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A Defence of a Greasemonkey Script That I Never Thought I Would Defend

It was almost a year ago that I quickly wrote a Greasemonkey user script titled “Web Form Data Analyzer.” This script, which can be found here, is one that modifies the action attributes of <form> tags of web pages so that submitted form data is redirected to a page that displays exactly what data gets submitted through forms. The page to which the data is sent is one that is specifically for displaying that data, and is part of the official reference website for the book titled “Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers” by Michael Schrenk. It is not a script that I have often used myself, as I have not taken much time to view what data is sent via web forms. When I first released that script, I mentioned that I did not expect there to be much interest in it. There are some, however, who have installed this script. It also received a negative review from a user on, which stated there is no way to ensure that the page to which the form data is sent can be trusted. In addition, it was said in that review that one should instead use a Firefox extension titled “Tamper Data” as that extension is one that can be trusted. While that extension can be used to view submitted form data, there are reasons one may prefer to use the script that I wrote instead.

While some might like to be able to view data that is being sent to and from a web browser, there are those who may find that the Tamper Data extension is not what they need. Those who want to be able to view the data that is sent via web forms may want something more simple, and something that is specialized to the task of displaying the data that is sent through forms. The Web Form Data Analyzer script is for those who only need the software to perform the task that it performs. In addition, the script displays the form data that would be sent through the form without the data ever being sent to the website to which form data is supposed to be sent. Therefore, those who would prefer to simply view the data that would be sent through a form without actually submitting it to the site where it is supposed to go may prefer to use this script.

There may be those who are not sure if the page to which the script redirects submitted form data will accurately display this submitted data. However, the source code that this page apparently uses can be viewed here. As one can see by viewing that code, it is simply PHP code that displays values that would be stored in variables when form data is submitted. And if one does not think that that page actually uses that source code, then the script could be modified so that the page to which it redirects form data will be different. What would be needed in that case would be a web server to host a page that uses code that displays this data. One would likely be using Firefox when using this script, and so one would likely be able to use an extension called Plain Old Webserver to set up a web server. Going through this process of setting up a web server that hosts this page might seem like more work than it is worth, although it is a way to ensure that the data returned will be accurate.

This script may be useful for those who trust the official reference website for the book titled “Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers.” Those who do not trust it may find that there are other methods for determining what data is sent through web forms. Opinions on whether or not that page can be trusted may differ, and this script is useful for those who believe that the page that this script uses is reliable.