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The Stack Overflow Unofficial Patch (SOUP) is a project to collect various minor client-side bug fixes, work-arounds and usability improvements for Stack Overflow and other Q&A sites on the Stack Exchange Network into a single user script.

The intent of SOUP is not to make any substantial or controversial changes to the Stack Exchange user interface, but to fix minor problems and omissions that the SE developers have overlooked or haven't got around to fixing yet. By combining these minor patches into a single user script, they become easier to install and maintain.

Installing

The easiest way to install SOUP is to use the Greasemonkey (for Firefox) or Tampermonkey (for Chrome) extension for managing user scripts. (Other similar extensions, like Scriptish or NinjaKit, should also work.) After installing the extension, clicking the "download / install" button below should bring up a dialog asking you if you want to install SOUP. Answer "yes".

Download / Install

View source / GitHub repo / Stack Apps post

The "install" link above is for the stable branch of SOUP. If you like living on the edge, you can also install the development version, which gets all the latest fixes and updates as soon as they're written. Of course, it also gets all the latest bugs, too. If you do install the development version, please report any bugs or regressions you may find in it below!

SOUP may also run on other browsers with compatible user script support, such as Opera or Safari, but has not been fully tested on them. For instructions on how to enable and install user scripts on different browsers, see the "script" tag wiki on Stack Apps.

Notes:

  • When installing SOUP on Opera 12 and earlier, please remove the ".user" part from the file name to disable Greasemonkey compatibility mode. While SOUP can run in either native or compatibility mode, a few MathJax-related fixes require native mode.

  • SOUP has not yet been tested on Safari, but in principle it should work. If you do try to use it, please let me know how / if it works.

Included fixes

SOUP v1.44.1 includes fixes or workarounds for the following issues.

The fixes highlighted in boldface include particularly major interface improvements or fix particularly severe or widespread issues. The choice of which fixes to highlight is unavoidably somewhat subjective, but in my personal opinion, these are the fixes you should actually install SOUP for — the rest are just icing on the cake.

CSS-only fixes

These are pure CSS fixes. They will be applied even if JavaScript is disabled on the site. Most of these are fairly minor, but sometimes pervasive, issues.

Site-specific CSS fixes

These pure CSS fixes are for issues specific to certain sites on the Stack Exchange network. Most of them are restricted to the affected site(s), but a few are applied globally, even though the issue they fix is only apparent on some sites.

Chat-only fixes

These fixes apply only to the Stack Exchange Network chat.

General fixes

Site-specific fixes

These non-CSS fixes are applied only on specific SE sites. There's a lot fewer of these, since the SE JavaScript framework is shared between all sites, whereas CSS is different for each site. Thus, these fixes generally involve either rare site-specific customizations, or simply design fixes that cannot be implemented in pure CSS.

Review fixes

These fixes apply to the post review interface. I've listed them separately here, since they include some of the more notable interface tweaks in SOUP.

HTTPS-only fixes

These fixes are only applied when using Stack Exchange over HTTPS. Note that HTTPS support for Stack Exchange is still experimental.

MathJax-related fixes:

These fixes apply only to sites using MathJax for LaTeX math rendering.

License

SOUP is distributed under the ISC license, a permissive BSD-style open source license.

In addition, permission is given to Stack Exchange, Inc. to make use of SOUP code in any way they see fit, including but not limited to incorporating all or parts of it within the Stack Exchange codebase, with or without credit.

This SOUP version includes a copy of the punycode.js library v1.2.4 by Mathias Bynens, distributed under the MIT license. The additional permissions granted above do not apply to this library.

Credits

SOUP is currently maintained by Ilmari Karonen. Some of the fixes are based on suggestions or earlier user scripts made by others; see the source code and/or the meta.SO links above for details.

Contributing

If you know a user script or stylesheet patch for SO or other SE sites that would be suitable for inclusion in SOUP, or an unfixed issue that you believe might be worth patching, please let me know (e.g. by posting a comment or an answer the SOUP page on Stack Apps).

If you'd like to help me out by contributing new fixes directly to SOUP, the SOUP wiki on GitHub has some useful tips. Any and all contributions will be appreciated!

See also

share|improve this question
    
After I install it, I can't see what have changed. Do we have a GUI panel so that I can turn on and off features? – Ooker Feb 6 '15 at 3:16
    
No, there currently isn't any control panel. I've thought of having one, and the code is structured to sort of support it, but so far it's been a fairly low priority for me. If you're just curious and want to see what the different fixes do, you can always click the links above: most of the linked bug reports / feature requests include instructions for reproducing the bug. Try it with SOUP on and off, and compare the behavior. (And if you find some cases where there no longer is any difference, please do tell me; it's been a while since I last did that myself.) – Ilmari Karonen Feb 6 '15 at 10:24
    
Wow, i just have dug your GitHub and very impressed that you maintain and even write wikis. Have you think about make a Trello board for easier to maintain the script? An example of HabitRPG using Trello – Ooker Feb 6 '15 at 11:45
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I was thinking about promoting your awesome work using Community Ads. What do you think? – Raphael Jan 28 at 14:11
    
(Fonts, colors and text are open for discussion. I guess I'll recreate it with Inkscape instead of GIMP to get the alignments right.) – Raphael Jan 28 at 14:26
    
@Raphael: That's... pretty awesome. :o – Ilmari Karonen Jan 28 at 15:09
    
@IlmariKaronen I'm glad you like it! I'll start using this then, and maybe update later. If you have any wishes regarding the design, please let me know! (You may obviously use it yourself, too. I can send you the XCF if you want.) – Raphael Jan 28 at 18:06

Known bugs

Browser specific issues

Opera

Note: These issues mainly apply to older versions of the Opera browser. Since version 15, Opera has switched to the the Blink rendering engine also used by Chrome, so some of these issues may be gone (but some of the Chrome-specific issues listed below may apply instead). More testing is needed.

  • Markdown editor hooks (e.g. mse224533, math11392, boardgames1152, french347) sometimes fail to run on Opera, apparently due to a race condition where the editor gets initialized before SOUP has a chance to add the hook. Reloading the edit page usually fixes the problem.

  • The kluge used to monitor WebSocket messages on SE chat doesn't seem to work on old Opera versions, so SOUP falls back to polling for changes at ½ second intervals. This works, but is less efficient.

Chrome

  • The mse154788 / stats1987 fix in SOUP v1.22+ may sometimes add spurious scroll bars to comments on Chrome. This should hopefully be fixed in SOUP v1.24, but since I can't personally reproduce the bug, and since the underlying cause is uncertain (I suspect a bug in Chrome), it's hard to be sure. If it still happens for you, please let me know!

  • MathJax config fixes sometimes don't get applied on Chrome, apparently due to a race condition. Reloading the page usually fixes it. Investigating.

Other compatibility issues

  • SOUP does not work (at all) on the Scriptish user script extension for Firefox, version 0.1.11, because document.documentElement is not available at document-start. Apparently, this is a bug in Scriptish that has been fixed in Scriptish 0.1.12, but that version was never properly approved for distribution on addons.mozilla.org. As Scriptish seems to have not been maintained since 2013, I recommend switching to another user script extension such as Greasemonkey.

  • The Dude, where's my cursor? user script by balpha is incompatible with the mso300679 fix as currently implemented in SOUP v1.36+, and may generate spurious warning dialogs about malformed HTML code. These warnings are harmless, but potentially annoying. (Thanks to Nathan Tuggy for the report.)

Bug reports

If you've found a bug in your SOUP, please post a comment below to notify me about it.

This includes any unwanted side effects or regressions due to changes in the SE codebase.

share|improve this answer
    
Not sure if this is necessarily a problem caused by the patch but using it seems to be a huge contributing factor in FF's memory leaks (at least in my case). This has caused problems for me since for a long time and I'm only now trying to keep Grease Monkey disabled. So far, memory usage is pretty low (~600MB) even after a day or two. It used to go up to and beyond 2.5GB in that same amount of time. And this is considering I keep 2 pinned tabs of SE sites, refreshing every 15 minutes (5 for SO). This might be for the GM team or something but just thought you should know. – Jeff Mercado Apr 5 at 2:43
    
@JeffMercado: Thanks for the notice, I'll try to look into it. If you have time, is there any chance you could test how the memory usage behaves with GM on but SOUP disabled? – Ilmari Karonen Apr 5 at 8:44
    
GM is on. I'll let you know in a day or two how much of a change there is. – Jeff Mercado Apr 5 at 16:05
    
Back in v1.16 you patched mse229797. The issue was brought back up recently and fixed by SE. However, SE also changed the height of the hover background effect, which is different to the smaller height of active background enforced by SOUP. So if you remove the code from SOUP for that fix, everything will work properly. – angussidney Apr 9 at 4:11
    
Comparison: No SOUP (default), vs with SOUP (broken). – angussidney Apr 9 at 4:17
    
@angussidney: It's already removed from the devel branch. If I don't have time to make a whole new stable release this weekend, I'll backport the removal to the stable branch. – Ilmari Karonen Apr 9 at 11:17
    
So after having GM on for 2 days, memory usage is still low. I'm going to restart FF with the script enabled. – Jeff Mercado Apr 9 at 11:21
    
@JeffMercado: Thanks! I'll try to run some tests myself, although I probably won't have time to do it for a few days at least. – Ilmari Karonen Apr 9 at 11:47
    
I can't say this conclusively yet since I've had to restart a couple of times and couldn't have FF running as long, but I did notice just before resetting this morning (after about 1.5 days), memory usage was a little high. (~1GB instead of ~700MB) I'll have to retry the test again. – Jeff Mercado Apr 14 at 14:29
    
@JeffMercado: I tried to reproduce this issue, but after leaving half a dozen SE tabs pinned overnight and using about:memory to compare things before and after, I'm not seeing any obvious leakage. (In fact, the memory usage dropped by 60 MB or so overnight, presumably because Firefox ran a GC pass at some point.) Looking at your original report above, could you tell me what kind of pages you have pinned (front page / question page / chat? or just give URLs)? Also, you say you have them "refreshing every 15 minutes (5 for SO)"; how are you doing that? With an extension? – Ilmari Karonen Apr 15 at 9:15
    
I have 3 tabs pinned, no others, maximized and the browser left on all day. Things tend to start to deteriorate after day 2. (1) Google Inbox (no reload), (2) gaming.SE Home (15min reload), (3) SO Home (5min reload). Tab reloading is done via Tab Mix Plus. I'm not watching about:memory, but memory usage in task manager. Memory without it sits at 700MB. With, it rises to about 1GB after a day, 1.5GB after about two, then things start to fail at around 2.5GB usage. – Jeff Mercado Apr 16 at 1:58
    
HTML comments trigger the "Bad HTML that will be silently removed" warning, which is dumb, since they're supposed to be removed. The parser doesn't actually support them directly, so this is understandable, but an irritating glitch all the same. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 29 at 23:13
    
@NathanTuggy: That's not supposed to happen, as long as the comments are correctly formatted (i.e. <!-- some text here -->). Can you show me a test case where that fails (like a post that gives the warning when edited, or some Markdown I can paste into the editor to trigger it)? – Ilmari Karonen Apr 30 at 9:28
    
@IlmariKaronen: i.stack.imgur.com/6rlle.png for example, or I just footled around taking out one or two of the opening characters of a comment, putting them back in, and waiting until the warning showed up. – Nathan Tuggy Apr 30 at 9:48
1  
@IlmariKaronen: I have a lot, but after a bit of tedious binary searching I narrowed to down to balpha's stackapps.com/questions/3894/dude-wheres-my-cursor (although I still don't know exactly how that interferes — there are no error messages). Sorry to bother you with a report that turned out bogus. – Nathan Tuggy May 3 at 6:21

Change log

The SOUP change log has grown too long for a StackApps post. You may view it on GitHub instead.

share|improve this answer

Feature requests

Know a fix that should be included in SOUP (or an issue that could be fixed)? List it here.

Future plans

Plans for the long-term future of SOUP 2.0:

  • Break up the monolithic SOUP.user.js file into multiple files, separating the actual fixes from the framework and metadata. Use a (Perl?) build script to assemble the pieces into the actual (minified?) user script file.

  • Build native browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox (and other browsers?) and distribute these through th appropriate official channels.

  • Create a UI to allow individual fixes to be toggled on and off at will (and maybe allow user-tweakable parameters for fixes)?

Possible additions

These issues might be fixed in a future SOUP 1.x release, but need some work first:

Declined:

These issues are out of scope for SOUP, or cannot be easily fixed:

Proposed:

Feel free to add new proposals here.

share|improve this answer
    
@DavideCervone: Thanks! Has the "disable noerrors extension while editing" thing even been feature-requested on meta? And if not, would you mind doing that so I'll have a request to link to? – Ilmari Karonen Jan 19 '14 at 20:06
    
@IlmariKaronen, OK, I've posted this question concerning the noErrors extension. – Davide Cervone Jan 19 '14 at 21:58
    
@IlmariKaronen, you may also want to call your MathJax reset function (I forget the exact name) in the Begin Process message handler, so that the definitions will be reset for each typeset pass (i.e., the definitions from the previous typeset will not be in effect for the next typeset). – Davide Cervone Jan 19 '14 at 22:06
    
@DavideCervone: I already do that. However, I just realized that my earlier code had a race condition bug: it would break if the begingroup extension didn't get loaded before the initial typeset pass began. This never seemed to happen on Chrome, but it happens very often in Firefox. I've fixed it now, though. – Ilmari Karonen Jan 20 '14 at 8:59
    
@DavideCervone: Also, I got your fixes working in the devel branch, but I have something slightly more ambitious yet in mind: making \labels in separate posts completely independent of each other. I think I know how to do this (it involves changing the formatID function), but the race condition bug mentioned above messed up my testing of it yesterday. – Ilmari Karonen Jan 20 '14 at 9:03
    
@IlmariKaronen, nice solution to the begingroup issue. I'll be interested in your solution to the label problem. – Davide Cervone Jan 20 '14 at 13:13
    
@DavideCervone: Just FYI, I've been a bit slow with getting the improved \label fix done, so decided to just release SOUP v1.4 with your original fixes. I'm planning to get the improved fix done for v1.6. – Ilmari Karonen Jan 24 '14 at 21:22
    
I had this idea for the new Android app but it applies to the browser version of SE, too. Is it possible to disable the preemptive compilation MathJax does and instead compile only when the user clicks on a piece of math? (On my Mini PC with an Atom Dxxx, long math-heady posts load a long time.) I guess that won't be exactly "consensus" for this here fix, but it may be an option for the proposed turning-off feature (with GUI?). – Raphael Jan 29 '14 at 18:55
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@Raphael: That is doable, yes. (The trick is to use @run-at document-start to inject a custom MathJax config script before MathJax loads, just like SOUP does for the \newcommand fix.) It not something I'd consider suitable for SOUP, but I'll add it to my list of possible ideas for new user scripts. Thanks! – Ilmari Karonen Jan 29 '14 at 20:47
    
I'm not sure if that's feasible, but moving discussions to chat would be great. The script would have to a) create a new chatroom, b) copy (selected) comments there and c) delete comments. – Raphael Jul 3 '14 at 11:01
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@Raphael: Unless there's some way to hook into the existing comment migration feature (and I kind of doubt it, since it seems like it'd be a security hole), step c would have to be mod-only. And I'm not a mod on any SE site, so I can't really develop and test it myself. (There was one mod-only fix in SOUP once, but it was mostly developed by Manishearth, who is a mod.) That said, if somebody does come up with a nice and working user script to do that, I'd be glad to steal it for SOUP. – Ilmari Karonen Jul 3 '14 at 11:12
    
@AstroCB: Thanks! A fix for mse266852: Bar between “add a comment” and “show more comments” is inconsistent, loosely based on your script, is now included in the just released SOUP v1.20. – Ilmari Karonen Jul 28 '14 at 14:07
    
@IlmariKaronen Great: thanks. It doesn't appear to be getting much traction over at MSO, so I don't see it happening officially anytime soon. – AstroCB Jul 28 '14 at 14:09
    
Regarding comment management: bulk operations might be doable by userscript? – Raphael Aug 14 '14 at 20:00
    
@Raphael: Probably, but you'll need to find a mod with userscript skills to code and test it. I know there are a bunch, so it's doable, and I'd probably be happy to, ahem, borrow the code for SOUP if someone does write it (and it doesn't break the existing interface or have any other obvious issues, of course). – Ilmari Karonen Aug 17 '14 at 19:30

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