Meta Stack OverflowStack Overflow Notifier Chrome Extension
[+56] [14] Sam Hasler
[2010-02-06 17:21:56]
[ discussion so-addon browser-enhancement user-generated-tools ]

I finally switched 100% from Firefox to Chrome for everyday internet browsing now that Chrome will run all the GreaseMonkey scripts I need. However I was missing my Stackoverflow microsummaries [1] from Firefox. And seeing as there doesn't seem to be an equivalent [2], I decided to create a Chrome Extension for it.

Install it from here [3]

Now with Stack Exchange support!

Checks your Recent Activity pages every 15 minutes and shows badge alerts for changes in:

To Do


Version 2.4: Version 2.3: Version 2.2: Version 2.1:

Install it from here [4]

(2) Can you add a way to only show the sites I want? I'm not active on SF at all, so the rep there is of no importance to me. Great job, by the way! - alex
Tidy work, thanks. - skaffman
(1) @alex, I'll add options so you can select the sites you want to show. but it probably won't be ready till Monday evening. In the mean time, it picks up SF from the Related Accounts tab of your profile, if you were to disassociate SF it wouldn't appear. - Sam Hasler
(1) Could you perhaps use the same font for the numbers as on the trilogy sites themselves? Not trying to nitpick, it's just that I've grown accustomed to the sites' look and feel so much that even such a minor discrepancy causes almost physical discomfort. Either way, thanks a lot for the great work. \^_^/ - RegDwight
(2) @RegDwight done. - Sam Hasler
(1) Woah, that was fast. Now I wish I could upvote you twice. - RegDwight
This extension keep getting better and better, great work! Why did you replace the Refresh button with an icon, though? - alex
(1) @alex, now that it auto updates I figured it would be used less, so could be smaller. I also wanted to place it at the top for easy access and the button doesn't look as good up there. - Sam Hasler
@Sam come to think of it, that's a good idea. - alex
The icon for is broken on my computer. It might be nice to have an easy way to find out what the problem is. - Brad Gilbert
(1) @Brad Gilbert Just created an account and added it to the notifier and it picked the icon up fine so I'm not sure what went wrong. I'll add a rebuild icon cache button to the options page. - Sam Hasler
I figured that would be all it would take. - Brad Gilbert
Have you thought about making this project open source? - Rupert
@Rupert, I probably will when I get round to working on it again. I'd just have to make a decision between google code & github and pick a licence. The code isn't obfuscated (you can right click on the button and Inspect Popup) so I'm happy to accept bug fixes / code submissions. - Sam Hasler
Hey! After the extension updated, it doesn't seem to work anymore. All I get is the following display when I click - (link to image at dumpt). - Dan Atkinson
Since you're using the API you get to post this on StackApps too, if you haven't already :) - badp's sockpuppet
@radp, not using the API, I'm just screen scraping the notification page as the information there isn't in the API as it requires login. - Sam Hasler
(1) @Dan, Sorry, I left some debug code in in version 2.4.5. It's fixed now. Just install again (no need to uninstall) if you haven't got 2.4.6 yet. - Sam Hasler
@Sam, That's great. Fixed. Thanks! - Dan Atkinson
Hello Sam, I installed the extension today. As told, I opened the options page from the extension and clicked Rediscover sites. But after that no activity occurred and the extension doesn't seem to work. I am sure I am doing something wrong. Can you let me know on how to make it work ? Thanks... - Viraj
[+4] [2010-02-06 19:37:25] Jared Harley

Sweet - thanks! After writing my Chrome extension that adds the different sites to the SOFU navigation bar [1], I was thinking about doing something like this, and now I don't have to!

I was expecting to have to enter my user numbers in an options page, and was surprised to see it was already working. How are you getting the information from SOFU?

Also, I apparently earned a badge on Stack Overflow (popular question) and I didn't see a "new badge" notification on the extension. Does it track new badges, responses, etc only after it's been installed?

And finally, one design comment - I would switch to a sans-serif font to match the style of text in the SOFU navigation bar - I'm pretty sure they use bolded Arial.

Other than that, keep up the good work! I like it!


(1) It fetches a page from SO and gets the user ID from the top bar. It then fetches that user's Related Accounts page and gets the SF/SU/Meta IDs. Then it fetches each site's recent activity page and stores the vaules in the background page. The popup just calls a function in the background page to render the data, so it's not fetched every time it appears. Take a look at the code, it's in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\djioipahfnmmhddmnanoicecpnfomned - Sam Hasler
(1) It only shows whatever is currently on<userid> which isn't everything for the day. I'll look into adding ?StartDate=yyyy-mm-dd&EndDate=yyyy-mm-dd parameters to get the full days notifications, or caching old notifications. - Sam Hasler
I've changed the font to the same weight/size/family as the top bar. Thanks for all the feedback. Keep it coming. - Sam Hasler
@Sam changing the parameters to a full day might show more useful information. Also, the new fonts look much better! - alex
[+3] [2010-02-16 22:58:37] user142317

Great extension, but I'm experiencing some problems with the latest version (started no more than 2-3 days ago). It seems even if I open and close the browser action popup after the badge lights up with an update, next time it checks it still updates the badge.


  1. I get 10 rep on SO.
  2. +10 is displayed on the badge.
  3. I click on it, then in the popup click on the "+10" to go to my SO recent updates page.
  4. The +10 is removed from the badge.
  5. 15 minutes later, the badge displays +10 again, even though no new rep was earned in the meantime.

I think I've seen this. I haven't been active on stack sites recently so I wouldn't have been exposed to it. I'm busy today so I won't have any free time to look into it until tomorrow. I think I'll also add an option so that users can disable badges being displayed if they don't want to be interrupted even by actual changes and only check it manually. - Sam Hasler
OK, I think I've fixed it. Please update to 2.4.4 if you're not on it already and let me know if it's still happening. - Sam Hasler
@Sam I think it's working now as it should. - alex
I waited a while to be 100% sure, but even with 2.4.4 it's still happening. - user142317
I'm seeing this also with 2.4.9. - TomiJ
[+3] [2010-03-15 05:33:47] Joshua

I just wanted to point out a potential issue (that you can't really fix) with the extension. By doing a page scrape of the different sites, you register a hit for your account (makes sense) but this caused me to get the Enthusiast badge for my SU, SF, and Meta accounts (I actually earned it properly for SO). I know for a fact that I didn't visit those sites consecutively for 30 days and they were just awarded 4 hours ago on all three sites at the same time. I know I browse everyday with Chrome so unless Jeff just changed the rules, the unfortunate page scrape awarded me the badges.

That being said, I love the extension and look forward to updates!

(8) That's not a bug... that's a feature! ;-) - fretje
I was aware of that. They have someone working full time on the API now so hopefully they'll have an API for notifications eventually:… - Sam Hasler
[+2] [2010-02-08 13:01:07] fretje

I think I found another bug (maybe 2):

Upon installing your extension at work, it showed up like this:

alt text

So, I think there are 2 problems here:

  • The special chars which are rendered as squares (envelope and badge bullet)
  • The number of badges which show up as "undefined" (I have none, so it shouldn't be shown)

Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I'm using a Dutch version of Chrome here in stead of the default English one?

I just checked my version number here and it seemed not to be the latest, so I upgraded to the latest (5.0.317.2 dev) and after that, your extension showed nothing more then a [refresh] button. I had to uninstall and re-install it (only re-installing didn't solve the issue) before it showed something more again. Still the same issue like above though. (Maybe this has something to do with how Chrome handles extensions and you can't do anything about it, but I thought I'd mention it anybay.) - fretje
I probably shouldn't be using unicode characters. I'll come up with an alternative. - Sam Hasler
Not sure why the undefined badges is happening but I'll put in a check for it. - Sam Hasler
(2) This should all be fixed now. - Sam Hasler
@Sam: Confirmed. Everything works now, thanks! - fretje
[+2] [2010-02-06 18:26:10] fretje

Thanks, nice work!

I installed your extension and wanted to report one thing:

Apparently, if you're not logged in on one of the sites, the value for that particular site keeps reading "loading...":


Maybe it should be better if it read "not logged in", as it took me a while to figure it out.
(I was filing this as a bug report, until I thought about the fact that it might be because I wasn't logged in there, so now it's a feature request ;-))

(1) There is a "please log in" message that should have come up but I realise now my logic was wrong. I'll get that fixed, thanks. - Sam Hasler
This was my first notification through your extension... how cool is that! :) - fretje
Loading message is fixed. It should now only say "Loading..." while it's fetching the page. If you're not logged in it should say "Please log in" and if you click on it it will take you to the login page. - Sam Hasler
[+2] [2011-04-12 16:19:51] fretje

This has been moved to stackapps:

Notifier Chrome Extension [1]


[+1] [2011-04-12 10:16:58] Nobody


it looks like the chrome extension stopped working. It keeps on displaying "loading...". When being clicked, the browser displays the SO "Not Found" page.

Moreover, I can't find this extension any more in the chrome extensions catalog.

Is this quite useful tool still maintained?

See this new answer -… - ChrisF
[+1] [2010-09-04 06:40:48] The Doctor What

There are some more stackexchange sites. See for the list.

I really would like to have notifications for wordpress and ubuntu, as they look really useful.

BTW: Can you sort the notifications by order of what has the highest rep? The idea being that the one with the highest rep is the one you use the most?


Woah! Okay, I have a different bug to report. I just tried (for giggles and grins) reinstalling the notifier and now I have a bunch of stack overflow icons. I think the auto-discover/rediscover stuff is broken. It never went past my initial four until I reinstalled. - The Doctor What
Hmmm... But the icons are broken for all by the big four. "undefined" apparently. - The Doctor What
@The Doctor What: Sorry for the delay. Are you still seeing this bug? - Sam Hasler
I've seen this bug now that I've fixed auto-discovery in my development version, which is what was causing it. It doesn't happen if you add a site by visiting your notification page. I'll have a fix out in a day or so. Sorry for the long wait on this. - Sam Hasler
[+1] [2010-11-22 08:46:47] Nobody

Great extension! I've been using it for days without any issue. However, this morning, the notifier started to act strangely.

See screenshot below.

alt text

Restarting Chrome (v8.0.552.200 / Beta channel) didn't solve the issue. Neither did suppressing the sites in the Options panel and making the extension rediscovering sites.

Looks like a bug (or maybe just a monotonous incremental early easter egg ?)

Seeing this also. Wondered what on earth I had done! - Rebecca Chernoff
(1) @rchern: Yeah, debug messages I forgot to take out. Please install again if you aren't on the latest version - Sam Hasler
@Sam: Fixed. thanks a lot! - Nobody
[0] [2010-12-27 21:37:27] SamB

For some reason this extension can't find the correct favicon/badge for Math Overflow [1]. (This might be related to them still using StackExchange 1.0, where most other sites are on 2.0 by now.)

In fact, if I inspect the relevant image in the Options page, it shows up as

<img src="undefined">

in the DOM tree. If you don't want to go to the trouble of making it work with SE 1.0 sites, which would be perfectly understandable, perhaps you could at least improve the fallback behavior?


Thanks for the bug report. I'll look into it when I next look at the favicon code. - Sam Hasler
[0] [2011-01-18 15:14:17] EmmyS

I'm logged in to 5 different StackExchange sites right now (StackOverflow, AskUbuntu, WebApps, Webmasters, SuperUser). I've installed the most recent available version of this extension, and it's only finding SO, SuperUser, and for some reason, SO Meta. Is there any way to get it to find the other sites? I've tried using the Rediscover Sites in the options menu, but it doesn't find any but those initial three.

Will it only register them if there's actually new activity on them? I should note that there isn't any new activity on the three already discovered...

Should be fixed in version 2.4.7, let me know if you're still having problems. The discovery looks at the Related Accounts tab of your profile on each site it finds you logged in on, starting with Stack Overflow. I'll look into finding associated accounts via the Stack Exchange Global Inbox popup in case they're not all connected or a user doesn't have a StackOverflow account. Thanks for the feedback. - Sam Hasler
Where can I get 2.4.7? The version in the chrome store when I installed yesterday shows 2.4.6 in my extensions page. - EmmyS
Never mind; apparently it's brand-new as of today. Just got it, and it does indeed display all the sites. Thanks! - EmmyS
I've been using the extension with no issues on two Ubuntu boxes. I just tried installing it on my new Mac, and it does not find any of my sites, even though I'm logged into all. I've tried going to my recent activity page and clicking the extension's icon, but I don't get an Add link. Any ideas? - EmmyS
[0] [2010-04-07 16:50:46] Mark Hurd

On two unrelated computers (both XP), clicking on the Install button causes the extension to download and then I get:

Extension Installation Failure

Could not create directory for unzipping.


This also happened when I saved the link to a file and ran Chrome on it.

Sorry to hear that Mark. What version of Chrome are you running, Stable, Beta or Dev? - Sam Hasler
Approximately (42199) Stable (approx. because there's an update waiting just now -- this is what is currently displayed in About Google Chrome). - Mark Hurd (42898) Stable (it just updated, I restarted Chrome and tried the install again, with the same error -- this is what is currently displayed in About Google Chrome). - Mark Hurd
just installed it without error on (42898) stable on Vista. I don't have an XP machine to hand right now but I start a new job this Wednesday so I'll see if I can find one there. - Sam Hasler
I've just noticed it is not specific to your extension :-( Even attempting to reinstall Nothing fails with this error :-( - Mark Hurd
This is a known (but not solved) issue: - Mark Hurd
[0] [2010-05-30 08:26:57] macbirdie

As I already reported in the extension page, it would be nice if you added stackapps [1]. Thanks!


(1) @macbirdie if you've associated your stackapps account then just go to the extension's options page (right click the extension's icon or from the Tools > Extensions page.) and click the Rediscover Sites button, or go to your Recent Activity page on and you can add it from the popup. - Sam Hasler
(1) I might add an option to automatically discover new associated sites. I wanted people to be able to remove sites if they didn't want to be notified about them but I can see that auto-discovery is probably more useful. - Sam Hasler
Actually I did associate all accounts and after rediscovering sites is still not there. Thanks for the response! - macbirdie
(1) ok, that's probably a bug. You should have been able to add it from the Recent Activity page though. - Sam Hasler
Discovery should work now in version 2.4.7. - Sam Hasler
[0] [2010-08-05 19:25:33] Tomasz Wysocki

Why extension need access to all websites and browser history?

in the manifest it asks for: "permissions": [ "tabs", "http://*/*" ]. "http://*/*": so that it can fetch the recent activity pages for your sites to get the data. "tabs": so that it can tell if the current tab is a recent activity page for a Stack Exchange site so it can offer to add it to your list of sites, and so that it can switch to an already open recent activity page when clicking on a site in the popup instead of opening a new tab. The reason it says it can access your browsing history is because of the "tabs" permission as it would be possible to track even though it doesn't - Sam Hasler