[Greasemonkey] Re: GM Statusbar Icon

Nikolas Coukouma lists at atrus.org
Thu Aug 4 12:07:23 EDT 2005

Jeff Barr wrote:

> Anthony Lieuallen wrote:
>> My ideal would be, probably somewhere down the line, to have that icon
>> have a right click menu.  In that menu would be both the menu items
>> currently located in Tools, as well as a list of all installed
>> scripts.  Disabled scripts would be grey, inactive scripts the regular
>> black, and scripts injected into this page highlighted .. green or red
>> text?  A background color or icon?
> Alternatively, how about some kind of animated display of:
> 1 - The original page HTML
> 2 - #1 as modified by first matching script
> 3 - #2 as modified by second matching script
> 4 - etc.
> This would be similar to the animated Wiki history stuff that
> was done over at waxy.org a month or two ago
> (<http://www.waxy.org/archive/2005/06/14/automati.shtml>).
> While I am throwing out random ideas, what about some kind of
> "safe" GM mode which basically generates the list of scripts
> that would modify the page, then asks the user which ones
> should be run in some kind of popup with a list of scripts
> and checkboxes:
> +----------------------------------------------------------+
> | The following scripts would like to modify this page:    |
> |                                                          |
> | [ ] Fix links to open on page                            |
> | [ ] Detect and submit RSS feeds                          |
> | [ ] Remove banner ads                                    |
> |                                                          |
> |  [Run Checked Scripts]    [Run All]    [Run None]        |
> |                                                          |
> +----------------------------------------------------------+
> This mode could be a great way to build up confidence in
> GM for new users. Once they see what is happening to the
> page, the mystery around GM and what it is doing will
> quickly evaporate.
> Jeff;

This "animation" would probably just be a sizable (say, 1sec) pause
between scripts with a indication of which script is currently running.
This might be handy for debugging pages? The limitation I see is that
many scripts (at least a lot of the ones I write) don't have any
noticable effect until long after the script is run; they add mouseovers
or set up event listeners and do things lazily.

I think the best thing we can do for users is display a list of exactly
which scripts were injected and in which order and make it easy to get
to the management UI. From there, they can easily disable whichever ones
they want, modify include/exclude, etc.

For people in need of more debugging information, I think serializing
the document to a file after each step would be more useful. Once you
have a sequence of files, it should be easy to run diff or even load
them for inspection with the DOM inspector.

Getting back to users, telling them what a script does is the purpose of
a description. I try to include screenshots if the script does anything
visually noticable. Screencasts are another common tool. Perhaps
userscripts.org could encourage this ... possibly offering to host
screenshot(s) along with the description, or at least providing a way to
easily link to them.


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