GreaseMonkey script: Show Comments May 20, 2006 3:12 PM   Subscribe

GreaseMonkey script: Show Comments

Users often reference other user's comments (example). If you're as lazy as I am you don't like clicking back to see what the original comment was. This script displays the original comment inline. Screenshot inside.
posted by null terminated to MetaFilter-Related at 3:12 PM (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

posted by null terminated at 3:12 PM on May 20, 2006

I'm thinking of making a more advanced script which would scan a page for italicized text and insert a link back to the original comment when any quoted comments are detected. This would allow the above feature to work when the comment was not explicitly linked to. Let me know if anyone's interested.
posted by null terminated at 3:16 PM on May 20, 2006

Nicely done. The latter idea sounds much more problematic. The issues I see include:

1) False positives. A little slab of italicised text could mean anything, not just a quote from a local comment, and if it's just a few words you could end up showing something unrelated.

2) Unproductive activity. Many italicised quotations are from the linked article, not a local comment. Some italicised text is not quotes at all.

3) Aswingandamiss: a surprising number of people will actually retype the quoted sentence rather than copy and paste. You can tell because they misspell, or correct misspellings or just plain misquote.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:43 PM on May 20, 2006

2 is only a problem when it manifests 1; 1 seems unlikely to happen very often at all; 3 just means it won't always work. I say give it a shot, null terminated—I've had the same thought myself, in the past.
posted by cortex at 3:54 PM on May 20, 2006

Ooh, thank you. This is handy as hell. And I find hell to be very handy indeed.
posted by frykitty at 4:49 PM on May 20, 2006

Fantastic. As someone who has longed for some sort of quote feature this is perfect.
posted by fire&wings at 5:11 PM on May 20, 2006

cortex: sure. But thinking through the ways something can fail is an essential part of the planning process. One other issue: inconsistency in denoting elisions and extracts. Some people prefix or embed "[...]" or "...", some don't, a few use the email convention of leading with a ">", and so forth. All these things make finding the boundary of the quote a very fuzzy undertaking. And don't even get me started on attempts to quote partial exchanges between two or more commenters, though that is comparatively uncommon.

If everyone had the greasemonkey script it might lead more standardized practices, but that won't happen -- certainly not with IE still the overwhelming majority even in this enlightened group.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:24 PM on May 20, 2006

But thinking through the ways something can fail is an essential part of the planning process.

Ah, enough said. Didn't mean to suggest the issues weren't worth considering—just trying to be encouraging—I'd argue that even an imperfect script would be worth using for folks interested in the feature.

I'd be interested to see a fairly robust attempt at this, basically.
posted by cortex at 5:54 PM on May 20, 2006

Great idea. Very much appreciated.

I read Metafilter black on white so your quote box ends up black on blue. So I changed your script to make the bgcolor "000000".

Thank you.
posted by ?! at 9:18 PM on May 20, 2006

It's working well so far, thanks null.
posted by puke & cry at 10:19 PM on May 20, 2006

The main problem I have is when people don't quote whatever source their referring to at all. Like the rainbaby comment right above the one in your example. What did docpops say? Now I have to scroll all the way back up to find out.
posted by graventy at 11:58 AM on May 21, 2006

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