[Greasemonkey] Ethics & rules of thumb for GM_xmlhttpRequests

alan taylor kokogiak at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 11:58:16 EDT 2005

I've got another user script I just finished, it inserts TITLEs into
all images on Yahoo News' Most Emailed/Most viewed/Rated pages, like
this one: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=index&cid=964 . It
always drove me nuts that the images in the right column had no
caption or title, and you had to click through to see what they were.

Right now, my user script auto-fetches the captions from the linked
page using GM_xmlhttpRequest, but it's usually 20 images per page,
effectively turning the request for a single page on Yahoo into a
request for 21 pages simultaneously (each child page is ~30k of html).
I don't have a problem using a script like that for just myself, but
don't know if it's the sort of thing I'd want to send out into the

To make it user-initiated, the title tags could be set up so they are
fetched on mouseover or there could be a global 'get titles' button
that would get them on request (instead of automatic), but those
options aren't nearly as useful.

What do you think? Is adding 20 GM_xmlhttpRequests to a few pages on
Yahoo abusive? Should it be made into a user-initiated action? Should
I just keep this script to myself?

-Alan Taylor

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