Tag Archives: greasemonkey


Killing whitespace in the new “improved” Google Reader

I know that plenty of peo­ple have gripes about the new Google Reader inter­face.  Those gripes revolve mostly around mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the social and shar­ing com­po­nents.  I tend to not use those, myself, opt­ing to instead fol­low the trail of pos­si­ble blogspam to the orig­i­nal source, then man­u­ally shar­ing that on social sites.

No, my gripe is with the crazy amount of white­space that Google has decided I need.  My goal, when open­ing Google Reader, is to quickly skim through titles, expand the arti­cles that seem even mildly inter­est­ing, and then either read them right there or send them to Instapaper for read­ing later.  Usually, I would just “Shift-A” (mark all as read).  This was good in the past, made even bet­ter by the “Google Reader Minimalistic New Style” Greasemonkey script, which lets you tog­gle some of the nonessen­tial stuff in the header and side­bar.  (Use the “w” key!)  Unfortunately, the new style adds so much white­space between titles, mak­ing them sparse enough to be sort of dif­fi­cult to skim, even with this exten­sion enabled.

This is when I ran across “Google Reader Demarginfier,” a Greasemonkey script that will tweak the CSS slightly to remove the crazy amounts of white­space, return­ing Google Reader to a look that allows me to eas­ily skim a large num­ber of titles.  Thanks, Krystyn, for point­ing this out to me.  And — bonus — it plays well with Google Reader Minimalistic!

Death to the Google FavIcon! (A How-To Guide)

Not too long go, I griped about the new Google FavIcon. I don’t like it. My friends and cowork­ers don’t like it. In fact, we all tend to agree that we like the con­test entry it was based on more than the result­ing icon.

Google’s Current FavIcon
FavIcon from André Resende that it was based upon

I finally got sick and tired enough of star­ing at the new fav­i­con that I decided to take mat­ters into my own hands. While I am not a mas­ter of Greasemonkey scripts, I have writ­ten a few use­ful ones. So tying together André’s image and the fancy data:// URI scheme for embed­ding image data, I whipped up a great lit­tle fav­i­con changer for Google pages. Of course, I told it to exclude things like Mail and Reader because they have per­fectly ser­vice­able and unof­fen­sive icons already. To use it your­self, you sim­ply need to install Greasemonkey (if you do not already have it), and then click on the script to install it.

Posted in: Code Dear Diary

LJ Cleaner Greasemonkey Script

If any­one is inter­ested, I wrote a Greasemonkey script that removes Delicious and Twitter cross-posts from your LJ friends page. It does not com­pletely remove them, but col­lapses them into a sin­gle place­holder line. You are then able to click through to the post and see the con­tent. In that way, it’s like an enforced lj-cut tag. The script is prob­a­bly not aware of every sin­gle kind of cross-posting app out there, but it is at least aware of the few that seem to dom­i­nate my friend list. Additionally, it should work for just about any style you could be using because it homes in on attrib­utes of the post con­tent rather than rely­ing on style-specific for­mat­ting.

Now I can go back to re-friending peo­ple (or, at least, mov­ing them from the posts-I-care-about-to-crap-posts-ratio-is-too-low group to a group I might actu­ally look at.)

Posted in: Code Dear Diary

My Firefox Plugins

This is mainly for my own ref­er­ence, although I fig­ured the list could be ben­e­fi­cial to oth­ers. These are the plu­g­ins and Greasemonkey scripts I am using under Firefox. They’re also doc­u­mented (and updated) at http://stackoverflow.org/wiki/My_Firefox_Plugin_Setup

Posted in: Dear Diary

Firefox 2, Electric Boogaloo

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2006/07/

Okay, so I am slowly try­ing to migrate myself to Firefox 2.0 on the Mac. I have been using it at work and fig­ured it was about time to force myself to use it at home so that I can get a really good feel for how it works in com­par­i­son to Safari. Previously, I did the “30 sec­ond try­out” wherein I imme­di­ately declared that it sucks com­pared to Safari and left it at that. Now that it runs fast (and/or I have more mem­ory) and it has built-in spellcheck (the lack of which was pretty much a deal­breaker with Firefox 1.5 vs. Safari), I’m will­ing to give it a try.

I real­ize that plenty of peo­ple have been using mod­ern ver­sions of Firefox longer than I. I ask the fol­low­ing ques­tions with the hope that some­one can help answer them.

1. Is there a way to eas­ily “clone” (or bet­ter yet, syn­chro­nize) my exten­sions and/or Greasemonkey scripts between two machines? When I freshly install Firefox, it would be super-nice to auto­mat­i­cally have my exten­sions there (Adblock, Flashblock, etc.) When I install an exten­sion at home (or add an Adblock rule, even), it would be great to have that appear at work with­out hav­ing to think much about it.

2. Is there an exten­sion that works with Firefox 2.0 that lets me define hotkeys for “next tab” and “pre­vi­ous tab?” Previously, I was using either Keyconfig or some­thing sim­i­lar that let me do this with 1.5. There is a great lit­tle exten­sion called Nightly Tester Tools, which allows you to load “older” exten­sions into a “newer” Firefox ver­sion, which helped for some exten­sions, but not for this par­tic­u­lar one. They prob­a­bly changed an API or object model dras­ti­cally enough in 2.0 that a sim­ple ver­sion num­ber bump isn’t suf­fi­cient.

3. Is there a good place to browse pop­u­lar Greasemonkey scripts? I’ve seen userscripts.org, but it really only seems to be geared toward “I know what I’m look­ing for, let me search for it” as opposed to “I don’t yet know what I’m look­ing for, I just want to see what other peo­ple find use­ful.” I have a YouTube down­loader and a MySpace cus­tom theme killer, but won­der what other peo­ple find use­ful. (And no, I don’t need the “kill the LiveJournal navbar” thinger–contrary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, I rather like that thing.)

4. What exten­sions and Greasemonkey scripts do YOU find use­ful? I’ve been using:

  • Adblock — blocks ads by pat­tern match­ing; lets you right-click images/iframes to add new pat­terns
  • BugMeNot — gives you throw­away names+passwords for “reg­is­tra­tion required” sites
  • Distrust — The same thing as Safari’s “pri­vacy mode” — when enabled, sites don’t go into the his­tory or cache
  • Flashblock — Displays a place­holder where Flash would be dis­played on a page; click­ing the place­holder loads the Flash (good for ads and/or annoy­ing sites.)
  • Google Notebook — Lets you save text snip­pets and web pages in your Google note­book. Strangely, I’ve never used this beyond ini­tially test­ing it out; I tend to use my own Wiki for the same pur­pose.
  • Greasemonkey — Allows page tweak­ing
  • JavaScript Options — Lets you alter JavaScript behav­ior. Specifically, I use it to pre­vent pages from open­ing non-resizable win­dows. That bugs the crap out of me because they can never get the size right for my display/window-trimmings.
  • Nightly Tester Tools — Lets you install exten­sions that are not nec­es­sar­ily for the ver­sion of Firefox you are using.
  • Stumbleupon — Lets you “chan­nel surf” web pages. I’m about to delete this, as its use­ful­ness is pretty low.
Posted in: Code Software