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Creammonkey: Greasemonkey for Safari Slowly Gaining Traction

Published December 18th, 2006

Creammonkey: Free Input Manager for Safari runs Javascript extensions

Creammonkey Scripts for SafariOriginally downloaded 2/20/06. Many Safari users have gazed with envy at the plethora of add-ons for Firefox, though in the final analysis there are only 3 or 4 that I really wish would come to Safari. One was Greasemonkey… and now we have Creammonkey, which will try to fill those shoes… Worth a try!

Update 10/29/06. Well, eight months after launch, there are still only a tiny handful of scripts that work with Creammonkey. I’m going to watch it awhile longer, but if the usefulness quotient doesn’t go up soon, I’ll pack Creammonkey in. Now that SafariScript is available—with a lot more scripts behind it—Creammonkey may not make it anyway. The fatal flaw seems to be its lack of compatibility with the hundreds of Greasemonkey scripts that already exist. That’s probably not the developer’s fault, but it may doom the effort in the end.

p:OK, even though Creammonkey still isn’t anywhere near as useful for Safari as Greasemonkey is for Firefox, I’ve found at least two scripts that make me want to keep it around. The first one I stumbled on quite by accident… it’s a cool little script called Greased Lightbox, which adds the popular “lightbox” effect to any image you link to from the page. The site designer doesn’t need to do anything but add links to an image… which is quite typical on sites that show thumbnails with links to larger versions. The script’s page has some sample images you can test it with, and also suggests that Google’s image search is a good place to use it. Personally, I’ve been surprised to find how often Greased Lightning is invoked as I browse the web these days… The first time I saw it, I honestly thought it was another lightbox javascript that was being served from the site owner’s HTML page. Greased Lightning alone is worth installing Creammonkey for.

Yesterday, I went searching for more Greasemonkey scripts that are compatible with Creammonkey. Unfortunately, I didn’t find many. The large repository at turns up only a handful, and if you follow some of those links, you might find a few more. For example, this programmer’s site has a number of Greasemonkey scripts, and he believes some of them may work with Creammonkey. I installed a couple of them but didn’t have any success. (I didn’t have time to be exhaustive…)

RSS Panel X Displaying Feeds

Nevertheless, I did turn up one other very cool script that works great in Creammonkey: RSS Panel X. RSS Panel X reads the HTML page’s RSS meta tags and then parses and displays the linked feeds in a tiny floating, collapsible window that appears in surprising, bright pastel colors. The script also reads a selection of microformats you may have embedded on your page and adds them to the RSS feed info. I haven’t been able to get this script to work in “automatic” mode in the manner of Greased Lightning, so I added a bookmarklet to my Safari bookmark panel.

Creammonkey is free, has been improved to the point that it no longer degrades Safari’s performance, and now has at least two really useful scripts that lets it show what it can do. Here’s hoping more will be coming along as time goes on.

Version as tested: 0.8.

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