Chrome 4.0 Natively Supports Greasemonkey User Scripts
Article by George Norman
On 02 Feb 2010
Google has recently released the final, stable version of Chrome 4.0 for Windows. At the time of the release we focused on the browser’s main highlights: bookmarks sync and extensions. Bookmarks sync, as the name so adequately points out, lets users sync their bookmarks – for example you can sync your bookmarks between your work computer and your home computer. Extensions are programs that extend Chrome’s functionality – like add-ons are for Firefox.

Chrome 4.0 also came with numerous security fixes, an experimental new anti-reflected-XSS feature called "XSS Auditor", a new security feature called “Strict Transport Security”, and improved V8 JavaScript engine. Amongst all the hype surrounding chrome 4.0 we missed one important feature. Chrome 4.0 natively supports Greasemonkey user scripts

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“Google Chrome 4 now natively supports Greasemonkey user scripts I'm happy to report that as of the last Google Chrome release, you can install any user script with a single click. So, now you can use emoticons on blogger. Or, you can browse Google Image Search with a fancy lightbox. In fact, there's over 40,000 scripts on userscripts.org alone. Installation is quick and easy, just like installing an extension. That's because under the covers, the user script is actually converted into an extension. This means that management tasks like disabling and uninstalling work just like they do with extensions,” announced Google Software Engineer, Aaron Boodman.

Greasemonkey is an extension for the Firefox browser that first saw the light of day in 2004 – you can thank Boodman for writing it. The emphasis here falls on Firefox. Because there are some differences between Google’s Chrome browser and Mozilla’s Firefox browser, some user scripts will not work. According to Boodman, between 15% and 25% of scripts will not work in Chrome. But that issue will soon be fixed.

As a little side note, I have to say that this is hardly surprising. When Chrome was still in Beta, the development team at Google did not give any developer the go ahead to come up with a Chrome plugin, because plugins posed a serious security risk. The first plugin to get the thumbs up from the development team was Greasemonkey.



Tags: Google, Chrome, Greasemonkey, User Scripts
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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