User scripts – Intro

User scripts are a handy little concept through which we can extend / customize behavior of any web site. Before we talk what user scripts are, lets see what kind of things we can do with it

  • Always display some information like time or how much time you are spending on that website etc.
  •  Remove ads from your favorite web site such as Facebook  or any news site
  • Extend or implement some functionality on web sites you like. For e.g. download albums from facebook.
  • Do some time sensitive actions such as log into a web site as soon as its up. (handy when you have to book train tickets through IRCTC Tathkal)

So, what is a user script?  It’s a script which your browser can understand and act on it.  So how is it different from Javascript or vb script? The key difference is, all these client side scripts have to be part of a web application, where as user scripts sit on browser and gets injected into every site (or selected sites)  that you open in a browser. These scripts are loaded before any scripts are loaded on the page and hence the advantage.

These user scripts are specific to browser as they act as extensions to web browser. There are lot of browser extensions out there to manage and create user scripts such as Greasemonkeyfor firefox,  Tampermonkey

In next blog,  we will see how to use Tampermoney to create user scripts and introduce a custom behavior for a web site.