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lachie 2:39pm, 30 April 2005
I just had a bit of a "eureka!" idea. First the motivation:

1. GM scripts are non trivial to install for the know-not. (especially from the point of not even having that newfangled Firefox doobywhacker)

2. There's that GM script compiler, which turns GM scripts into standalone xpi extensions.

The idea:
How about we aim to produce a high quality plain vanilla Firefox plugin composed of our various GM scripts ?

I would call it the Flickr MonkeyBox, but there are proabably other names which would convey its utility more effectively.

Composition of the plugin should be automated via the GM Compiler (or variation thereof)

Advantages:
High quality - not meaning the current scripts aren't - instead, meaning that the MonkeyBox would contain feature-stable, tested and QA'ed releases of each script.

Lower the incidence of script collision (where one script stops another from working)

There could be a Prefs panel for switching "components" on and off - perhaps even specific prefs for each component, although this would increase the differences between a GM and MonkeyBox version of a script.

Lower the entry cost for n00bs - increase usage of our scripts especially for Flickr powerusers who might not be firefox/GM powerusers. Imagine just being able to say "OMG, try out quas' thread highlighter, LOL"
as opposed to something like: www.flickr.com/groups/topic/30105/202186/

Use firefox's upgrade infrastructure - ffx can check a specific url for updates to an xpi

Well, what do youse think? Do you think its a goer?

--Lachie
brawny door [deleted] 17 years ago
I can see the info-mercial now :-)
"Call now! Operators are standing by!"

;'-D
Great idea! I have already made an extension from my flickRate GM script, I would really like to make it available in a global extension for Flickr.
Adrian H. 17 years ago
I'm the author of the Greasemonkey compiler and would be happy to tweak it if you guys need anything.
admin
Lachie wrote:
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How about we aim to produce a high quality plain vanilla Firefox plugin composed of our various GM scripts ?
----------------
sounds like a great idea! maybe yahoo could sponsor the developers hehe ;-)
kastner 17 years ago
Sounds good.. lets start a list
I like the following:
flickrBatchTagger
Reset Flickr Comments
Lickr (with the ability to turn this off!)
Flickr Batch tagging thingie (can't find the url off hand)

all AWESOME stuff! (I know I missed some, this is just off the top of my head!)
mhusson 17 years ago
That is a fantastic idea. Really great. It would be like a tweak UI for flickr. You download everything at once and then have the option to turn components on or off.

One script that I would love to see added is the Group Tracker (the one that highlights these threads).
admin
lachie 17 years ago
:) I'm glad you are all keen...

I've never run a project - as this is turning into, and not saying that I should or will run this one - but, I think we should:

1. "put some process" around it, as the business types might say

a. get some people who decide what level of quality is adequate for a release, and what features might not be appropriate (eg. breaching the Flickr TOS). A core to the project.

Is this too facist?

b. get some (4-5 maybe?) beta testers of varying skill, who are prepared to thoroughly stomp on the extension - and to provide good feedback.

2. take Adrian up on his offer. I think with some minimal extension to his compiler, we'll be able achieve the mechanics of what we want to do with little effort.

I have some ideas for this, which hopefully I can write up tonight.

One more thing - I think we should definitely get this thing running on Netscape 4 (or Mosaic), so that we can get jwz's opinion on it.

What d'ye reckon ?
admin
quas 17 years ago
I reckon that sounds great. :)
mhusson 17 years ago
Sounds great. especially if Adrian H. can help us with having it be component-based.
admin
another couple of suggestions for the extension:

FlickrQuoter and also the Flickr Uploader Bookmarklet, that lets you upload images directly from a webpage, it could be added as a right click context menu option perhaps, though i dont think thats possible with GM scripts at the moment, maybe when its made into an extension it will be possible...
Neil 17 years ago
I'm not against the idea, and you can use Lickr of course, but I probably won't contribute any mental bandwidth.
admin
lachie 17 years ago
monkeybox logo
very much a quick knock-up :)

I haven't heard back from Adrian H. (on the subject of additions to the GM compiler) but here's what I said I thought we would need:

* Add the necessary glue to support the GM_* functions
AFAIK, the whole idea of GM_xmlhttpRequest is so that XMLHTTPRequst can be run in the browser's own security context - this shouldn't be a problem if they're running as extension. Is that right? And probably the same for the other GM_* functions?

* Modify the compiler to accept a number of scripts
- each script works as a normal GM script

* Each script is enabled and disabled through a single generated preferences panel
- one panel for the whole extension
cute logo!

although i'm scared to ask what the monkey is doing in the box to cause all that fire.

great idea too.
admin
lachie 17 years ago
hehe... its meant to be a tail !

And, have you tried this kewl new program, Get Firefox! ? ;-)
admin
lachie 17 years ago
heh, meta:
technorati_monkeybox
ordinary voice [deleted] 17 years ago
wonderful idea, yell if there's anything I can do to help.
admin
looks like theyve put something similar together for google at www.customizegoogle.com/
though i dont think theyve made a firefox extension version yet.

it has a cool configurator that lets you choose which scripts you want to include, it then combines all the options into a single GM script.

one of the clever innovations it has is an update notification option.
admin
lachie 17 years ago
cool.... guess I should give an update as to what I've been doing...

I talked to Adrian H. He said (and I agree) that compiling multiple scripts into a single extension was out of scope for his compiler. (he's also working on integrating the GM_* functions, which will directly benefit our project)

I've implemented a compiler which does do multi scripts, both as a subclass of Adrian's (in python) and as a port to Ruby (because I'm learning Ruby atm :). In the next coupla days I should at least have something usable (possibly sans control panel)
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