Nancy, a Chrome extension for Metafilter September 12, 2014 5:55 PM   Subscribe

After the enhanced update of the diediedead Greasemonkey script, I received several requests from MeFites for a native Chrome extension, mostly because Chrome's Tampermonkey doesn't support all features, such as the context menu. I promised and, finally, I deliver: Nancy, available at the Chrome Web Store. Yeah, kind of a mouthful.

If you aren't familiar with diediedead, that script and the Nancy extension allow filtering posts and comments from view. You can choose to filter posts and comment, only posts, only comments, or show everything. A filter can be triggered by text in a post, the Metafilter user who made the post or comment, or a link within the post or comment. It works for both registered and unregistered (or not logged in) Metafilter users. Nancy supports semi-intelligent use of the context menu to filter items, or you can do it manually.

Only you and Nancy know what you choose to see or not see on Metafilter in the privacy of your home, enjoying your own personalized browsing experience. Just thought I'd throw that in there, because a lot of people will you it's naughty to use. Which makes it sound way more fun to me.

Usage should be reasonably self-explanatory, although actual operation is somewhat different than Greasemonkey because, well, because it's a browser-specific extension. If the store write-up on the Chrome Web Store doesn't do it for you, drop me a note. I'll also do a write-up on my blog later with more detail, as soon as I recover from having to create ugly icons required by Google -- not the ugly part, that part comes natural to me.

Bugs? Probably. It's a first release with only me testing it. You report 'em, I'll fix 'em. There is no flashing screen, the filtering is all done before the screen is displayed. This feature is important to some of you, so it's been carried over from diediedead. If the worst happens and it crashes such that you only see a blank Metafilter screen for more than brief time, simply go to Tools/Extensions in Chrome and uninstall until we can get you up and working.

For the curious, the name change is due to Google's restriction against violence in extensions, which I thought, hmmm, possibly an issue for diediedead. Google can be awfully picky. Source of the name? Nancy Sinatra's second greatest video performance, natch.
posted by mdevore to MetaFilter-Related at 5:55 PM (38 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

"her name was magill, and she called herself lil, but..."

i need a Nancy for real life, to shut down people and views i don't approve of. build me one, and i will pay for it.
posted by bruce at 7:03 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Seems like Nancy's great video performance, evah may have a solution for your problematic people. All disclaimers apply.
posted by mdevore at 7:25 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The huge link is breaking the mobile meta talk front page for me--anyone else?
posted by mollymayhem at 9:12 PM on September 12, 2014


Linkified the link so it doesn't break things!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:21 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


So. I'm old, and stupid. But. If this is some kind of a kill-file to silence certain users, my personal reaction is that this is Meta-filtering wrong. Call me crazy.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:38 PM on September 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


Thank you thank you thank you.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:46 AM on September 13, 2014


I'm surprised no one had any response to this post. I'd expect it to generate some controversy or at least some gratitude.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:36 AM on September 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


Will this allow me to hide users who refuse to use proper punctuation? I'd really, really like that feature.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:24 AM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anotherpanacea, I feel like there was a meta that touched on the controversy and the consensus was that the site wouldn't do it but you couldn't regulate a user's browser settings.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:31 AM on September 13, 2014


For my question above, I meant on a per comment basis, not per user.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:36 AM on September 13, 2014


Awesome. Just wanted to thank you publicly for this super-useful program and for your ultra-responsiveness in changing the original to meet the times!
posted by shivohum at 7:59 AM on September 13, 2014


Thank you so much! Diediedead took my MeFi experience from a B+ to an A, and I'm looking forward to installing Nancy!
posted by kimberussell at 8:07 AM on September 13, 2014


Thus far I have a report of the "Show all" or "Filter [something]" setting being out of sync on initial startup, until you make a change and the selection syncs up to operation. Also, I noticed that Cancel on the options screen is not restoring settings to their original entry value, which is weird because I successfully tested it before release.

So, yeah, a version 1.1 is likely in the next couple of days. Because Chrome auto-updates extensions at regular intervals -- tech speak for "it eventually does it, but I don't know when" -- Nancy users won't have to worry about schlepping back to the store to reinstall. For the impatient, you can force an immediate update of all your extensions via Chrome's "Update extensions now" button on the Tools/Extensions screen.
posted by mdevore at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2014


As far as adding more powerful capability to filter with more flexibility, it actually wouldn't be terribly difficult to add regular expression support to the filter text option. Regular expressions are extremely powerful for this purpose. However, when I have previously had programs with regular expression support, only a very few people used the feature. More to the point, they confuse the heck out of the normal people, a term I used advisedly because I'm not particularly normal either, and complex regular expressions can confuse the heck out of me.

Perhaps I could add a checkbox to the filter text box that switches interpretation of all entries to regular expressions, along with a label that says "Abandon all hope" or "Here be dragons" or whatever the danger quote cliché currently in vogue might be.

Regular expressions, however, will likely be a version 2.0 versus 1.1 modification. There is a possibility, but only a possibility, that I'll power update version 1.0 straight to version 2.0, if I find the scarce free time and feel a strange compulsion to spend that free time working on a niche Chrome extension. In other words, maybe, could be, don't count on it for the very immediate future.
posted by mdevore at 10:10 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


first!!
posted by chinston at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


You have a problem. You decide to solve it with regular expressions. Now you have two problems.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:40 AM on September 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm probably not going to use this extension, because I don't think I need it. I just wanted to say that I think it's really cool that you've invested so much time and effort into the community. Thanks.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:44 AM on September 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'd expect it to generate some controversy or at least some gratitude.

As the original script has been around for more than four years, and this is just a port to another browser, there seems no reason for new controversy. Unless you're expecting Nancy Sinatra fans to take umbrage.

I don't personally use Chrome, and have only fleetingly considered installing the script in the past, but I do think it's nice that the OP is putting the effort into maintaining it.
posted by Shmuel510 at 11:01 AM on September 13, 2014


Great. Now you've got me wondering who's filtering out all of my comments.
posted by pipeski at 11:12 AM on September 13, 2014


I'm surprised no one had any response to this post. I'd expect it to generate some controversy or at least some gratitude.
posted by anotherpanacea


Guys, anotherpanacea was making a joke.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:51 PM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


First!
posted by michaelh at 4:39 PM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


paleyellowwithorange: "Guys, anotherpanacea was making a joke."

Who is anotherpanacea?
posted by double block and bleed at 4:58 PM on September 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


So. I'm old, and stupid. But. If this is some kind of a kill-file to silence certain users, my personal reaction is that this is Meta-filtering wrong. Call me crazy.

I'm Old too, old enough to recognize this is exactly like a Usenet kill file. I don't find much need for one myself on MeFi (thanks to the very high quality of user the site tends to attract) but from the regularity of toxic reactions between some other members I can see the usefulness of it. It's not silencing anyone; it's just recognizing that your right to speak doesn't include a right to make me listen.

If reading Person A's comments/posts makes Person B's blood boil & renders them likely to engage in behavior we call "fighty" around these parts, making A invisible to B would tend to reduce that undesirable behavior. It's not a perfect solution & occasionally there's going to be confusion from a missed comment, that if only B had seen what A had said that was useful instead of ignoring everything A says because A never says anything remotely useful, it would have all been clear from the beginning. But you can't have everything, can you?

Anyway, I support this FWIW.
posted by scalefree at 9:00 PM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm curious what an I/P thread would look like if everyone there was sporting this tool.

I suspect two separate conversations.
posted by el io at 1:54 AM on September 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


So will we be using terms like "I'm tempted to Nancy him." or "I just Nancied her."?
posted by MikeMc at 12:12 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Might have worked out better if I were a Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss fan, huh?
posted by mdevore at 12:21 PM on September 14, 2014


Alright, I updated the Nancy extension to 1.1, and the update is currently gurgling through the guts of the Chrome Web Store. I've had updates take 3 minutes and I've had them take over 24 hours to be visible. Barring an unexpected reject, users should be auto-updated by Chrome in the near future, or use Chrome's Update extensions now button after you see 1.1 is available in the store.

Three bugfixes. First, I hadn't properly synced up the display selection for the context menu when the extension loads, so you may have had the context menu showing the wrong checkmark for display option until you explicitly clicked on a selection, which corrected the situation.

Second, the Cancel button on the Options page wouldn't restore a completely blank text area to previous setting, although it would work if the text area wasn't blank on entry.

Thirdly, if "Filter posts only" was chosen, then filter based on a link didn't work. However, it would work if "Filter posts and comments" was selected. Frankly, I suspect that this is a bug in diediedead too, but no one has complained yet.

Nothing earth-shattering or show-stopping in the bunch, but annoying nonetheless. And honestly, I was furiously testing various filters and somehow managed to get two selection checkmarks on the context menu. I could never duplicate the problem, so in the great programming tradition, we will all just pretend it never happened (believe me, browsers don't work correctly all the time, either). If you encounter the same problem, and you know how you got there, please report in. Version 1.2 is an empty assignment, anxiously waiting to be used.

In addition to the fixes, I modified the context menu so it always shows the display and configure options, even if you have a link or text selection currently active for filtering.

I think that covers it. Hopefully the new code didn't break anything, but it worked OK when I was testing the bugfixes. Any problems, y'all know where to track me down.
posted by mdevore at 12:31 PM on September 14, 2014


Thanks mdevore! It is in the store now and I just updated.

For anyone wondering, like me, where the "update extensions now" button is -- you have to go into the Chrome extensions page in the tools menu and then click the box enabling Developer mode.
posted by shivohum at 1:31 PM on September 14, 2014


MikeMc: "So will we be using terms like "I'm tempted to Nancy him." or "I just Nancied her."?"

I'm greatly tempted to just follow up certain posts with a quote saying

Nancy'd
posted by Old Man McKay at 3:41 PM on September 14, 2014


I'm greatly tempted to just follow up certain posts with a quote saying

Nancy'd


In Ye Olde Usenette tradition, the alert was "*plonk*".
posted by dorque at 5:36 PM on September 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


first!
posted by klangklangston at 5:48 PM on September 14, 2014


In Ye Olde Usenette tradition, the alert was "*plonk*".

Ha yes! I was trying to remember that term! So many memories...
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:53 PM on September 14, 2014


Second!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:16 PM on September 14, 2014


first!
posted by klangklangston at 8:44 AM on September 15, 2014


My Metafilter life would be so much better with this.
posted by corb at 2:24 PM on September 15, 2014


I'm not really on board with filtering my MeFi -- I'm wary enough of the echo-chamber effect that I find the presence of dissenting and/or potentially upsetting opinions to be a nice sanity check.

Actually, I'd be completely on board with a companion extension (let's call it "Sluggo") that makes deleted posts and/or comments visible.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:32 AM on September 16, 2014


Actually, I'd be completely on board with a companion extension (let's call it "Sluggo") that makes deleted posts and/or comments visible.

I don't know if it still works in Chrome, but the deleted-post-revealing extension exists! See "Mefi Deleted Posts" on the wiki's Greasemonkey page.
posted by Shmuel510 at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2014


I'm greatly tempted to just follow up certain posts with a quote saying
Nancy'd


It seems like it'd be more entertaining to say Sluggo'd.
posted by JHarris at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2014


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