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Tech: Mudcat browser tools

GUEST,DaveRo 16 Jan 16 - 09:03 AM
DaveRo 08 Jul 18 - 12:00 PM
DaveRo 07 Nov 20 - 10:47 AM
DaveRo 16 Oct 21 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Harry 05 Jan 22 - 07:09 AM
cnd 05 Jan 22 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Harry 05 Jan 22 - 02:48 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 22 - 03:05 PM
DaveRo 06 Jan 22 - 11:00 AM
DaveRo 14 Apr 22 - 12:23 PM
Richard Mellish 14 Apr 22 - 04:05 PM
DaveRo 14 Apr 22 - 05:10 PM
DaveRo 23 May 22 - 07:26 AM
DaveRo 04 Jul 22 - 10:31 AM
DaveRo 09 Jul 22 - 11:37 AM
DaveRo 23 Jul 22 - 12:40 PM
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Subject: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: GUEST,DaveRo
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 09:03 AM

Over the past couple of years I've written several userscripts and bookmarklets for browsing Mudcat. I've now packaged them as a browser addon to make them easier to use, especially on a tablet. They're for Firefox and Chrome.
It adds these features to the threadlist and thread pages:
1. Identifies threads posted to since last visit.
2. Scrolls to the first new post in a thread.
3. Remembers a guest user name, and preselects preview.
4. Adds quoting and linking buttons below the input area.
5. Saves and recovers text in case the post fails to 'stick'.

Mudcat Browser Tools


Feedback welcome, especially for the chrome extension. Any problems installing it?
If anyone is using the original userscripts, don't run both!

(2 YEARS OF POSTS AFTER THIS REMOVED)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 08 Jul 18 - 12:00 PM

Version 2.3.1 replaces spaces with non-breaking spaces when you format selected text with the 'monospace' button. This is useful when posting ABC or code. It's what the PRE tag does, but without the leading spaces that PRE generates here. Example:

P:A
|:D|"G"~G3 GAB|"D"ABA ABd|"G"edd gdd|"G"edB "D"dBA|
    "G"~G3 GAB|"D"ABA ABd|"G"edd gdB|"D"AGF "G"G2:|


You can use monospace formatting and box-drawing characters, in combination with the option to convert non-ASCII characters to html '&-codes' to display guitar tabs. This example is from a post by Stanron:

  E╓───╥─────────────┬─────────────┬─────────────┬─────────────╖R
  B╟───╫─────3───────┼─1───────────┼─────────────┼─────────────╢E
  G╟───╫─0─────4h2p0─┼─────2─────2─┼─4p2─0───────┼───────0─────╢P
  D╟─0─╫─────────────┼───────4h5───┼─0─────2h4─2─┼─0h2─4─────0─╢E
  A╟───╫───────2─────┼─3─────0─────┼───────3─────┼─────────────╢A
  E╙───╨─3───────────┴─────────────┴─────────────┴─2─────3─────╜T
  
   . + . 1 + + 2 + + . 1 + + 2 + + . 1 + + 2 + + . 1 + + 2 + +  


If you don't convert non-ASCII characters to &-codes it previews OK but converts the box-drawing characters to hyphens and pluses. You have to select this option - it's not on by default. The 'recover text' button reverses the conversion so you can edit what you originally typed or copied in.

Note, however, there is a bug in some versions of Android whereby not all box-drawing characters are the same width, so verticals do not always line up. I don't know whether other operating systems suffer from this.

(2 YEARS OF POSTS AFTER THIS REMOVED)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 07 Nov 20 - 10:47 AM

Back in 2017 Mudcat was displaying as ??? many characters that it previously displayed OK, and I added a module to convert non-ASCII characters to HTML '&-codes'. The problem was fixed six months later, and most common accented letters have since displayed OK. The module remained in the add-on but I suggested it be disabled unless users were posting in non-western languages.

I recently had to rewrite this code so I made some changes. If the encoder is turned on - it is off by default - it will now only encode characters which I believe are not capable of being held in the database and are therefore displayed as ?, or converted to another character, even though they preview OK.

So these characters will no longer be encoded:
 ¡¢£¤¥¦§¨©ª«¬­­ ®¯
°±²³´µ¶·¸¹º»¼½¾¿
ÀÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊËÌÍÎÏ
ÐÑÒÓÔÕÖ×ØÙÚÛÜÝÞß
àáâãäåæçèéêëìíîï
ðñòóôõö÷øùúûüýþÿ
But eastern European characters such as these will be:
ş ğ ı ő ć ń ś ź ł ż ą ę
If you have the option turned off, and you occasionally post non-western letters, or symbols, I suggest you turn it on. If you already have it turned on you'll notice it no longer converts any of the letters above - for example é into é

It doesn't encode high-end unicode characters such a Chinese or fancy emoticons: nothing above u+26FF (#9983).
So you can display these: ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯

Click 'Recover text' to restore the original characters, which makes them easier to edit.

Mudcat Browser Tools
(Version 2.4.7)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 16 Oct 21 - 11:55 AM

The Linkify button will create, with one click, a link from anything in the post that looks like a URL. You can also specity the displayed text like this: www.example.com|click_here
The underscore is replaced by a space: click here

I added another way of creating links with multi-word text, allowing spaces and avoiding the need for underscores: www.example.com{{This site is an example.}}
which generates: This site is an example.

That's easier for longer texts, for example a title copied from the target website.

Full details are on the Firefox addon page. The Chrome extension is identical.

The addon has about 10 users, though apart from a couple of people (one of whom mentioned it on concertina.net) I don't know who they are or what features they use.


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Subject: Tech: Opening threads where I last read?
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 07:09 AM

I've just bought a new laptop (running Windows 11).

On the old machine I'd downloaded a patch (?) which, when opening threads, landed me back where I'd left off.

Any guidance where I could download it again, please?

Harry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Opening threads where I last read?
From: cnd
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 08:15 AM

Possibly DaveRO's Mudcat Browser Tools?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Opening threads where I last read?
From: GUEST,Harry
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 02:48 PM

Yep! That works nicely; thank you.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 22 - 03:05 PM

Harry's thread moved over here - it serves as a nice testimonial to Dave's browser tools.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 11:00 AM

(MANY OLD POSTS BEFORE THIS ONE DELETED)

I believe the add-on works in Microsoft Edge, but I no longer have a Windows machine to test on. If you use it on Edge I'd be pleased to know. (But you might end up as a tester!)

As I wrote in my OP, in 2016, the add-on originated as tools to make Mudcat more readable on a small tablet: this one, in fact. Some of the features, like increasing the font size of posts, were aimed at very small screens. Chrome never supported extensions on mobile, and Firefox's Android browser removed support for all but 'recommended' add-ons in 2020. However you can run add-ons in Firefox Nightly on Android. It's tricky to set up - you need to be more than a bit techy - but PM me if you want to try it.

Finally, if you can't run the add-on, and therefore can't make links with a a single click, you might find my Simple Linkifier useful*. It overcomes the problems which the Mudcat tool currently has: very long URLs, and links to pages within Mudcat. I suggest you bookmark it.

* I waive all rights to the code;)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 14 Apr 22 - 12:23 PM

Attention Chrome users!

There are apparently six users of the Chrome Extension version of Mudcat browser tools. I'm not one of them. I don't know whether these users are six different people, six computers owned by fewer people, or whether they still use Mudcat.

Google is changing the way Chrome Extensions work (called Manifest V3). Unless I update it just for Chrome it will stop working at the end of 2022. If you are a regular user of the Chrome Extension please let me know via PM. (Please do not tell me in this thread.) Also whether you have the technical ability to install and test new versions.

I doubt if anybody uses it on Microsoft Edge - I don't know if Edge users would be counted by Google - but let me know if you do.

Mudcat browser tools


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 14 Apr 22 - 04:05 PM

I've been using it with Firefox for some time. Since the site came back up after the recent crashes I'm finding that function 2, Scrolls to the first new post in a thread, is not working. Is that a consequence of the database corruption?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 14 Apr 22 - 05:10 PM

Probably new post numbering reverted to 17th March and new posts since then may have numbers lower than the posts that have been lost. So the stored latest post number for a thread may be higher than the current last post. It won't notice new posts until a higher-numbered post arrives in that thread.

You could clear all 'cookies' - which should include this stored data - but you'd lose data on older unaffected threads.

Threads that have been started since the recovery should be unaffected. Once new post numbers exceed the post numbers at the time of the crash it will all work OK.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 23 May 22 - 07:26 AM

Nobody has told me they're using the Chrome version of Mudcat Browser Tools. It is no longer available to install. If you already run it, it will continue to work until Google Chrome disables 'Manifest V2' extensions at the end of 2022 - see my recent post.

Mudcat Browser Tools for Firefox

The addon makes links with a single click, but if you can't run it - for example you use an iPad - you might find this useful.

Simple linkifier


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 04 Jul 22 - 10:31 AM

I rewrote the code that places the green buttons around the reply box. These should now be unaffected by adverts and slow-loading in-post images which used sometimes to displace them. You can also expand the reply box - by dragging the bottom right-hand corner - and the buttons move with it. And some buttons, e.g. linkify, are now available with PMs.

It's version 2.5.0, currently only for Firefox.

Mudcat Browser Tools

The Chrome Extension will be back soon.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 09 Jul 22 - 11:37 AM

The Mudcat Browser Tools Chrome Extension is back!

A mudcatter told me he uses it with Vivaldi browser, which is based on Chromium. So I have created, and he has tested for me, a Manifest Version 3 version of Mudcat Browser Tools.

There are ten times as many (non-mobile) Chrome users as Firefox users so it has always puzzled me there were so few Chrome users of this addon compared to Firefox users - at one time they were almost equal at a dozen each. (Also why most users are in the UK - but that might be related.) So I think a bit of a relaunch is appropriate.

Chrome Extensions add features to the Chrome browser. You install this one from the Chrome Webstore with one click:
Mudcat Browser Tools Chrome Extension

The original and still the main purpose of Mudcat Browser Tools is to easily see which threads have new posts since your last visit and to automagically position threads at the first new post. It has other features, but those are the main one.

Optional features, such as displaying the number of posts to the left of thread title on the index page, are accessed from the jigsaw piece on the toolbar or 'More tools', 'Extensions' in the main menu. From the options page you can display a fuller description of all the features. (You can also look on the Firefox Addon Page which is clearer.) But you don't have to set any options. If you don't like the quoting feature just don't use it. If you don't like the DaveRo wrote bit of it, you can suppress it and just have indented italics.

Chrome Extensions work in Google Chrome (not mobile), Chromium (the open-source version of Chrome), Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, and some more obscure browsers. Not Safari - or not unless I pay Apple I think.

Version 3.0.0 also includes the new button-positioning code that I described in my last post.

This version adds an experimental facility to copy posts to local files for archival purposes, offline viewing, or as a hedge against data loss. Posts are stored in individual files and are viewable in a browser. You can specify that specific threads are to be archived: this might be of interest if you invest a lot of effort in posting lyrics, say, and would like to automatically keep a local copy of your posts and others' comments. Archiving requires installation of a separate program which actually writes the files, and some configuration. Contact me by PM or email (addess on the addon page) if you want to try it and I'll provide instructions.

The one system this version has not actually been tested on is Google Chrome on Windows - which must be the most common. I would welcome reports that it works - or doesn't - in this thread or by email.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mudcat browser tools
From: DaveRo
Date: 23 Jul 22 - 12:40 PM

The Firefox addon now includes the archiving facility described in the previous post.
It's version 2.6.0

Mudcat Browser Tools


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