Projects: Gentle-Alerts

April 27, 2017

Gentle-Alerts is a chrome extension that I built to fix the problem of noisy popup alerts in Chrome. Using Google Calendar a lot, I used to get a popup alert before every event that I was invited to. Fiddling with its built-in “browser notifications”, I wasn’t very satisfied because of its pop-over UX. I therefore decided to create Gentle-Alerts to solve this problem for Calendar and all other websites.

Gentle-Alerts works by overriding the window.alert built-in function with a custom function that shows a browser modal. In building Gentle-Alerts, I had some fun with some different frontend programming rules. Rather than the usual problem of writing javascript code that has to be compatible with different browsers with a known environment, writing the javascript for Gentle-Alerts required me to write javascript code compatible specifically for Chrome but running against the javascript environment of any website. I therefore kept the code pretty simple and used only vanilla javascript without any third-party dependencies.

Thanks to Chris Lewis, David Hamme, Song Feng, and Scott Kennedy for testing the extension.