Friday, 6 March 2009

No more stupid YouTube comments

Prompted by Mark Damon Hughes' Stupid Comments Be Gone I wrote a small script that took YouTube HTML in on stdin, stripped out the comments, and spat the remainder out on stdout (Mark's trick uses CSS to hide them).

Now I can do this:

$ proxy | connect | kill_youtube_comments | respond
[...]

And lo! Works in all browsers. :-)

Breaking it down:
  1. The proxy command listens on port 8080 (I configure my browser to proxy to localhost:8080). It spits all requests it sees to stdout.
  2. The connect command reads a HTTP request on stdin, connects to the remote server, fetches the content, and spits a HTTP request on stdout.
  3. The kill_youtube_comments command reads in HTML and strips out the div that contains YouTube comments.
  4. The respond command reads a HTTP response and sends that (via named pipe) back to the proxy command so that it can return it to the browser.

I sometimes wonder if anyone else in the world would find a personal, hackable proxy useful.

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