Tuesday, May 15, 2018

MedBetterBuy, new Chrome extension for eBay to filter listings by Seller rating and info

The new Chrome browser extension MedBetterBuy version 1.0 has been uploaded and is available for download from the Chrome Web Store.

MedBetterBuy is designed for eBay users who want greater control over their search results. The extension filters eBay searches to hide item entries from sellers who have a feedback score or rating percentage below or above values you specify, as well as the ability to filter out Top-rated sellers.

IMPORTANT: To use this script, check the Seller Information box in Show details of View Customize, which will display seller information in listings. Choose List View and not Gallery View. Otherwise, the information to filter will not be available, and MedBetterBuy will not work.

MedBetterBuy works via the context menu, generally accessed through right click or control-click of the mouse. There are five possible filters to apply to search listing from the menu: if a listing is from a top seller, a minimum and maximum rating percentage for the seller in a listing, and a minimum and maximum rating count for the seller in a listing.

The values for minimum and maximum can be set at the Configure options pages, which is the last selection on MedBetterBuy's context menu. Each filter can be checked on and off from the context menu. The current total of filtered out (not visible) listing is shown on the first line of the context menu.

Always refresh or reload the results page listing after changing a value, or checking and unchecking a filter. Although the page can dynamically change, the filter count and previously hidden entries may not properly update without a page refresh.

This extension has been tested with registered and unregistered use of USA's ebay.com. Other country sites currently use different internal website patterns. Support for more countries may be added later, based on user requests and feedback, as well as the effort to include more patterns.

For the contrary-minded, there is no prohibition or check against choosing values which will hide all unsponsored items in a listing, e.g. a Rating Score of greater than 100 will filter out all entries, as will a minimum count higher than the maximum. Zero values are ignored and treated as not active/checked.

Note that eBay can update–and have previously updated–their sites' structure in ways which cause the extension to fail, as it depends on a predictable internal pattern. Please report if MedBetterBuy fails after a site update, so it can be revised to work with eBay's modified website structure, if feasible.

 MedBetterBuy is based on the abef (A Better eBay Filter) Greasemonkey script that I developed and first released several years ago.

(because all the good names were already taken)


Monday, April 2, 2018

Abef Greasemonkey Script update

The Greasemonkey script Abef (A Better eBay Filter) has been updated with code revisions by Greasy Fork user kolalok for latest Greasemonkey compatibility and is available at the Grease Fork script repository.

Below is a write-up of the original Abef Greasemonkey script. Note that I am, preliminarily, working on a Chrome extension which provide similar features to the script, although no release date is available and it may not work out as planned.

A Better eBay Filter is a script designed for users of eBay. It filters eBay searches to hide item entries from sellers who have a feedback score or positive percentage below values you specify, or above for feedback score, or filter out Top-rated sellers. The input values can be dynamically changed to filter items into or out of view. Last values are saved between browsing sessions. Use A Better eBay Filter to winnow the display of auctions to sellers that match your preferences. The script has been tested on USA's ebay.com, Canada's ebay.ca, and UK's ebay.co.uk sites. It may work with other country sites, depending on whether they match the internals of the tested eBay sites.

NOTE: For this script to work properly, choose List View (not Gallery View), and turn on the Seller details option in Customize View, so that the seller information is displayed in the listings.

A Better eBay Filter requires seller feedback information to be displayed on each item entry so it can filter the results. After installing A Better eBay Filter, go to a listing or search screen. Click the View link at the top of the listings and choose Customize. This will navigate you to the Customize your search page. On that page, you should see a selection titled Seller Information. Check the box so that seller information is displayed in listing views. Note the exact wording may change depending on the site's native language.

After installation and setup, A Better eBay filter will display two status lines immediately below the basic Search line. The first status line shows the minimum feedback score and positive feedback percentage necessary to display an item entry. The initial values of 50 and 98.5 are forgiving, but easy to change. In addition, you may specify a maximum feedback score, or leave it blank if you do not wish a maximum: zero is not the same as blank. The default is blank (no maximum). In addition, there is a checkbox to filter out Top-rated Sellers. The second line displays an Update Filter button and the current number of items hidden from view by the filter.

You can change the score and percentage values to whatever you want. For example, if you do not want to hide new user auctions, you can change the feedback score to 1 (or 0) and see those auctions. Should you change a value, the filtered items message changes to a Values changed. message. This is an indication to press the Update Filter button to update the display with the new filter constraints. Each time you press Update Filter, the current values are stored for a future browser session or search/listing page display. You are not prohibited from choosing values which will hide all items, e.g. a Minimum positive feedback input of greater than 100 will filter out all entries, as will a minimum score higher than the maximum.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

MedBetterDNA 2.2 update

MedBetterDNA  has been updated to version 2.2.

Version 2.2 is a fairly minor revision. It allows using filters on Shared Matches pages for a specific member with matching DNA.

This was accomplished by making the pattern for several address links less restrictive. Fortunately, the extension continues to work on the new pages, though it was not originally designed for them.

Leave a note if you have any questions or feedback. Thank you.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

MedBetterDNA bugfix and minor enhancement update

The MedBetterDNA Chrome extension for use with the AncestryDNA site has been updated to version 2.1 from the Chrome Web Store.

Version 2.1 has two bug-fixes for uppercase tags and remove-all entries without notes, and increases by one the show-only and remove-all hashtag filtering matches.

Specifically, in the previous version, uppercase hashtag filters did not match any notes, although notes tags were properly considered case-insensitive for matches. Also, if a Remove-all hashtag filter was active, previously any entries without notes were also filtered from view. Both issues have been corrected.

In addition, support for a fourth hashtag filter was added to both Show-only and Remove-all options. There will be a definite upper limit on the count for performance and display reasons, but judging by recent user feedback, we haven't hit the sweet spot yet.

Note: Chrome can get its context menu checkmarks for hashtag filters out of sync when set from the configuration menu page even after refresh. This appears to be a bug in Chrome. i.e. the context menu checkmark is explicitly set to off (false), verified as off in the program, and acts as if it is off, but still shows up. Clicking it on the context menu will get it back in sync. Yes, it is annoying.

As far as a requested clear all filters feature, I tried implementing it, but due to the above problem leaving not-active checkmarks littering the context menu, I left it out to avoid confused people sending many technical support requests. Besides the configure menu, a quick way to turn off or update multiple filters without getting refreshes on each one is to temporarily turn off the notes display, thereby inhibiting any filtering action, while you click on or off the desired filters, before reactivating the notes display.

And finally, a couple of general expository remarks that you can skip and done if you're not interested.

First, MedBetterDNA enhancements are driven by user feedback. It already does what I want it to do. If you want something new or better, please ask for it. And please understand that it may happen soon, not for a while, or never, for any of a variety of reasons.

Second, if you like the program and are feeling benevolent, please consider rating it 4 or 5 stars. A single one-star drive-by screw-you rating can pull anything less than three other 5-star ratings down below a 4-star average. I don't have any vanity about the extension's rating, and it certainly doesn't affect income at effectively zero dollars received, but many newcomers are leery of trying out lower-rated extensions.

So why might you care about an overall rating if it works for you? Because the more users who are giving active feedback, the more likely I will invest my limited free time in enhancing or fixing the code, or figuring out how to implement any cool ideas that users come up with. Given that I have put in excess of 100 hours of work to the extension already, a bombed-out rating is not a strong motivator for further effort. But if you don't feel like giving a rating, or feel a 1-3 star rating is warranted, that's fine too.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

MedBetterDNA custom note filters, version 2.0 update

MedBetterDNA has been updated to version 2.0 and should be soon available from the Chrome Web Store. It can take a couple of hours for the store to fully publish the update for download.

By user request, the MedBetterDNA version 2.0 update adds support for advanced filtering based on notes hashtags. These are the new show only Notes with hashtag and remove all Notes with hashtag selections.  The Always show Notes option must be checked for the advanced filtering to work (i.e. Notes must be showing on the results page). Up to three hashtags can be specified to show only notes containing one or more those hashtags, and up to three hashtags can be specified to remove any records with notes which contain one or more of the hashtags.

Hashtags are not case sensitive and can be part of a larger text string, with leading or trailing characters not in the hashtag, as long as they are preceded with a '#' character. Hashtags must be set or changed at the main Configure page, but afterward can be enabled and disabled through the context menu checkmarks. Always refresh the results page after changing a hashtag, otherwise the page will not display the revised filters and context menu.

As with the other settings, you can set things such that no display of any records is possible. Putting the same active hashtag in both show only Notes with hashtag and remove all Notes with hashtag selections will achieve this result.

Customize hashtag Notes filters on the context menu opens the same page as the Configure Options selection. It is included as a courtesy link to more easily remember how to customize hashtag filtering, as that does require using the Configure page.

The options page has been revised to show the new filter features:

To help explain use of the filters, here is an example of each type.

For this entry of the mysterious Z, the note shows as #hashtag99 123#yabbadabba. In the context menu for show only Notes with hashtag, if either hashtag #hashtag99 or hashtag #yabba or both were checked, only this record (and any other record with a matching hashtag) would be displayed.

In a similar fashion, if remove all Notes with hashtag was set to #hashtag99 or #yabba, then Z would be removed from the list of displayed records.

Given the significant changes made to the extension with version 2.0, there may be one or two operational errors. Drop a note if you find a clear error in behavior. 

As always, new or custom features may be made available upon request or negotiation.