Monocle: A Guide for Users and Abusers

by | Feb 27, 2017 | Admin | 98 comments

The Young Swell, tobacco label, 1869.jpg

His orphans tell him he’s a good boy


I’ve been asked to write a post to be used as an information hub for Monocle. I’ll give a quick explanation of what features Monocle has, some wishlist feature that Monocle should have sometime in the future, and how to install Monocle.

Basically, Monocle is a rough equivalent to Reasonable/fascr/greasonable on TSTSNBN. I wrote the initial code for myself as a learning experience, and greasonable hacked it up to get rid of all of my noob crap code and replaced it with quality, efficient code, some of which comes from his eponymous script. greasonable is pretty much the best, and he deserves many accolades for the work he has done so far.

Currently, the source code for Monocle is stored on, so anybody who wishes to help out can reach out to us and we’ll get you plugged in. Development of the code is on more of a “do what you want when you want” cycle, so we’ll never make any promises for a release date unless the feature’s availability is imminent.

Mobile Update! 2018/01/03 I have crafted a somewhat mobile friendly version of Monocle called Eyepiece. The only way I know to use it is to add tamper monkey to mobile Firefox and install Eyepiece by clicking the link.

How do I install Monocle?

Monocle only works on non-mobile versions of Firefox and Chrome; and now on mobile Firefox. Yes, it sucks that mobile is not supported. No, mobile support isn’t the highest priority right now. See update above! (SP edit)

Firefox install

  1. Install Greasemonkey for Firefox
  2. Click this link to install Monocle
  3. Click “Install” on the popup

Chrome install

  1. Install Tampermonkey for Chrome
  2. Click this link to install Monocle
  3. Click “Install” on the page that is loaded

Update to latest

  1. Click this link
  2. Click “Install” or “Reinstall” in the appropriate place

What Features are Currently Included?

Full width article/comments – if the author of a piece forgets to turn off the sidebar, Monocle removes that part of the webpage and expands the article and comments to full width of the screen.

Local timestamp – the timestamps for the comments are in Central Time on the server. Monocle adjusts them to your local time zone.

Condensed comments – The default view for comments has a large amount of space between consecutive comments. Monocle condenses them closer together.

Next unread comment – The Monocle toolbar shows a count of the unread comments on the page. Clicking that button cycles through the unread comments.

Show/Hide old threads – The Monocle toolbar includes a toggle for hiding all the comment threads that haven’t been commented on since your last refresh

HTML tag buttons – There are buttons above the comment box that allow you to insert HTML tags for formatting your comment. If you highlight any text on the screen and then click a tag button, the text will be placed within the tag inside the comment.

Current Known Bugs

-The comments at the furthest right (without a reply button) are too close to one another

-Hide old threads hides siblings of new threads

-If you click a formatting button without previously typing something in the thread, the word COMMENT stays in the comment box

As of version 1.15, there are no known bugs


-WYSIWYG commenting (you get to see, in real time, what your comment will look like as you type it)


-User Mute/Block

-Theme/Word/Topic Mute/Block

-Dynamic loading of new comments (so you don’t have to refresh the page to see new comments)

-Alternate comment views (newest first, most popular first, etc.)

-Options toolbar for toggling all of Monocle’s options

-Automatic split of multiple links in order to avoid having to go through moderation (this feature will be subject to admin’s approval)

-Allow images and Youtube vids to be displayed on the page (either automatically, or subject to clicking a “show” button)

-“Replies to you” information/button to allow you to see the new comments that are in reply to yours

-Mobile support

How do I get help with my specific Monocle questions?

Post a comment in this article. It’ll bug me and I’ll come check it out.

How do I suggest a new feature, report a bug, or otherwise make general comments/questions about Monocle?

Post a comment in this article. I’ll read it and reply to you.

How do I know whether a feature would be good for Monocle or for as a whole?

If it’s something you’d prefer, but you think that other people might prefer it a different way, that’s the perfect feature for Monocle.  If it’s something that involves changing data on the server (like an edit button, two links in one comment, etc.), Monocle can’t do it. Generally, I’m not going to do anything that requires leaving “artifacts” in comments that Monocle then interprets and renders something different. That’s just mean to people who don’t use Monocle and can’t tell why the hell there’s some comment with computer code in it.

How do I lodge a complaint about Monocle?

Send all complaints to

About The Author



I stink, therefore I am.


  1. Tundra

    You are awesome, if stinky.

    Thank you.

  2. Mad Scientist

    I have just installed it on Chrome, used it a bit, and I now formally declare it to be good. I volunteer to transport anyone who complains directly to Warty’s basement.

  3. Zero Sum Game

    Patiently awaiting the “beat hungry orphan slaves” option. The “oppress minorities with capitalism” option can be back-burnered until I get the former.

  4. R C Dean

    Great stuff. Installed it and like what I see.

    Hammer time!

    • R C Dean

      Just to be clear, I was testing the html linking button, not making any editorial comments on anyone.

  5. Lord Humungus

    I was hoping this was an article about scrunching up one side of your face to keep the monocle in place.

    • R C Dean

      Meh. A properly sized monocle has “galleries” that fit into the browridge and cheekbone. If you are scrunching, yer doin’ it wrong.

      • Lord Humungus

        Look at Mr. Monocle wearing smarty-pants here!

      • Trigger Hippie

        That’s MegaloMonocle to you, pal.

        Hello, gents. Just dropped by to see your new digs.

      • Swiss Servator

        Stick around, T H. It would be good to have you here.

      • Hyperion

        How do we know it’s the real TH? *looks around for catass pics*

      • Trigger Hippie

        *left hooks Hype*

        Believe me now? 😉

        I’m sure my unique brand of dumbfuckery and inability to structure a proper sentence is proof enough.

      • Trigger Hippie

        Hi, Swissy. How’s the kidney doing?

      • Swiss Servator

        It is working overtime, between the weightlifting and beer drinking.

      • DOOMco

        Good name there, if anyone wants to handle hop.

    • F. Stupidity Jr.

      I was hoping this was an article about scrunching up one side of your face to keep the monocle in place.

      Once I have my inevitable stroke due to extreme fatness and inactivity, that monocle ain’t goin’ nowhar.

  6. Lord Humungus

    Just installed – looking good!

  7. Drake


    Seems to work

  8. CZmacure

    Users are losers, and losers are users… so don’t use drugs.. don’t use drugs.

    Now all I need is “Preview” … 😀

    • Jarflax

      Don’t lose your drugs?

  9. Gilmore

    how do i post dick pics

    • F. Stupidity Jr.
    • Gilmore
    • Aerozppln

      Send them to my phone

  10. DOOMco

    love ya buddy.

    • DOOMco

      Oh heck ya, I can reply now!
      Couldn’t over the weekend. I was about to take a look at the code to see if I could do much.

  11. DOOMco

    Hows that picture for a logo?

  12. Gilmore


    1 – re: the “a” (‘posting html links’) feature;

    it spits out an html code which includes boxes for “display text” and “hover text”

    would it be possible to just strip that down to nothing except URL?

    basically, it generates a messy sting that is harder to proof just by quickly looking at it, and (at least in my case) results in posting broken links more often than not.

    at the moment, even with the feature, i end up deleting the string down to [a href=”link”]text[/a] just for the sake of simplicity

    2 – the “Cite” feature

    DOES IT DO ANYTHING? i keep trying it and it aint do nuthin i can see.

    3 – Blockquote

    Can we “un-bold” it?

    that is all.

    • trshmnstr

      1) We’re hoping that this will not be the final form of the comment box. Greasonable and I have been experimenting with something that will hopefully render this point moot.
      2) IDK, I’ve actually never played with it. That was something greasonable implemented. (Let’s see if something happens when I use it)
      3) Sure! I’ll add it to the list. Shouldn’t be too hard to implement.

      • trshmnstr

        Cite doesn’t do anything… I’ll remove it tonight.

      • trshmnstr


  13. SugarFree

    trshmnstr good. love trshmnstr.

    • Tundra

      Goddammit. Don’t scare him away.

      • Swiss Servator

        We can just have Warty or STEVE SMITH chase him down and drag him back.

  14. DOOMco

    So code academy has my brain hurting, got me to youtube.

    What’re your guilty pleasures on there? I always like the thug life videos, but skateboarding falls happen often.

    • Gilmore

      What’re your guilty pleasures on there?

      The Smoking Tire (aka “Matt Farah drives other people’s cars”)
      The guys who made Cyanide + Happiness (ExplosmEntertainment)
      Tested / Adam Savage Makes Stuff
      Rhythm Roulette (DJ’s are blindfolded, take any 3 records at random, and make a beat out of it)

      • Gilmore

        Technically, none of those things are ‘guilty’

        “guilty” would have to be compilations of Thuglife Vines, or the gazillions of “Anti-SJW”-mockery videos which Derp links to

      • DOOMco

        Rythem Roulette is a lot of fun. I was in a hole of samples used to make Since I Left You by the Avalanches.
        Smoking tire is also I lot of fun.
        I’ll have to check out ExplosmEntertainment, I really like Cyanide and Happiness.

      • Gilmore

        Oh, this is definitely guilty

        i don’t actually watch her videos. But i subbed. Because “teen girl gets high. a lot.” is a genre that could really go places… eventually.

    • Tundra


      Cool cars on the Nürburgring. Like this one.

      • DOOMco

        lots of acceleration.

      • Tundra

        I’m starting to love that car.

      • blackjack

        I’ve been driving my new-to-me Trailblazer ss with a 500 horsepower 402 stroker motor. It’s fun, as long as nothing breaks, then it’s a money pit.

  15. Swiss Servator

    Should “Yes, it sucks that mobile is supported.” be NOT supported?

    I can edit if you would like.


    *adopts pugnacious stance*

    P.S. That is FANTASTIC caption-text.

    • DOOMco

      I don’t even mind the non editing. I don’t judge people for stupid errors. We are all typing, trying to godwin before someone else does. makes it sloppy.

      Top Man editing to make links work would make sense.

      I am a poopyhead and my mommy doesn’t love me.

      • Swiss Servator

        I need an edit button – I average 2 errors per comment exceeding one sentence.

    • trshmnstr

      Yes please! I noticed that earlier, but it was already published.

  16. bacon-magic

    Monocle is great. Lately the prompt and text do not show since the 2/24 update. Has it been updated?

    • DOOMco

      Mine did that, and now is 100%

    • trshmnstr

      It should be working as of the current incarnation. I made the mistake of committing some code without running it through its paces, and it screwed a few things up for people who downloaded on the 24th.

      • bacon-magic

        Ah, so. Thank you…I’m on my phone now so will check it out later. I wish monocle worked for android.

      • bacon-magic

        Works great now. Thanks!

  17. The Hyperbole

    -“Replies to you” information/button to allow you to see the new comments that are in reply to yours

    This, so much this. I can’t express the agony of scrolling past all the mindless drivel you people post just to see if anyone liked my “you know who else…” answer.

    • Tundra


    • Trigger Hippie


    • Swiss Servator

      The Ghost of Steve Irwin?

  18. ArchieBunker

    You’ll have to repost this if/when it works for mobile

    • SP

      I’m going to put this post in a permanently accessible location on the sidebar, so new users can be pointed there and Trashy can update it as needed.

      • DOOMco


  19. SP

    Thanks for the post, Trshmnstr! You rock.

  20. SP

    This post now lives on the sidebar on the front page. Thanks, again, TrshMnstr!

  21. Lafe Long

    Monocle is awesome and everyone should use it.

    I started messing with it to tweak some things – but I didn’t want to screw anything up (plus, any changes would be overwritten by Monocle updates), so I ended up creating a separate tweak script that I run with Monocle.

    1) Unbolds blockquotes (correctly displays em and strong within blockquotes)
    2) opens all external links in new tabs
    2) makes youtube links red (just until Monocle gets inline youtubes)

    If anyone is interested.

    @trshmnstr: if any of it’s useful, feel free to grab and use it.

    • trshmnstr

      I’ll get you hooked up with our gitlab repo link when I get a chance. Then you can just create a branch and merge stuff in when it works. I’m currently working on an options menu, so once done it should be fairly easy to give users the ability to turn on/off new functionality.

      • Lafe Long

        Cool. I normally use github (the app makes it much easier for me for local dev).
        I created a gitlab acct just because I saw you were using it… lol.

  22. deepspeed

    Works great! Big thanks to trshmnstr and greasonable!

  23. PapayaSF

    This is impressive and cool, but would it be improper of me to ask for some of that to be implemented directly in the site code? E.g. the vertical space between comments is (IIRC) 48px, which is indeed huge. A relatively simple CSS override would fix that for everyone. Personally, I would also reduce the space between paragraphs, the line-height by just a tad (2px?), and the height of the Reply buttons. I think all those would make the comments more compact, and easier to read because they would require less scrolling.

  24. Vida Hobo

    Installed easily enough. So far looks great. Domo Danke, trshmnstr

  25. Tonio

    Thanks Trashy and greasonable.

    I assume that this is incompatible with the No-Script plugin which was necessary to use TWTSNBN.

    • trshmnstr

      It may be compatible. Since greasemonkey/tampermonkey runs in a different sandbox than the server-provided scripts, no-script may not block Monocle.

  26. SQWRLZ

    I can lend a hand if desired.
    Do you have a target platforms list or minimum supported JS version you’re looking for? Widest possible range for a wish list of course, I’m just looking for current expectations.

    Can you get more detail from Alexa or Google analytics for browser/platform distribution?

    I started reviewing the code in my usual pedantic perfectionist way, but if the app currently works as expected it doesn’t need my bug injections. I’ve been doing a lot of ES5/6 stuff lately, so that poisoned my perspective.

    I saw there are a few android-forked versions of tampermonkey, but haven’t tried them.

    • trshmnstr

      We welcome any help! Just get set up on gitlab, and I’ll get you into the project.

      The biggest thing that is going to suck on mobile is fixing all the hardcoded geometry. I’d rather spend effort making Monocle feature-rich before diving into that morass.

      • SQWRLZ

        I’m on GitLab, what’cha need?

  27. Francisco d'Anconia

    Any chance of a dropdown menu listing the names of the most recent commenters (like greasonable for H&R)?

  28. straffinrun

    Test. Seems like I did it right. Oh, yeah.

  29. trshmnstr

    Monocle Update – v. 1.18

    Warning: This one has a few known bugs. Most of them are just because I’ve only partially implemented the floating comment box feature.

    Watch out for these bugs:
    – The floating comment box does not give you an indication as to which comment you’re replying to
    -The floating comment box does not give you the ability to cancel a reply and just submit the comment to the bottom of the thread
    – In reply by clicking the comment mode, you can’t select comment text

    If these things are dealbreakers to you, the floating comment and reply by clicking comment features can be turned off in the options bar.

    New features:
    -Dynamic loading of new comments (every 45 seconds)
    -floating comment box
    -mark comments as read button
    -top of comments button
    -click comment to reply

    • Mike Schmidt

      I just now realized that I now have a Preview button. Woo-hoo! Thanks for all the work you are doing with Monocle trash. It is great!

      • Mike Schmidt

        Oh wait…is that due to Lafe’s TopHat?

      • Lafe Long

        Yeah… I added the comment preview to TopHat a yesterday. You can turn it off if it causes any trouble – I know trsh is working on comment stuff in Monocle.

        Looks like SP unbolded the blockquotes in the site’s css (thanx SP!), so that’s obsolete in my script (I’ll take it out at some point).

      • Mike Schmidt

        -You can turn it off if it causes any trouble

        So far so good. Thanks for adding it!

      • trshmnstr

        If you want, you should plug your features into monocle.

  30. trshmnstr

    Monocle Beta Testing
    If you’re interested in playing with the less-than-stable features of Monocle versions yet to be, you can update from this link.
    Getting back to a stable version is as easy as following the instructions for updating contained in the article above.

  31. Mike Schmidt

    Did we have a roll-back of some features? I lost my Top of Comments button as well at the Options button.

    • Mike Schmidt

      Disregard. Not sure what happened, but I re-installed Monocle and everything is back to normal.

      One feature request: A button to go to the bottom of the page, or to the last comment.

  32. kbolino

    The time correction in Monocle breaks during DST. There’s no ideal way to fix it, since you either have to hardcode the DST transition dates for Central Time or else depend upon the user having the same DST transition dates. I made a version using the latter technique on my fork. I can’t create a pull/merge request so if you want to use it, you’ll have to pull, merge/rebase, and push manually.

    • kbolino

      Clarification: if the developers of Monocle want to use my changes, then they need to do all that. If you just want to use my changes so the times are correct again, you can load them into Greasemonkey the same way with this link.

      • trshmnstr

        I merged your changes in. I also added you to the developers list for the monocle project so that you can work directly on the project. Thanks for the DST code! It has been on my radar since I wrote the initial stuff, and I never got back around to it.

      • kbolino

        Cool, thanks!

  33. Rhywun

    Feature request:

    Can you strip out links from blockquotes? I keep getting burned by the Moderation Gods when I blockquote something with a link in it and add my own link.


  34. trshmnstr

    Here is a link to v. 1.19, which is stable.

    The link in the article goes to 2.00, which has some known bugs:
    – If you click a formatting button without anything in the reply box, sometimes it causes an error
    – The page location in the window sometimes moves around unexpectedly, especially for dynamic comment updates

  35. tarran

    Can we get the option to force url’s to open in a new tab?

    • UnCivilServant

      Right click -> Open in New Tab.

      • UnCivilServant

        Wait, sorry, thought this was the morning links.

        Should have watched the comment pane closer.

  36. trshmnstr

    Hopefully those of you who try to install monocle or eyepiece on mobile come down to the bottom of the comments to see one way to do it.

    If you don’t have a mobile browser that supports userscripts (basically, any browser except Firefox), there is a workaround to give you eyepiece functionality (you could do monocle functionality, but it’s not optimized for mobile like eyepiece is). It’s kludgy, but it gets you eyepiece on your non-Firefox mobile browser. Here’s how:

    1) Create a bookmark. Name it “Eyepiece” or “Monocle” or something.
    2) In the URL of the bookmark, paste this:


    3) Whenever you navigate to a glibs article, click the bookmark

  37. Mojeaux

    Okay, I love this. Thank you!!!

  38. Don Escaped Texas

    never had trouble before

    new laptop
    installed firefox
    installed greasemonkey
    clicked install for Monocle (not sure anything happened)
    clicked install for Monocle 2.01 update (not sure anything happened)
    restarted computed
    Glib left inset command icons did not populate, only original up/down and left/right carat show