Userscripts.org has been down for more than three days as of today. In case you did not know, it is a popular directory for so-called userscripts which you can install in web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to add, change or remove functionality from websites.
Even though its quality has deteriorated in recent time, it is still the go-to website for userscripts for many Internet users.
Especially spam and malicious script were pushed to the website regularly, and since it did not take much to get promoted on the frontpage, often ended up being installed by users who visited the website.
The userscripts.org team has not posted any information why the site is not available, which means that it could be anything from a denial of service attack over successful hacks to hardware errors or the shut down of the site.
Several issues are associated with the downtime. For one, there is no mirror of the site. If it is really gone, then a lot of userscripts that were only hosted on it are gone forever.
Update: It seems possible to access the site using this address: http://userscripts.org:8080/
Update 2: The site appears completely down. Someone set up a mirror site (userscripts-mirror.org) that you can access.
There are however alternative sites available that provide you with access to scripts. None is as big as the Userscripts.org website though which means that the selection of scripts is limited in comparison.
On the other hand, those sites appear to be maintained actively which means that you will not run into spam related issues on them, at least not for now.
The site is managed by the creator of the popular userstyles.org website. It has been created recently but features a good selection of scripts already.
What I like is that you can sort scripts by domain using the interface, and that it supports core features like code reviews, a version history and feedback option.
A couple of things are missing. If you want to read feedback, you need to go to another page as it is not displayed directly on the script's profile page.
Besides GreasyFork, there is also OpenUserJS.org which features just a handful of scripts currently. The script directory seems to be brand new as well which may explain why the site does not list lots of scripts right now.
Still, if you cannot find the script you are looking for on GreasyFork, you may want to give this one a try as it may have it listed.
A third and final option that you have is to search for userscripts on search engines such as Google or Startpage. Combine a site name or feature you are looking for with .user.js to find indexed scripts.
Please note that this will also list other types of pages, for instance those discussing userscripts. On another note, it is also important to be careful when it comes to downloading scripts from third-party repositories. It is a good idea to go through the code before you install any script using this method.
There is no 100% alternative to userscripts.org at the time of writing. If the site comes back up, someone should consider mirroring all the scripts that it is hosting just for the case that it will go down again in the future. A program like Httrack can do so.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.