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History

  • June 6, 2012: Fixed an issue that can cause major problems with chat.
  • December 17, 2013: Fix an incompatibility with the Winter Bash code.

Screenshot

Before:

comments without threading

After:

comments with threading

About

Instead of showing comments in chronological order, this user script displays them in a threaded view, making it easier to follow conversations in long comment threads.

It uses heuristics similar to the @-reply recognition (but it is a little bit more flexible).

It should be noted that this may obviously change the order in which comments are displayed, so you cannot rely on a chronological order anymore. In most cases this doesn't matter, but sometimes it just might.

Update 2011/07/10: As suggested by George Edison, now offers a button to undo the threading on a particular post, in case you want to see the comments in their regular order. I'm not 100% happy with the UI, but I guess it's good enough. The script also got a little smarter about finding the replied-to comment.

Download

install / update scriptview source

Platform

I have tested this script in Chrome (Windows 7), Chromium (Fedora 14), and Firefox + Greasemonkey (both OSes).

Contact

This script is created by Benjamin Dumke-von der Ehe. Note that this is a free-time project of mine, and has nothing to do with my employment at Stack Overflow. See my profile for contact details; you can also often find me in the Tavern on Meta Stack Exchange chat.

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9  
I love it! One small request: can you please add a button to undo the rearrangement? Sometimes it's easier to see the comments in their original order. –  Nathan Osman Feb 20 '11 at 6:03
    
hm, can one award a bounty to a "question"? as in "reward the author for this awesome script"? –  Tobias Kienzler Feb 21 '11 at 8:46
    
Working well with opera too. –  LifeH2O Aug 8 '11 at 14:43
    
It seems like that, recently, it stopped displaying the @mention in threads. While I can live with this in threaded mode, it removes a bit of context in unthreaded mode. –  Teo Klestrup Röijezon Mar 20 '12 at 22:50
    
@Nullable I don't understand. The script doesn't change the content of the comments. What exactly do you mean? –  balpha Mar 29 '12 at 20:28
    
@balpha, sorry about that, my bad. I thought it did it, that it still happens after I disable it. I think I just misunderstood the algorithm it uses for detecting threads. –  Teo Klestrup Röijezon Mar 30 '12 at 0:14
    
WOuld it be possible for this to 'minimise' some threads on a button click or something...? –  Pureferret Sep 11 '12 at 10:12
    
@Pureferret Can you give an example of what you mean by that? –  balpha Sep 11 '12 at 11:08
    
In your example I might not care about what happened after Slaks replied to Pekka, so I'd like someway to hide replies after that, i.e. minimise them. –  Pureferret Sep 11 '12 at 11:57
    
@Pureferret Hmm, I see your point, but it's somewhat problematic in that this script really only does guesswork (even if fairly educated guesswork) as to what is a reply to what. I fear that with such a functionality as you request, it creates a too confident impression of its abilities. –  balpha Sep 12 '12 at 10:16
    
But if it's minimising the wrong stuff (because it's not a reply) it's going to be threading wrongly too? The error should be consistant and tracable to the root cause, if the minimisation runs on what is being threaded already. I've not looked at the source yet but I'd imagine that's how it's written. –  Pureferret Sep 12 '12 at 10:33
    
@Pureferret You're absolutely right, it would be identical. I'm not thinking about technical issues, more conceptual issues. It should also be noted that most comment threads are fairly short, and any additional user interface functionality creates an additional burden, so you'd have to weigh the two. I don't actually have strong feelings about your proposal; I'm just not quite convinced. –  balpha Sep 12 '12 at 12:15
    
@balpha Not convinced it would add value to the comments overal? I can see where you're coming from, still just putting the idea out there :) –  Pureferret Sep 12 '12 at 12:41
1  
@MartinSchröder You can update now; it's fixed in the new version. –  balpha Dec 17 '13 at 11:44
1  
userscripts.org is down :( Is there a GitHub mirror or something? I'd also really like it if a browser extension (especially Chrome) was available, so it would automatically sync to all my desktops. I'd be happy to handle the conversion for you, if you can tell me where to get the source ;D –  Oliver Salzburg Jun 3 at 16:05

1 Answer 1

I'm using the following matches to run on all metas and also on SO in Portuguese.
Area51 is matched by *.se.com/*.

// @match       *://*.askubuntu.com/*
// @match       *://*.mathoverflow.net/*
// @match       *://*.serverfault.com/*
// @match       *://*.stackapps.com/*
// @match       *://*.stackexchange.com/*
// @match       *://*.stackoverflow.com/*
// @match       *://*.superuser.com/*
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