Julia Evans

A bookmarklet to flee from Mailman archives

This is about going down a rabbit hole.

Yesterday I tweeted about how I read the Architecture of Open Source Applications chapter on LLVM, and how it says that the reason that LLVM is successful is that it has a well-defined IR.

People immediately replied saying “But LLVM’s IR isn’t well-defined at all!” and pointed me to this super interesting post to LLVMdev discussing that.

I read it, and then wanted to start reading some of the replies to get a better sense of the debate around this. But reading mailman archives is terrible! So I asked some people on Twitter how to fix it, and they universally said Gmane!.

So, since we’re programmers and we like going down rabbit holes, I started writing a bookmarklet to take me from an offending Mailman archive page to a much prettier Gmane page. For example, here’s the Gmane page for that LLVM discussion.

Right now it just does a Google search for site:comments.gmane.org <first 100 characters from the article>, and then you have to click on the first result. I couldn’t get I’m Feeling Lucky to work for some unknown reason.

If you’re interested in such a thing, you can drag this to your bookmarks bar:

Fix my mailman!

You can test it out on the LLVM post that started it all.

It is a grand total of 5 lines of code right now, and the source is up on GitHub. If anyone has an idea for how to make this better I’d love to hear it.

Thanks is due to Monica because I stole most the bookmarklet code from her amazing ransom note bookmarklet.

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