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It’s entitled “User Script Compiler” and it is very easy to use. Turning Greasemonkey scripts into proper Firefox extensions is all the rage at the moment. Gina Trapani over at Lifehacker has taken all the best Greasemonkey scripts (with permission of course) for Google products such as Gmail, Google Reader, Google Calendar and YouTube, and merged them all into Firefox extensions. Now you can do the same – even if you don’t have any programming knowledge.
I just copied and pasted the entire contents of the text file into the User Script field. If you want to add the developer’s name and so on, you can normally find it at the beginning of the text file. Then when all fields are filled, press the “compile” button. An XPI file should now be generated for you onto your computer. That’s your new Firefox extension.
To install it onto your Firefox, you have to click on it with your mouse and drag it from your Windows Explorer onto the Firefox browser page. The regular installation box will then open and you should then install it as normal, like any other extension. Close and restart Firefox and your extension should now be there. Try it out to see if it works. I tried it on three different Greasemonkey scripts and they work flawlessly.
Oh and don’t forget to delete the original Greasemonkey script which is now not needed! If you’re feeling nice, why not email the script developer and send them a copy of the new Firefox extension file?
You’re probably asking by now what the advantage is of doing all this. Isn’t a Greasemonkey script and a Firefox extension essentially doing the same thing? Well yes but if you’re say a programmer / developer or just someone who wants to pass on a good script to someone else, converting those Greasemonkey scripts into full Firefox extensions is beneficial if you want to get them out to a wider use base. I mean, everyone “gets” Firefox and extensions but try explaining the finer points of Greasemonkey to someone who can barely grasp the concept of programming. It’s much easier to point them to an extension and say “click on that”. If they have to install the Greasemonkey extension and then the script, they would probably not bother.
Are there any other Firefox compiler tools out there that we should know about?