A chrome extension to navigate Github files differently

Last week, I was somewhat complaining that Github’s file navigator was not to my taste. When moving across files and directory, you have to go back and forth a lot. If you quickly want to switch between 2 files not in the same directory, it’s painful. Of course, one could open another tab, but tabbing doesn’t cut it. I wanted something more like a files navigator that we can find in any OS.

Then I though, hey, surely I can simply manipulate the HTML to make it work the way I want. I started coding… 45 minutes later, I had a working prototype of JavaScript code that I could simply paste in the browser console and bang; a nice file tree navigator-like experience right in Github.

I showed it to a few colleagues and their responses were pretty positive. Having recently started working on a Chrome extension, I decided I could pack my feature withing one. And so I did and here it is, my Github files navigator conversion extension for Chrome.

Github files navigator extension for Chrome

After installing it, a new icon will appear. When looking at a list of files in a github repository over github.com, click the icon once and the page will be reformatted.

Is it perfect? Definitely not. I’ve already started working on a list of issues. When building the extension, I had two straight forward goals in mind:

  • Primary: Ship a minimalist version. Make the core functionality works. No features. No polish. If people get interested enough in the future, then I’ll see if I can improve it.
  • Secondary: Sharpen my Chrome extensions skills.

So there it is. And it’s free. If you try it, don’t hesitate to leave out some comments.

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