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Better YouTube: Coming Soon to a Browser Near You?

In the first few days after writing the previous blog entry here, I found myself uncertain of what to write here next. However, it seemed as if the decision regarding what I should write next was made for me after this previous blog entry was featured on Lifehacker. It was after this happened that I knew that I needed to follow up on what I had previously written, with everything that was said about what I wrote.

I would first like to say that I was flattered that something that I wrote was featured among the interesting material on Lifehacker. However, I would have preferred that they got my name right when mentioning who wrote the featured blog post. And it was my first name, not my often-misspelled surname that was not entered correctly there. And to those interested in how I reacted to seeing that I was twice referred to as “Jane Kasprzak” in that post, I would like to say that I laughed out loud. However, my name being entered incorrectly there was not something that mattered to me very much. The interesting discussions that resulted from what I wrote is a reason my name being entered incorrectly is not something I will focus on here.

Some interesting points were made by Adam Pash, and by those who have contributed comments in response to what I wrote. It was after Mr. Pash asked for comments on Greasemonkey scripts for YouTube (and other related YouTube tweaks) that some interesting comments were made. A few other interesting Greasemonkey scripts were mentioned both here and in the comments section of the Lifehacker post. In fact, when writing last week’s blog post, I considered mentioning that some may prefer the script for removing comments, rather than the one for moving comments to a different location. This is one example of two scripts for YouTube that users may want to have, but conflict with each other. And there are many other scripts that perform many other tasks that may conflict with each other, but are ones that users may still want enabled at certain times. For this reason, it would be good to have a Firefox extension that contains all of these scripts and only allows scripts that do not conflict with each other to be simultaneously enabled. And it is this kind of extension that Adam Pash less-than-subtly suggested be written, and this suggestion led to another discussion that I would like to join.

Mr. Pash alluded to the extension titled “Better Gmail” that contains over twenty-five (25) Greasemonkey scripts that a user can have enabled. Many of these scripts are considered features that can be added to Gmail, and others are considered skins to customize the appearance of Gmail. It is convenient to have an extension such as this, as it saves the user the time that would be spent looking for and downloading each individual script. In addition, with this extension, scripts that conflict with each other cannot be simultaneously enabled through the interface that it has. And so with the many scripts available for enhancing YouTube, would it not make sense for a similar extension titled “Better YouTube” to be made available? Well, such an extension may be on its way soon.

There certainly would be interest in this kind of extension, and it may be available sooner than one might think, because it may be fairly easy to develop. This extension could simply be based on the Better Gmail extension, which in turn seems to be based on the Better GCal extension. After looking through the source code for both of these extensions, it appears that few modifications of the Better Gmail extension need to be made for it to work with YouTube. It may need to be based on the Better Gmail code, as the code for the Better GCal extension does not appear to work with conflicting scripts. It might take some time to determine which scripts should be included in this extension, and to determine which ones might conflict with each other. However, Gina Trapani, who wrote these two extensions, has emphasized in her book that where there’s a will there’s a way. And it is not my intention to pressure Ms. Trapani or anyone else who might write this extension into getting it done quickly. I am only saying it can be done, and that it may be done soon.

When I wrote last week’s blog post, I never did expect it to lead to the kind of discussion that took place here, let alone on Lifehacker. I never did think that this post would lead to anything that might possibly be considered a catalyst for the development of a Firefox extension that many would consider useful. However, I am quite pleased to see this, as this extension that I am indirectly and accidentally responsible for creating interest in is one that I too would like to see.