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First Google’s AutoLink, now Greasemonkey.

Posted on Mar 24th, 2005
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    Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows users to add scripts that can affect any website. These scripts can block out ads, change the layout, and easily control the site’s design or interaction. Needless to say, some developers are not happy with it.

    A few weeks back we talked about Google’s Auto Link feature in Google Toolbar 3. It stirred up controversy because it would automatically link ISBN numbers to a bookstore of Google’s choice and automatically linked address to Google Maps. Now, Greasemonkey has these abilities and more.

    Some of the scripts Greasemonkey can run include changing all Amazon links to include your affiliate ID, remove ads, makes GMail use a secure connection, change where NY Times links go and many more. Some scripts are quite helpful; however some scripts could become dangerous by stealing your usernames and passwords. Anything is possible, so make sure you research a script before installing it. Keep in mind, if you never install Greasemonkey, you’ll never have to worry because Greasemonkey and its scripts only work in the browser that installed it.

    Unlike Google’s AutoLink, Greasemonkey is not a product put out by a larger company. Thus, it’s slower to catch on and probably won’t be as popular as Google’s Toolbar. It takes a little more knowledge to set up, however once you get it going it can do much more than AutoLink.

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