Display Useful Timestamps on GitHub

by Rob McBroom

Relative dates are fashionable, but they hide important information. There doesn’t seem to be a way to disable them on GitHub, but I found a decent work-around.

This is specific to Safari. First, you need the wonderful User CSS Safari extension.

Now, create a new User CSS called “Absolute Timestamps” or whatever. I left the URL Includes set to *, so if any sites other than GitHub use the same JavaScript, they’ll be affected too (which is what I want).

Define something like this for the style:

.js-relative-date:before {
  content: attr(title) " (";
.js-relative-date:after {
  content: ")";

Now, you’ll see something useful like “2012-09-18 08:09:36 (2 months ago)” in place of the relative date alone. The content you add becomes part of the element, so unfortunately, you can’t hide the relative date completely.

I assume you could also write a Safari extension that used JavaScript to change the class js-relative-date to relative-dates-suck, but I don’t want to deal with JavaScript so I haven’t tried that approach.

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