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Hacking the Web with Greasemonkey

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the rolling-your-own-interweb dept.

The Internet 512

plasticmillion writes "Greasemonkey is a revolutionary Firefox extension that many feel has enormous implications for the future evolution of the web. By making it easy to write client-side scripts that modify webpages as you surf, it shifts the balance of power from content creators to content consumers. Since its inception, it has given rise to an impressive array of scripts for everything from enhancing Gmail with one-click delete functionality to preventing Hotmail from spawning new windows when you click on external links. In recent Greasemonkey news, Mark Pilgrim just published a comprehensive primer called 'Dive Into Greasemonkey', a must-read for those who want to try their hand at writing their own scripts. It should be noted that Greasemonkey is not without controversy, but this has done nothing to reduce its popularity among web programmers. Even Opera has jumped on the bandwagon with their own version of user scripts. To illustrate the principle to /.ers, I whipped up a handy little script called 'Slashdot Live Comment Tree', which lets you expand and collapse entire threads in an article's comments."

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Disable Greasemonkey (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542055)

By making it easy to write client-side scripts that modify webpages as you surf, it shifts the balance of power from content creators to content consumers.

Google has tried something similar before with their toolbar and ISBNs.

That said, I am going to use this guide to disable Greasemonkey [edwards.name] . I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen. That way I can provide content based on expectations of standards compliance.

If you want to display my content with your own formatting, use my RSS feed [scottleonard.ca] .

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542112)

Achtung! You vill sit in ze CHAIR ven you read my book, NOT ON ZE COUCH!!!

Sieg heil!

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

youknowmewell (754551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542309)

Hell of a way to start a Monday...

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Funny)

Eccles (932) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542113)

That said, I am going to use this guide to disable Greasemonkey.

Step 1. Slashdot my own site.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Funny)

Guy LeDouche (713304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542129)

Ah, good morning Mr. Ballmer.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

plover (150551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542130)

Oh, great. The only useful (or at least interesting-sounding link here) is already slashdotted.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (3, Insightful)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542139)

I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

So you are in full support of the MPAA and the RIAA who want to have full control over their content and only allow people to access it, and use it they way they want you to use it?

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (2, Interesting)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542256)

I don't believe that's what he meant. His concern was that he wants his information presented a certian way and to leave it that way preventing others from changing it into something he didn't intend or desire for his content.

Think of it this way. Many musicians don't have a problem when people do remixes of their stuff, some do. That's why the majority of those that do offer special deals (or lisensing /sp) to allow that creativity.

Those that do not, don't offer such. Though it's still possible to do so, generally you don't find them in the public too often.

Not that my analogy is perfect by any means or stretch of the imagination, but it's not the evil DRM example you seem to have pulled out of your ass.

It's his information to present. Let him do it in a way he wants. There are plenty of other sites you can go to to change how it's presented to you. Go there and don't bitch.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Insightful)

wfberg (24378) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542347)

Your analogy is flawed. Artists have never had a right to prevent you from looking at their work in a certain way. Painters can't stop the colorblind or those wearing sunglasses to look at their paintings. Anyone can skip entire chapters when reading a book. I can play Beethoven and Britney Spears at the same time if I please.

What I do with those works in the privacy of my own home is my business. I might just prefer it that way, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Artists do have recourse against people redistributing altered ("raped") works, but that is also limited.

In the case of greasemonkey, it's just a tool you use to view the web; other people might use other tools, like lynx for example, which renders a page completely differently from firefox or internet explorer. It's personal use. So lay off of it.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1, Troll)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542438)

You are right. People just don't grasp the difference between altering a work and redistributing the altered work. Anyone can use a tool like the Gimp or Greasemonkey to make new art from old art for your own enjoyment. But you do not automatically have the right to redistribute such derived art. Maybe the failiure to grasp these concepts is typical of the Open Source crowd?

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542356)

'Control over one's ideas really constitutes control over other people's lives, and it is usually used to make their lives more difficult.'

Though to be fair, rms was talking about useful knowledge like computer software or scientific discoveries, not artworks like music or a web page.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542378)

I don't believe that's what he meant. His concern was that he wants his information presented a certian way and to leave it that way preventing others from changing it into something he didn't intend or desire for his content.
And it's not how it's supposed to work.
You can suggest, tell the visitor 'look, this is supposed to look like that', but ultimately the choice is the user's, just as in a book the reading order is merely a hint, if one wants to read the book backwards more power to him, and the author is not supposed to come at him with a big stick saying "no no, you're not supposed to read backwards, you can't skip pages either or i'll beat you to a bloody pulp you crackwhore", which is exactly what mfh intends to do...

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542406)

talking about flawed analogies...

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

Smuttley (126014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542308)

or you could actually read to the end of his comment where he points to his rss feed that gives the same content as displayed on his page but in an easy to parse xml file.

Nevermind, guess you spotted an opportunity to make a joke and didn't want someone else to get in with it first.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

thgreatoz (623808) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542316)

Is it me, or are RIAA/MPAA arguments becoming new extensions to Godwin's Law?

Re:Disable java and javascrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542426)

nobody sees your creation anyway, Mr. Art Major. Am I the only one who thinks the eBay site sucks donkey schlong?


And who's the moron with yellow text on a dark blue background? There are readability standards, ya know.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542142)

your site crashes my firefox 1.04 win32 with 100% CPU freezing after the title loads (i have to taskmanager kill it)

MSIE its fine (albeit a little slow)

perhaps whatever scripting you got going on needs a rethink

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542579)

If a website can freeze your browser, maybe your browser isn't the praise-jeebus-it's-here-gift-from-god the fanboys make it out to be.

Just a thought.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (4, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542156)

Your serving the webpage to me.

As long as you do it in a standards compliant way, then isn't it a bit presumptious to decide how I decide to digest the information.

If I want to use Lynx to view your page, I will, if I want to apply my own java transforms on it I will.

Hell, if I want to print it out and use it as toilet paper, I will.

You seem to have the wrong way of thinking about this web lark.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (2, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542385)

Hell, if I want to print it out and use it as toilet paper, I will.


Don't use an inkjet printer to do this. The sweat on the cheeks will cause the ink from the goatse.cx links to stain the skin and you'll become a walking advertisement at the next sun club event.

Crap (5, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542585)

Hell, if I want to print it out and use it as toilet paper, I will.

Now that you've said this, everyone is going to use my site as TP. Thanks, buddy.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542160)

I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen. That way I can provide content based on expectations of standards compliance.

But the web is about sending content to the user - it's up to the user how they want to display it. Unles you're supplying a locked down PC with your own browser configuration you have absolutely no control over what the end user does with the content you send, or how they interpret it.

Sure you can send CSS to the broser, but your visitor using links isn't going to see the result of you work. The visitor using a screen reader or mobile phone will be equally ignorant of your efforts.

These are user installed scripts, and this is the web not television. The folk visiting sites are not their passively, they're there to interact and if they want your site to function a little differently so it better fits with their expectations what rights do you have to stop them?

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (2, Insightful)

zoloto (586738) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542381)

I'll get modded into oblivion, but screw it.

This doesn't make any sense. How is the user capable, or how has the user been capable to display information on the Web (not the internet, just a part) with a web browser.

Remember, this like this never happened before this FF extension, so where do you come off saying that?

People write web pages, the browser displays them. Similar to the television, yet far more versatile, it simply displays a site how the designer attended. How has this been difficult to understand?

Not that I'm against this plug-in, I find it interesting however, but don't understand where you're getting your facts from. On the contrary, the comments on Slashdot so far seem to be this wild notion of "we do what we want", "information wants to be free" and my favorite general attitude "screw the man, I'll display my information the way I want".

No. Sorry. It's not your information. It doesn't belong to anyone. Those that chose to display information a certain way are in their right to do such and lame excuses to justify the bastardization of their attempts to come off a certain way are the rant of the uninformed zealot with a "screw you all" mentality.

Is it a wonder people here aren't terribly popular with employers and don't get the respect they deserve?

It's not something everyone has to get all up in arms about. It's a presentation of information. If you don't like it, go somewhere else! If he chooses to display it and prevent this extension from running on his site, so be it! He's well within his rights to do such.

It's not he evil DRM anal-retentive control the *AA's are trying to do so this won't work. For that kind of argument is just like the way anyone else was to lose if they mentioned something regarding Nazis.

You lose... game over - looks like he won.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Interesting)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542461)

"Remember, this like this never happened before this FF extension"
Bollocks. You could write bookmarklets, or user CSS files. Hell, you could disable CSS or Javascript, you could use a browser that displays things a certain way. You could write your own browser. You could use man-in-the-middle programs to rewrite code before it reaches the browser.

The web is about information. The presentation of that information is ultimately up to the user.

Having said all that, I should point out that I am somewhat uncomfortable with the blind adoption Greasemonkey is seeing. A lot of web sites use Javascript that makes assumptions about the structure of the page. By changing the structure of the page, you're going to potentially break pages that dynamically change themselves.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542531)

If I'm not mistaken, altering a webpage makes it derived art. There are boatloads of limitations WRT redistributing derived art, but the limitations to what you can do with it as long as you don't redistribute it are more lax. It's called fair use.

If my memory serves me correctly (please correct me if I'm wrong), even the GPL has to abide by this. You can alter GPL:ed software to your hearts content, without showing anyone the code. But if you want anyone else to use it, you have to give them full access to the source.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542164)

I've got both McFarlane books, but leveraging Firefox as a cross-platform fat-client platform still seems quite tricky.
Hopefully, Greasemonkey will advance the ball, without becoming the biggest virus vector since <cheap shot goes here>.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

Ithika (703697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542166)

Tell me, do you have Designed for IE6 in the corner of your site as well?

The age of web designers thinking they can control how a site looks down to the pixel is over, dude. How do you stop your visitors from using Lynx or braille or audio readers, because they don't show the site "the way it was meant to be seen".

What a complete load of absolute bollocks. HTML is a markup language: learn this and you will do well. Try to use it otherwise and you will get left behind (like Slashdot, with its creaking non-compliant HTML3 markup).

What do you mean? (2, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542319)

Just publish your site as a collection of image files.
That'll teach them young whipper-snappers!

Re:What do you mean? (1)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542399)

Or better yet, only use flash to display your "webpage" so we can all happily ignore it!

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (3, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542173)

I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen...If you want to display my content with your own formatting, use my RSS feed.

And how is that? Because HTML was a protocol for transferring information, not for regidly defined formatting or layout. The graphical browsers came along and people started taking the attitude you are espousing "as it was meant to be seen" by you, the creator.

HTML itself however does not support that idea. Different agents (trad. browser, voice agents for the blind etc.), different and also overriding CSS stylessheet et. al. are explicitly catared for in its idea. If the user which to use your content in a manner other than that which you suggested, the intent of the spec is on their side here. HTML is not a fixed layout format. It is for the transmission of information, to be used according to the whims of the receiver.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542175)

I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

Mr. Lucas? George? Izzat you?! Wow, whoda thunk GL read Slashdot...

So when are you remastering ANH with Meow Skywalker?

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (4, Informative)

akadruid (606405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542176)

I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

That's why GreaseMonkey exists. It allows firefox to do the work your eyes and hands must otherwise do - it gets you the information you're after, not what the designer fancies.

(I actually like your site design, and I think it is great you are releasing your work under the GPL and your content under a CC license)

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (2, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542432)

(I actually like your site design, and I think it is great you are releasing your work under the GPL and your content under a CC license)

Thank you! :-)

I am getting killed by my comment about Greasemonkey, but I have to put it plainly to everyone:

I provide my content with a Creative Commons license. Everyone is free to modify it. Everyone is free to use the code that generated the website (well soon enough, it's just about ready to be released) and everyone can use my RSS to reformat my site and syndicate it. Things like Google's toolbar that actually rewrites text to give their partners and advantage over my own affiliates, really bothers me. Things like this toolbar that lets you perform website automation (that could result in XSS/client-side script attacks) also has the potential for danger, IMHO.

That's the reason I have sided against Greasemonkey on *my sites*. But hey, if you want to use it to get your Hotmail easier -- fine. But I wouldn't use Hotmail anyway. :-)

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

zkn (704992) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542201)

Well if you want me to see it at all, you'll just have to accept that I'm viewing the way I want to view it.
If you don't like the way the world wide web is constructed, find some other means of destribution. How about paperform. You just need to laminate it so people can't cut it into pieces.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542540)

with teflon coating so they can't underline or write notes in the margins.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (5, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542207)

This seems to be another step in the battle that's as old as the web, over who gets final say as to how a web page is presented.

I feel the (Firefox) user should, and generally is going to have the edge, what with the uriid extension to apply site-specific CSS, greasemonkey, and other tools. But page producers always have wanted to dictate exactly how their pages appear to the user, however misguided that is, and I doubt the battle will ever be over.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542217)

I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

Even if they know how you want to present that information, and choose otherwise? Stop being such a control-freak.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

JasonStiletto (653819) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542218)

Displaying content the way that you want to see it was one of the selling points of CSS. The people who worry over the next version of HTML think that more or less all content should be renderable on non-standard devices, mobile phones, page readers for the deaf. Those things are unlikely to respect your formatting suggestions all that well.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542251)

Please...You don't want people to see your site the way they want to? That completely goes against the nature of the Web. What do you advocate next?--perhaps everyone should have to use the exact same browser.

Lose your attachment to your work.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542312)

you do realize that no one is ever reading your 5 entry blog you opened a month ago to "showcase your career" with or without grease monkey right? Well I guess except on the days that you score a first post and use it to pimp yourself.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (3, Funny)

DeanEdwards22 (761579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542333)

Cheers mate! Thanks for /.ing my site.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (4, Informative)

masklinn (823351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542352)

I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.
Doesn't the fact that it's plain and simply impossible kinda suck?
Greasemonkey is nothing but "the easy way", but client side modification of a website has been live for years:
  • Proximitron allows advanced filtering
  • Specific Firefox extensions do, too (think about Slashfix)
  • Bookmarklets are fairly powerful, check MODI [slayeroffice.com] for example
  • For god's sake, there are so much differences from one browser to another one that one can tweak what he seens by changing browser
  • Custom/client side CSS, Opera has had them for a very long time, Firefox has that too, and you can more than likely find bookmarklets allowing you to load custom CSS in your browser
The fact is that you seem not to know an important rule of web design: the way you indent your website to be displayed is nothing but a mere suggestion, and the surfer is 100% free to fully ignore your hints if he doesn't want it [evpc.biz]
Don't want that? don't create websites. Your websites are not here for you and if they are they shouldn't be online, websites are for the visitor and he can do whatever he wants with the data he receives (including sending the whole content of your website to /dev/null if he finds it funny)

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (2, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542361)

In that case, could you fix the fact that your links column is completely over-writing the little box about the RSS feed on Firefox unless I make my browser window huge?

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

dhall (1252) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542369)

> I write websites so I can present ideas to people.
> I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it.
> I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

Which is it? You write websites to present ideas or eyecandy?

Unless you've ebayed your low UID from a true old timer, you should've been around long enough to know that the idea of imposing a set format for your website goes against what the web was originally made for.

People have a funny way of taking what you meant and twisting it into a form that you hardly recognize. Most of the internet is based off that. I suppose you could attempt to freeze everything and prevent any innovation or changes to previous ideas, but then you'd be stuck using either Gopher or Mosiac... and you still wouldn't have a whole lot of control over how the content was formatted.

If you don't want your online "content" manipulated, publish everything in a PDF, or better yet, don't publish at all.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542404)

All you'll succeed in doing is starting an arms race that you are destined to lose. Sooner or later you'll have to accept that a user's client is a user's client and as such is subject to the user's wishes. You can maintain the integrity of your server and it's content. You have no right to usurp in any way a user's control of his machine.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542416)

I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

That's a pretty weird look on thngs. I've been using RIP [mozdev.org] for awhile now. I don't even view Slashdot the way it was "meant to be". I want the content of your page, not the stupid side bars and stuff.

A good example is CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/05/16/newswe ek.quran/index.html [cnn.com]

There is so much crap on the sides of the screen that you have about 2-3 inches to actually read the article. It's almost like people are trying to get away with BSing their way through articles, making such a short summary of the news event but making it look like 5+ pages.

Hypertext = textual revolution, not nifty feature? (1)

naesung (808150) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542471)

Of course, it's perfectly understandable that you'd want to control your website, but I think the way you're approaching hypertext is missing a lot of its elegance. I mean, theoretically the act of browsing in and of itself gives the reader a certain amount of authorial power, and if web developers learned to abstract their designs and fully embrace XML and CSS, the display of a site should be completely customizable by the user (with a custom style sheet.) Of course, the chances of this happening are next to nil, and who's to say that the web would be any better for it? In any case, though, I think that the best way to work towards a good/useful internet in the future is to cede as much authorial power as possible to the readers. Anyway, I drag on. Should probably stay away from slashdot after an all-nighter.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542475)

Given the desing of your site (you completely forgot that somebody can use app background in the system other than white) I have no choice...

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

Mother Sha Boo Boo (883424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542481)

That said, I am going to use this guide to disable Greasemonkey. I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

I agree with that as far as it's about sites where design is a major issue. But when it concerns forums and news sites, I think comfort should prevail. In these cases, Greasemonkey can be a great tool.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542499)

I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it.

What does a site's design have to do with ideas?

How does it go again? Judge not on the retina burning color scheme, but on the content of their text?

Anyway, I'd think the only people who'd truely care about their sites being butchered are the ones worried about ad revenue or with over-inflated egos.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542507)

That's bullshit, and I'm almost certain you know it.

What of it once the user saves your content to his hard disk? Is it OK then to paste it into a text file and edit it (for instance) to keep only the parts which are of interest to him? And if the answer is "yes" (and it damn well better be), then what is the difference between that situation and when the user has your content displayed on his computer, stored in his memory and rendered in his browser?

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542534)

Right now I've got Genie [msagentring.org] reading your page out-loud. (<h2> and </ul> make good tags for speaking breaks.) I don't think you used any of the keywords that my software is looking for to use Genie's gestures. Pity.

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542542)

I write websites so I can present ideas to people. I don't want them to see my site the way they want to see it. I want them to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

Well that about wraps it up for Lynx then!

Re:Disable Greasemonkey (1)

dheltzel (558802) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542544)

If I decide to get up for a potty break while your flash ads are playing, does that mean I'm stealing from you?

Perhaps you should turn all your web pages into PDF's and make potential viewers download and view them that way so you can get the level of control you seek. Still, I'm not sure how you can prevent people from visually skipping over portions of the content that they consider less interesting, but I'm sure the guys who devised the current DVD formats are working on that problem already, so you may soon be able to close that loophole as well.

Curiously, I haven't ever viewed your website (that I know of), and my desire to do so is less now than before I even knew it existed. But you will be saving whatever server bandwidth I might have consumed, so this looks like a win-win.

fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542057)

claimed easily

What's in a name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542070)

Let the monkey jokes begin...

Putting Greasemonkey to use (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542071)

First random signature [snop.com] .

--
Random Signature #2

Paid articles? (4, Insightful)

akadruid (606405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542077)

If other articles are drawing notice to free registration for articles such as the NYT, why is this one linking to an article trying to charge $34?

Re:Paid articles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542106)

$34? They are trying to charge me $49. You're just lucky I guess.

"Not without controversy" (5, Insightful)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542099)

It should be noted that Greasemonkey is not without controversy, but this has done nothing to reduce its popularity among web programmers.

It should also be noted that the person claiming controvesy is also charging $49.00 for the "research" he has written. Do people buy these things?

Any, the summary of it reads as basically "users might install extensions that don't work with your own corporate pages". Personally, if an end user is installing applications without understanding the implications, you should ask whether that user should be allowed to install applications. The "researcher" claims that this risk should delay Firefox roll-outs in the enterprise.

Re:"Not without controversy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542215)

Charging $49 is just a new security method to avoid the /. effect.

Re:"Not without controversy" (5, Insightful)

tweek (18111) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542227)

The real problem is blanket deployments of firefox as is.

You wouldn't deploy IE without locking it down so why not firefox?

We have a deployment of about 2000 workstations with a highly customized build of firefox out there. I say customized but what I mean is that it's had various GUI elements stripped, keyboard shortcuts stripped and implements locked preferences. One of those preferences is software install. The only site that can install software is our internal update site.

Somebody paid him to write this, possibly as part of an internal migration plan but he failed to notice that in a corporate environment, a well thought-out mozilla implementation would implement things like locked preferences and other customization. Combine this with workstation security and his point is probably moot. I'm not going to spend 50 bucks to find out.

Re:"Not without controversy" (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542403)

I say customized but what I mean is that it's had various GUI elements stripped, keyboard shortcuts stripped and implements locked preferences.
And prevent user to install any extension on his own, which is perfectly doable since it's settable from the prefs file.

Let's use this to our advantage (5, Funny)

Quarters (18322) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542102)

Who's going to write the "Hide Roland Pipe" stories from Slashdot.

Re:Let's use this to our advantage (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542181)

You mean Roland Piquepaille [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Let's use this to our advantage (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542310)

Yeah, so I forgot how to spell his last name. Actually I'm glad I've left those brain cells free to remember something more important.

My question still stands. Who's going to write the script.

Re:Let's use this to our advantage (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542337)


already been done [daishar.com]

see how much people dislike that geeza ? if this was a pub he would of been slapped up and kicked out a long time ago

Re:Let's use this to our advantage (2, Funny)

fuyu-no-neko (839858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542391)

Alternatively, how about a script that puts the CowboyNeal option back into the /. polls ;o)

Re:Let's use this to our advantage (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542457)

I prefer the "Hide Jon Katz stories" extension.

Oh, wait, that hack was consigned to the abyss from whence he came? Joy. Actually, I take that back...I wouldn't see his stories since I have him on ignore. Gotta love a writer whose work is so crappy that a website implements an ignore feature specifically due to requests from its users to be able to ignore him. But hey, it's nice to be able to ignore the BSD category as well.

Slashdot == HackADay mirror? (0, Troll)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542149)

If we wanted to read hack-a-day, we'd read it there.
Seriously, fuck.

Re:Slashdot == HackADay mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542205)

Just great, now hackaday.com [hackaday.com] is /.'d.

It is invaluable. (5, Interesting)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542184)

For several months, I labored under IE. 20 windows open everywhere, because it has no tabs. Even though I had managed to install Firefox (don't you love apps that don't require registry keys?), it was no help, because the applications department writes javascript that looks like it was squeezed from between Ballmer's asscheeks.

It was difficult. Took me two months of working with greasemonkey, of 3 minutes stolen here, and 5 minutes borrowed there in between calls (did I mention I'm only a phone monkey for a DSL ISP?). But in the end, not only can I use our main webapp in Firefox, it has features that the standard one doesn't. It often helps to shave up to a minute off of calltimes.

Which may be why I'm in trouble for using Firefox at that job. Dunno.

sometimes you gotta just say fuck it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542434)

I write web apps for internal use and do all my testing in IE as that is what is deployed to 99% of the users who will be using my apps.

The problems arise when IE and FF have minute differences in the way the page looks. Default fonts, CSS, etc.

Granted it is IE that is broken but in that case what do you do. Write complaint code and ?demand? that the 200 uses use FF? I don't think so. You write the code for your client and tell the few FF users to either deal with it or use IE for this app.

GreaseMonkey can break the DOM and cause problems anyway. Sometimes as a developer you need to just say fuck it and make it work for your users and standards be damned.

It is nothing personal, it is just business and honestly, my paycheck, not my morals, dictate my work environment.

Re:sometimes you gotta just say fuck it (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542559)

Not a problem. If I worked in the same company as you, I'd just fix it myself.

And, in my example, it's not anything that looks like they were working around IE. They just chose sloppy, IE-only javascript syntax, the kind of stuff that was deprecated even in 4.

Hell, I've even found the odd <XMP> tag...

Re:It is invaluable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542464)

> did I mention I'm only a phone monkey for a DSL ISP

Actually, given how poorly you used your time when (given your web skills) you could have easily doing a programming gig, I'm not surprised you are.

Excellent Idea, but breaks Websites (1, Interesting)

markus_baertschi (259069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542206)

While I like the features of Greasemonkey lot, I had to uninstall it because it is incompatible with some websites I use often. They jut plain don't work with Greasemonkey enabled.

Example: map.search.ch/etoy [search.ch] (The map does not display at all)

I've submitted a bug about it, but my submission has been completely ignored (as mozdev.org is slashdotted right now I don't have the reference handy).

Markus

Re:Excellent Idea, but breaks Websites (3, Informative)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542233)

You know you need to disable those default scripts that come with the extension, right?

Or at least set them so they don't execute on that particular site...

Re:Excellent Idea, but breaks Websites (2, Informative)

markus_baertschi (259069) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542526)

It looks like this was a partial example of the problem sitting between chair and screen.

The particlar site is using iframes and GreaseMonkey summarily hides those tags in its default configuration. Excluding the site manually brings it back to life.

However, this means GreaseMonkey becomes thus a Geek-only tool. I can not ask of my mother or wife to know about such problems and manually configure exceptions if things don't work.

Markus

Does it something like Bookmarklet ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542263)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bookmarklet [wikipedia.org]

Bookmarklet uses DHTML (JavaScript + DOM) as well.

The good thing is, most of the time, it's cross-browser -- not Mozilla-specific.

Re:Does it something like Bookmarklet ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542322)

What's funny is, I've been writing my own little JS+DOM bookmarklets for ages, just to automate webtasks...

Re:Does it something like Bookmarklet ? (3, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542440)

It does, basically user scripts (Greasemonkey or Opera) are bookmarklets automatically executing when you browse a specific site (pattern matching allows the browser to execute the userscript that should be upon entering the website).

Oh, and there is no limit in a user script size, which isn't the case of a bookmarklet (even though you can execute external scripts from a bookmarklet)

Choice quote from 'Dive Into Greasemonkey' (5, Funny)

JaF893 (745419) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542268)

You can fix rendering bugs that the site owner can't be bothered to fix themselves.

Could be useful for Slashdot then :)

content debate (5, Insightful)

enjahova (812395) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542277)

Websites are a strange medium. Things like greasemonkey and adblock and google toolbar have been spurring these debates about content control.

I would not be suprised if this debate grew bigger as the popularity of client side controll apps gets bigger.

Alot of people want their webpage to look the way they intended it to look, but I think the truth is that you can not count on that. Different browsers, different computers, different monitors...

I am in favor of client side tools, I think that a user getting the best use possible out of a site is a good thing, in fact that is my goal when designing a website. If they think they can do it better, be my guest.

Re:content debate (4, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542408)

The solution is obvious. Render the page as a jpeg, and then just have a directory full of jpegs! You can even use server-side image maps for hyperlinks!

Re:content debate (2, Insightful)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542586)

Or use flash/java applet based interfaces.

I'll point out, though, that such things tend to really piss me off.

Safari (4, Informative)

sameerd (445449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542289)

This is not specific to Firefox and Opera. One can use Applescript to make Safari to run Javascript on webpages. From http://www.apple.com/applescript/safari/ [apple.com] we have
Safari now includes a do JavaScript command that enables AppleScript to communicate with the browser via JavaScript!

Buy The Research? (1, Insightful)

SenFo (761716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542318)

So I run off in hopes of reading the controversy [forrester.com] and it says I need to pay $49.00 to "By the Research"? What gives? Anybody have any worthwhile information to spare us broke college kids a little cash? Or, is my exam fragmented brain missing something that should be obvious?

Re:Buy The Research? (1)

SenFo (761716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542335)

Erg...That'll teach me to post without proof reading. Please ignore my horrible typo!

Preventing all new-window creation in Firefox. (1)

Domini (103836) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542353)

To get more Opera-like behaviour is easy and can be done by the extensible options in Firefox like SO [blogspot.com] .

Thus all those hotmail and gmail open link in new window pains will just go away!

Greasemonkey is still in its infancy (4, Interesting)

tezza (539307) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542387)

I've been an active member of the Greasemonkey mailing list. Mark Pilgrim is a very regular contributer there.

One very interesting thread has been misuse of Greasemonkey(GM). GM allow script authors to use an XML_HTTPrequest() type functionality. This is often to look up information services, such as google, de.li.ci.ous, weather etc.

With a poorly coded script, there could be thousands of http connections spawned per page transition. A DDOS of sorts. This will be an interesting one to tackle.

Any ideas out there??

Greasemonkey needs to inject scripts sooner (5, Insightful)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542389)

I recently started playing around with Greasemonkey. I love it, but there is one issue that I have with it. It injects its scripts at the end of the web page.

I have a web page that runs a little javascript at the end, where it pops up an alert window, then redirects to another page. I would like to write a greasemonkey script to remove this redirection. Unfortunately, the page's javascript gets run before greasemonkeys. Any ideas about how get my greasemonkey script to run sooner?

Use Opera's implementation instead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542450)

LOL

Re:Greasemonkey needs to inject scripts sooner (2, Informative)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542455)

I love it, but there is one issue that I have with it. It injects its scripts at the end of the web page.

I use Proxomitron. It is much like greasemonkey, but it uses regular expressions. There are plenty of "scripts" included and many run at the top of the page to disable problem javascript.

Dangers of Greasemonkey (5, Informative)

darkmyst (590375) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542414)

In order to avoid $50 articles, I found this [com.com] article which did talk about some potential security problems with greasemonkey. It seems hackers could make scripts that behave maliciously. According to the article, even the original greasemonkey developer has expressed concerns along those lines.

Re:Dangers of Greasemonkey (3, Interesting)

SenFo (761716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542517)

Thanks for the post. I was trying to find a way around the $50 article, myself!

On to the topic, I have to say that I agree with the potential for problems. However, I have to wonder if Greasemonkey is perhaps "complex" enough that only a true geek would be interested in playing around with it. There aren't many computer geeks that I know of that are going to just go around installing every script they find without first reading nearly every line of the source code. We're geeks and we like to see how things work ;-).

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if later releases include the ability to check for valid signatures on code. We'll see...

All-in-all, I think it's a great idea. I'll have to read through the documentation and see what kind of goodies I can come up with!

password power? (4, Interesting)

MrLint (519792) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542443)

Is this sting powerful enough to take back control of your passwords? The day that autocomplete became enforced users lost the power to manage their passwords. can GM be used to removed this directive?

Opera and user scripts (5, Insightful)

nafmo (147094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12542535)

"Even Opera has jumped on the bandwagon with their own version of user scripts." Well, considering that Opera previewed a similar technology back in early 2003 [opera.com] , I'm not so sure you could call that "jumping the bandwagon". But still, it's a nice edition, both to Firefox and Opera.

Greasemonkey script to de-Xeni boingboing.net (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12542537)

Here's handy script [uky.edu] to parse out Xeni Jardin's content on boingboing. Now if only I had one to parse out Doctorow's fucking Disney fetish, I'd be all set.
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