Monday, February 11, 2019

MedBetterWTHAY updated, new popup information window in family tree

MedBetterWTHAY, a Chrome extension for use with the Ancestry site to display extra family information in a popup window, has been updated with a new feature. It now shows a popup window of a person's relationship to you when the cursor is placed, or hovered, over that person's information box on the family tree page.

This option is only available for the top-down or vertical family tree display, and not the sideways or horizontal family tree display. It will activate after one second of hovering the mouse over any family tree entry.

A red line at the top of the box will show when the feature is activated by the mouse hover, and then there is a delay of varying time (less than one to several seconds) while the extension requests and loads the relationship information from the Ancestry site.

The original popup window showing Relationship and LifeStory for Find Person listings continues to operate as before.

I personally use this feature of the MedBetterWTHAY extension when I'm deep in the family tree and start to lose track of exactly who the heck I'm looking at.

Please note, the new family tree relationship is internally a lot more fiddly and fragile than other parts of the extension, or other Ancestry-related extensions. If the Ancestry site changes even a little bit, I would be wholly unsurprised if the change caused this feature to stop working properly. Just let me know and I'll see if I can make it all work again.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

New MedBetterWTHAY Chrome browser extension released

MedBetterWTHAY is a Chrome browser extension for use with the Ancestry website to enhance the Search All People feature available from the Chrome Web Store. It displays a popup window that shows the Relationship (to you) and LifeStory of a person when the cursor is placed, or hovered, over that person's Search entry. This can be useful, for example, to more easily determine people who have a family tree entry, but are not attached to your main family tree, also known as orphans or islands.

Install the extension and navigate to your family tree page, select Find Person and List of All People from the right dropdown menu. From this page, or a specific search on this page, hover the cursor over any person's name whom you are interested in seeing further information. After two seconds, you will see a red line appear under their name. This indicates the extension is loading information from the Ancestry website. When the information is retrieved, a popup window containing the Relationship and Lifestory is displayed.

Some entries may have a blank LifeStory if there is no information on record, but all entries should have a Relationship if they are connected to the main family tree. If you see a blank Relationship, this is a strong indication that the entry is an unattached "island" and can either be removed, or possibly reconnected, to the main tree.

Verify that the entry is truly unattached by clicking the person's listing link to see the their information before deleting them. An entry with no relationship to you listed below their name means that they have no or an unknown connection to your family tree.

I have personally used MedBetterWTHAY to detect and remove over 200 people, as well as over two dozen multi-person subtrees not attached to the main tree. Prior to the extension popup, I needed to click each person's entry and view their information page to check their relationship to my family tree.
Of course, this is not the only purpose for the extension. You may also use it to quickly view more information about a person in the Search listing that you are interested in or curious about.

Please note that while the two second delay before the red line is always present (to avoid constantly loading pages as you move the cursor about the page), the time after that is purely dependent on the time spent loading the information from the site. If you have a slow connection, or the Ancestry server is bogged down or otherwise acting like a slug, it may take a while to view the information. At worst case here (so far), I have seen delays of around five seconds to retrieve information when the Ancestry server is engaged in other tasks of vital importance.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

MedBetterBUY Chrome extension has new filter features

The Chrome browser extension MedBetterBUY for USA eBay users has been updated and is available in the Chrome web store.

Version 3.0 of MedBetterBUY adds support for filtering (hiding) search listings with zero bids or one or more bids, by user request. Remember that Seller information must be checked in Customize your search, so that bid information shows up in the search listings. (Yes, it is possible to check both and have no listings shown, unless you also include Buy It Now and other non-Auction listings in the Buying Format.)

On the administrative side of things, I noticed that my support email for the blog has not always received a notice of comments pending moderation, leading to a few comments being held in limbo for several months. After clearing out the old comments, I added a second notification email to hopefully reduce the possibility of this issue recurring.

Monday, December 10, 2018

MedBetterDNA updated, including filter on Profile Photos

MedBetterDNA version 4.0 has been released for the Chrome browser and adds the filter option: "show No Profile Photo". The option is on by default to show AncestryDNA Results listings regardless of whether they have a profile photo (i.e. the standard behavior without MedBetterDNA active). If the option is unchecked, only listings with a profile photo are shown, and the rest are filtered from view.

I added the picture filter option to easily look at photos of people for a pattern of family resemblance (typically not so much). Plus the dog and cat pictures can be cute. Note that a few photos will remain generic genderless profile images, as those are internally processed as a photo by the site. Also, a photo may pop into view after a brief delay, as Ancestry loads photos separately.

The No Tree and Locked Tree filter options were removed. Hopefully, this is a temporary change. The AncestryDNA site recently changed how the tree information is displayed on the listings. For my results, the change has been unstable, Usually I see a loading/wait icon on the results page without ever showing the Tree-based information. Occasionally the information does display, but not reliably enough to make and test an update to the extension to support filtering on it. I anticipate that eventually this situation will resolve itself and Tree-based filtering will return after a new update.

Miscellaneous and minor behind-the-scenes program changes were made to maintain full compatibility with the most recent versions of the Chrome browser with tighter security restrictions.

Another option was introduced that might be of interest to a few people: "Donate to development". A user asked me about donating to reward or encourage further development of the extension. I created and added a link to a Ko-fi account for those who might be interested.

Useful feedback and requests continue to be encouraged.