Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at NCDevCon 2011 (Raleigh, NC) with: Joe Casper

GreaseMonkey: Helping To Make ColdFusion Developer's Journal NOT Suck

By Ben Nadel on

I have to say that the ColdFusion Developer's Journal is one of those resources that I never use for the simple fact that interfacing with it is a horrible, horrible, horrible experience. I am on a T1 line here at work and CFDJ take about 14 seconds to load every page. Then, there's that Flash advert that always auto plays.

MAKES ME WANT TO KILL PEOPLE AND EAT THEIR BRAINS!

The problem is, CFDJ has great content - I just can't use it. Well, not any more! I finally sat down and wrote a GreaseMonkey script (FireFox, I love you) that rips all the annoying crap out of the page once it loads. This won't make the page load faster (as GreaseMonkey doesn't kick in until after the DOM is fully loaded), but at least it won't make me want to kill people any more (you are all finally safe!).

Who knows, I might even start to read CFDJ :)

If any one is interested, here is the GreaseMonkey script (click to install):

cfdj_clean.user.js

  • // ==UserScript==
  • // @name CFDJ - Cleaner
  • // @namespace http://www.bennadel.com/
  • // @description This cleans up the CFDJ page so that it
  • // does not drive me crazy and make me want
  • // to go around killing people.
  • // @include http://coldfusion.sys-con.com/*
  • // ==/UserScript==
  •  
  •  
  • // Get page elements.
  • var objHeader = document.getElementById( "pageheader" );
  • var objPanel1 = document.getElementById( "#panel1" );
  • var objPanel6 = document.getElementById( "#panel6" );
  • var objMainPanel = document.getElementById( "#mainpanel" );
  •  
  • // Try to manipulate the DOM.
  • try {
  •  
  • // Check to see if the header was found.
  • if (objHeader){
  •  
  • // Grab the tables from the header, but then get a
  • // to the first one. This is the main navigation
  • // table. We don't want to kill it.
  • var objHeaderTable = objHeader.getElementsByTagName( "table" )[ 0 ];
  •  
  • // Get the parent to this table.
  • var objParent = objHeaderTable.parentNode;
  •  
  •  
  • // Loop over the parent children in reverse order (so we
  • // don't go out of bounds).
  • for (
  • var intChild = (objParent.childNodes.length - 1) ;
  • intChild >= 0 ;
  • intChild--
  • ){
  •  
  • // Get a pointer to the current node.
  • var objNode = objParent.childNodes[ intChild ];
  •  
  • // Check to make sure the current node is NOT our
  • // main navigational table. Remember, we don't want
  • // to kill that one.
  • if (objNode != objHeaderTable){
  •  
  • // Remove this child.
  • objParent.removeChild(
  • objNode
  • );
  •  
  • }
  • }
  •  
  • }
  •  
  •  
  • // Check for elemnts and remove them.
  • if (objPanel1){
  • objPanel1.parentNode.removeChild( objPanel1 );
  • }
  •  
  • if (objPanel6){
  • objPanel6.parentNode.removeChild( objPanel6 );
  • }
  •  
  •  
  • // Now that we have more room, let's increase the width
  • // of the main content area.
  • if (objMainPanel){
  • objMainPanel.style.width = "700px";
  • }
  •  
  •  
  • } catch (objError){
  •  
  • // Something went wrong.
  • alert( "Greasemonkey Error:\n\n" + objError );
  •  
  • }


Reader Comments

Nice script, and yes i agree, cfdj's interface really bites.

What upsets me, is that they are considering also to not print anymore, and go strictly to pdf's.

I am an old-schooler, i love having dozen's of cfdj's to peruse, look back at, in my hands.

Sometimes change is good, but sometimes it isn't.

Reply to this Comment

I agree... printing is nice. I guess, you can always print from PDF (which is cool to do at work when no one is looking ;)).... but something nice about being able to flip through a real mag on the subway or in the bathroom or something.

Reply to this Comment

Yep Ben,

Oh seems you havent heard of it.. Install it & believe me you will love it without any scripting you can control most of the unwanted stuff from a page.

I am using Adblock to even disable google ads(present in 90% of pages we visit)

Reply to this Comment

This is awesome! No more Microsoft ads of noisy newspaper factories blasting over my speakers.

Thanks!

Reply to this Comment

Then there's Aardvark -- you activate it, then you can focus on just the center box, and one key (I think it's "I") to isolate that box. Really cool stuff.

Reply to this Comment

Are you aware of this:
http://cfdj.sys-con.com/index.rss

Some sites have the whole articles this way, but CFDJ just has the headlines. You could write a CF app that reads them all (And other sites you like) and collate all the results into a collected CF Resource site.

They also have free RSS Readers that you could view this in. example: http://www.feedreader.com/screenshots.php

I think you should make a Mashup site that pulls content from lots of CF feeds and strips out the garbage.

Glen

Reply to this Comment

then there's Platypus
http://platypus.mozdev.org/
a nice little extension that along with Greasemonkey can make your life easier and everything in a couple of clicks.

It's basically a graphical way of creating GM scripts for specific websites.

I live near DC so having to read washingtonpost online was a miserable experience, ads everywhere and the content always broken in multiple sections.

After Platypus I get rid of all the fat and just concentrate in the meat of the articles.

Try it, you'll see.

Reply to this Comment

I just installed AdBlock Plus. Works awesome! Not only that, my pages are loading much faster. Thanks.

Reply to this Comment

LMFAO.. Superb article and inspiring GM script - top job.

Reading this article really does fill me with joy as I have been getting more and more angry with sys-con.com. The website is a total joke - packed full of commercial crap and adverts, adverts, adverts..
That's why it's strange how good CFDJ is.

I was getting incredibly angry with sys-con over that past month or so as we paid for a 2 year subscription, saw it was billed on the company credit card, but our account status was stuck on 'Pending Approval'! I must have submitted about 6 support mails which claims a 12 hour response but to this date have received *nothing*. Absolutely pathetic customer service.. I'm amazed they stay in business...

All said and done though, CFDJ is a superb resource and well worth paying for.. Just a shame sys-con.com isn't on the same level...

Will install the script now.. brilliant work.

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