1. Why doesn't Platypus work with Firefox 1.5? Why don't my old Platypus scripts still work?

    Firefox 1.5 and GreaseMonkey 0.6.4 introduced substantial changes in the security model used to keep GreaseMonkey scripts from being used maliciously. These changes broke existing Platypus scripts and required a substantial re-write of the Platypus extension. Platypus 0.61 works with Firefox 1.5 and GreaseMonkey 0.6.4, but unfortunately existing Platypus scripts will not work with this new version of Platypus. The solution is to delete your existing Platypus scripts and re-create them using the new version of Platypus.

  2. Why does my saved script only work sometimes?  ... or only partly?  ...or incorrectly?  ...or stopped working?

    When a script stops working, only works sometimes, changes the wrong things, or only works partly, it usually indicates that the web page it is modifying has changed significantly since the script was created.  If you open up the Javascript console (Tools > Javascript Console) you'll probably see messages from Platypus complaining that it couldn't find something on the page.

    This may just mean that the web site has undergone an update since you wrote the script, and the solution might be to delete the script and use Platypus to recreate it.  The new script will be based on the new structure of the web site, and that may be all that is needed.

    Some web sites, though, may regularly change their structure.  In this case, any Platypus script you create that works on a changing part of the web page is doomed to fail.

    Your main defense against this problem is to make your changes at as high a level as possible.  For example, if a site has an <IMG> inside a <DIV> inside a <TD>, you're better off deleting the <TD> than deleting the <IMG>.  In general, when you want to change a part of a web page, use the "Up arrow" to find the highest level of structure that you can use.  The higher the level of structure, the less chance it will change.

  3. Why do Platypus scripts require Platypus and Greasemonkey to be installed?  It would be better if they would work on their own.

    First of all, Greasemonkey provides the mechanism for user scripts.  Greasemonkey is the part that sticks your script into a web page and gives it the chance to modify the page.  User scripting might one day be built into Firefox/Mozilla, but at the moment there is no user scripting without Greasemonkey (or some other equivalent extension).

    As of Platypus 0.60, you don't have to have Platypus installed to make use of a Platypus script. Just Greasemonkey.

  4. Why should I use Platypus instead of something like Rip?

    Rip is great extension, and if all you need is to remove parts of a web page, then it's a fine choice.  That said, Platypus has some unique features.

    First and obviously, Platypus provides a lot of functionality that Rip does not.  If you might ever want to do anything more than remove page elements, then you might want to use Platypus for its greater functionality.

    Less obviously, Platypus doesn't just change the web page, it produces a script that changes the page.  You have access to that script, which means you can share it with other people, modify it, use it as part of another tool, etc.  That's a powerful idea.  Of course, Greasemonkey itself is even more powerful in this aspect, but Platypus makes scripting accessible to people who aren't full-time Javascript wizards.

The platypus project can be contacted through the mailing list or the member list.
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