Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Greasemonkey hacks
November 27, 2012 5:57 AM   Subscribe

Grease my monkey, guvnor: Greasemonkey scripts get talked about a lot in Metatalk comments, and they seem pretty useful. I would like to ask our more Greasemonkey-oriented friends to recommend the best ones and discuss their experience of installing and using them.

The current resources I can find are this thread from 2006 and this list of scripts and the page on the wiki.

Which scripts are the most useful Metafilter scripts to install? Is the list on the wiki (as opposed to user scripts.org) the tried and tested ones only? Does installing *lots* of scripts radically change the user experience, for better or worse?

Also - is installation easy for the technically challenged? What does someone who is unfamiliar need to know before attempting to install? Are there any common problems with using Greasemonkey scripts generally or Metafilter ones specifically?
posted by MuffinMan to MetaFilter-Related at 5:57 AM (79 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

This isn't relevant to you directly, but Chrome, which has native support for scripting (as opposed to Firefox, which requires Greasemonkey) has made it a pain in the ass to install scripts from outside of the Chrome Store now. Here is how to get around that.

Also, while we're on the subject, I am officially putting a $10 bounty on getting the UserNotes script working in Chrome (unless it already does and I'm dumb.)
posted by griphus at 6:42 AM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


griphus, your workaround link is bunk.
posted by deezil at 6:51 AM on November 27, 2012


I want the usernotes thing to work like a hovering tooltip over all instances of usernames instead of having to go to the profile page. Just throwing that out there.

I like the thing that puts a slightly darker background line between comments on every page but I'm not sure if it's a GM or a Stylish thingy.
posted by elizardbits at 6:53 AM on November 27, 2012


I am officially putting a $10 bounty on getting the UserNotes script working in Chrome (unless it already does and I'm dumb.)

Re "unless": I've discovered I'm dumb many times in my life, and I'd often have been glad to lose only $10 for the experience.
posted by stebulus at 6:55 AM on November 27, 2012


I like MeFi Navigator.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:00 AM on November 27, 2012


MeFi Deleted Posts and MeFi Navigator are the two I've had installed forever. The former is just for curiosity's sake (and because the deleted post reasons are often fun), but the latter is totally great, especially for the little links it adds next to each timestamp telling you how many other comments a user has posted in that thread (since the last full page reload, at least) and letting you quickly jump to any of those other comments. (It doesn't work for admins on the gray, however, unless I've missed an update: ever since they got their official "staff" badges the next/previous comment buttons produced by this script end up linking to the "who's in charge here" page.)
posted by nobody at 7:00 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


MuffinMan: "Which scripts are the most useful Metafilter scripts to install? Is the list on the wiki (as opposed to user scripts.org) the tried and tested ones only? Does installing *lots* of scripts radically change the user experience, for better or worse?

Also - is installation easy for the technically challenged? What does someone who is unfamiliar need to know before attempting to install? Are there any common problems with using Greasemonkey scripts generally or Metafilter ones specifically?
"

I love the MefiQuote Script. It allows you to take anything a person has said in a post or thread and create a simple quote with an attributed hyperlink to their original comment, or to the post itself. As I've done at the beginning of this comment.

The script eliminates any possible confusion about who said what in a conversation, and to whom you are responding to in long threads. It allows you to respond with clarity to multiple people in a single comment. It also lets you search for a person by name in your own activity, so you can see your previous interactions with them.

MeFi Deleted Posts has cut down on the number of doubles. It also saved me in a meta callout once. :)

On Firefox, installation is easy. Download and install the greasemonkey plugin. Install individual scripts. It operates in the background -- you'll notice the changes to Mefi, but it won't affect the operation of any other website.
posted by zarq at 7:10 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


This one makes the Submit comment button be a unicorn and the Preview button be a narwhal. It's the only truly indispensable Metafilter userscript.
posted by killdevil at 7:22 AM on November 27, 2012 [10 favorites]


I really like MetaCheese, but that's just because I'm petty and like to know the older users from the newer ones.
posted by slogger at 7:28 AM on November 27, 2012


griphus, your workaround link is bunk.

Whoops! This should be it, I think. Or possibly this.
posted by griphus at 7:29 AM on November 27, 2012


I'm not sure what the workaround link is that griphus meant to link to, but the workaround is

- save script to desktop
- drag file into extensions

It's annoying that you can't just install with a click, but it is a fairly simple workaround.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:30 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I really should learn to preview.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:30 AM on November 27, 2012


I use the Tampermonkey extension in Chrome and it seems to have worked with any Greasemonkey script I've thrown at it thus far, including handling one-click installations.

On another note, is there a live version of the mefitaglines extension anywhere? The linked page from last year's topic is dead and gone.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:32 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the only truly indispensable Metafilter userscript.

I use the unicorn/narwhal one and it increases my enjoyment of MetaFilter 112%. I also like the one that takes favorite counts and displays them as some/many/most. One of the things that is sort of cool about Greasemonkey scripts is that you can take a basic substitution one and just sub in/out your own words. So even though this script does a particular thing, you could basically make it do whatever you wanted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:36 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's mentioned in the links you looked at, but I strongly recommend Metafilter MultiFavorited Multiwidth if you're like me and find yourself coming late into interesting discussions with hundreds of comments. No time to read them all? Just scroll and look for the ones with colored bands on the left. Looks a bit silly, but it works well!
posted by Pufferish at 7:55 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not a script, but along similar lines, I use GraphFi for glancing through multi-hundred-comment threads that I don't have any interest in reading attentively enough to comment in.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:24 AM on November 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


My social tags script matches post tags to social bookmarking tags. Edit the prefix before installing it if you want it to go to your personal bookmarks.
posted by zamboni at 8:31 AM on November 27, 2012

Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: On another note, is there a live version of the mefitaglines extension anywhere?
I retired mefitaglines a while back. The spider that scraped the taglines nightly was using too much server memory, and I didn't/don't have time to optimize it. Sorry!
posted by gilrain at 8:38 AM on November 27, 2012


I use GraphFi and the deleted post scripts. GraphFi is useful as it pulls out replies to comments.
posted by arcticseal at 8:45 AM on November 27, 2012


Awww. At least I know I can stop looking.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:49 AM on November 27, 2012


Where can I find the script that puts our mini pictures next to our user names? I still miss that one, which disappeared a couple of years ago.
posted by bearwife at 9:06 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


gilrain, I don't remember exactly how your tagline script worked, but would it be helpful to just have access to a reasonably complete list of taglines as a mefi-server-generated flat file? I've generated that data periodically in the past and we could probably work something out on that front.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:19 AM on November 27, 2012


Well, the trouble there is that your list is comprehensive and without time stamping. Although, since it refers back to the comment URLs, times could be inferred... but then we're back to spidering through, albeit a much more straightforward and precise spider.

mefitaglines only targeted the last two months of taglines, so that the taglines displayed wouldn't get too stale and new stuff had a better chance of showing up.

If I were to set it up again, I'd probably just write another spider. It shouldn't be too resource-intensive; I just did it an inefficient way, last time. If I get hankering for another side project, I may look into it again.
posted by gilrain at 9:25 AM on November 27, 2012


This may not be the most useful script, but I'd like to take the opportunity to plug the Mark Librarian Contributions script and my Mark Scientist Contributions script which was inspired by it.

They're both just-for-fun scripts that identify people who are librarians or scientists (for suitably broad definitions of "librarian" and "scientist") with a little icon in the byline of those users (a book for librarians, a microscope for scientists) who are identified in a database of contacts (jessamyn's colleagues for librarians, my colleagues for scientists). If you think it would be fun to see librarians/scientists when they comment, then check those scripts out. :-)
posted by Scientist at 9:34 AM on November 27, 2012


Unicorn/Narwhal is good, but Unicorn/Narwhal/LAZORKITTY is the real hotness.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:39 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Howls of Outrage: it shows who favorited a comment or post by hovering over the favorites count, instead of having to click through to a new page.

Greasemonkey is very easy for the technically challenged, at least in Firefox (which is my experience).
posted by flex at 9:44 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Although it's better run as a Stylish script, Metafilter (green, blue, gray): better contrast is my one must-have. I can barely read the site without it now.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:51 AM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Er, OK. How does one get a Stylish script to work?
posted by MuffinMan at 9:53 AM on November 27, 2012


griphus: I am totally using UserNotes in Chrome via Tampermonkey. Works great.

And elizardbits: UserNotes adds a little "i" next to the name that lets me hover and see the notes I've got for the person in question. Helps me remember which people have turned out to be virulently anti-X and which ones are actually disturbingly pro-X in certain threads. Per the UserNotes revision history: "v2.0 (Dec 20 07): optional marking added to usernames sitewide, to indicate notes are present: mouseover to see them"
posted by SMPA at 9:54 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


MuffinMan: "How does one get a Stylish script to work?"

1. Install the Stylish browser extension. (Chrome, Firefox)

2. Install the script. [In Chrome, you'll need to do that "save the .js file to your Desktop and then drag it into the Extensions window" thing.]
posted by Egg Shen at 9:58 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will try it when I get home, SMPA, and if it works I owe you ten bucks delivered by the method of your choice.
posted by griphus at 10:00 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the things that is sort of cool about Greasemonkey scripts is that you can take a basic substitution one and just sub in/out your own words. So even though this script does a particular thing, you could basically make it do whatever you wanted.

I just replaced every instant of the word "favorites" with "butt elephants." It has increased my enjoyment of MetaFilter 112%.
posted by slogger at 10:19 AM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just wish people would stop complaining about running out of butt elephants. YOU'LL HAVE MORE BUTT ELEPHANTS TOMORROW.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:25 AM on November 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


The deleted posts script is great. So is the Metafilter Scroll Tag. But it's the Hide obit comments (Hides comments and lines in Metafilter comments that consist of nothing but dots) that made obit posts readable again.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:35 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


bearwife: "Where can I find the script that puts our mini pictures next to our user names? I still miss that one, which disappeared a couple of years ago."

Grumblebee's Show-Metafilter-Profile-Pic Script

It's fun, but introduces tremendous lag on larger threads.
posted by zarq at 10:36 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd like to thank Jessamyn for reminding me of the fuzzy hearts script she mentioned above.
posted by Lynsey at 10:40 AM on November 27, 2012


It's fun, but introduces tremendous lag on larger threads.

And on our servers. Profile images aren't cached so they're requested from the server each time they're displayed. Not a problem if you're seeing them once in a while when you load a profile page. But yeah, this script shows up in our logs.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:48 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was playing around with a bowlderization script which among other things would change "cum" to "pun" but never finished it. But I was amused when people would write about special cirpunstances or official dopunents so left it on for a few years.
posted by shothotbot at 10:49 AM on November 27, 2012


pb: it surprises me that your profile images aren't cached; do they change with such frequency that putting an edge cache in front -- say, using CloudFront or the like -- would seriously impair their usage?
posted by ChrisR at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2012


Yes, they change frequently because people change their profile images. CloudFront doesn't support invalidating cache items frequently. I think you can invalidate three cached items within 15 minutes or so—and you pay for those items. So that's not enough response time for the frequency people are changing profile images.

We could re-do the image system so files always get a new name when they change, but with the little they're displayed it hasn't been too much of a drag to keep them uncached. If we were to do something like display images next to every comment, yeah, we'd have to restructure things. That's why that Greasemonkey script is kind of a drag from this end. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but a minor annoyance.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:57 AM on November 27, 2012


Huh. Interesting.

I had been wondering if it would freeze my computer if I turned the script on, then tried to load the massive election thread. It didn't occur to me that could also affect the Mefi servers. Will skip the experiment.
posted by zarq at 11:06 AM on November 27, 2012


I have installed a greasy monkey in my home, but contrary to reports it has not increased my enjoyment of anything, least of all cleaning greased monkey shit off of every surface.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I was playing around with a bowlderization script which among other things would change "cum" to "pun" but never finished it. But I was amused when people would write about special cirpunstances or official dopunents so left it on for a few years.

Magna pun laude!
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]



It's fun, but introduces tremendous lag on larger threads.

And on our servers.


OK, I will refrain.

*Pins Good MeFite badge on shirt*
posted by bearwife at 11:13 AM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Came in to tell everyone to use GraphFi but was beaten to the punch. It's way more useful and interesting to me than any of the greasemonkey scripts I have installed.
posted by phunniemee at 11:42 AM on November 27, 2012


nobody: "MeFi Navigator ... is totally great, especially for the little links it adds next to each timestamp telling you how many other comments a user has posted in that thread (since the last full page reload, at least) and letting you quickly jump to any of those other comments. (It doesn't work for admins on the gray, however ...)"

Yeah, this is my favorite as well, and I am unduly annoyed by its being broken for admin comments in MeTa. An email to the author about a year ago never received a response. Fixing it would be a good reason for me to dust off my meager programming experience of yesteryear (my last programming was done during the first Clinton administration), but I bet it would take me hours and hours.
posted by exogenous at 11:59 AM on November 27, 2012


I agree, the GraphFi bookmarklet completely changed the way I read Metafilter. It is a must have for large threads, and a nice way to find when someone makes an epic comment in an otherwise boring thread. Instructions to load it are on the page Greg Nog linked.
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:05 PM on November 27, 2012


"I was playing around with a bowlderization script which among other things would change "cum" to "pun" but never finished it. But I was amused when people would write about special cirpunstances or official dopunents so left it on for a few years.

This is a clbuttic feature/bug of these types of scripts.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:36 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


My soon-to-be released script will change usernames with my own mocking permutations of them. Some usernames will have several assigned, and you can get a new jeering nickname with each refresh.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:02 PM on November 27, 2012


Is there a script that allows you to hide certain user's comments for decreased GRAR-factor? I thought I remembered there was, although I had never used it, but maybe I'm just dreaming.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:06 PM on November 27, 2012


I did not know the Chrome workaround! This thread is A+++++, would click again.

I use the Narwhal/Unicorn extension (now with added Lazor Kitteh!), Mefiquote and Mefi deleted posts regularly, and have now added Metacheese, Metafilter Scroll Tag, User Notes and GraphFi.

I also have the Stylish add contrast script.

One I didn't see mentioned yet: Mefi comment numbering.
posted by misha at 1:12 PM on November 27, 2012


This is a clbuttic feature/bug of these types of scripts.

The best example I saw of this kind of thing was back in 2007 and election-related:
No, I certainly did not see the Robertson endor***t coming. It fragments the religious right, at least temporarily, since James Dobson has so completely denounced Giuliani.
It took me a moment to figure out what'd been blanked out.
posted by Lexica at 1:13 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan: "My soon-to-be released script will change usernames with my own mocking permutations of them. Some usernames will have several assigned, and you can get a new jeering nickname with each refresh."

Thanks, Lindsay Lohanistan.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:28 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn now I got unicorn and narwhal up in here! HELL YEAH!
posted by Mister_A at 1:34 PM on November 27, 2012


Is there a script that allows you to hide certain user's comments for decreased GRAR-factor?

There is indeed a mefi killfile somewhere, which I assume can be found by googlerizing "mefi killfile". I don't use it because I don't want to miss an opportunity to tell someone I dislike that they are wrong on the internets.
posted by elizardbits at 1:36 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


OMG theres all sortsa weird cool shit goin' on now with sigils and whatnot.
posted by Mister_A at 1:42 PM on November 27, 2012


Thanks elizardbits and I for one enjoy each and every time that you do!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:51 PM on November 27, 2012


On further consideration, I should have made a anti-bowdlerization script which de-euphemizes and inserts random curses.
posted by shothotbot at 2:01 PM on November 27, 2012


elizardbits - to turn on the hover behaviour, click the text in the top right corner 'sitewide notes off'/'sitewide notes on'. (It toggles when you click it, and should say 'sitewide notes on' to show the link everywhere. The 'i' is perhaps a little too unobtrusive as well).
posted by jacalata at 2:29 PM on November 27, 2012


Yeah, now there are all these usernames that look like latin declensions. Currently all usernotes say BUTTS for both hilarity and testing purposes.
posted by elizardbits at 2:34 PM on November 27, 2012


Yeah, now there are all these usernames that look like latin declensions

elizardbitses
elizardbitsei
elizardbitsei

elizardbitsem
elizardbitse
elizardbitses
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:24 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, now there are all these usernames that look like latin declensions

Recently on facebook I made a comment based on of trying to determine the Latin declensions of "She-Ra" based off of one of my friend calling another friend a "shero." No one got that it was a joke. This is why I spend less time on facebook these days... MetaFilter woulda been all over that shit.

Sherunt is just hilarious and if you don't think so I don't want you as a friend anymore.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:43 PM on November 27, 2012


Embiggen the smallest Metafilter - mouse over small text to see it normal-sized.

Many more scripts on Userscripts.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:35 PM on November 27, 2012


Slogger: "I really like MetaCheese, but that's just because I'm petty and like to know the older users from the newer ones."

Is there something that does this but with # of posts/comments/some other activity metric? The age tag is interesting, but it'd also be neat to compare the postorrhea of say, Egg Shen, to someone like Steve, who seriously needs to step up his game.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2012


Steve is the best user ever.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My soon-to-be released script will change usernames with my own mocking permutations of them.

I humbly request "Greg Slime Mold"
posted by Greg Nog at 9:20 AM on November 28, 2012


Good luck with that, Pegging Fob.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:32 AM on November 28, 2012


elizardbits: "There is indeed a mefi killfile somewhere, "

Ahh, that would be DieDieDead, one of the many greasemonkey scripts I use.

I'm an inveterate customizer of every user interface I come across that allows it, and metafilter is no exception.

Here are the others scripts I use, all of which I consider essential (some of which are themselves customized from the versions linked, mainly to darken certain colors): I also make use of Stylish to restyle the site, with customized versions of this site style and this post differentiator style.

Some screenshots of the end result, for those curious.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:44 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I installed Mefi Nagivator. Saved it, ran it.
Now what?
posted by herbplarfegan at 11:31 AM on November 28, 2012


Now you dance the forbidden dance.
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 AM on November 28, 2012


¡La danza prohibida!
posted by Mister_A at 12:41 PM on November 28, 2012


I Missed My Star SO Much.....
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:43 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


A couple that I made were mentioned above (Embiggen the Smallest Metafilter and Jessamyn's Star). I'll shamelessly take this opportunity to mention another of mine:

Metalinks collects all of the links that people made in comments in the thread you're looking at, and puts them all in a sidebar on that page. Well, not all the links - it skips links back to the same thread. But all the others.

I also made Hide That Thread, but I fear it's unlikely to find a wide audience - its sole purpose is to hide one very specific thread. And I don't mean one of your choosing. For the curious, it came about due to this MeTa thread, in which the poster was hoping for a way to hide this AskMe thread.
posted by Flunkie at 7:37 PM on November 28, 2012


If anyone is still reading this, can you help me out after I went on a script bonanza and installed a bunch of stuff and now I have no idea what these symbols mean (link is to screenshot of what I'm seeing now). When I click on them nothing happens so I'm not sure what purpose of everything is! I can disable each script and figure it out on my own but that seems a bit beyond me right now!
posted by thesocietyfor at 9:26 AM on November 29, 2012


thesocietyfor, the [2/2] means this is the user's second comment in this thread, out of two total.

The << should take you to the next comment by that user in that thread.

The = with a third line should pop up a numbered list so that you can jump directly to that user's comment #1, #2, or whatever in that thread.

The dot after that means it's the user's last comment in this thread. If it were not the last, it would be replaced by a >>, which should take you to their next comment in the thread.

As for why it's not working for you, I don't know, but I guess you're probably onto something about disabling scripts - maybe one of the others you have is interfering with that one (which, I believe, is MeFi Navigator, by the way - a truly great script). If you eventually figure out a specific one that is causing this problem, you might want to try turning it back on, and then moving it either up or down in your Greasemonkey script, so that it runs either before or after MeFi Navigator (whichever it's not doing now).
posted by Flunkie at 10:49 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flunkie, thank you so much! I suspected that it just wasn't working in my browser and would have been self explanatory if it was, but now that I know what it's supposed to be doing I can figure out why it's not working. Thanks again for helping me out!
posted by thesocietyfor at 12:25 PM on November 29, 2012


Mefi deleted posts, MeFi Navigator and mefiquote are all quite awesome, but nothing compared to this one, which nicely corrects the constant incorrect spelling of words like favourite and colour.
posted by dg at 1:52 PM on November 29, 2012


No one mentioned this one, so I thought I should.

PB IS TAKING IT DOWN I GUESS THIS IS A HEADACHE FOR HIM

I HAVE SAVED IT

NOW IT CAN BE YOUR HEADACHE
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:48 PM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


heh, best April Fools prank ever.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:53 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older Pony Request: Stop the Youtube...  |  Is there a good way to have vo... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments