The scripts are user created, normally with the intention of providing more information or reformatting of the already present information on a specific web page.
These types of scripts can be very powerful, but remain limited to the information that is provided by the server to the web browser.
Although it would be possible to create Greasemonkey scripts that could cause harm to you, either by stealing information and providing a third-party with that information, or breaking or altering a web page, normally scripts created by users are specific to a particular site and only are allowed to run on those sites.
Greasemonkey will only run a script on a site to which has been specified by the author and therefore available for verification by the user. Therefore overall there is limited risk to using Greasemonkey scripts.
Greasemonkey Step-by Step
The following step by step guide will help those that struggle to get Greasemonkey installed and user scripts running.
- Ensure you read all this Greasemonkey Scripts Guide.
- Download and install Firefox web browser: Get Firefox.
- Install Greasemonkey: Install Greasemonkey.
- Click the following download link for an example script: ikariamlibrarygmexamples.user.js
- Click Install after the count down has expired. Note: That the "runs on" list contains only "http://ikariamibrary.com/?content=Greasemonkey Scripts". This means it will only run on this page.
- Finally, refresh the page.
Scripts created for Ikariam allow an unlimited amount of improvements to the game. Most revolve around adding improvements to small and specific areas of game play, where as others attempt to improve many areas.
Scripts hosted on Ikariam Library will normally be verified. This means that the script has been reviewed by Gameforge developers as being not only safe for use, but also permitted for use within Ikariam game sites.
Additionally, the scripts hosted will be tested and reviewed by the Ikariam Library team to ensure they remain safe to use.
Remember thought, scripts that are verified may change after verification. Authors are able to upload a new script version when they need to and it would be impossible for Gameforge and the Ikariam Library team to constantly ensure the script does not cause harm to the user or game.
Therefore it is important for you, as a user of the script to check that the script is safe also.
Additionally, some scripts hosted on Ikariam Library may not be verified by Gameforge. This might be due to it not yet being reviewed by a Gameforge developer or because they have not approved the script. This does not mean the script will be harmful; but means that for one reason or another Gameforge do not want users using the script. Furthermore, it has been know for Gameforge to approve a script for use on one domain set, but deny that very same script on another.
Normally it would not be possible for Gameforge to know who is using a illegal script on a Ikariam game server, however, users that choose to gain from the benefits of such scripts, do so at their own risk.
Greasemonkey is an add-on for Firefox web browser. Therefore to use Greasemonkey scripts you must also use Firefox. Firefox is the second most used web browser available is said to be much better then Microsoft Internet Explore for speed and security.
To download and install Firefox, visit this page: Get Firefox.
Once Firefox is downloaded and installed. Download and install the Greasemonkey add-on: Install Greasemonkey.
The add-on will prompt you to restart Firefox, don't worry, Firefox remembers the pages you where visiting so in most cases this page should be available to you once you have restarted Firefox.
With Firefox and Greasemonkey installed. Installation of Greasemonkey User scripts is very simple.
In most cases, clicking a link to directly download a Greasemonkey script (files with a *.user.js extension) will prompt to install the script into Greasemonkey with the following dialog:
Once the Install count down has expired, during which time you should further review the pages in which the script is run, click the Install button and the script will be installed.
Now the script is installed and enabled refresh the page in which the script applies and the changes that should be made by the script will be visible right away.
If you have already downloaded a script and have a file on your computer. The fastest way to install the script is simply drag and drop the file onto a Firefox window. Firefox and Greasemonkey will recognise the file and prompt you to install the script as stated above.
If no installation dialog appears after download or dragging and dropping a script, ensure that Greasemonkey is active and running by checking for a colored monkey face on the bottom right of the Firefox window. If the face is gray, it means Greasemonkey is disabled, simply click the face to enable it.
Uninstallation/Disabling a Script
To disable or uninstall a specific script open Greasemonkeys script management window by clicking "Tools -> Greasemonkey -> Manage User Scripts..."
Installed scripts are displayed on the left hand panel; grayed out scripts are disabled, black are enabled.
To disable a script, click the script and then at the bottom of the window, uncheck "Enabled".
To uninstall a script select a script and click "Uninstall". Note, when uninstalling there is no confirmation. Additionally, if the script has stored information check the "Also uninstall associated preferences" to ensure everything is removed.
There are a number of steps all users should before installing and running Greasemonkey scripts.
The first step should be to ensure that you download and install scripts from a site maintained or verified by the author. A number of scripts hosted at Ikariam Library should only be downloaded and installed from Ikariam Library. This ensures you are downloading the most up to date version and a version that has not be modified by anyone else.
Scripts normally include an authors name and/or a URL to which the script should have been downloaded from. If you didn't get it from a site mentioned or maintained by the author take extra precautions before running it.
The next step to ensure safe use of scripts is to verify the script is run on pages that are relevant to the script.
When a script is downloaded and attempted to be installed Greasemonkey forces you to wait about 5 seconds before the install can complete. During this time you should ensure the sites that are listed in the "runs on" list.
If the script is said to be a Ikariam script yet it runs on PayPal.com - it is fairly obvious that the script intends to do bad things!
The more explicit the scripts "runs on" list is, the more chance the script will be safe to use. However, in some cases it is not possible to narrow down the pages so a global "runs on" is used. Simply ensure that this makes sense and applies to the intended use of the script.
Finally, a script can be verified by reading through the code. This can be meaningless to people with limited or no understanding of programming, however sometimes code that does malicious things can be fairly obvious.
Start be reading through the header of the file. Does it include dates, an authors name, a homepage, information of what its purpose is? The more information that is provided the more time an author has spent ensuring the script is safe.
Overall, downloaded scripts will be safe, but as always it is up to the end user to ensure this. Take time when installing a script to verify it. And, if in doubt, disable Greasemonkey when you visit sensitive pages!