Wednesday, July 10, 2019

MedBetterDNA version 5.0 supports AncestryDNA new site with over 200 filters

MedBetterDNA has been updated to work with the July 1st, 2019 major site revision on the AncestryDNA site and is available at the Chrome Web Store. This is an almost complete rewrite from earlier versions of the extension.

The biggest change is that MedBetterDNA now supports 100 filters each to only show or hide AncestryDNA DNA Matches page entries based on the notes in an entry. If you place a hashtag (a word prefaced by a '#') in the notes, MedBetterDNA will detect and can filter out those entries with those notes from view, or only show those entries with the notes containing that hashtag or others. Filters can be up to 100 characters long.

Note that MedBetterDNA will match any hashtag that contains the word it's looking for, even if there are extra letters or symbols at the end of the match, e.g. the filter "cow" matches #cow, #cows, and #cowabunga. Spaces are not allowed in filters and will be removed if added.

You can turn off and on filters through the context menu settings "show only with Notes hashtags" and "hide all with Notes hashtags" and clicking on the desired filter. To input the hashtags themselves, navigate to the Configure MedBetterDNA page via the context menu "Configure options" or the Browser toolbar MedBetterDNA icon dropdown menu or the main browser Extensions page settings.

Keeping one filter from the previous versions, MedBetterDNA allows users to filter out any entries on the DNA matches page of AncestryDNA without a profile picture by unchecking show No Profile Photo Entries in the context menu entry for MedBetterDNA.

A few quick questions:
  • Can I really put in 100 filters each? Yes, but for performance and memory reasons, you may not want to go full ham on them. I only tested operations with a handful, but each filter will incrementally add to runtime performance overhead. 100 may not be reasonably achievable. I was too lazy to put in 100 unique filters and test them all myself to see how bad things got.
  • Are there any known bugs? Nope, but given the complexity of the extension and the first release of an effectively ground-up rewrite, there are probably a couple lurking. Let me know if you see one and I'll try to fix it.
  • I briefly see some entries before they are filtered out. You will see this at times, it's a race between the browser pulling more entries and displaying them, and the extension catching the entries and filtering them out.  Sometimes the browser wins by a fraction of a second.
  • If I filter out most entries, I can't scroll. Actually you can keep scrolling on a blank page and you should see an entry with the note or notes which the filters allow, assuming there are any. Because entries are dynamically loaded by the AncestryDNA website, you may have to keep scrolling for a while, even if you don't see anything (that is, all the entries are still there, but simply hidden from view.)
  • I had to refresh the DNA matches page after I Saved settings on the configuration page for the extension to come back. Yup. That's how it works. Chrome has a bad habit of retaining older context menu settings on anything less than a full reload, so the configuration page Save button will reload the entire extension to flush them out.
  • Can I set the filters so that no entries will ever be displayed, e.g. simultaneously have a Show only and a Hide All filter active? Absolutely, there's no AI at work. The extension will filter what you tell it, even if it seems a completely useless task.

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