Stylus is a Stylish fork without analytics
Stylus is a brand new add-on for the Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome web browser that is a fork of the popular Stylish user-styles manager add-on. The Chrome/Opera extension has been around for some time, the Firefox add-on is brand new.
Stylish has been around for a long time. It allows users to load so-called userstyles which manipulate how websites look like when they are accessed in the web browser.
The recent past has not been all that positive for Stylish and the community. The project was moved to a new owner in October 2016, and major changes were announced soon thereafter in regards to privacy.
Basically, what it meant was that an analytics component was added to the Chrome extension that would collect and send anonymous data. That component is enabled by default, and if disabled in the options, prevents the indicator that styles are available on sites you visit in the web browser.
Stylus is based on Stylish 1.5.2, the last release version that the original developer worked on. It works for the most part just like the Stylish add-on.
There are three core differences right now.
- Stylus is a WebExtension while Stylish is not. This means that Stylus will continue to work when Firefox 57 is released, while Stylish won't unless it is updated as well. The last Stylish update for Firefox dates back to August 2016 though.
- Stylus comes without analytics components that are part of recent versions of Stylish.
- Since it is not based on the newest version, Stylus may lack some features that the developers have built-in, or future features unless also implemented.
Stylus adds an icon to the main browser toolbar that you may interact with. A click on the icon displays all installed styles for the site, an option to search for styles for the site on the userstyles website, one to start the creation of a custom style, and one to block all styles on the site.
If you select the "find styles on userstyles" option, you are redirected to a search on the website. There you find listed all styles that are available currently for the site.
Styles are sorted by release date, and a thumbnail image shows how they look like. You may click on a style to open the style's profile page. There you find user comments and ratings, a release history, description, and option to install the style in Stylus.
The latter works as expected. New styles are active immediately, and Stylus indicates that on supported sites with a number next to its icon.
You can manage styles using the add-on. This allows you to remove styles for instance, edit the style information, or the URLs the style is active on.
Stylus ships with several options that you may find useful. It is set uscriptp to check for and install userstyle updates automatically every 24 hours. You may disable that feature, and also disable the display of active styles next to the icon, and a couple of other options.
Stylus works as expected; it is fully compatible with the userstyles website, and even comes with an option to import styles into the extension so that you can keep on using your Stylish styles if you want to.Advertisement