Add Reader into GMail with GreaseMonkey

Google, Tools

Google Reader, the online RSS reader from Google had a major upgrade in terms of features and UI. The most useful features included folder-based navigation and the expanded view of posts. Overall the UI looked a lot similar to GMail.

Even while writing about Google Reader, I was wondering why Reader was not integrated into GMail.

Like the Google Chat widget, it would have been very nice to have a Google Reader widget within GMail. Then we would have had an “Inbox for web” and “Inbox for E-Mail” in a single place !

Mihai Parparita, one of the lead developer of Google Reader has written a Greasemonkey Script to add Reader into GMail. Here is a run down of the steps to install the script

  1. Install Greasemonkey for Firefox from http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/
  2. Restart Firefox.
  3. Click on this link to install the Reader script !
  4. Click on the “Install” button that’s displayed in the upper-right corner of the page.
  5. Visit/reload GMail

You should see a “Feeds” link in the sidebar as shown below !

I had encountered the “Greasemonkey” word in many of posts, however I never cared to look into what it actually is, i.e. until now ! 🙂

About Greasemonkey

Greasemonkey is a Mozilla Firefox extension that allows users to install scripts that make on-the-fly changes to specific web pages. Greasemonkey can be used for adding new functionality to web pages (like embedding price comparison in Amazon.com webpages), fixing rendering bugs, combining data from multiple webpages, and numerous other purposes.

Most Greasemonkey user scripts are written by hand, using site-specific JavaScript code which manipulates the contents of a web page using the Document Object Model interface.

userscripts.org maintains a database of Greasemonkey scripts, and for each it lists the URLs of webpages to which the scripts pertain.

And the extension is not just restricted to Firefox, Creammonkey and PithHelmet are similar tools for the Safari browser. For Internet Explorer, GreasemonkIE, Trixie and Turnabout offer similar functionality.

Version 8 of Opera also added user scripting functionality and both Opera and Firefox support the W3C DOM. Hence many Greasemonkey user scripts work correctly on Opera also ! This should make Opera users happy 🙂

If you want to write a Greasemonkey script, Dive into Greasemonkey is a good book to start with. There is a free download of the book available, in a variety of formats. (HTML,PDF)

Other Greasemonkey scripts

As mentioned earlier, userscripts.org has a huge collection of Greasemonkey scripts. These are some of the notable ones from Digg

Let me know if there are any other interesting Greasemonkey scripts !

1 comment… add one

  • Daniel Nov 21, 2006

    Hi guys…
    anyone else on gmail having problems ?
    gmail is fine on adsl, but on my 3g card i can surf net no problem, talk on google talk no problem, but i cannot reply to any gmail mail. also cannot compose and send attachments. can recieve mail fine.
    thought it was my beta firefox im using so tried IE but still same problem.
    sometimes can reply to a mail but not always, especially if there is an attachment in it…
    but gmail is fine on adsl so i know its not gmail themselves. 2 friends have also complained about their gmail on 3g today..

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