the comments.php of the default theme, there is still a basic comments.php in this location /wp-includes/theme-compat/comments.php (although it does not have comment_form() implemented).

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