MLMB Add-on (v4.1)

This add-on for the Media Lens Message Board is a Greasemonkey script that provides some additional functionality for users of the board.  If you just want to get on and install it, skip to here.  If you have the add-on and want to upgrade to the latest version, skip to here.

The add-on provides the following features:

  • Thread Collapsing
    • Adds a button to each thread that will collapse/expand the thread.  Button also shows number of messages in the thread, and highlights when all messages have been read (but see note below).
    • “Collapse all” and “Expand all” buttons to collapse/expand all threads on a page.
    • Collapsed threads show the ‘View thread’ link, so you don’t have to expand them to find it.
    • Sub-threads can also be collapsed.
  • Thread Markers
    • Adds a button to ‘star’ a thread you’re interested in, or ignore a thread you’re not.
    • Automatic highlighting of threads you’ve contributed to.
  • Thread Filtering
    • A filter option to hide ignored threads, only show ‘starred’ threads, or only show threads you’ve contributed to.
  • Hide Quoted Text
    • When viewing messages, any previously quoted message is hidden, with the option to show it again.
  • Auto-collapsing of Read Messages
    • Read messages are automatically collapsed when viewing the full thread (but see note below).

The features are all optional, and can be turned on/off as required.  Turning off features you don’t use will speed up the script.

See screenshot for an idea of how it looks:

MLMB add-on v4 screenshot index page

And here’s how the full thread page looks:

Full thread view showing collapsed posts.

Note on read messages:  Due to the way the board works, messages are only detected as having been read when viewed on the full thread page, not when viewed individually.  This means the auto-collapsing of messages in thread view, and highlighting of the message count will only be accurate if you view the full thread to read messages.

Upgrading the add-on

If you already have the add-on installed, just visit the script page on greasyfork.org and click on the green ‘Install this script’ button.  Depending on your Greasemonkey settings you may already have been prompted to update, or have been updated automatically.

Installing the add-on from scratch

These instructions are for those using Firefox and Greasemonkey, however the script also appears to work ok in Seamonkey using the Scriptify add-on, and in Google Chrome using the Tampermonkey add-on.  See this page on greasyfork.org for more info and links.

  1. If you’re not already using Firefox, install that first – getfirefox.com
  2. In Firefox, click here to download and install the Greasemonkey add-on
  3. Once Greasemonkey is installed, and Firefox restarted, click here to download and install the ‘mlmb’ user script (click the green ‘Install this script’ button).
  4. Go to the Media Lens Message Board website and the add-on changes should appear.
  5. To temporarily revert to the normal MLMB, click the Greasemonkey icon in Firefox to turn it off.  Then reload the MLMB page.

Using the add-on

  • Thread Collapsing
    • There is a green message-count button next to each thread.  Click this to collapse the thread, again to expand it.
    • This button will show the message count in white when you have read all messages in the thread (useful when collapsed).
    • The ‘Collapse All’ and ‘Expand All’ buttons can be used to change all threads on a page.
    • Sub-threads can also be collapsed using the little green [-] buttons.  At the moment this isn’t reflected when viewing the full thread of messages, but might be in a future version.
  • Thread Marking
    • There is a little white button next to each thread.  Click it to ‘star’ the thread and mark it as a favourite.  Click again to mark it with an ‘i’ for ‘ignored’.  Click once more and it will go back to a default unmarked thread.
    • As well as the button, the threads will be styled differently when they’re starred/ignored.  This should hopefully make it easy to scan down them.
    • Threads you’ve contributed to will be automatically highlighted in red.  You’ll need to be logged into the board for this to work.
  • Thread Filtering
    • Next to the ‘Collapse All’ and ‘Expand All’ buttons is the filter drop-down.  Just select e.g. “Only Starred *” from the list and the threads will be filtered accordingly.  Note, the script is still bound by the ‘pages’ on the board, i.e. if you’re on page 1, changing the filter to show only starred threads will just show the starred threads on page 1.  You’ll need to click the link for page 2 to see starred threads on there.
  • Hide Quoted Text
    • When viewing responses, previously quoted messages at the end of the response will be hidden automatically.  A button will allow you to view the quote if needed.
    • Responses with embedded videos won’t have quoted messages hidden, as this stopped the video from appearing (not sure why!).
  • Auto-collapsing of Read Messages
    • This just works providing you read messages on the full thread page, not individually.
    • You can expand a previously read message by clicking on its title.
    • There are also “Collapse All” and “Expand All” buttons to collapsing/expanding of all messages.
    • Note: the state of open/closed messages isn’t remembered – i.e. next time you view the thread, all messages will be closed except for unread ones.
  • Turning Features On/Off
    • If you don’t use a feature, or find it annoying, it can be turned off.
    • Click the add-on options link in the top menu (under the title) to access the list of options.

A few points to note:

  • The add-on remembers which threads you’ve collapsed/marked by storing the info in Firefox.  In other words it’s not connected to your MLMB account, and so collapsed threads won’t be remembered on another computer.
  • I’ve set the storage limit so all threads still on the board will have their settings remembered – about 1 months worth, if anyone ever looks back that far!

There are probably other useful tweaks this script could do.  Please leave any suggestions in the comments or on the message board and I’ll see what I can do (time allowing).

P.S.

To anyone who is reading this and hasn’t heard of Media Lens, I recommend their website and media alerts for insights into the role the mainstream media plays in our society, especially from the UK perspective.  The message board is a better source of daily information on what is really going on in today’s world than any of the mainstream media channels/newspapers.

2 Responses to MLMB Add-on (v4.1)

  1. Pat says:

    Add on looks great but I’ve installed it twice (1st time when it was first released) and despite getting the Greasemonkey add on icon and switching this on, I get nothing different!

  2. flash127 says:

    Hi Pat, could you let me know which operating system (e.g. Windows, Mac) and which broswer (incl. version number) you are using please?

    Also, do you have no-script or ad-block installed?

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