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Show HN: Macro – Keyboard Shortcuts for the web (usemacro.github.io)
91 points by andyzg on Mar 14, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments

Not to be that guy, but it seems like you should disclose you're using Google Analytics[0]. It seems like every extension/cli tool that isn't upfront about these sort of things always get called out for it and the negative attention that brings.

0: https://github.com/UseMacro/macro-chrome-extension/blob/mast...

Awesome and nice job getting that taken care of quickly! I see it mentioned on the landing page, but you might want to think about adding that link in the footer as well.

And just to address the other comments here, I see the reason to collect this data. It can be hard to understand usage patterns and even if anyone is using it without it. That said, I think sometimes GA isn't the best option for these type of tools b/c of the 3rd party nature of it, but any calling home will look risky as well so maybe GA is the best option we have now. I think the reason you want to be very open about it (and even better, allow it to be an option you can toggle) is that it doesn't feel like these type of tools would do this (compared to a web page), and thus the surprise factor hits hard.

why does a keyboard shortcuts extension need to collect any data in the first place?

I assume the same reason any app has analytics - so you can work out how users are using it and improve the app based on that information

If you're developing a keyboard shortcuts extension, would you rather have an idea about how the product is being used or stay completely in the dark? Which do you think would help you more in developing new features?

If you care about having users at all, it would be wiser not to antagonize them by send their information to third parties.

So you would rather know nothing about how users are using your product, rather than risk offending the subset of users that are vehemently against telemetry?

There's a simple and polite way to learn that - just ask some of them.

I don't think very many users would go out of their way to be vehemently pro-telemetry either. It's indistinguishable from spying. Most people just shrug off their own inability to counter it and carry on with their lives, that's why marketers and other scum are able to get away with it. But it's certainly not in the users' best interest - I sincerely hope you have that interest at heart.

I do, and telemetry definitely has a place in my mind to help achieve that. I'm sure you will call me scum or something worse, but I sincerely hope that you can see that maybe it's not as black and white as you see it.

EDIT: Updated about with a disclosure: https://usemacro.github.io/#about

Thanks for letting us know about this issue! We'll look into a way to be more clear about analytics.

Or maybe stop doing it.

Is using Google Analytics unethical now?

Can anyone compare this to using vimium. I've been using that for a while and an mostly pretty happy.

Creator here. Vimium provides mostly generic shortcuts for all websites. We find that there's a huge potential for better shortcuts on popular websites like Messenger and Google that are tailored towards the app.

For example, Cmd+Enter sends an emoji, whereas there's no alternative on Vimium iirc.

We also help users discover shortcuts that are already on the app, and centralize all of these shortcuts in our panel which can be accessed by Alt+/

"Try Macro now for free." makes me think that at some point you'll be charging for the Macro. Are there any plans to monetize in the future?

Thanks for mentioning that. I'm going to remove "for free", no plans to monetize.


Nice work! I made something similar sometime back: http://shortkits.com

Although, people weren’t interested enough or I couldn’t get people to use it enough.

Goodluck with Macro!

That looks awesome! Really similar to what we want to build for our users. Thanks for sharing!

I've been using vimium for years now, the biggest problem I find is it only works 90% of the time. Will try this out for a bit to see if it bridges that gap

Having `d` (close tab) work on all pages except special ones puts you in a place where you might as well just use `cmd-w` (browser default) to close tabs because it actually works all the time.

That experience repeating with a few more critical vimium features and I ended up uninstalling it. Firefox's vimperator, on the other hand, was just great. Though I haven't found a replacement since Quantum.

There's Vim-Vixen [1] and Tridactyl [2] for Firefox Quantum. Both suffer from "you can't use the extension on all pages"-itis, and Tridactyl even manages to break a handful of web pages, but for me it was good enough to stop using Firefox ESR and Vimperator.

Disclaimer: a lot of Tridactyl's jank is due to me.

[1] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/vim-vixen/

[2] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tridactyl-vim...

I agree, it seems like a generic solution that doesn't work for specific problems. Macro tackles the problem first, and aims to provide a really good experience for specific websites .

Macro is a Chrome extension that makes users more productive on the web through keyboard shortcuts.

Macro offers powerful website-specific shortcuts and instant keyboard shortcut discovery across many websites. Think Vimium and Reddit Enhancement Suite in one. Learning one website's shortcuts means you won’t have to learn it again for a new website.

Let me know your thoughts or comments!

Does this play well with the likes of Vimium? It seems to steal some of Vimium's most common bindings.

We've implemented this with inputs and other Chrome extensions in mind, so it should work with Vimium. Our shortcuts mostly use modifier keys so that it doesn't interfere with anything else.

Have you considered Firefox support? Since there are only minor differences in the underlying API nowadays, it isn't hard to build an extension for both browsers from the same source!

Source: currently maintaining a production extension for both Chrome and Firefox out of the same codebase

Not yet, since we're first focused on an MVP. It's something we do have in mind for our roadmap!

How difficult is it to maintain both browsers compared to only one?

Not particularly challenging. There's a couple small things you have to add to the manifest usually, but no big deal.

I might actually submit a PR for Firefox support in a day or two if I get around to it.

that would be awesome! Let us know if you have any questions, happy to help you get onboarded.

Can't open "alt + /" on german QWERTZ keyboard.

Literally have this problem all the time with Mac + German Keyboard...50% of shortcuts in menus (e.g. Atom editor) don't work...

Same issue, using a custom layout.

Same problem with French AZERTY keyboard.

Also clicking on "Add to Chrome" does nothing.

I believe that focusing on individual pages will slow down the pace at which you can advance. Every user may have tens of pages which he/she visits every day. I reckon that supporting thousands of different pages would be a burden and it would be nearly impossible to please every user.

Instead, I would recommend aiming to develop a rock solid swiss knife for online keyboard shortcuts in the long term as an alternative to vimium with some fine tuning for the most visited 100 websites for instance.

I would probably not feel the need to have an extra layer on top of vimium otherwise.

I agree, we're aiming to optimize for the most popular websites first. No plans for supporting ALL websites.

I use other keyboard extensions why isn't there a full list of available shortcuts provided on the page? Just so I can see without installing the extension.

I like this. Plans to make it work with https://eddtor.com/editor ? :D

I would love if this would be like greasemonkey but for shortcuts where I could create custom ones for my favorite sites and share the scripts.

I think it only works on google.com, I feel the other Google TLDs don't differ enough to not enable it.


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