MagicLine Is Magical

August 6, 2005


Last week, Mark Pilgrim (the author of DiveIntoGreasemonkey) was working on a very cool new Greasemonkey script. But his work got overshadowed by some very messy security problems with Greasemonkey. Fortunately, most of those nasty security bugs have been swatted in the 0.5 release. So what was Mark going to unleash on the monkies among us? Well, it is called MagicLine. And it is very cool.

MagicLine reads autodiscoverable RSS and Atom feeds. When it is activated, (using Control + Shift + L), MagicLine greys the background text and display a search bar. From this search bar, you can type a search term whose results are displayed as you type. For example, if you look at my home page and then activate MagicLine, you can type in “Lance” and get all the recent posts on Lance Armstrong.

This tool is cool on many fronts. First, it is a great way to browse a blog. You can quickly filter through someone’s blog and find all the relevant posts on a particular subject – assuming the posting title is descriptive enough. Second, Mark has used a number of very cool visual effects. When MagicLine is activated, the background text gets greyed out. This is a simple touch that quickly shifts your focus from the page you’re viewing to the search task you will be performing. Second, the floating window for the search line is opaque and simple. You might be saying, “Yeah. Big deal.” But think about it. Mark could have gone for some eye-popping eye-candy, but he decided against it. That was a good decision. His interface is clean and simple, thus putting the emphasis on the function ahd not the form.

Mark has done a great job with this. Wander over and take a peek.




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One Comment on “MagicLine Is Magical”

  1. Mark Pilgrim Says:

    Thank you for your kind words. I am working on a sequel (of sorts) which will show just how far Greasemonkey can go. I don’t think we’ve tapped 1/10th of its potential yet.


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