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Julien Couvreur's programming blog and more

Slashdot - Single Page View


Here's the latest addition to my "single page view" series, this time for slashdot. Slashdot - Single Page View allows you to expand comments without reloading the page.
Clicking a "x replies beneath your current threshold" link will fetch the relevant comments in the background and merge them into the current view.
If you click the same link again will collapse it back to the original view.

This screenshot illustrates a sample Slashdot comment before and after modification, and the result of an expansion using the modified link.
Note that the yellow hightlights were added to the screen capture and are not part of the Greasemonkey script ;-)

Because the script only knows how to expand the "x replies beneath your current threshold" links, but not the other sub-thread links, it works best with a high threshold (4 or 5) to avoid getting links that can't be expanded (yet).

This script also combines nicely with Matt's Slashdot Live Comment Tree script, which allows you to expand and collapse threads that are visible in a given page.


This script needs to do a lot more. There are many other ways in which Slashdot "hides" comments. One of those, for example, is the link "Read the rest of the comment" for long posts. Other one is simply the link to the comment, without the comment's body. You can see many of those here:

in the form of:
# Re:Bill Gates on US Education by Urchlay (Score:2) Wednesday July 27, @02:31AM
# Re:Bill Gates on US Education by siplus (Score:1) Wednesday July 27, @02:59AM
# Re:Bill Gates on US Education by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (Score:2) Wednesday July 27, @03:19AM

All of them could benefit greatly from this script.

Posted by: Paul Goscicki (July 27, 2005 05:32 AM) ______________________________________

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your feedback.
I discovered about these links yesterday and tried to make them work, but they are pretty ugly. I don't have a good solution for them yet. I'm thinking of extracting single comments from a page (using the fragment identifier), but Slashdot's markup is super super ugly...
In the meanwhile, I recommend you change your moderation filter to 5 (which is what I had) for best results with this script.


Posted by: Julien Couvreur (July 27, 2005 08:57 AM) ______________________________________

Funny thing, at threshold 5 the script broke down. Show/hide urls doesnt expand anything. Here's the url:

Btw: I also use Slashdot recolor and Slashdot logo replacer scripts.

Btw2: Slashdot is generally super ugly, not only when it comes to markup.

Posted by: Paul Goscicki (July 27, 2005 12:33 PM) ______________________________________

Hi Julien

Thanks for taking pains to let me know of this. Unfortunately, Greasemonkey doesn't work on my PPC Linux machine.

Will try out the plugin on my Windows box and let you know!

BTW, a user script to view only funny comments, or insightful one might be interesting.

Posted by: robotgeek (July 27, 2005 08:25 PM) ______________________________________

Hi Paul,
It actually looks like it's a scraping issue on the different slashdot sub-domains.
The same article/comments using as the domain appears to work:

I'll probably modify the script to force that domain for all article, as a workaround.

Posted by: Julien Couvreur (July 28, 2005 08:50 AM) ______________________________________

It looks like Slashdot is getting ready for a CSS-based facelift:
When that happens, I'll try to fix this user script to work with the new (and hopefully cleaner) markup.

Posted by: Julien (July 28, 2005 02:14 PM) ______________________________________

Yeah, the CSS version should help alot. Tables can get ugly real quick for things like comments scripts.

Posted by: dusty (August 2, 2005 10:27 AM) ______________________________________

The CSS version is helpful. It contribute a lot to the appearence of the blog.

Posted by: Stewart (January 6, 2006 10:52 AM)
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