MeFi Navigator Greasemonkey script is useful December 5, 2006 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Contemplating the FeaturePony: The MeFi Navigator Greasemonkey script is frakkin' insanely useful, if only for the 'poster' and 'admin' tags (I don't use the comment navigation stuff that much). Wouldn't Safari and IE users praise the ground mathowie walks on if it got built into the system itself?
posted by WCityMike to Feature Requests at 9:13 AM (28 comments total)

Well, the small subset of Safari and IE users who would actually use the greasemonkey script if they ran FF might. I'm not sure there's any real groundswell here.

*waits to be made a fool by groundswell*
posted by cortex at 9:18 AM on December 5, 2006


Are there any screenshots of it? I've never seen it in action, but from what I've read, I've been hesitant to add a giant ADMIN next to everything I post on the server. I don't want to force my opinion above everyone else's. It might make sense on MetaTalk, since people are asking a question only I can answer, so that makes it easy to spot, but I'm just a normal person on Ask MeFi and MetaFilter spouting my personal views, experiences, and opinions and the ADMIN tag would be out of place.

I'd imagine a typical user would think "why should I care which 80s hair metal album the admin likes best in answer to a question?"
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:21 AM on December 5, 2006


Maybe a better Greasemonkey script to nick functionality from would be the MetaFilter Asynchronous Flagging one, and for favouriting too? (It's broken nowadays, but it used to make a little box pop up so you could flag stuff without going to a different page.)
posted by jack_mo at 9:29 AM on December 5, 2006


I second the recommendation for Asynchronous Flagging, as it stands I don't even bother with it since the script stopped functioning...

As for MeFi navigator, the only feature I find worthwhile is the "other comments" notation and links provided after a users handle. That way I can see quite easily that a person has just posted their fifteenth consecutive comment to the thread without having to access their profile, access their comments and count the timestamps.

The admin and poster notations are kind of garish.
posted by prostyle at 9:39 AM on December 5, 2006


Even if you wanted to considerably pare the PonyRequest down, I think the 'poster' tag would be extremely useful on Ask MeFi — since it essentially acts as poster responses and clarifications.

Matt, I can't send you a screenshot now from work, but if someone doesn't by the time I get home, I can send you what it looks like. To me, the 'admin' tag doesn't seem that intrusive, but I can also completely understand your point.
posted by WCityMike at 9:47 AM on December 5, 2006


I use the script, and find it very helpful, though it doesn't generally work on the blue for me; don't know why. Here's showing (I think) all the features: a screenshot of this very thread, showing (I think) all the features. In MeTa, I use it to find Jess or Matt's responses on a thread. in AskMe, I use it to more easily find where the OP has responded with clarification or feedback. I don't really miss it in the blue, which is why I haven't tried to figure out why it doesn't work for me there.
posted by booksherpa at 10:18 AM on December 5, 2006


Grrr. Thought I'd previewed sufficiently. Sorry for the extra wordage confusing that second sentence. Try this: Here's a screenshot of this very thread, showing (I think) all the features.

The features should be fairly obvious, but the slightly obscure one is the up arrow in the midst of the flagging and favoriting links. You can click to jump to the top of the thread.
posted by booksherpa at 10:26 AM on December 5, 2006


I'd find the 'poster' tag useful on all three sites, but especially MeTa and AskMe for flameouts and clarifications respectively. I really only care about the Admin tag on MeTa, though on AskMe it's useful for spotting Jessamyn's answers which are generally helpful.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:30 AM on December 5, 2006


I'd imagine a typical user would think "why should I care which 80s hair metal album the admin likes best in answer to a question?"

Sounds like chatfilter - I'd recommend deletion, sir.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:32 AM on December 5, 2006


Same here: I'd find "poster" useful on *.metafilter, "admin" useful on metatalk only.

And we need a special "librarian" annotation for responses on AskMe.
posted by Tuwa at 10:34 AM on December 5, 2006


There's a screenshot in greasemonkey page.
posted by boo_radley at 10:34 AM on December 5, 2006


That screenshot makes baby Jesus Joel Spolsky cry.
posted by Plutor at 11:15 AM on December 5, 2006


If I realized so many people used async flagging, I would have fixed it a long time ago. I'm working on it now.
posted by Plutor at 11:16 AM on December 5, 2006


The only part of the script I'd find useful (in any section of the site) would be the number of comments, and even that would be only on rare occasions. I'd be mildly annoyed by the "posted by" line getting so full of stuff. Matt and Jess's usernames already stand out for me, and I can usually remember who posted something. If other folks find it useful, that's great, but I'd rather not see it become part of the standard interface.
posted by nickmark at 11:25 AM on December 5, 2006


I've trimmed down the script to reduce the amount of unnecessary verbiage, and it's much more manageable. The Admin and Poster tag are a little on the intrusive side, but they kind of have to be to see them when you're scanning the page. I also use a trimmed down version of the quote script. It really improves the site's usability. Here's a screen shot.
posted by team lowkey at 11:32 AM on December 5, 2006


Plutor: Now I picture Joel Spolsky with a giant, manga style super-deformed head and tiny body. A Joel Spolsky-chan, if you will.
posted by boo_radley at 11:36 AM on December 5, 2006


Given that every browser I've ever seen has fast and functional in-page searching, what exactly is the point of poster/admin tags? If some bit of information is going to be highlighted and blared at the reader, I don't think that should be it.
posted by koeselitz at 12:20 PM on December 5, 2006


(And I say that as someone who uses and enjoys every other feature of MeFi Navigator, but hates those garish little tags.)
posted by koeselitz at 12:22 PM on December 5, 2006


...what exactly is the point of poster/admin tags?

After reading a username one time I simply cannot digest any more information without enormous colorful images that are... composed of letters... that reference specific users... in the context of the discussion... uhh... hmmm... yeah. Redundancy is appealing, I suppose. Everyone else seems to love them.
posted by prostyle at 1:02 PM on December 5, 2006


I use the Admin tags in MeTa all the time. If there's a 50-100 comment thread that's mostly one-liners and noise, I can just quickly scroll through and see if an admin has weighed in on the actual matter at hand. And the Poster tag is just as useful in AskMe. They don't have to be so loud, but they do serve a purpose.
posted by team lowkey at 1:15 PM on December 5, 2006


I'm flattered that so many people use it. I realise the 'Poster' and 'Admin' tags are pretty bright, but the yellow and white were the only colours I could think of which don't clash violently with one or more of blue, green and grey.

I couldn't be bothered adding logic to make it use dark blue on Mefi, dark green on Ask etc. Also, I use the white theme for Metafilter so they're less garish for me.

I also updated some of the code a few weeks ago so anybody (booksherpa?) who has trouble with it not working on some pages should download it again, from the same place.
posted by matthewr at 1:17 PM on December 5, 2006


For anyone who wants to remove the "garish tags", comment out the lines elementComment.appendChild(nodeAdmin.cloneNode(true)); and elementComment.appendChild(nodePoster.cloneNode(true));
by putting // in front of them.

Also, userscripts.org seems to be down all of the time, so there's another copy here.
posted by matthewr at 1:22 PM on December 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can just quickly scroll through and see if an admin has weighed in

I think that's exactly why koeselitz pointed out that "every browser [he's] ever seen has fast and functional in-page searching" In other words, lots of us prefer a different way of obtaining the same information you're getting from those tags. Given that the existence of the script means you can do it your way, why force others of us to have the same user experience if we like the one we're having now? Kudos to matthewr for building it, and I think it's cool that people like it and use it, but I can't see how making it the default appearance would be an occasion for falling down and worshipping.
posted by nickmark at 1:28 PM on December 5, 2006


It's Skid Row's "Skid Row", isn't it?
posted by blag at 2:58 PM on December 5, 2006


We are the scripts gone wild?
posted by Tuwa at 3:10 PM on December 5, 2006


nickmark: I think that's exactly why koeselitz pointed out that "every browser [he's] ever seen has fast and functional in-page searching" In other words, lots of us prefer a different way of obtaining the same information you're getting from those tags. Given that the existence of the script means you can do it your way, why force others of us to have the same user experience if we like the one we're having now?

Well, yeah, I don't like to use the keyboard when browsing. And I don't want to have to try and type the poster's cryptic name to see if they have responded in thread. Or have to search on mathowie and jessamyn individually. And type-ahead find is disabled. And it's actually faster to breeze through the page using the scrollbar than to "find next" over and over again. So I'm glad I'm using Firefox and I can use the GreaseMonkey script. The OP's point is that Safari and IE users may also want the benefits of the tags. So if mathowie can do it in a less obtrusive way, so that it doesn't affect your preferred method, why deny non-Firefox users the same user experience I enjoy?

It seems mathowie doesn't generally like overloading the preferences page, but this is definitely something that could be user-configurable if having the tags bothers you too much. But, in all honesty, I don't care if it gets implemented or not. Like you said, I have my script. Neener, neener, IE users! My MetaFilter is better than yours!
posted by team lowkey at 4:23 PM on December 5, 2006


I also updated some of the code a few weeks ago so anybody (booksherpa?) who has trouble with it not working on some pages should download it again, from the same place.

Yep, that was me, and redownloading seems to have fixed my problem. Thanks! I suspect, though, that you didn't mean to make the background color of the other comments drop down menus transparent; since grey text is specified it's hard to see against the blue/green/grey of the site. Changing "transparent" to "white" worked for me; I suppose changing the text color to white would have worked just as well.

As for the larger issue, oh powers that be, might I suggest adding a bullet point to the MeTa post screen along the lines of "Looking for a pony? It may already have been born. There are many user-created Greasemonkey scripts that can enhance your MeFi experience." with appropriate links to Greasemonkey and a list of said scripts. I know this doesn't solve the problem for IE and Safari users, but are they really clamoring that loudly?
posted by booksherpa at 7:59 PM on December 5, 2006


you didn't mean to make the background color of the other comments drop down menus transparent

Yeah, I made the colours work with the plain text theme first, and forgot about testing them with the normal theme. I've updated the script now so it works by default for people with the normal theme, and anyone who uses the plain text theme will have to change "color:white" to "color:gray" on line 17.
posted by matthewr at 1:48 AM on December 6, 2006


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