From simple manipulations that change the background color of a site to powerful scripts like YouTube Center that provide you with lots of options and features.
It was fun browsing the site, testing new scripts, and reviewing those that I liked.
For several years now, the site has had a number of issues. Spam and malicious scripts became more of a problem up to a point where even scam filter scripts that were created for the site would not do much good anymore.
Malicious authors would rate and review their own userscripts, and update them regularly so that they would appear on the popular scripts listing on the site's frontpage.
The operators of the site have not addressed those issues and let the site deteriorate at the same time.
I briefly considered creating an alternative of the site that would work and keep spam in check on the site, but other projects have kept me occupied.
Thankfully though I'm not the only one who must have felt this way. Jason Barnabe, who created the site Userstyles.org in 2006 has started to work on Greasy Fork, a repository for quality userscripts.
So what are the goals of the site?
- To be a safe script repository for users interested in userscripts. This means taking care of malicious and spam scripts so that users do not have to go through the code of each script before they install it just to make sure it is clean.
- For script authors useful tools and information that they can use to promote and manage the scripts that they have created.
Greasy Fork is an open source project that is available on GitHub. That's interesting as it allows the community to contribute code to the project or get involved in it in other ways.
The script repository is currently considered beta and has been online for a month only. You won't find the selection of scripts yet on it that you find on the Userscript.org website, but that will come with time.
It is already promoted by several script authors and in forums, and if the makers of Userscript.org do not get their act together fast, will replace the site in the long run.
So what is supported right now?
From a user perspective, this is what is being offered right now on the site:
- You can install scripts if you have Greasemonkey, a comparable extension such as Scriptish installed, or download them to your local system.
- The code can be reviewed directly on the site.
- A version archive is available to check out and use older versions of the script.
- You can leave feedback.
- A script page lists the author of the script, stats about it, and its features.
And what is missing?
The layout is plain and basic at the moment, and needs to be improved in the long run. It works for now though and other functionality is more important than that.
It would be great if the latest feedbacks and forum threads about a script would be displayed directly on the script's page on Greasy Fork. As it stands now, you need to click on the Feedback link on the page to find out if there is feedback at all.
A report button would also be handy to report scripts that have slipped through the filtering.
Greasy Fork has a long way to go but the start is promising. While it lacks the number of scripts that Userscripts.org offers right now, it is run by a dedicated developer who has a great track record running the Userstyles website.
Word of mouth and articles like this one will help spread the word, and if things go as planned, it will replace the original Userscripts website in the long run.