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Note that by "plugins", the author seems to mean what Firefox calls "extensions" and I think IE calles "add-ons" - not third-party libraries for rendering new content-types within the browser, but code living in the browser that can modify page content automatically.

The venerable Netscape plug-in API is about as browser-agnostic as one can get; I don't think there's a modern GUI browser that doesn't support it, except perhaps Amaya or something.




Actually, he seems to be referring mainly to userscripts, which are a sort of step down from extensions. Extensions typically add to the browser GUI and make only minor adjustments to the DOM, whereas userscripts operate entirely on the DOM and are limited in interaction with the containing browser.

At least, this is my impression. The line gets fuzzier all the time, so feel free to disagree.

The userscript approach would lend itself better to cross-browser compatibility, in addition to being a relevant platform in the era of HTML-JavaScript apps.

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On top of that, most browsers already have support for GreaseMonkey scripts.

Opera has it built in. IE has http://www.gm4ie.com/ . WebKit has http://8-p.info/greasekit/ . Chrome http://greasemetal.31tools.com/ and will likely have it built-in. And, of course, FireFox has GreaseMonkey itself.

But the author wants some kind of proxy that works for all browsers, even if they don't have GM support or even anything like plugin support.

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You're right -- my bad. I guess I've always called extensions "plugins", partly because I don't care about actual plugins very much. (Time to change.)

I'll add an update to the blog post to clarify.

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