[FoRK] Chickenfoot: GreaseMonkey + Lapis

Ken Meltsner meltsner
Wed Jul 13 08:55:45 PDT 2005

One of the coolest text editors out there, Lapis was a great
dissertation on how to make a relatively simple program much more
complicated while massively increasing its capabilities.

Chickenfoot is a new system, similar to GreaseMonkey, that provides
Lapis-like features to Firefox.  Whether it's way too complicated for
most users, I don't know.  It tries to be simpler that GM's current
regex/DOM approach to finding text to munge, and I think it succeeds
(on paper, at least).

Code, etc. at:


Excerpt from the paper by Michael Bolin et al., Chickenfoot's author,
to be presented at UIST 05.

On the desktop, an application can expect to control its user
interface down to the last pixel, but on the World Wide
Web, a content provider has no control over how the client
will view the page, once it is delivered to the browser. This
creates an opportunity for end-users who want to automate
and customize their web experiences, but the growing complexity
of web pages and standards prevents most users
from realizing this opportunity. Chickenfoot is a new programming
system embedded in the Firefox web browser
that enables end-users to automate, customize, and integrate
web applications without examining their source code.
Chickenfoot uses a novel technique for identifying page
components by keyword pattern matching. We motivate
this technique by studying how users name web page components,
and present a heuristic algorithm that identifies the
desired component from keywords.

Ken Meltsner

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