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.


  1. Thank you so much for this. I've left you 5 stars, as I know this extension is going to save so much time and trouble.

    My only complaint/request... When I view a match, then click on "shared matches" tab, I cannot see the notes there... Is there a way to make them show up?

    1. Looks like that's located on a page address/link that isn't matched for the extension to activate. It may simply work if the address match is made less restrictive, or the new address pattern is added to the list, but I can't say until I try it out. If that's all that's needed, should have an update by next weekend, otherwise hard to say when/if.

    2. Should be working in the new 2.2 update. Thanks.

  2. Hi Michael and thank you for this. Can you answer this for me: why does it need to view my browser history? That's what it says upon install. That gave me pause. Can I disable that?

    1. It's a way to catch the back button so that everything doesn't get out of sync on the filters if a user goes back a page. I'm not sure if it's still used in the latest verion, but that's what it was originally for. It's not actually interested in your history. Even if were, since the extension is basically self-contained, and doesn't report back home or anywhere else, at least in the extension's itself (I can't speak for Google, it seems to know everything about everyone), there's nothing nefarious the extension could do with the history if it did peek at it.


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