Never get lost in Hacker News threaded comments again

Did you ever get lost in HN threaded comments, unable to understand which parent a comment was answering to? This happens a lot to me, especially when threads become long… and most interesting.

Being appreciative of threaded comment systems in general, many times I wondered if there was a simple solution to that problem. Comments folding is useful, but it answers a different problem. But what if you could just visualize the parent a given comment was answering to, without having to scroll up and down all the time?

Having some time on my hands, I created a Chrome extension to do just that. Install it and, when a comment is answering to a parent that isn’t right above, a “show parent” menu item will appear. Hover your mouse pointer over it and the parent comment will be shown right above the child.

This is a feature I would have liked to see in threaded comment systems for a long time, but never saw it before (maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention). Hope I’m not the only one to find it useful!

PS: You might also be interested in my other little HN Chrome extension, Hacker News: Mark All Read.

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  • George

    Could you make this chrome extension show lines going down instead. The difficulty I have isn’t tracking the parent comment, its knowing who’s responding to who when the threaded comments gets long

    • danmaz74

      You mean, like showing the lines for code folding in a code editor?

      • George

        Yeah, exactly. Like the way it is now, I have to hover over each one, the lines makes it much easier visually

        • danmaz74

          Given how pages are made in HN, this could be difficult to achieve. I’ll think about it though, I agree that it could be cool :)

          • George

            Thanks man, appreciate it!

      • George

        I should clarify, this is still very useful. Adding lines just makes it better (i.e. don’t get rid of this)

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