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Notes on tech

Notes on technology, business, enterpreneurship, economy, markets along with interesting general tidbits.

Monkey tricks with Greasemonkey

5/11/2005 11:36:00 PM, posted by anand

I had heard about Greasemonkey but didnt realize its power until I came across Jon Udell's screencast describing how anyone could use a simple password generator for a single sign-on nirvana.

According the Greasemonkey's mozdev site:
Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension which lets you to add bits of DHTML ("user scripts") to any web page to change its behavior. In much the same way that user CSS lets you take control of a web page's style, user scripts let you easily control any aspect of a web page's design or interaction.
Dont let that simple description fool you. Greasemonkey is pretty powerful stuff. It lets you make local changes/remixes of stuff sent in by the server. Here are some example of Greasemonkey scripts:
  • A script that adds prices and links from other sites to the current book that you are browsing at Amazon.
  • A script that adds "Expanded search" to Expedia.
  • Dozens of other scripts for some of the most popular sites, allowing you to remix their content.
Greasemonkey by itself doesnt do anything except for managing user scripts. Its the user scripts (written by ... users) that have the power to change/remix content. There is even a Greasemonkey Password Generator script that creates a unique password for each site you sign-up for, without the need to remember that password. I've written about it on my simple security blog.

This brings up an interesting question for the server guys (like Amazon and Expedia in the above example) whose data the users are going to remix. Should they allow client side remixes/experimentation or lock things down (dont know how, but probably somehow).
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