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Customizing Classification Web with Greasemonkey

Classification Web is ace, but there are a couple of things about the interface that annoy me and, in one colleague’s case, seriously put him off using it, in particular:

  • The opening of a new tab/window when you click on the MARC view for a subject or name.
  • The confusing menu. We don’t use LCC or DDC, and the browse options don’t really add much, so we only really need two options: Search LC Subject Headings and Search LC Name Headings.

I managed to work out a simple way of modifying how Classification Web works on Firefox using the Greasemonkey add-on and a couple of simple scripts, all of which is quick and easy to install:

  1. Install Greasemonkey: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/
  2. Make sure the monkey in the bottom-right corner is happy and colourful. Click on it if not.
  3. If you want to prevent the MARC view opening a new window, install the classweb_no_new_ window script by going to http://www.aurochs.org/zlib/js/userjs/classweb_no_new_window.user.js then
  4. Click on the Install button
  5. If you want to reduce the main menu, install classweb_prune_menu script by going to http://www.aurochs.org/zlib/js/userjs/classweb_prune_menu.user.js then
  6. Click on Install button
  7. Reload/refresh Classweb if it’s still open and it should work.

If you want to turn Greasemonkey off altogether, click on the monkey so he’s sad and grey. If you want to stop individual scripts, right click on the monkey, click on Manage User Scripts, select a script from the list, and un-tick the Enabled box in the lower left corner.

These instructions were tested on Firefox 3.5.3 although I imagine they would be fine on any recent version of Firefox. I would be interested to hear anything confirming or undermining that assertion.

If you’re happy to play around, these scripts can be further altered. In particular, you can choose which menu items appear in the pruned menu script:

  1. Right click on the monkey
  2. Click on Manage User Scripts
  3. Select classweb_prune_menu from the list
  4. Click on Edit (you will probably have to select a text editor at this point)
  5. Edit the list of pages under the line var menu_items_to_keep = Array (. Enter each page you want to appear on the menu on a separate line in quotes, with a comma at the end of each line except the last line. The menu item must appear exactly as it does on the Classification Web menu, including capitals. E.g., the default set up looks like this:
    var menu_items_to_keep = Array ( // end each line with a comma except the last line
      "Search LC Subject Headings",
      "Search LC Name Headings"
    );
  6. Save the file, and reload Classification Web.

If anyone else finds this useful or can think of more customizations let me know.