Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Greasemonkey Lives At GitHub

Months ago, the people running DevjaVu let us know that they were shutting the service down. It's unfortunate, but they cannot be faulted. They're still running now, but there's no saying how long that will remain for. As of today, the ability to change tickets (both creating and commenting, for all but pre-existing project members) has been revoked.

Greasemonkey now lives at GitHub, both for source code hosting, and issue tracking. We expect that the distributed nature of git should allow freer forking and branching, and easier collaboration with anyone; rather than the limited set of people who were granted SVN commit access, in earlier days.

If you notice any existing links outside of DevjaVu pointing into it, please let us know at the greasemonkey-dev mailing list. If you see someone suggesting the DevjaVu site, please correct them and let everyone involved know that GitHub is now the official code and issue host for Greasemonkey.

Thanks, and if you want to contribute, send those pull requests!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


[This is a repost of a message I also sent to greasemonkey-dev]

It's been a long time since I've been working on Greasemonkey actively. During the time I was away Johan Sundstr?m and Anthony Lieuallen picked up the slack and did the last few releases without my help.

So I've decided to officially hand over the reins to them. What this means practically is that they will be the ones accepting patches, doing releases, and tending the bugs. I also hope that this change will reinvigorate the project, as it has been moving slowly for some time.

I'll still be lurking of course, but Johan and Anthony will be responsible for day-to-day administration now. I know they'll do a great job.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Greasemonkey Release 0.8.20090123.1

In preparation for Firefox 3.1, we're releasing a new version of Greasemonkey, marked as compatible with Firefox 3.1b2, along with additional changes and fixes:
  • Added translations: ar-SA, bn-IN, hu-HU, id-ID, ro-RO, sr-RS, vi-VN.
  • Fix for ticket #111 (anomalous separators in the monkey menu).
  • Add GM_deleteValue() and GM_listValues() APIs (#38).
  • Restore the anonymous function wrapper around scripts, and thus the same behavior as versions prior to 0.8 (by default, removable with the @unwrap metadata imperative, #108).
  • Improved interaction with the Firebug console (#122, #204).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Greasemonkey Version 0.8

At long last, the new version of Greasemonkey is available. Get Greasemonkey 0.8.0 from

The most important change for this release is full compatibility with Firefox 3.0. There is also a new feature that allows modularization of user scripts that comes in four pieces: @resource, @require, GM_getResourceURL, and GM_getResourceText. Follow those links to learn how they work. Also:
  • GM_xmlhttpRequest now includes the finalUrl property.
  • Internal code quality improvements
  • New attractive graphics by Pak-Kei Mak
Finally, there is a set of reported issues that are yet to be resolved. Version 0.8.1 is planned, but we feel 0.8.0 is a strong enough improvement to be worth releasing, for Firefox 3.0 compatibility. Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Greasemonkey Security Update

I've just posted an update to Greasemonkey that fixes a recent publicly disclosed security issue. Please upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible.

Note that this update might affect compatibility for a small number of scripts. Script authors should see the Greasemonkey wiki for details and workarounds.

I have also enabled support for Firefox 3 Beta in this build for those who have been asking about that.

Thanks, and sorry for any inconvenience. For help or questions about Greasemonkey, join the greasemonkey-users mailing list.

To report security issues, please mail the details to

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Greasemonkey 0.7 Candidate

Hello all,

Since there were some pretty major problems with the last release that caused significant grief, I've rethought how releases will work. Going forward, we will:
  • Do candidate releases to greasemonkey-dev and greasemonkey-users. Before, we just sent candidates to greasemonkey-dev. If you are interested in cutting edge builds and don't mind getting a little messy in the process, subscribe to one of these lists. This will get more eyes on finding regressions early.

  • Once the candidate is vetted on the mailing lists, we will do a candidate release on this blog.

  • Only once the candidate is vetted on the mailing lists and the blog will we do an autoudpate.
This release is the first to follow the new process. Please add a comment to this post with any bugs you find. If there are serious regressions I will do a new release here before autoupdating.

There are no new features other than bug fixes for the previous release. In particular:
  • Fixed the bug where you can't install scripts if you have never disabled Greasemonkey.
  • Fixed the bug where drag and drop in the manage dialog only works once per view.
  • Fixed the bug where removing a script in the manage dialog also removes the last script.
As always, you can see all recent changes to Greasemonkey on the dev website.

Thanks for your patience!

Install Greasemonkey 0.7 Candidate

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Greasemonkey 0.6.9: gm_scripts directory bug gone forever?

Download Greasemonkey 0.6.9

Anthony has made a change in this release which will hopefully end the issue which keeps popping up of the gm_scripts directory not existing.

Other interesting bits in this release:

  • You can now reorder the scripts in the manage dialog with drag+drop or the arrow keys
  • You can now use Firebug's console object to debug Greasemonkey if you have Firebug installed.
  • Fix bug where install dialog would pop up when Greasemonkey is disabled

Full change log here

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Greasemonkey 0.6.8: 'New Script...' UI now usable, error reporting improvements, new localizations

Download Greasemonkey

Note: Because is in the midst of a migration to a new version of their software, Greasemonkey will not autoupdate itself until at least March 22, when we are told the new version of their server will up and running.

So if you want this version, you need to download it manually until then.


New stuff in this release. The major things are:
  • Rewrite of 'New Script...' UI. It now pops up a nice UI to get the script details and then generates and opens a script which is already installed that you can edit in one step. This is a huge improvement in the usability of this feature. Thanks to Anthony Lieuallen for the implementation.

  • Improvements to error reporting. Most types of errors in user scripts now give the correct line number in the error message. You can also click on the filename in Firebug to view the script, as with other types of errors in Firefox. Anthony is also responsible for this improvement.

  • Added support for overrideMimeType to GM_xmlhttpRequest. Thanks to Lior Zur for the patch. To use, add overrideMimeType: "yourmimetypehere" to the object you pass to GM_xmlhttpRequest.

  • New translations for Finnish, Japanese, and Russian. The Greasemonkey UI looks particularly cool in Japanese. Thanks to Tommi Rautava, Hisateru Tanaka, and Александр Соколов for their contributions.

To see the full list of changes in this release, see the commit history.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Web page changes

I've made a series of changes to try and organize the various webpages related to Greasemonkey.
  • is Greasemonkey's new home. It hosts this blog as well as links to download,, Dive into Greasemonkey, discussion groups, wiki, and dev site. now redirects here.

  • now has a wiki that we can use for troubleshooting, etc. Thanks to Anthony Lieuallen for hosting this.

  • is the new home of Greasemonkey development, including source code.

  • is now archived and redirects here.

Have a look around and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Greasemonkey 0.6.7: minor UI tweaks + new localizations

Greasemonkey is now available for download.

There were only minor changes since 0.6.6:
  • Fixed the manage dialog so that it doesn't bounce around when you select different user scripts (thanks Anthony Lieuallen)
  • Added Basque translation (thanks 3ARRANO)
  • Updated German translation (thanks Matthias Bauer)
  • Middle-click on monkey icon now opens manage dialog, right-click on scripts in monkey menu opens them in an editor (thanks LouCypher and pile0nades)
There are also some changes going on with regard to Greasemonkey development. The code has moved to
Also, we are going to start doing regular releases of Greasemonkey every month, so long as there is new stuff checked in. The build will be created on the first Thursday of each month and sent to the
greasemonkey-dev mailing list for trial. Once verified, it will be posted to

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fix for Spanish localization bug

Version is available and fixes the bug that you may have noticed if you speak Spanish.

Download it now, or wait for autoupdate to prompt you.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Greasemonkey 0.6.6 - Firefox 2 support and new install UI

Download here, or wait for Firefox 2's cool new extension autoupdater to prompt you.

The main changes from 0.6.5 are:
  • Firefox 2.0 support
  • New, less crappy script installation UI
  • Spanish localization
The new script installation UI is a bit of a change. When I first wrote Greasemonkey, it was intended to be for JavaScript hackers only. I didn't envision there even being a UI at first -- just some configuration files. But now that lots of non-programmers use Greasemonkey, displaying the source code when you click on a user script doesn't make much sense.

When you click on a user script now, it pops up an installation dialog that shows the title, description, and pages the script will be included on. If you want to see the source code, you can still do that by clicking "View Script Source" in the install dialog or in the user script's context menu.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Greasemonkey 0.6.5 - 2.0 support and localization

I'm happy to announce Greasemonkey 0.6.5, which includes support for Firefox 2.0 beta 1 and basic localization in Czech, Dutch, and German. I've also fixed up the problems in the CVS main branch for people where were trying to use source directly.

Thanks to Chris Feldmann for internalization code, esquifit for a 2.0 compatibility patch, and all those who helped test.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Troubleshooting 0.6.4

I thought it'd be useful to pull together all the issues you might run into with Greasemonkey itself.

We are, of course, trying to make Greasemonkey suck less, but this should help for now. Please be sure to read the error message closely so you can follow the appropriate actions for a workaround. Lots of Firefox errors look pretty similar.

Also, be sure to close Firefox and back up your profile before changing any files in your profile directory. Don't say we didn't warn you. ;)

  • If you see an error including text like this: "(NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) location JS frame :: chrome://greasemonkey/content/utils.js :: getContents ", follow the, uh, following steps. Updated to clarify command-line stuff: These are commands which need to be entered either in a DOS prompt or a terminal. On Windows, you can generally access this with "Start > Run > Cmd" or "Start > Run > command" or "Windows + R > command". (If someone can verify the steps for WinXP, it'd help; I don't have that OS.) On OS X, you can get there with Terminal (Applications > Terminal). On Linux, you should know how to find a terminal. ;) Once at a command prompt (C:\ in Windows, ~/user in OS X), enter the following commands, which just creates a gm_scripts directory and an empty file named config.xml in the appropriate place in your Firefox profile.

    1. cd your profile directory
    2. mkdir gm_scripts
    3. On OS X: touch gm_scripts/config.xml
    4. On Windows: echo "" > gm_scripts\config.xml

  • If you see an error including text like this: "(NS_ERROR_FAILURE) []", you're probably installing from a data: URL. If so, follow these steps:

    1. Open the link in your browser.
    2. Save the file locally, naming it [something].user.js.
    3. Open the local file in your browser.
    4. Install from the local file.

  • If you see an error as a result of a Greasemonkey action (such as installing a script) which lists a chrome URL that starts with something other than chrome://greasemonkey (such as chrome://w3rted/content/browser.xul), you probably have a naming conflict. Follow these steps:

    1. Open your profile directory\extensions\Extensions.rdf.
    2. Find the extension is in conflict by searching for the first part of the chrome URL in your error message. In the example above, I'd search for "chrome://w3rted".
    3. Find the name of that extension by looking for the value of <em:name> in the same RDF:Description.
    4. Try moving the conflicting extension below Greasemonkey by using [Tools > Extensions, right-click, Move Down]. Doing this affects the order in which extensions are loaded and sometimes allows Greasemonkey to initialize successfully. Restart Firefox before testing again.
    5. If moving the extension down didn't resolve the issue, and you can live without the other extension, disabling it should work. [Tools > Extensions, right-click, Disable]. ... And restart Firefox again.

If you're getting one of these errors and these steps didn't resolve, let me know in the comments. If you're getting a different error, I need to add it to the list. I hope this helps get you monkeying again.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Workarounds for missing XMLHttpRequest, DOMParser, and XMLSerializer

Update: Over on the Greasemonkey mailing list, Joe la Poutre notices an even easier workaround. All you have to do is use the older form of the XPCNativeWrapper constructor to access a specific property. I'm not even sure why this works, but it does:

var parser = new XPCNativeWrapper(window, "DOMParser").DOMParser();
alert(parser.parseFromString("", "text/xml"));

Leaving the below, just for posterity...

One bittersweet part about releasing Greasemonkey 0.6.4 was that I needed to remove support for the XML Extras module which contains such goodies as XMLHttpRequest, DOMParser, and XMLSerializer.

I knew that many people were using XMLHttpRequest, particularly since GM_xmlhttpRequest, it's cross-domain replacement evaporated temporarily in 0.3.5, and that this would be a pain point. However, when weighing those people having to change their scripts to use GM_xmlhttpRequest and the alternative of having a confusingly inconsistent security model, I chose the former. I also fixed the major scripts I knew of, such as GMail Conversation Preview, which used XMLHttpRequest.

What I didn't expect at all was that people would miss DOMParser and XMLSerializer. I had no idea any scripts even used these. It's really neat to find people using pieces of your tool which you didn't expect them to, in ways you didn't expect them to. This makes me incredibly happy. Go user scripters! :-)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I've received many questions asking how to work around the lack of these two classes. The good news is that not only is there a workaround, there are three of them!

1. Use unsafeWindow.DOMParser and unsafeWindow.XMLSerializer

The downside here is that, as the name says, unsafeWindow is a reference to the content actual window - the same one that the content's JavaScript uses. Because of that, calling into it can make your script vulnerable to interference by the content script. This can be OK if you trust the site you are scripting somewhat. Take a look at the unsafeWindow details to decide whether you think this is appropriate for your script.

2. Use E4X

In a very zen turn of events it turns out that although Firefox 1.5 denies user scripters the XPCOM-based XML parsing and serializing they were accustomed to, it provides them with a brand-new - arguably superior - interface.

E4X is a brand new native JavaScript XML API that ships with Firefox 1.5 and is available to Greasemonkey scripts. There's not a ton of documentation yet, but from my experience with it so far, it's vastly more elegant and pleasant to work with than the DOM interfaces.

You can get more information about E4X, including the ECMA specification and a handy expression tester, at these URLs:

One caveat to keep in mind is that, in accordance with the E4X spec (don't ask me, it's insane), the input XML must not have an XML declaration. So you usually need to use a regex to strip it before parsing. For example:

var xml = new XML(xmlStringWithDecl.replace(/<\?xml.*?\?>/g, ""));

3. Use an IFRAME and let Mozilla do the dirty work

Many have pointed out that Mozilla already ships with an excellent, and very robust XML parser. It also ships with an HTML parser. Why not just leverage those? You can, it just takes a bit of hacking. I put an example of how to use an IFRAME to parse an HTML document into a DOM on my website.

Greasemonkey HTML Parser

Of course, just by changing the content type from text/html to text/xml, you could use the same technique to parse XHTML or even raw XML.

So I hope this shows that although the way to do certain things has changed, no capabilities have been removed from Greasemonkey. In fact new ones have been added, and the addition of completely isolating user scripts from content improved the reliability and security of Greasemonkey quite a lot.

Sorry for the disturbance, you may now resume your madcap exploration and use of Greasemonkey for all manner of things I never expected.

Mozdev back - Greasemonkey page updated

After some downtime due to increased load from the Firefox 1.5 release, mozdev is back. I took the opportunity to update the Greasemonkey homepage and authoring page.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Slides from Nov 8 Emerging Technology SIG

Last month I was asked to give a presentation about Greasemonkey at the Emerging Technology SIG here in Mountain View. I was bored with my old presentation format, so I redesigned it.

View the slides.

And here's the zipped package if you want to use the format for your own presentation.

The old format also had some issues. I found that personally, the more words that were on each slide, the more I was obligated to say on each slide. It made me uncomfortable, knowing that people would see if I didn't say something I had planned to.

My girlfriend, Susan, mentioned that I actually speak about Greasemonkey quite well off the cuff. So I stole an idea from other presentations I've seen and put very few words on each slide. I felt like this gave me more freedom to just talk - expanding on areas people seemed interested in, and skipping areas they didn't.

There is only a very vague structure to this presentation. It's divided into several high-level sections, and each section progresses through a few phases:
  • Question
  • Exploration, broad answers, more questions
  • Restate Question
  • Concise answer
I don't know if this is applicable to other presentations, but it seemed to work for Greasemonkey. Maybe Greasemonkey just has a lot of questions surrounding it :-).

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Broken Scripts Fixed

In abscense of the wiki-like features that Jesse is building into, I am keeping a list of scripts I have fixed for 0.6.4 at I'll also post a comment on the page for the scripts when I make these changes.

I'll keep the script there until the author updates the original location and pings me. If you're having trouble with a script, send a mail to the mailing list, or leave a comment, and maybe I'll take a look.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Greasemonkey 0.6.4

It's been a long road, but a stable, secure, and much improved Greasemonkey is now available for Firefox 1.5.

Install Greasemonkey 0.6.4

This is for Firefox 1.5 only and will not install on previous Firefoxen. If you use a Firefox version prior to 1.5, you should continue using Greasemonkey 0.5.3.

Some of the changes required for security caused minor API changes. If you are a developer and your script breaks in Greasemonkey 0.6.4, consult the wiki for information on how to fix it. Or, as always, ask on the mailing list.

What's new since 0.5.x?

  • Monkey menu: Right-click on the monkey to get quick access to enable or disable the scripts which apply to this page.

  • New install UI: There's a cute new yellow install bar like the one that's displayed for extensions when you load a user script file. When you install, you get a simple animation in the status bar for the loading progress followed by a single dialog when installation is successful.

  • New injection system: We now use a much stabler injection system which is only available to Firefox 1.5. This should solve all double-injects or non-injects.

  • The document.domain bug which was causing scripts to not inject on sites such as fixed.

  • New migration system: Greasemonkey no longer tries to migrate the script folder's location on install, which was causing install headaches for some users. Instead, it uses the old location if a previous version was already installed.

  • Fastback support: Previous Greasemonkeys interfered with Firefox 1.5's awesome Fastback feature. This release does not.

  • Remove script prefs when uninstalling the scripts. Sort of; see issues.

Known Issues:
  • When uninstalling scripts, the "also uninstall script preferences" checkbox looks works when "OK" is clicked, rather than when "uninstall" is clicked. In other words, before confirming uninstallation of scripts, make sure the checkbox is selected to also remove the associated prefs. This is needlessly confusing.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Firefox 1.5-compatible Greasemonkey beta now available

I've posted a beta of the next version of Greasemonkey to You can access it at:

This is for Firefox Beta 1.5 only and will not install on other Firefoxes. If you use a version of the browser prior to 1.5, then you should continue using Greasemonkey 0.5.3.

It's a beta, which means that it will likely break some number of your existing, working scripts. Please report these on the mailing list and to the script author. Many breakages will be up to the script author to correct. Typically, the changes required are minor. Authors should consult the Greasemonkey Wiki or mailing list for help.

There is currently no Greasemonkey 0.5.x for Firefox 1.5 beta. It's my hope that user script authors will update their scripts so that such a release is not necessary. So please, bug script authors whose scripts break :-).

What's new?
  • Monkey menu: Click the monkey to get quick access to enabling and disabling each of your scripts. You can also see at a glance which scripts ran on the current page.

  • New install UI: We no longer pop up two modal dialogs everytime you install a script. Instead, a simple animated status message to the left of the monkey tells you everything went OK.

  • New injection system: We now use a much stabler injection system which is only available to Firefox 1.5. This should solve all double-injects or non-injects (except for document.domain issues discussed below).

  • New migration system: Greasemonkey no longer tries to migrate the script folder's location on install, which was causing install headaches for some users. Instead, it uses the old location if a previous version was already installed.

  • Fastback support: Previous Greasemonkeys interfered with Firefox 1.5's awesome Fastback feature. This release does not.

Known Issues:

  • Update: If you install Greasemonkey 0.6.2 without any prior version installed, installing scripts will not work. You'll see a "file not found error. We'll be updating soon to fix this and are sorry for the bug. Meanwhile, the following will fix you up:

    1. cd <your profile directory>

    2. mkdir gm_scripts

    3. Unix: touch gm_scripts/config.xml

    4. Windows: echo "" > gm_scripts\config.xml

  • Greasemonkey 0.6.2 does not inject on websites which use the document.domain javascript property. Notable examples are and This is due to a Firefox bug which will be fixed before 1.5 ships.

  • Scripts which use any of the properties of the location object fail with NS_ERROR_INVALID_POINTER. This is due to a Firefox bug which will be fixed before 1.5 ships. As a temporary workaround, script authors may wrap code which accesses the location object with a window.setTimeout call. So for instance, instead of window.location.replace('foo'), use window.setTimeout(function(){ window.location.replace('foo') });.

XPCNativeWrapper reminders:

The window and document properties in Greasemonkey 0.6.x are XPCNativeWrapper objects, which have many annoying limitations as compared to the normal DOM objects. You can keep up with all the details as documented on the Greasemonkey wiki.