Though I appreciate the pleas of some who have posted here asking for moderation in the tone of the discussion, I am nonetheless going to come down on the side of speki and bolonki, who have raised some serious issues with respect to Intense Debate which must be recognized within the WordPress community. I am convinced there is something gravely wrong with Intense Debate and I am not just referring to its persistent "buggy" behavior, which I too have encountered.
Like speki and bolonki I have seen the persistent problems with the use of Intense Debate and I am also quite familiar with the near total absence of meaningful support from tekkies at the the plug-in's site. And I would like to add one important criticism of my own, which is that the documentation available at Intense Debate is so lacking as to make it nearly worthless. It practically qualifies as advertising and nothing more. There is no way available for a developer using Intense Debate to test the connectivity of his site to the Intense Debate servers, no debugging procedures or accessible interface between the site and Intense Debate, no error reporting features, no logs--nothing!
Given that there are problems in both performance and maintenace of Intense Debate, it naturally makes sense that one would choose to uninstall it and use another plug-in in its place, as has been suggested above. But performance issues I have encountered make this solution more difficult than it looks at first glance. Simply put; comments that can be very valuable to persisting important discussion threads become lost, apparently on occasion Intense Debate prevents their retention within the local MySQL database. And this is not the result of a faulty WordPress installation either, because comments entered before the installation of Intense Debate have been retained.
Beyond the above, the problems Intense Debate creates for a WordPress site relate not only to the irregular and untimely--or even at times non-existent--display of comments, they also carry over into server CPU overload. While pages containing individual entries await the loading of Intense Debate comments that never arrive, the server's CPU retains a reference to the page, eating up resources. For busy web sites this can become a huge problem that carries over into the inability of other page objects to load and/or function correctly, especially if client-side scripts are involved. Intense Debate is capable of making a site very user-unfriendly, which is one of the worst characteristics of any plug-in.
Given that the assistance WordPress has given to Intense Debate's distribution links the two together intimately (even though WordPress and/or Intense Debate might try to deny it), I submit that it may be time for the WordPress community to face up to the widespread proliferation of web complaints relating to Intense Debate--just Google a few relevant keyword searches to see what I mean--and call into question how and why Intense Debate functions so as to get a transparent look at what it contributes to the profitability of its owners. Since the only economic benefit we can recognize from maintaining the resources necessary to support the plug-in are in the information it houses; Intense Debate obviously returns a profit from the information itself. It is a marketing and advertising resource that may be used in a variety of ways, I'm not going to speculate on what those are, but I think most of us can envision them.
So, in conclusion; it may be time for the WordPress community to come to grips with the reality of Intense Debate's use and practices. We are dealing with a plug-in that does not deliver the functionality for which it is intended, which does not fulfill the support services promised, which is distributed for free by the enterprise whose interface it requires to expand its reach, and which damages the performance and inhibits the maintenance of web sites where it is installed--all for the purpose of amassing information used in advertising and marketing.
Am I the only one who thinks the preceding paragraph offers a definition of malware?
Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A.