08 May 2009

Modify URL to Read Comments From Beginning

When I read responses or comments to articles, I prefer to read them from the earliest to the latest. Some sites order comments in reverse (that is, latest to earliest). If a site's comment link can take an 'order' argument, just modify that URL to specify your preferred order and save yourself an extra click. Below is a sample GreaseMonkey script that can specify the order of comments in The Economist, which are ordered from latest to earliest, by default.

var pattern = 'mode=comment';
var sortOrder = '&sort=asc';
var links = document.getElementsByTagName('a');
for (var i = links.length - 1; i >= 0; --i) {
  var link = links[i];
  var url = link.getAttribute('href');
  if (url.search(pattern) != -1) {
    link.setAttribute('href', url.replace(pattern, pattern + sortOrder));

To use it on other sites that have similar URLs, just modify the values of pattern and sortOrder.