New MetaFilter Bookmarklets January 27, 2015 8:12 AM   Subscribe

I've been working on some new bookmarklets for MetaFilter. They’re designed to add bits of functionality to the site and can be used individually or in tandem.

The first tool sorts the home page of MetaFilter, Ask MetaFilter or MetaTalk by comment count. Sometimes I'm just looking for active discussions to browse and this puts the most relevant threads front and center.

In the process of creating that first bookmarklet I realized there might be other ways to slice-and-dice the threads. So I built an experimental tool that looks for favorites and copies the five most popular comments in a thread to the top of the page. Then it highlights the rest of the thread for skimming.

Next, a bookmarklet that adds basic threading to the site. It scans each discussion and matches up quoted comments with the original to create a simple threaded view. This works best for longer discussions with a lot of back and forth.

The final tool is a thread monitor. It periodically checks for deleted comments and marks them as such if you haven't reloaded the page in a while. If you're writing a reply that happens to quote a recently deleted comment then the bookmarklet will pop up a little warning to let you know.

To install, drag any bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar of your web browser (for mobile it works a little differently). The bookmarklets were designed for the classic MetaFilter style but they should basically work with any theme.
posted by Jeff Howard to Feature Requests at 8:12 AM (36 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

Ooh, new (probably very useful) toys to play with. Thanks!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:19 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since I already have GraphFi on my bookmarks bar, and to conserve bar space, I have renamed these bookmarklets as follows: SortFi, FilFi,* ThreadFi, and DelFi.† I share these in case others find them useful.


*FilterFilter. It's so meta.
†Oracular capabilities not guaranteed.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:28 AM on January 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


You passed up the chance to name one FiFi?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:32 AM on January 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


I did FiFi at first, but then I decided I liked FilFi because every time I say it in my head it's like "I'm FilFi stinkin' rich!" and I quietly cackle to myself because one day—SOON!—my empire and my minions will take over the world.

Whereas the other is just a toy poodle.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:41 AM on January 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


Reading MeFi in threaded modes feels really, really weird. Way weirder than I expected.
posted by grouse at 9:55 AM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think part of it is that the quoted material can feel redundant when all the replies are listed in order. Normally you need that quoted text to figure out context when replies are scattered throughout the thread. This changes the balance.

You can toggle the threading on and off with the bookmarklet.
posted by Jeff Howard at 10:21 AM on January 27, 2015


These are pretty slick; I like how they toggle on and off so easily without lag. MeFi Sort is totally handy, and I'll probably use it frequently. Thank you!
posted by heyho at 10:42 AM on January 27, 2015


These are really cool! Nice work.
posted by gwint at 10:52 AM on January 27, 2015


Excellent. And thanks for sharing.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:50 AM on January 27, 2015


How cool! I love GraphFi so these will be a lot of fun to futz around with. Nice work!
posted by phunniemee at 12:26 PM on January 27, 2015


a bookmarklet that adds basic threading to the site

WHAT HAVE YOU WROUGHT

just joshin, I'm excited to take a look
posted by trunk muffins at 12:46 PM on January 27, 2015


this is awesome. Request: don't only sort out the "Best" comments in each thread, but sort the entire thread based on comments.
posted by rebent at 12:56 PM on January 27, 2015


Looks interesting. Didn't seem to work in Chrome (Version 40.0.2214.91 (64-bit)), though.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:15 PM on January 27, 2015


... organized by favorites...

Thar be monsters.
posted by odinsdream at 1:37 PM on January 27, 2015


Thar be monsters.

That's a typo. It's actually organized by value-neutral bookmarks.
posted by Jeff Howard at 2:07 PM on January 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


a lungful of dragon, I've tested in Version 40.0.2214.93 (64-bit) and I'm not seeing the problem. None of them work?

If you have favorites disabled (or if there aren't any favorites yet) the MeFi Filter tool won't do anything because there's nothing to filter. The MeFi Thread tool requires some comments to thread so it works best for longer discussions. MeFi Sort should always work for the main subsites unless you've disabled JavaScript in Chrome. The MeFi Delete bookmarklet is harder to test. You basically have to set it running and wait for the mods to delete a comment.
posted by Jeff Howard at 3:10 PM on January 27, 2015


Oh and a mobile version too. Very cool, thanks!
posted by spitbull at 3:58 PM on January 27, 2015


I thought Favorites were bookmarks?
posted by hal_c_on at 3:59 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this where I mention that what I really want for Favorites is a setting where I can't see them, but bookmarklets can? I'd like to break my habit of noticing them on every comment, but like what GraphFi does with them.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:03 PM on January 27, 2015


benito.strauss, if your browser allows you to specify a custom style sheet then just add this rule to hide favorites from view. Bookmarklets will be able to use the data even though the numbers are hidden.

span[id*="favcnt"] {
display: none;
}
posted by Jeff Howard at 4:24 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey Jeff. Perhaps this is an opportunity to ask: Would it be possible to use the bookmarklets or somesuch to shorten the time after which the front page realizes that you haven't been to MeFi for a while, so it resets the new comments counter on FPPs?

I'm not sure if that description was anything like clear. Use case: I often leave a bunch of threads open and then go do other stuff. In those tabs the new comment prompt shows up and I can click and read them. But when I then go to the front page, it still shows me the new comment count (the (4 new) bit) from like an hour ago. All threads have progressed, I've read all the new comments, but the front page still thinks I'm twenty minutes in the past.

Uh, was that clearer? Anyway, keep up the good work!
posted by Pyrogenesis at 6:50 PM on January 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I played with these some on my work machine earlier, and liked them - they're very helpful in certain circumstances for me. Thanks!
posted by rtha at 7:38 PM on January 27, 2015


Thank you!
posted by JLovebomb at 8:32 PM on January 27, 2015


Pyrogenesis, the read counts reset after 15 minutes of inactivity. So if you close all MetaFilter tabs for 15 minutes your (x new) numbers should reset. Leaving a tab open means the page is checking for new comments at the server in the background, so all thread pages need to be closed for the reset to happen.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:23 PM on January 27, 2015


Pyrogenesis, the bookmarklets usually only work on one page at a time rather than communicating between pages. If I understand your idea then at minimum I think you'd need one bookmarklet for the main page and another for the thread page. It's not the most elegant solution because you'd have to remember to activate the bookmarklet for each new thread you visit to keep track of the comment counts. But I think it might be technically possible.
posted by Jeff Howard at 12:39 AM on January 28, 2015


Is this where I mention that what I really want for Favorites is a setting where I can't see them, but bookmarklets can? I'd like to break my habit of noticing them on every comment, but like what GraphFi does with them.

I hide favorites with 'Element Hider' which is an add-on for Adblock. I can't say whether the bookmarklets can still see them though.
posted by guy72277 at 1:00 AM on January 28, 2015


So if you close all MetaFilter tabs for 15 minutes

Close MetaFilter? I REFUSE!

Anyway, thanks, I'll just close the tabs then. I just often have several threads open waiting for when I have the time to read them, so the frontpage never seems to reset.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:51 AM on January 28, 2015


While there's an open thread about extensions and bookmarklets, has anyone got MeFiQuote to work on the Modern theme? It's stopped working for me.
posted by Happy Dave at 4:53 AM on January 28, 2015


The MeFi Quote bookmarklet predates the Modern theme. It looks like there are some changes in the HTML that I need to take into account. I'll update the bookmarklet and post a working version later today.
posted by Jeff Howard at 9:31 AM on January 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


These are awesome, thank you.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:12 AM on January 28, 2015


Really enjoying these. Thanks :)
posted by slipthought at 12:59 PM on January 28, 2015


Happy Dave, I've posted an updated version of the MeFi Quote bookmarklet on the main bookmarklet page (if you don't see it, just hit reload on your browser). It should work on MetaFilter, Ask MetaFilter and MetaTalk with all three themes. Let me know if you run into any other issues.
posted by Jeff Howard at 1:03 PM on January 28, 2015


Thanks Jeff Howard. Great work!
posted by Roger Dodger at 5:06 PM on January 28, 2015


Jeff Howard: Happy Dave, I've posted an updated version of the MeFi Quote bookmarklet

Thanks for making this Chrome compatible!
posted by maggieb at 5:28 PM on January 28, 2015


Thank you so much Jeff Howard!
posted by Happy Dave at 10:48 PM on January 28, 2015


Jeff Howard: I've posted an updated version of the MeFi Quote bookmarklet
Yay! It's working on SeaMonkey!
I've missed it so much. Thank you!
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:58 AM on January 29, 2015


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